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Call in the brand police

The creation of engaging brand identities is a job that has always fallen to graphic designers. Brand architecture or brand implementation is the subsequent application and management of these identities across all necessary marketing and branding material and communication channels.

Whether for high street, retail or FMCG merchandise, industrial, digital or financial products and services, the techniques of brand architecture help achieve strong and consistent brand presence and personality.

These techniques will include the curation of sub-brands, line extensions or business units within a company and the management of how these relate to each other to underpin the core values of the corporate brand to which they belong.

Developing a great brand identity is the first step. Thereafter the consistent application of visual and verbal identity across communications channels, signage, uniforms, liveries, interior design, branded merchandise, exhibition stands, retail and digital interfaces is the work of a brand architect.

To some extent, all companies perform a balancing act of how much weight the umbrella brand carries in relation to its offspring. For example, after years of hiding their corporate brand behind their sub-brands, Unilever came out with consistent branding across all products in their brand stable, General Motors did the reverse, making the decision to discontinue the GM badge across all their marques and let the subs stand alone.

These decisions are made based on a variety of strategic factors including company heritage, market conditions, competitive environments and shareholder values.

Many companies don't realise that they can employ brand architecture techniques to position and clarify their different products and services to strengthen their position and appeal to different groups of customers.

Managing the evolution of a brand identity over extended periods of time, to reflect new trading or trend conditions while maintaining equity also benefits from these techniques.

In web and UX design, the thinking processes required to arrive at an information architecture, will impact on the website's success as an accurate showcase of a company's product or service offering. Added to this the necessity to ensure a consistent tone across written communication, promotional and reputation management content, means decisive, hands-on brand implementation has never been more important.

Off the Shelf protects and nurtures brand consistency and relevance, having a great track record in showing quantifiable increases in company values via brand implementation systems, internal branding, brand bibles and classic brand architecture techniques.

13 Jun 2013 08:43