Monday, 10 May 2021


CRUM Copywriting can provide the right words for your websites, press releases and blogs

There are so many skills needed to run your own business. It is impossible to master them all!  The likes of Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Daniel Ekk and Jeff Bezos and others have become so successful by concentrating on what they do best - and delegating some aspects of what needs to be done to people with the expertise to do so. Promoting what you do in the best way possible is one of the most important things you will do in business. 

Expert copywriting through CRUM Copywriting is one of the skills that can help to achieve that. Copywriting is the art and science of writing the words used on web pages, adverts, promotional materials, and much more besides.When done well, this copy will sell your product or service and convince prospective customers to engage with your business and spend money. It will give your firm a competitive edge over any rivals, while also establishing your validity and relevance to customers. 

When you run a car, you ensure that you use the services of a mechanic who knows what they are doing to ensure that it stays working well. It’s likely that your business is worth far more than a car, so investing in its smooth running is very much worthwhile. One of the most important aspects of copywriting - although copywriting can help with many aspects of a business - is your website. These days your website will often be the first sight of your enterprise that prospective consumers will get. This was true even before the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, but it is even more so now. Your website has become the shopfront of the 21st century. While you may spend thousands of pounds in ensuring your actual shopfront or business premises are looking the part, your virtual shopfront - your website - is even more important. 

Top quality copywriting will ensure that your online presence will make sure your firm stands out. At CRUM Copywriting we will be happy to help you to achieve that. Before joining CRUM Copywriting, I spent 25 years working in local and regional journalism, before working in PR.
My PR experience has seen me supporting organisations including Southport Business Improvement District (Southport BID), Southport MP Damien Moore, Sefton Council, Southport Town Deal, Southport Market and others. I have written copy for politicians, BIDS, councils, business organisations, small local businesses, supermarkets, architects, estate agents, fishmongers, health and social care businesses, shops, development companies, and many more besides. 
There are many aspects of journalism which provide an important aspect for copywriting. I enjoyed several years working as the Editor of newspapers and websites in the North West including the Southport Visiter, Midweek Visiter, Bootle Times, Formby Times, Ormskirk Advertiser, Skelmersdale Advertiser and others. Our Southport Visiter website - at one time the fastest growing news website in the country - was twice runner-up in the 02 North West Media Awards, beating some big regional websites with big newsrooms behind them on the way. 
Quality was always our first consideration. 

There were a number of aspects that we swore by, that remain true here at CRUM Copywriting. The first among these was the mantra ‘Right First Time’. Copy always had to be correct, both grammatically and factually before it appeared on either our websites, our newspapers or our social media channels. The growth of social media in recent years has been both a blessing and a curse. One thing it has done is to give so many more people a very instant and a very powerful voice. Readers or customers are very quick to spot any mistake made online - and they will very quickly tell everyone about it! ‘Right First Time’ ensures that great care is taken when writing copy. It’s important to check, and check again before you are ready to publish. That doesn’t mean to say that a fresh pair of eyes doesn’t help. A fresh perspective is always very helpful when getting your words right. 

With newspapers and websites, the reporter traditionally wrote the initial story before the copy was read and then revised firstly by a news editor, then by a sub editor and finally by an editor. Even before that process, reporters attended news conferences in order to discuss which stories were to be covered and how they were to be developed. Conversations between people who own firms and copywriters can also help to achieve the best results. Business owners are busy doing a thousand and one different things at the best of times. When they also have to write their own web copy, pen their own press releases, draft their own social media posts or put together their own blog posts, it misses out on several of the processes involved with putting together newspapers and websites. It leaves out the crucial, initial conversation about what copy is needed and what isn’t. Which pages should be included online, how should they be worded, what are the core aspects of the business?

What are the best and most efficient ways of enticing customers not only to dwell on the website to discover more, but also to engage with the firm and to buy products or services from them? Copywriting is great value for money because once the website is just right and the words are in place, major changes won’t be needed unless the business itself develops new areas. Once you are happy with the results, you will want to ensure that new visitors are attracted to your website and that existing customers are tempted back to return again and again. One effective method of doing this is through regular blogging. This boosts traffic to your website; makes your site more likely to be found by potential customers; engages existing customers; and will help to increase your conversion rate. Blogging is also an excellent way of building consumer loyalty and really developing your brand in a genuine and powerful way. 

