Ways to Ensure Brand Consistency and Compliance
By Jodie Byass
In today’s digital world, businesses are struggling to up their game to win the trust of their customers. Privacy and consent have become more important than ever before to consumers. Businesses are facing it roughly because many consumers are losing trust in brands and becoming reluctant to share their personal data.
Many businesses need customer trust to win sales, so businesses need to ensure they don’t break this trust. Businesses need to adapt business and marketing strategies that meet new demands for privacy and consent. Fortunately, there are steps that businesses can take to build and maintain trust with their customers.
One of these steps is ensuring online brand compliance. Businesses need consistent branding across their marketing and communication materials, including their websites and social media presences as well as their physical advertising and packaging. Read on to understand more about managing brand compliance.
What is Brand Compliance?
As a brand, how do you differentiate yourself from other brands? Well, your brand speaks a lot about you, and it’s not only about your logo, colour palette, and typeface. What your business represents and how you make your customers feel are much more important than anything else.
Brand compliance means ensuring that your website strictly follows your brand guidelines. It also helps protect and strengthen your brand equity. Brand compliance ensures the following issues:
- It ensures the use of consistent messaging
- Brand compliance ensures that there are correct design elements, including colours, logos, fonts, and graphics.
- The compliance also adheres to regulatory rules and industry standards for marketing, advertising and creative asset management.
- Brand compliance should support your brand’s core values
- It should match your brand’s voice, tone and personality regardless of your platform
What Does Brand Compliance Incorporate?
When ensuring brand marketing compliance, your brand asset management needs to consider the following factors:
- Disclaimers and Disclosures: Your team must centralise your company’s data, including disclaimers and privacy disclosures. This will ensure that there’s proper legal information on the marketing materials. Once you openly provide information to the public, customers will trust you more than any other brand.
- Provide Consistent, High-Quality Content: Make sure you provide consistent and high-quality content. This is because an inconsistent and disorganised brand will send a negative message to your consumers. A well-crafted and consistent content will show the quality and professionalism of your company. It shows how you’re concerned about the details and how you focus on delivering high-quality products and services.
- Visual Identity: As a marketer, your company’s branding must be consistent in your online and offline platforms. Include up-to-date logos and the correct colours, fonts, as well as imagery styles across all your marketing and sales materials.
- Company Rules and Regulations: Setting rules and regulations will help you identify risks that are within your marketing materials. You’ll be able to understand proper brand compliance guidelines you can refer to when creating your content.
To maintain a consistent brand identity, you need to have an ongoing automated or creative workflow process. This ensures that you align all your marketing materials with the company’s consistent messaging across all channels. Without this proper brand compliance, it can be difficult to ensure brand consistency in marketing, as your team will spend a lot of time and money, which can damage your brand’s reputation with your customers.
What are the Benefits of Managing Brand Compliance?
Here are reasons why brand compliance is important:
Maintaining Brand Compliance Makes You Stand Out at the Times of Competition
Maintaining brand consistency is not a joke. Many companies have difficulties maintaining their brands in their marketing materials. However, creating a strong and recognizable brand helps you set your business apart from the competition and win loyalty among your customers.
Maintaining Your Brand Shows Your Internal Due Diligence
Of course, branding and content tasks require creativity. However, brand compliance is always a team effort. The compliance team should focus on brand compliance and represent the brand properly while adhering to regulations across all internal and external touchpoints.
It’s also the work of the CEO and the executive team to continuously monitor compliance efforts. Make sure you have a platform that will track all asset comments, approvals and uses. This gives leaders a chance to correct mistakes, using real-time data that helps in making critical decisions concerning new merchandise lines and blog posts, as well as seasonal promotions.
Maintaining Brand Compliance Improves Brand Recognition and Brand Trust
Trust is a rare thing, and having it can earn you a lot of respect. Brands like Nike and Coca-Cola have maintained their game in the market because of their brand consistency. They use branding mechanisms such as sponsoring ads, bringing new products, and using celebrities to make endorsements, which has worked as a strategy for expanding brand recognition while maintaining identity.
Without setting standards, brands and agencies cannot receive a consistent experience across all possible touchpoints. Poor organisations can also push away clients from various agencies and brands. But with the right strategy, creative teams can deliver an engaging and predictable brand experience to their customers.
