Your brand is a promise to your customers. Protect it. Promote it. Ensure that every marketing dollar you spend only advances your specific brand message. Sounds easy enough, but how do you do that? Here are 5 simple tips to ensure brand integrity:

1. Create Brand Guidelines that are accessible to everyone in the company.

  • Having brand standards in place allows customers to focus on your services and products instead of getting distracted by confusing messages. Disruptive creative or copy that doesn’t fit can cause clients to lose their attention on what is important.
  • Brand standards help bring the company together and unite them under one mission.
  • Brand standards allow your company to become recognizable and reinforce client/customer experiences even when working with a variety of individual and departments.

2. Make branding a top-down priority and equip all employees to be “brand ambassadors.”

  • Create a “brand culture” where the organizing principle for all activity centers on delivering the brand promise to customers. Focus on promoting your brand internally, to employees, as much as externally, to clients. Use every opportunity to communicate your brand, including: Staff and departmental meetings, new hire training and welcome information, and company meetings.

3. Partner with a trusted vendor for marketing and branding collateral that cares about your brand’s integrity and will help enforce your brand standards.

  • Don’t be fooled, not every branded merchandise vendor and print show understands and truly cares about your brand and helping to promote your specific message.

4. Automate branding in communication by creating templates and making auto formats available.

  • Templates and auto formats should apply for communication such as: e-mail signatures, style guides, pre-branded PowerPoint presentations, etc. It’s a very simple step for ensuring the visual elements of the brand are consistent across the board.

5. Engage employees in your brand. A strong brand is formed when employees live and breathe by the message.

  • It’s essential that all employees feel connected to the brand and understand what how their individual role plays into delivering that brand’s promise.
  • Employees who truly believe and “buy in” to their company’s brand are one of the best advertising assets and tools.

Before creating massive marketing and advertising plans, start simple and make sure your brand’s message is clear and your employees understand it. The best marketing campaigns and advertising plans will do you no good if your brand isn’t known and trusted.