Marketing: Do You Suffer From Fifty Shades of Red?


How many shades do you turn?

No we’re not asking you to recall an intimate incident, although the thought may have livened up your day.

What we’re talking about here is the lack of consistency in branding and the damage it can inadvertently cause to your organisation.

How many shades do you turn?

No we’re not asking you to recall an intimate incident, although the thought may have livened up your day.

What we’re talking about here is the lack of consistency in branding and the damage it can inadvertently cause to your organisation.

It never seems to amaze how much time an organisation spends on creating a brand image - various discussions, meetings, review of concepts, consideration of target markets, the competition, various applications and so on. 

This is all worthy and relevant.  But once the new shiny brand image has been unveiled in a fanfare, should it not be protected? 

To answer this consider why you would have invested in a new brand identity in the first place? 

Was it not to be recognised amongst your target market?  Was it not to help increase sales by allowing products and services to be cross sold more easily?  Was it not to decrease the time it takes to make a sale by drawing on trust and credibility associated with your brand?

The power of using your branding imagery consistently helps you achieve all this and more.  It has a value, which in fact can be represented on your balance sheet.  That’s why it is crucial to protect it. 

By creating clear brand guidelines you avoid the scenario where a particular company was exhibiting at an industry event attended by high level prospects.  The issue they faced was trying to replicate a specific shade of red within their branding across all the marketing materials for the event.

As some of the materials had been produced using designs from different marketing agencies there were slight discrepancies - hence fifty shades of red!

Clear brand guidelines and a single supplier managing the process would have helped prevent this. 

Respect Yourself

But is this an overreaction?  Well if you don’t have the time or the inclination to take yourself seriously then why should your prospective customers? 

If you can’t pay attention to the level of detail on how you are represented to the world, then surely a customer will think ‘How are they going to look after me?  Are they going to provide me with the time and attention I deserve?’

So save your blushes (of whatever shade of red) and create clear brand guidelines that are understood by everyone in your organisation.

Posted by: Nimish Sawjani on Sep 17, 2012
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