Reduced Costly Legal Risks
Maintaining your brand’s compliance can prevent several legal risks that can bring your company down. These risks include trademark infringement, non-compliant disclaimers, and using an outdated or unapproved licence to operate. Fortunately, brand compliance teams ensure that your brand licensing is up to date.
The team also monitors and enforces policies around your property usage, content access, and editing permissions. They also ensure that your brands meet all the social media policies and content distribution requirements.
Customers like purchasing products from companies that they can trust. Once your company has gained that customer's trust, they’ll remain loyal and make repeat purchases, which goes a long way toward boosting your sales. With the rise in competition in the marketplace, it’s important to build customer trust so as to boost your sales.
Brand Compliance Helps Set Expectations
What message do you intend to pass to your customers? The kind of image you want to portray should help you win and maintain customers. By using marketing workflow software, you can continuously send the same message through branding, ensuring your clients know what to expect from your brand.
Brand Compliance Protects Your Company Against False Claims and Advertising
False claims and advertising can negatively ruin your brand's reputation. These claims may include fraud, financial misconduct, and false advertising. These claims may make your customers and shareholders avoid your brand.
False claims aren’t malicious, meaning they can cost your company much, leaving alone the reputation. However, when you have a creative workflow that manages your brand compliance, your entire team won’t have to deal with false claims and advertising.
Common Challenges with Brand Compliance
A rapid change in the business environment has made it difficult for organisations to maintain their brand compliance programs. With ever-evolving regulations in the compliance sector, companies require more technology and user-centred strategies to keep up with the compliance. Here are the compliance challenges businesses are facing:
Data Protection and Cyber Security
The protection of data is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There is a need for a third-party compliance service provider to offer data protection. This is because there’s a sharp rise in breaches in data sharing, risks, and complexities in the compliance profession. Cyber-attack, losses, and misuse of personal data are some of the security threats brands are facing.
The speed at which technology is evolving is also something to worry about when it comes to brand compliance. Though, it’s good to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in computing and machine learning so that you don’t lag as far as technology is concerned. However, there are dangers of relying too much on AI and computer-based content.
Technology can help you be more compliant, but AI only focuses on programming and won’t perform well when an unexpected occurs. Many compliance officers and compliance service providers have raised a lot of complaints about AI, stating that it’s not good for business.
Environmental changes are something of concern to compliance providers. The changing environment and sociopolitical changes have given birth to outside sources such as cybercrime which is a threat to companies adopting brand compliance.
Gaining customers’ trust and loyalty in this current business environment is no walk in the park. Customers are looking for a good service experience, reliable privacy, and fair value in order to stick to a particular brand. This has put the digital transformation ahead, posing a consistent and increasing challenge to personal data protection.
Most clients expect companies to identify and prevent any unethical conduct within their brands and protect their personal data.
With the evolving improvements, organisations are expected to adapt efficiently to any risks and transformations in the industry. This needs to be done according to the new regulations, developments, and new market requirements.
That said, companies find it hard to adopt new innovations, impacting their business strategy. Organizations need to understand the outcomes of new technology in areas such as conduct, ethics, financial crimes and customer protection.
Regulatory changes are hurting different organizations across the globe. With the increase in customer privacy and data security, companies need to be aware of the updated requirements of GDPR that are laid down by the European Union. By adopting compliance services, companies are able to drive sustainable changes across these regulatory challenges.
Ways to Ensure Brand Consistency and Compliance
In order to ensure your digital asset management is compliant with internal and external regulations, it’s important to implement compliance that can help you automate the legal review process for your marketing materials. Here are some of the ways you can develop and maintain brand consistency and compliance:
Implement Marketing Compliance Software
Implementing marketing compliance software will help organizations avoid costly mistakes and ensure they comply with market requirements. Taking time to understand your compliance requirements will ensure you have the mechanics to ensure you achieve your compliance.
Make Sure Your Team is Educated
Making sure all your staff are trained and aware of their obligation is an important step you wouldn’t want to miss. Make sure you conduct regular meetings to make your staff aware of their compliance obligations. Also, train every new member that joins your team and ensure they’re fully aware of the legal compliance checks and why it’s needed. Taking this step will help you ensure your brand remains strong and trusted for several years.
