While having a dedicated brand governance team can provide numerous benefits, not all companies have the resources or capacity to establish one. They are expensive, are and not as prevalent as you think.
- A survey conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), which represents leading U.S. advertisers, 61% of respondents reported having a dedicated brand governance team in place.
- 55% of companies with over 1,000 employees have a dedicated brand compliance team, compared to just 15% of companies with fewer than 100 employees.
- The survey also found that the average size of brand governance teams is 10 people, with an average budget of $3.3 million.
- Brand governance teams spend an average of 32% of their time monitoring and enforcing brand guidelines and policies. This includes activities such as reviewing marketing materials, monitoring social media channels, and conducting brand audits to ensure compliance with brand standards.
- Another survey by Deloitte in 2019 found that 75% of companies with more than $1 billion in annual revenue have a formal brand governance structure in place, which may include a brand compliance team.
Just because your marketing team can afford a $3 million budget increase (who can blame them), that does not mean they should neglect brand governance and compliance altogether.
In this blog post, we will explore effective strategies and practices that companies can implement to maintain brand governance and compliance without a dedicated team, ensuring consistency and coherence in their brand representation.
1. Establish Clear Brand Guidelines:
Companies without a dedicated brand governance team can still create and communicate clear brand guidelines. These guidelines should cover aspects such as brand voice, visual identity, logo usage, typography, color palette, and tone of communication. By providing employees and stakeholders with clear guidelines, companies can ensure that everyone understands the brand’s core elements and can apply them consistently across various touchpoints. Here are some tips on how to create effective brand guidelines.
2. Centralize Brand Assets:
Maintaining a centralized repository of brand assets is crucial for ensuring brand compliance. This includes logos, fonts, templates, and other visual elements. By providing easy access to approved brand assets, companies can minimize the risk of unauthorized use of outdated or inconsistent materials. This can be achieved by using digital asset management systems or cloud-based platforms that allow employees to access and download the latest brand assets.
3. Develop Training and Communication Programs:
Educating employees about brand guidelines and compliance is essential for maintaining brand consistency. Companies can conduct training sessions, workshops, or webinars to ensure that employees understand the brand’s values, messaging, and visual identity. Regular communication channels, such as newsletters or internal blogs, can also be utilized to reinforce brand guidelines, share best practices, and provide updates on any brand-related changes or initiatives.
4. Implement Approval Processes:
In the absence of a dedicated brand governance team, companies can establish approval processes for marketing materials, advertising campaigns, and other brand-related initiatives. Assigning individuals or teams responsible for reviewing and approving materials ensures that they align with brand guidelines before being published or distributed. This can help maintain consistency and minimize the risk of brand deviations or non-compliant materials.
5. Foster Cross-Functional Collaboration:
Collaboration across departments is crucial for maintaining brand governance without a dedicated team. By involving key stakeholders from marketing, communications, design, and other relevant departments, companies can ensure that brand considerations are integrated into their respective activities. Regular meetings or cross-functional working groups can facilitate communication, alignment, and shared responsibility for brand compliance.
6. Conduct Regular Brand Audits:
Periodic brand audits are essential to evaluate the effectiveness of brand governance efforts. Companies can conduct internal or external audits to assess brand consistency, identify deviations, and address any compliance issues. These audits can provide valuable insights into areas of improvement, allowing companies to refine their brand governance practices and ensure ongoing compliance.
7. Leverage Technology and Automation:
Incorporating technology and automation tools can streamline brand governance processes. Companies can utilize project management software, brand management platforms, or workflow tools to facilitate collaboration, streamline approval processes, and manage brand assets effectively. Automation can also be utilized for tasks such as monitoring brand mentions, or conducting brand identity compliance checks.
If you are looking to automate brand compliance and understand how your brand is truly being used by colleagues, check out Astute’s Real Time Brand Identity Monitoring tool.
While a dedicated brand governance team offers unique advantages, it’s obvious that a dedicated ream is not possible. Companies without one can still prioritize brand governance and compliance through strategic practices.
Establishing clear brand guidelines, centralizing brand assets, providing training and communication, implementing approval processes, fostering collaboration, conducting brand audits, and leveraging technology are key steps for maintaining brand consistency and compliance.
By adopting these practices, companies can mitigate the risks associated with inconsistent branding, protect their brand reputation, and ensure alignment with brand values and messaging.