Building a strong brand identity is a process that requires research, time, money, and considerable effort. This makes sense, as brand identity dictates public perception and how current and potential customers feel about the values your company represents and the products and services it offers. In an increasingly global market, more companies are investing in brand to differentiate and standout. But while it takes years to build a brand, a single mistake can cause irreparable damage.
Let’s explore why brand identity is so important and how you can use Specification Data Management™ (SDM™) software to protect your investment in brand identity.
How a Strong Brand Identity Benefits Your Organization
A strong brand identity gives your organization and products several significant advantages. On the subject of brand identity, Search Engine Journal notes that establishing a strong brand identity:
- Distinguishes you from the competition
- Increases brand awareness
- Establishes brand loyalty and trust
- Delivers the products/services you promised
The Building Blocks of Brand Identity
Considering these benefits, how can you build and protect your brand identity? First, identify the elements or building blocks of your brand as it pertains to your products.
- Your Logo: Perhaps the most recognizable aspect of your brand identity is your logo. A well-designed logo reflects who you are and what you do. It evokes immediate recognition and emotion in your customers.
- Your Style and Tone: All content, both written and visual, should be consistent as to tone and style. It should reflect your brand personality. Discordant messaging or visuals that do not conform to your brand style are jarring to current and potential customers.
- Your Packaging & Labels: Packaging is critical regardless of the sales channel. Standing out on the store shelf or creating a memorable eCommerce experience can differentiate your product to customers. This is extremely critical for beauty, food and beverage, and CBD brands, as any claims made on labels need to be up-to-date and accurate for consumers.
- Your Signage and Printed Materials: Not to be overlooked, your physical signage and any printed materials you distribute (in-store, at trade shows and public events, in sales calls, etc.) project your brand identity. They should be consistent across the board.
How Specification Management Software Protects Your Brand Identity
A strong brand identity originates from the coordination of all of these moving parts as they pertain to your products, labels, and packaging. How can you manage all of these brand components most effectively? The answer lies in specification management software. You may think of specification management software as a technology that tracks products and packaging at a detailed level, and that is true.
The need for more frequent label and packaging changes is making it difficult to manage brand identity. The desire to include more claims, such as sustainability, food allergens and dietary flags, the need for more retailer-specific branding, and the ever evolving rules around cannabis and CBD labeling has made keeping track of brand identity and promises made through claims more difficult than ever.
The reality is that labels and packaging design are tightly interwoven with brand identity and typically worked on by cross functional teams like packaging, product development, and marketing for approvals. Specification management software streamlines these efforts to protect your brand identity.
Here’s an example to illustrate. Consider the way your current creative process works. You may rely largely on email-based artwork approvals that move through a series of designers, writers, and editors via long email threads or, worse yet, disjointed communication methods.
Specification management software enables you to define an artwork approval workflow to ensure that everyone involved in the creative process is on the same page and is using the most current and approved assets. As various tasks are completed, the system automatically assigns and alerts the next person on the team who will need to continue the work. This streamlines the process and ensures that no creative deliverable is lost in transit from one team member to another.
Specright’s Specification Management solution also includes an Artwork Annotation tool, which allows you to provide feedback and perform edits directly on the asset. This ensures no one’s input is lost and is commonly used to review and provide feedback for labels or dielines. Furthermore, outside suppliers and vendors can be included in the workflows and approvals to ensure that final labels and packaging are produced according to spec.
With specification management software, you can also track your brand across multiple channels. Advanced reporting and dashboards allow you to check key brand elements such as color usage, material type, and logos across your entire brand portfolio. Using the software, you can quickly spot any discrepancies or specs that do not adhere to your brand guidelines and make needed corrections to protect your brand identity.
Take Control of Rebranding with Specification Management
Believe it or not, marketers sometimes have to physically visit stores to confirm what labels and brands are in-market. When a company introduces a new brand or goes through a rebranding effort, it can be difficult to track which products and packaging have been updated or what brand is currently in-market. These projects are often backed by the C-Suite, so having visibility and being able to report on progress or roadblocks is critical.
With specification management, detailed brand information from packaging to dielines is at your fingertips.
This is especially critical for companies going through mergers and acquisitions, where accidentally having an outdated brand in-market can be a liability or prevent the new company from fully benefiting from the acquisition. With specification management, you can carefully track the rebranding process, approvals, and ensure suppliers and partners involved are aware of any changes.
Learn More About Specright Today
Protecting your brand identity is a business imperative. Let Specright help you take control of your specifications and protect your brand. From managing your raw materials to your final product and beyond, Specright handles your entire specification ecosystem with ease. Learn more about Specright by downloading our ebook today.