A lot goes into developing a brand. Among other things, there’s coming up with a name for the business, product names, creating a logo and visual language to represent it, building a website, and figuring out the right brand voice. And that’s before you even think about things like advertising, developing collateral, nurturing online communities, or the legal considerations that are necessary to build and sustain a successful brand.
Even for startups, it’s an expensive and often time-consuming proposition. At a minimum, it costs many thousands of dollars and huge amounts of time. And for bigger organizations that are refining and promoting their brand, the costs can be exponentially higher.
Fortunately, when done right, such investments can really pay off. A strong brand will help differentiate a business. It can also engender an audience with the kinds of positive sentiments that help enable purchasing decisions. Just look at the loyal followings that brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and Google have built.
And yet in spite of all of the money we spend on brands, and the often immeasurable value they have, most companies do very little to proactively protect their brand.
That’s a big mistake.
Taking Care of Your Brand
There are many things you can do to protect your brand. Let’s just focus on one of them: paying more attention to your content.
A company’s content is one of its biggest brand ambassadors. It’s the thing that people come into contact with most and increasingly rely on — at least early on — to help them form an impression of that company. It’s also one of the most challenging things to control. That’s because long after marketing has created a brand and issued style guidelines, responsibility gets passed on to the employees to accurately reflect the brand in whatever content they create.
Most people never see their company’s style guidelines and are unlikely to actually follow them even if they do. That’s a problem because every piece of content a company creates is a reflection of its brand. For example, inconsistencies in support content can lead to operator issues, potentially resulting in catastrophic events.
How Inconsistent Content Wreaks Havoc on Brands
Big companies often have hundreds, if not thousands, of different products and corresponding product names. In fact, there are often more product names than actual products, when you factor in products that have been renamed over time, or rebranded for use in different markets. Now, imagine the confusion that could ensue if those product names weren’t used consistently. Imagine a website telling you the product is called one thing, an instruction manual calling it something else, and an e-mail referring to it a third way.
That may seem trivial, but it really isn’t if you’re a potential customer trying to understand a product. Likewise, when you call up customer service with a question and the person at the other end doesn’t know what you’re talking about. The list of potentially frustrating scenarios goes on and on.
Another common scenario we frequently see is many people writing a company’s content, with little regard to maintaining a consistent style and tone of voice. As a customer, your first impression of a company might be that it’s hip and cool based on what you’ve just read on its website. But then, you get into its product information, only to discover it’s dull and overly technical. That kind of disconnect can give you pause, make you question what the company is actually like to do business with, and undermine the positive impression you had only moments ago.
Protect Your Content, Protect Your Brand
What’s the silver lining here? It’s that protecting the valuable brand you’ve put time and effort into creating doesn’t have to be hard.
With content optimization technology, you can easily manage all of your brand and product names, along with any other terminology your company favors to ensure consistent use. This technology will also ensure that everyone in your organization is adhering to the same content standards, guidelines, and speaking with the same tone of voice.
Learn practical tips on how to develop your brand voice. Download our free ebook.