Although we are continuously exposed to brands in our daily lives, many of us rarely pause to consider why brand compliance is crucial.
Numerous businesses operate globally in both global and local markets. Maintaining a consistent brand, particularly with regard to textual and visual assets, produces a consistent customer experience and makes the business recognizable to their customers, which promotes brand loyalty and trust.
The integrity of your company's communications, visuals, and reputation are safeguarded by brand compliance, which keeps teams in several locations constantly in sync.
It also impacts your brand’s bottom-line: Brand consistency increases a brand’s revenue by 23%. Also, it takes 5-7 impressions on average for a customer to remember your brand, so you’ll need to work harder on delivering a consistent brand experience.
This article will go into what brand compliance is, why it’s important for organizations and strategies to maintain compliance.
What is brand compliance?
Brand compliance is a marketing technique that attempts to make sure that all branding components are consistent with the organization’s quality standards, visual identity, and values.
It helps safeguard your interests, guarantee the loyalty of your clients, and avoid mistakes and misuse that could negatively affect your business.
Branding compliance can be achieved in a variety of ways. You could create a department solely responsible for brand compliance or employ software that would enable all concerned teams to store, access, and manage on-brand digital assets in a single spot.
Making sure that every action your business does, even the seemingly little ones, contributes value to its brand is the aim of brand compliance. Other objectives of brand compliance include the following:
- Make sure all traditional and digital communications maintain the brand’s voice, tone, and personality.
- Use appropriate pictures, logos, colors, and fonts while executing brand content.
- Design marketing campaigns and company initiatives such that all components adhere to the brand.
- Use the same tone and voice across all platforms can help you maintain your unique individuality.
Why brand compliance is important
Here are a few reasons why offline and online brand compliance is important:
It raises brand trust and recognition
You probably have an image in your head of the logo or can recall the tagline when you think about recognizable businesses like Nike or Coca-Cola.
This is a result of these brands’ superior brand consistency. Every advertisement, new product release, and celebrity endorsement plans to increase brand recognition while upholding the brand’s integrity.
Without brand compliance, there would be no way for brands and agencies to guarantee that every client has a consistent experience across all potential touchpoints.
This may alienate customers and give agencies and brands a negative reputation, as it leaves room for fraudulent organizations to copy the elements of your brand.
It protects you against false claims
False statements are not always malicious and intended to deceive the audience.
A “false claim” may simply mean that your freelance blogger described your feature suite incorrectly or that your Instagram bio is incorrect (because no one has updated it). Perhaps your sales representatives are providing unauthorized discounts.
This doesn’t point to malicious intent. Most of these issues are caused by unintentional, simple employee actions or a general lack of formal internal oversight programs.
But in highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance, incorrect information (such as unproven medical treatments or poor investment advice) can harm real lives.
When you have a process in place to manage brand compliance, your entire team is less likely to make mistakes of this nature, and it helps you avoid lawsuits, which brings us to our next point:
It mitigates costly legal risks
Brand compliance helps organizations avoid several legal risks —trademark infringement, non-compliant disclaimers, and operating with outdated licensing or unapproved assets— that could bring it down and lead to a negative reputation.
To understand how this happens, consider the challenges that the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry is facing. Teams manage massive catalogs with thousands, if not millions, of SKUs—all of which necessitate on-brand images and disclaimers that comply with industry regulations.
In this case, brand compliance technology assists businesses in ensuring that every package, price sheet, and piece of content complies with the most recent regulatory requirements—a task humans cannot perform manually on such a large scale.
Furthermore, technology-enabled compliance makes it simple for marketers to create content across various media formats and channels while meeting regulatory requirements for ads, messaging, and distribution.
In short, legal/compliance teams can use brand compliance solutions to:
- Check that all brand licensing agreements are up to date.
- Monitor and enforce policies on intellectual property usage, content access, and editing permissions.
- Ensure that social media policies and content distribution are up to date.
Strategies to maintain brand compliance
Here are a few proven strategies to help you maintain brand compliance
Create a dedicated department to monitor brand compliance
It's reasonable to assume that all departments will be well-versed in brand compliance and understand the standards that have been established for them.
But to be on the safer side, consider assigning a department to monitor the entire process.
Clearly define and outline what they intend to do and lay out their roles and responsibilities.
The responsibilities of this team may vary, but in general, they should be able to understand compliance standards and work to manage and maintain them by examining current branding efforts.
There is no set size for this team, but it should typically have more working parts if there is more ground to cover (if a company is small, the team ensuring compliance does not need to be massive).
Finally, don't forget to include regular checks in this dedicated department. Without adequate supervision, there is a danger of a blind leading the blind situation.
Encourage employees to get involved with compliance efforts
Not all departments are on board with branding efforts. So how do we ensure that they are?
To begin, ensure that the appropriate people are demonstrating and discussing compliance in some capacity. Consider some exciting ways to offer brand testing and education that outlines how beneficial the results will be to all involved.
This could be accomplished in a variety of ways, including through periodic quizzes on a brand's mission, ideals, logos, and more.
Use a brand compliance software to ease the process
Too often, teams that share materials across departments end up confusing one another and causing more harm than good.
This is because it is virtually impossible to ensure that all employees always use the most recent document version without an automated system. Brands frequently face the following issues in the absence of compliance software:
- Files and assets that have been misplaced
- Disorganized files
- Version issues
However, this is only one part of the picture. Another piece of the puzzle is having a system that stores brand materials in a centralized location for easy access, which promotes compliance.
You should implement digital asset management (DAM) software like Artwork Flow to address these potential issues. It effectively manages all branding assets and makes it easy to share them with external stakeholders, which ensures that the appropriate elements are used in each project.
Artwork Flow also centralizes branding materials for easy retrieval and ensures version control, both of which are critical factors in remaining compliant.
Brand compliance is critical for maintaining your brand's overall look, feel, and identity. It's difficult, but it's doable.
To get it right, you'll need a well-defined strategy, top-level support, and the appropriate technology to support your brand standards and brand creation process. If you'd like to know how Artwork Flow can improve your brand compliance operations, you can get started with a free 7-day trial or get a personalized walkthrough of the platform from one of our experts today.