Similarly, 2015 saw internet giant Google famously switching brand identities, with a shift to a flatter design. And 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 in can be an immense headache. Gone are the days when the rebrand of a company logo meant simply changing stationary and business cards. Now, switching brand identities requires an update to a multitude of digital assets across a multitude of platforms.
It is becoming increasingly popular for brands to change logo design in order to move with the times. Due, in part, to the need 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 the brand. After all a logo 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 switching brand identities 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 a firm.
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 switching brand identities 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 where new content needs to be developed. A detailed content inventory can also uncover 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, 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 an 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, it adds up to a significant allocation of resources. When re-branding, various departments within the business are often tasked to create new content, marketing materials and merchandise, all of which must adhere to strict rules and guidelines to ensure consistency. By eliminating copying, pasting and rekeying of information through automation, firms can be sure there are no conflicts across collateral delivered to multiple channels.
A need for consistency – even if you are switching brand identities
To get the most out of a new logo and 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.
Gavin Drake is VP of marketing at Quark Enterprise Solutions.
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