Start with strategy: The features of a brand implementation plan
A brand is the thing that gives life to your company.
With a brand, you infuse your business with colour, in the form of marketing materials, logos, and images. A brand gives your company a voice, through content marketing, podcasts, and videos. Your brand can even inspire loyalty, by differentiating your company from its competitors, and drawing focus to your unique personality.
However, there’s more to having a successful brand than simply making sure you’ve got a strong logo and a memorable name. You also need to figure out how you’re going to introduce your brand to the world, and that’s where your brand implementation strategy comes in.
A brand implementation strategy helps you to determine how you can reveal your new brand assets in a way that’s tactical, measurable, and manageable. It’s a plan that simplifies your brand launch, mitigating risk, and improving your chances of a sustainable brand.
Here, we’re going to look at the features every brand implementation strategy should include.
Brand implementation building blocks: How to start your strategy
A solid brand implementation strategy begins with an evaluation of all your existing brand materials, including your logo, your website design, and even the marketing channels you’re going to use to communicate with your audience. Once you know you’ve got all the right resources in place, you’ll be able to think about how you can deliver your new brand to the world, while considering time, and budgetary constraints. Your strategy should include:
1. A schedule
A great brand implementation plan always starts with a timeline, whether you’re rebranding or starting from scratch. You’ll need to think about when, and where you’re going to introduce your new brand to the world. When deciding how long your brand implementation process should take, remember to think about whether you need extra time to design a new logo, how long it will take to build your website, and whether you have any specific deadlines you need to meet. Be realistic — you should never launch a brand before it’s ready.
2. A need-to-know sequence
Successful brand implementation doesn’t just include a consideration of how you’re going to introduce your new brand to your external customers. Make sure you take the time to identify everyone who needs to be informed, from your partners and vendors, to your employees and local media companies. Once you know your “need-to-know” sequence, you’ll be able to identify how you’re going to communicate with each audience. Remember, your internal communication comes first, as your employees and coworkers will help to ensure consistency in your external efforts.
3. A communication plan
Once you’ve decided when you’re going to begin implementing your brand, and who needs to be informed about your brand elements, you’ll need to start thinking about how you’re going to launch your company into the public eye. Consider how you can most effectively tell the story of your brand to your consumers on a variety of platforms — from digital channels like websites and social media, to offline events and networking opportunities.
Consistency comes first
The most important thing you can do to make sure that your brand implementation plan is a success, is ensure that you have strategies in place to keep your branding consistent. Implementing your brand means introducing your company to the world in a way that’s memorable and engaging. If you’re giving your customers a different experience from every angle, then they’re going to have trouble understanding what you’re all about.
By putting strategies for consistency into your implementation plan, you can reduce your risk of branding mistakes in the future, help to influence positive customer perceptions about your company, and ensure that you’ve laid the foundation for valuable brand affinity.
So, how can you make sure that you create a brand implementation strategy driven by consistency?
1. Make sure your mission is clear
Your brand identity should be a representation of the business mission. When building a brand implementation strategy, use your manifesto to guide the decisions you make. Your manifesto should highlight the “vision” of your company, in a way that makes your identity easy to define. If your mission is confusing or difficult to understand, then go back and clarify it before you move forward.
2. Create a style guide
Your style guide is a comprehensive document that the people in your company can refer to when making decisions about how to market and represent your company. A style guide should make up a crucial part of your implementation strategy, and most will include details like your business name, brand colours and typography choices.
3. Be authentic
It’s easier to keep a brand consistent, if the identity you’re creating is based on a shared set of values and ambitions in your company. Design a story for your company that can inspire everyone in your team to work towards the same goals.
Bringing your brand to life
Your implementation strategy is the document that will outline everything from the details of your brand launch, to the first steps you’ll take to raise brand awareness in your industry.
A brand implementation plan can be a complicated thing. It’s about introducing your brand to your shareholders, company, and customers in a way that’s controlled and manageable. Though it might not be as exciting as a brand launch, it’s an essential part of creating a sustainable, unified experience for your customers.
The easiest way to make sure you get your brand implementation strategy right, is to get the help of a professional branding company, to guide you through each step of the process. The right team can help you to implement a plan that instantly captures the attention of your audience, helps you to take advantage of gaps in your marketplace, and ensures that you mitigate any dangerous mistakes that might harm your brand reputation.
To learn more about brand rollouts and implementation plans, check out our “How to create an implementation strategy” guide. We’ll teach you everything you need to know about preparing your implementation plan, rolling out your new brand, and making sure every element of your identity is engaging and consistent.
You only get one chance to make a first impression. Prepare to blow your customers away with a brand implementation strategy.