BRAND INTEGRITY: PART DEUX

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When I first became a marketing manager in the banking business I had a boss who kept telling me to make all our advertising, point of purchase, signage, stationery, naming hierarchy and frankly everything else CONSISTENT.

That became more difficult as we acquired more banks, many who had CEOs and a board of directors.

I was not a popular guy because I had the authority to say no. This authority extended way beyond our graphic identity all the way to tone and manner.

Popularity aside, there was compelling evidence that this command and control system worked. We regularly researched our markets and in all of them we had almost stratospherically high levels of awareness and consideration. The levels of awareness reached 90% top of mind without us having to buy it.

In some cases, particularly in outdoor media, we felt comfortable enough to use our logo and theme line without our name. Brazen, I tell you.

Looking back, I don’t think consistency is exactly the right word because there is a notion that it is the hobgoblin of small minds. I think integrity is far better. It is the sense of wholeness that is compelling about integrity. We felt the command and control system protected and nurtured the charisma (spirituality) of the brand, too.

For you Anglicans who remember the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, the logo et. al were the outward and visible signs of the inward and spiritual grace or in other words, our character.

A brand with control of these elements-plus great creative and design-and has the courage to stick with it, will prevail.

PS. A CEO backing you up doesn’t hurt either.