Opening the doors and letting people see behind the scenes is a great thing to do. Through your blog posts you can let people know exactly what you’re all about and what you stand for. At CRUM Copywriting we can make that an easy process for you. Just keep in touch through emails, social media messaging, regular phone calls - whichever method you find is the easiest way of communicating. We can quickly turn that into readable copy which can inform, entertain and engage any visitors to your website. Online is the new high street. It presents huge opportunities for the businesses which use copywriting effectively. For more about Crum Copywriting, please visit: www.crumcopywriting.com or email: info@crumltd.co.uk or call us on: 07472 789 801.

Friday, 26 February 2021



Hello. I am John Hogan the MD of Crum. Crum as a design studio is an  accumulation of many years ( I am now 52 ) of image making. I actually had the concept of Crum when I was a young boy. I remember thinking that it would be a good name because it defined my reasoning at the time. The reasoning  that the world and the universe is a massive  place, and I am just a tiny speck, but even though I was tiny, I had hope and aspirations for the future, which implied that I was also huge. I then married the analogy of a Crum with  the hugeness of aspiration, It was then only a small step to the idea that by devouring the whole of life, left you with a Crum, small but huge at the same time. The logo for this concept for Crum was realised, red denoting the strength and power of the concept of tiny but a part of a massive whole, devoured by everyone. and the grey textured surface denoting the hard but very tasty  whole.There is also the satiation concept, in that you have devoured the whole and left a Crum, suggesting that the whole that was devoured in the first place must of been good to only leave a Crum remaining.

Related to the idea of what it means to be a small part of a whole, are, the definitions of the whole. In my personal case it is useful maybe, to outline the ways and methods of my journey through a huge life eating spree. I am not going to detail my whole life story in this post, suffice it to say, every tiny detail of my life, just as for yourself too and every other human being that lives and has lived during the earths existence. Every individuals detailed life, every moment marks their place, makes them what they are, and guides them in the actions they take. All my life I have been involved in image making, From the first time I made things as a young boy, i realised that this is what I was, what i felt the most comfortable and happy doing. And what I would like to continue to do for the rest of my life. Little did i know however, that there where huge life experiences ahead of me that would place both barriers and questions of self that would make the transitions as a creative difficult. At various stages in life I have been questioned as to what I am. In school I was asked what i wanted to do, and when i said i want to be an artist, they immediately disqualified the idea and convinced me to choose a different direction. My parents were the same, born into a working class family. They had no time for creativity and discouraged me constantly. After many so called dead end jobs from farming to roofing, to packing chickens. I also managed to find employment as a graphic designer in a local design studio, this is where I gained valuable insight into the design industry, it enabled me to  build up a portfolio. a few years later  I then managed to attain a place on my first degree course. (on the strength of my design and drawing portfolio, because I didn't have the right amount of qualifications ) I did poorly at secondary school, not my intellect you understand, but rather an accumulation of a mixed up creative mind, and a lack of good teaching with poor encouragement. At university, I was asked again, what I was, was I an artist, illustrator, or graphic designer. I postulated, I believed  I was a creative, with no definition. however, labels ensued and I ended up receiving a BA (hons) Graphic Design/Illustration.


