Switching brand identities in a multi-channel world

Ushering in a new visual identity requires an update to a multitude of digital assets across a multitude of platforms.

As he sets his sights on life away from the fairways, golfing great Tiger Woods recently unveiled his new brand identity – TGR – on his website, replacing the old TW branding and logo familiar to many sports fans.

Late last year, internet giant Google famously unveiled its new brand identity, with a shift to a flatter design. Telecoms stalwart BT is also thought to be currently preparing a brand refresh for the first time in 13 years, by retiring its well-recognised 'connected world' logo. This follows sharp eyed observers noticing that it had registered a trademark application in September for a new logo of a circle with transitioning colours with BT in the middle in a simple sans-serif font. The logo, when live, would be only the fourth for BT since the company was privatised by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1984.

On the face of it, a mere logo refresh is a simple operation, but the work really begins when the design teams have put down their pencils. Rebranding a company in the modern day multi-channel world that we live can be an immense headache. Gone are the days when the rebrand of a company logo meant simply changing stationary and business cards. Now, ushering in a new visual identity requires an update to a multitude of digital assets across a multitude of platforms.

Simplified designs

It is becoming increasingly popular for brands to change their logo design in order to move with the times. Due, in part, to the need for them to work across a number of digital platforms and screen sizes, complex logos are but a distant memory as organisations look for simple designs that are clean cut and memorable while still defining their brand. After all a logo, if designed effectively, can bring to an end user’s mind the unique selling proposition of the organisation and engage on a sub-conscious level.

Yet, it is imperative that all new content, marketing materials and merchandise align perfectly to make the switch to a new brand identity seamless. So how can organisations such as TGR and BT efficiently ensure new multi-channel content remains accurate, relevant and can be switched on globally at the same time?

Automatic for the people

A rebrand can be challenging for large organisations because content gets reused in multiple places. So in the case of a logo, the actual logo might be used in thousands of documents, Web sites, ads, in multiple language variations in multiple countries, and reside with multiple agencies and marketing teams. Essentially there isn't one logo, there could be thousands that exist with no centralised way to track and update each version.

It’s not just logos though, this applies to any type of content that gets reused across an organisation. The only real answer to the challenge of creating, publishing, and delivering newly branded content to such a diverse array of media channels is automating the process with reusable content components. In a nutshell, this is what content automation does: it automates the assembly, management, publishing, and delivery of content for multiple media and audiences. The objective of automation is to eliminate as many manual processes as possible in order to increase productivity, reduce costs, and ultimately increase the effectiveness of the content. The first thing any business looking to rebrand their organisation should do is conduct a content audit to get a handle on all the various places the existing logo is used. By taking an in-depth inventory of what exists, a business can define objectives and identify areas where new content needs to be developed to support the rebrand.

A detailed content inventory can also uncover areas where automation can be used to remove time-consuming manual tasks. By removing unnecessary rework and allowing easier access to updated information, teams become more effective, businesses more competitive, and customer satisfaction increases.

Understanding existing content streams

Another valuable outcome from conducting a content audit is a deeper understanding of the roles and systems currently involved in completing, approving, publishing and delivering content. When you know who is involved in the content lifecycle, it’s easier to establish processes for review and approval, now and in the future.

The birth of the internet meant that instead of rethinking their approach to content, many businesses simply added duplicate teams to be responsible for the web. When totalling the cost of creating, reviewing and approving content, running compliance checks, publishing and distributing the content, and then making updates to that content, it adds up to a significant allocation of resources.

When re-branding, various departments within the business are often tasked to create new content, new marketing materials and new merchandise, all of which must adhere to strict rules and guidelines to ensure consistency. By eliminating copying, pasting and rekeying of information through automation, organisations can be sure there are no conflicts or variations across collateral delivered to multiple channels. It also makes it simple to create localised versions for use across different geographical markets, whilst adhering to a consistent look and feel.

A need for consistency

To get the most out of a new logo and effectively build a new branding system and profile, an organisation needs to take advantage of every opportunity to consistently and distinctively use the new logo. From stationery to business cards, company twitter handles to exhibit booths, product collateral to websites, the list of channels to rebrand has never been longer.

Only with content automation in place to create, publish, and deliver the newly branded content to such a diverse array of media channels can an organisation hope to enjoy a seamless rebrand of their business.

Gavin Drake, VP of Marketing, Quark Enterprise Solutions

Image source: Shutterstock/Bloomicon