Incorporating technology into your compliance process is the way to go. The paper process is now a thing of the past as it’s prone to error. Technology can help you improve your workflow processes, including legal checks and compliance checklists, as well as streamlining the entire process.
Project management tools help map out the entire process, putting stops in place until you follow the proper legal checks. Technology not only ensures that you’re compliant, but it also improves your overall operation. The ranges of features Project Management software offers such as checklists, approval tiers, automated approval workflows support your team in managing brand compliance.
Win Trust by Marketing Yourself Well
Make sure current and prospective clients know about your compliance measures and your clean record. This will make them trust you more and place you ahead of the competition. Potential clients will choose your company over those that are not making the same effort or have a negative record in terms of compliance.
Make Sure You Have an Approval Checklist Before Starting Your Campaigns
Setting up a digital calendar in the cloud will give your team a clear roadmap on your compliance. Make sure the calendar includes your goals, formats, channels, target audiences, and documented workflow. This will ensure you make all the legal checks at the right points during the creation of your compliance.
How Simple Solutions can Help Manage Your Brand
Create and Enforce Effective Brand Guidelines
Creating and enforcing brand guidelines will ensure you follow the rules and regulations while remaining consistent. These rules help define the criteria you use in your brand actions. These include colour scheme, imagery type, typography and your brand’s overall look. You can also maintain a consistent brand history and avoid any risk of delivering conflicting messages to your customers.
Take Advantage of Digital Media to Review and Approve Content
Companies are struggling to have consistent content. Companies face a lot of challenges when dealing with brand consistency to satisfy their customer experience. These challenges include:
- Having limited access to all content materials
- Having difficulty in ensuring the brand guidelines are followed
- Digital content going against the company policies
- Slowing down workflow takes a lot of time when it comes to compliance.
Using a DAM solution helps you deal with such issues because you have a full team on board, with all assets and content organised and easily accessible. All team members can act as brand protectors by getting involved in every brand activity, courtesy of digital platforms. Using tools such as online proofing software can help you achieve this on a single platform. Tools such as Simple DAM or Simple Admation can help your team share content, comment, make real amendments, and collaborate with external partners.
Setting Up a Compliant and Secure Content Repository
Setting up all your data on one platform is the next step you wouldn’t want to miss. Using a rough draft can confuse and affect your brand's compliance. In that case, you need a permanent solution to help you bring all your digital content, including feedback and collaborative team information, onto one digital platform.
Implement a Failsafe Approval Workflow Process
Things can really go south if you don't have an efficient approval workflow process. For example, when a key shareholder misses the approval process, the misinformation can go public, and this cannot go well with your brand. Make sure you have a failsafe approval workflow process to ensure you send the artwork for feedback and approval to all shareholders.
Use Technology to Prevent Non-Compliance Issues
Many companies are turning to approval workflow software. This is because the software offers many benefits while safeguarding your brand against non-compliance. As a brand, you can set up a unique approval pathway to ensure all the stakeholders approve the artwork before going live with it.
You can integrate an approval workflow with a digital asset management component to prevent people from using the wrong files. Approval workflow software uses a central hub to save all the files and feedback automatically. This gives you a transparent audit trail of your marketing work without thinking of anything.
Employ Simple Asset Manager
If you’re finding it difficult to stay on top of your marketing compliance, consider investing in a compliance manager. The compliance manager is tasked with ensuring all the risks associated with non-compliance are not present. You can also consider reviewing an approval workflow solution.
Also, ensure the manager you hire has the skills and knowledge required to handle brand compliance. Hiring someone who’s not trained can ruin your reputation, drive your customers away, and even fail to attract new customers. So ensure you do due diligence before employing your asset manager.
Streamline Your Brand Compliance Process
Brand compliance is a very important feature for companies. It enables companies to improve customer trust and loyalty by providing brands that comply with all the rules and regulations. Contact us today and learn how to take your brand compliance to the next level.
However, ensuring that your brand's compliance stands out from the competition can be a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the market. But with time, you can learn how strong and trusted brand compliance catches the eye of many customers and clients.