On completion of my degree, (1998) I traveled to London with portfolio under arm. I managed to find employment in an Illustration agency, as an in house graphic designer. I completed many design projects here, but they also realised that I had drawing and painting abilities. and so I also completed many illustration projects with both national and international clients. I produced an oil painting for an EA Games cover. After which time, I began to receive many more oil painting work, I completed work for Redrow homes, the the London philharmonic orchestra, who was playing at Carnegie Hall in New York. I designed the poster, brochure and tickets, and a number of historical film book covers, amongst other work. I was employed there for 2 years. After which time Freelanced as an illustrator for 18 months specialising in subversion  of old master paintings for advertising. I enjoyed this time, after all I was beginning to feel successful. It was around this time that I met my future wife. I was then subjected to much soul searching, I was in love, and my girlfriends family did not like the prospect of my career as a foundation for their daughters future happiness and security. I experienced once again the seemingly ingrained  discrimination of anything creative, and art and design was frowned upon like you may be weird or unhinged. And they told me in no uncertain terms, that its best to change career. I conceded, I then retrained (4 years) as a psychiatric nurse. We found a house, (my girlfriend trained for 4 years as an occupational therapist) I found employment as a psychiatric nurse first in the priory hospital, then onto the NHS. I was employed in a secure hospital for the criminally insane. I worked there for 4 years. Suffice it to say that I was not a happy man. My work suffered as did my mental health. I was transferred to admin posts, but I was lost. I had a nervous breakdown. I then lost my house and my wife, and my then 2 years old daughter was estranged from me. ( because of divorce ) I struggled for a year. Until I began to make images again, and my life returned for the better.


Again I struggled with the concept of definition of what I was as a creative, was I an artist, and illustrator, or a graphic designer? It shouldn't matter really, but society makes a clear definition between artist /illustrator/graphic designer. Graphic design is generally considered a genuine career with clearly defined perimeters. Illustration is an overlap but in itself is not very highly regarded, especially in uk culture. It maybe because of its close alliance to art and artist, and to fine artist, which in my experience has very little regard, bordering on the insane, certainly  in uk society. ( unless you belong to some very elite, subgroup where you can exist in a specialist vacuum) although there are some quarters that would totally disagree with the notion that illustration is closely aligned to fine art. For example when I entered into my second Masters degree (2014) The definitions of the three disciplines where both integrated and fiercely diferenciated, which, only confused me more. I was told I was not an artist, that I was a designer, by numerous lecturers. Of course a masters degree entails comprehensive research. Not long after After I completed the degree, I arrived at the conclusion that it didn't matter what others thought of me as a creative, all I knew was that it was natural for me to engage in making images in a creative way every since I was a boy old enough to interpret the world in images, and delight my classmates with my designs. I knew I was both an artist, an illustrator and a graphic designer. ( I actually completed a year of an animation MA too)


Today I Reserve the right to categorise my self as a designer, distinct from graphic designer. The term Designer, I feel illustrates  the complexity and dynamism of my practice as a creative. Some say diversity is good, others disagree, As I have previously said in other posts, artist, illustration, animation, and graphic design, are one of the same thing. I am not the only creative that can pass through and around the individual disciplines with ease, Each discipline has its own individual nuances, however, they all require the facilitation of design skills, and indeed, all have thier collective  roots firmly within design principles. I am therefore a designer. I am the managing director of a design studio. I am not weird or strange (Fine art) I am not worth less, and a joke, the lowest of society (illustration) I am not a plastic graphic designer either, I dont reside in a pretentious smoke and mirrors world. Design is central to every single thing man has produced in the history of the world, it is intrinsically embedded within all of us. Its just that some individuals like myself posses a genetic pronunciation of the creative design gene.  Here is a link to some samples of my illustration and art that I have completed throughout my life. As you can see its very varied in style, and media used. Both traditional, and completely digital works. The examples are a reflection of my creativity at the specific time in my history, made because it was required both professionally and personally. Just as a design is made with text, it is made with a focus to a problem or inquiry, it exists for a reason, for a purpose, I have used skills to make the images, and I have been highly educated to understand why I make images, and the context to which they belong. Design  is important, designers are professionals, designers are the bedrock of society.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Is print media design dead?

 



Of course not. There is a lot of nonsense proliferated on the web these days, about print media being dead. Think about it though, huge corporate businesses continue to utilise print media in all their marketing, and within their offices as does every other businesses large and small. They all use  posters, banners, business stationary, packaging design, the list goes on and on, of course print is not dead, it may have taken a back seat in some quarters, but generally, it remains as popular as ever. Indeed, we cant actually live without it in many cases. We now live in a progressively digital world. The email systems that we employ to communicate over the web, and the digital marketing strategies that virtually all business use these days, are not the only way to market your wares. Writing a traditional letter is often a sign of quality, and personalisation often not afforded to mass digital emailing. Letter heads and compliment slips continue to be an office staple. Business cards and logos, Office signage, retail signage, hospital signage, advertising etc etc, print is everywhere!

