The creative phase of your communication process is the point where all of your research comes together; is the stage where your business goals, communication goals, marketing budget, key audiences, media plan, technical requirements, and more combine. Whether you are launching a promotional display campaign, posting a status update on social media, responding by email to a disgruntled consumer, publishing a new landing page, or otherwise, each communication effort should be considered part of your brand's permanent record.
Brand image matters. A single post or website update doesn't create it. It evolves. It's the cumulation of months, if not years, of advertisements, social media posts, PR efforts, etc. Today, anyone can contribute to the public image of your brand. Now, more than ever, the creative elements (Style Guide) you use to communicate with your key audiences need to be consistent. Social comments and reviews contrary to your desired brand image can negatively influence or confuse the marketplace regarding your company's core values, goals, audiences, level of service, or otherwise. You can't control the public sentiment regarding your brand, but you can contribute to it. You need to be consistent.
All comments on social media, or otherwise, related to your brand are part of its permanent record. With today's media, your company can't just opt out of the communication game; it has to play. Using a Style Guide can help you communicate your key points consistently; however, using consistent creative elements can be difficult when utilizing numerous media channels.
To be sure, your creative elements are your logo, tagline, fonts, brand "colors," branded visuals, core values, tone, key audiences, USP, UVP, claims, appeals, benefits, etc. Whether you are commenting on Facebook, posting an image on Instagram, launching a new search campaign on Adwords, changing your logo/tagline, editing a video for your YouTube channel, or otherwise, you need to be deliberate with the use of your creative elements. Publishing content is your company's only opportunity to contribute to the public perception of your brand. Again, consistency of message elements needs to be deliberate.
Technically, consistency across media channels can present problems. The individual managing your search campaigns probably isn't the same person designing your website or the team member managing your social media profiles. Expertise with a specific media channel doesn't equate to skill as a communicator or expertise graphic designer. A formal Style Guide keeps all the members of your marketing team on the same sheet of music, regardless of the media channel they manage. They are all contributing to the permanent history of your brand.
Vagary can manage one or more of your media channels, or we can create an entire media plan for your company. Building a brand, which is different from just selling products or services, requires consistency and discipline with regards to your communication across all media channels. The long-term success of your company will be directly related to your success in building a brand. To be sure, building a brand for your company is a strategic goal with requirements for each communication channel. Successful brands are not created by accident. Vagary will help you communicate deliberately in a way that supports your strategic goals.
Keep your marketing team accountable with consistent creative elements for all communication efforts across media channels.