Marketers spend thousands of dollars each year getting the right logo and brand identity for their business. Yet protecting this identity is something that is still not taken very seriously even by some of the larger businesses.
Late last year, MetLife came up with a new brand identity for their company. However, the relaunch was plagued with criticism about the logo which had an uncanny resemblance to the logo of online comparison website, Diffen. While MetLife has continued to use this new logo to represent their business, the absence of any legal challenge from Diffen would mean that over time, consumers are more likely to associate the brand colors and identity with the impersonator given its larger footprint and marketing budget.
Challenges to your company’s brand identity do not always have to come from external sources. When businesses rebrand their identity, they do not completely eliminate their older identity. Sometimes, these logos continue to remain on old, static web-pages within the company website. In addition to this, the old logos and marketing materials are still archived across the internet and are only a Google search away for consumers. When media outlets and blogs write about your business, there is a change that they may use these old logos to represent your business. If not managed properly, a business might end up with multiple logos and brand identities due to this situation.
This can be detrimental to your marketing efforts. Take iTunes, for example. The older variants of the iTunes logo had music notes laid over the image of a CD. This continued to be the case until 2010 when Apple decided to do away with the CD in the background. With the availability of the cloud, consumers no longer rely on the CD to store and access music. The post-millennial generation is considered to be the influencer group in a number of music genres. Very few members of this audience are likely to have ever used a CD. Retaining the image of a CD on the iTunes logo may confuse this influential group and chances are that these younger users may fail to associate with the iTunes brand. This can be disastrous if done improperly.
Consolidating your brand identity
It is important for a brand manager to keep a close tab on the brand’s identity and ensure that all marketing communication from the business goes out with one uniform identity. Make use of a digital asset management tool that only catalogs your latest and most updated logos, images and videos. In addition to this, it is also the responsibility of the brand manager to keep tabs on news and blog posts about your company on the internet and make sure that all the logos and taglines displayed on these publications are in line with your latest branding efforts.
While software tools and technology can make the job easier online, the task can be incredibly difficult offline. When your business relaunches with a new identity, it is important to immediately pull out any banners or brochures that you have distributed to your vendors and distributors and replace them with the latest version. This helps your business establish a consistent identify regardless of where your consumers see you.
Businesses routinely downplay the importance of maintaining a consistent brand identity. A major reason for this is because it is extremely tricky to quantify the loss from a mismanaged brand identity. The onus is on the brand manager to acknowledge the importance of brand asset management and ensure that your consumers only see you the way you want to position yourself.