September 12, 2017

Market Your Nutrition Product for Success By Creating Brand Standards You Can Actually Use

Whether you’re launching a new nutrition product or maintaining a legacy, there’s no arguing the value of consistency in your branding — especially for ensuring that people are never confused by exactly which brand is talking to them. The question is, do you consider your brand standards necessary or a necessary evil? If it’s the latter, use these ideas to help develop standards that everyone’s happy to use.

1. Make the right decisions up front.

Find a war room and line the walls with every piece of communication you plan to affect. In partnership with your branding firm, rearrange the work into two tiers — the work the agency will create, and the marketing pieces that will need to be templated and updatable by the in-house team.

The reason for this is simple. The level of brand standards applied to each brand caretaker group can and should vary. For your agency, the standards can stay fluid and a bit looser. Great print ads, for example, are often difficult to template — making it worthwhile to invest new dollars with your branding firm to make them great every time. Ideally, your brand standards should be flexible for the agency’s designers and totally inflexible for in-house designers who likely have a less mature skill set.

2. Create one central resource for assets.

Once your standards have been developed by your brand strategy firm, establish one online location where all resources can live. Many times, companies lack a centralized database, so designers grab assets from different locations and inconsistencies abound. This also makes it simpler to update a single set of files as the standards shift — instead of distributing updates to designers who are often spread out across wide distances and expecting them to keep track of the changes.

3. Assign the brand police.

Someone must be put in the position and held accountable for policing the brand standards —a key component of implementing and upholding brand consistency. In choosing the right person, make sure it’s someone who sees all communications before they’re released for production. Additionally, they must have the time and authority to watch over the situation, approve or disapprove of standards that push the brand boundaries, and they need the power to make changes to the brand system, as necessary. In most cases, this person is the brand manager within a nutrition company.

4. Be flexible, yet stringent.

Creating brand standards is one thing, but you’ll never know how truly usable they are until they’re put into action. Which means, updates will be required to perfect the standards for all user audiences. It’s also very difficult to anticipate all the needs you’ll have for your standards — they will constantly grow and evolve over time. Be ready to adapt to new situations, with some issues that designers are battling requiring immediate attention and others being okay to address down the line. Typically, a quarterly review and update of materials should suffice.