Flyer and leaflet Design


Flyers and leaflets are the staple of any business, for promotion of products and services, they are a versatile and a cost effective promotional asset, that cant be underestimated to deliver fantastic gains in engagement and conversion. For example, a venue may use them as a draw to services with a stack of them to take away front of house. Particularly good if you have a discount, promotion or special offer, you could be pro active and hand them out at events. You can achieve strategic targeted marketing by posting through doors. There are many distribution organisations that at a cost will post on mass for you too. There are particular licences for flyer marketing, some are necessary for football games and music events for example. The design of a flyer should aim to be clear and clean with a short word count to be most effective. a Prominent colour scheme is also beneficial. The paper stock used should be of a good quality, to project a professional image of your business. A7 format is used extensively, and A6 is a popular flyer size, although an A5 card can be extra effective in some circumstances. There is also an A4  Z -fold or gate-leg, flyer available which is with six panels to work with. A more sturdy, thicker stock is recommend, avoiding the take away menu flimsy ness.There are many size differentials too, you can deviate form the standard sizes, unique formats  and shapes achieved with Die-cutting, or folding, can afford a unique standpoint for greater stand out for your products and services.


Brochures


Brochures are excellent marketing material for every size of business. Luxury branded brochures for corporate business, luxury products, and events can utilise brochures to create a a powerful extension to their marketing and PR strategies. A large amount of information can be included, outlining a companies services, policies, and protocols. Brochures are excellent for asserting company quality and professionalism. Brochures are on average, are an A4 size booklet, although larger sizes can make a statement.Various quality printing methods include bespoke shapes, innovative concertina, and gatefold shapes. Again quality papers are recommended. Digital printing has revolutionised the cost effectiveness of all print media, prior printing methods could be prohibitively expensive. The returns in customer engagement, procurement of services and product acquisition are unequaled with the advent  of an exquisitely designed brochure. Digital versions of brochures are also an extremely effective marketing method.A company may wish to have a downloadable brochure available on their website for example, or use it to market their business through direct mail, and/or part of a digital marketing venture. It is advisable for any business to market their services and products in both the print and digital spheres simultaneously for the most effective marketing strategy. A business may require copywriting services. Crum can assist in formatting and condensing a lot of text within a small space is often difficult to achieve especially if you also have a lot of images to include, the page count can grow fast if a brochure is not designed effectively.


Posters


Posters are usually designed between  A4 and AO size. A3 is the average size format, and the most popular. larger format sizes for window displays, A-Board, and display cases can create a stunning visual for your prospective customers to engage with. Alternatively, interior or exterior  poster signage, for retail, or any other business that requires effective information dispersal, like sale signs for example can be designed. A well designed poster is simple and effective, uncluttered, and concise. It is especially effective when powerful colour combinations are used, to create a powerful statement. Branded posters offer a great opportunity for business to promote services and products. Can you imagine a theatre or music venue without a creatively dynamic poster! A-board signs that have to sit outside a premises can be printed on laminate to protect against the elements. Advertising through posters and signage like Billboards and exterior signage units at bus and train stops are fundamental to every business who requires pertinent information to be disseminated to a large audience. Billboard and signage advertising has become digital in recent years, although the new media is a new fantastic way to advertise, it remains cost prohibitive for many smaller businesses. Print media posters can make a huge impact on the high street. They are usually printed with UV printing inks on plastic backed papers, and laminated. 


Packaging Design


Packaging design has its own set of nuances. Think about all the possible variations of packaging.  Size, style, colour, form, material, golly gosh, there are as many possible style scenarios as there are materials to put inside them. From the food we eat, to toiletries and cosmetics, fashion,  pet food, every beverage...etc ..etc, there are hundreds of brands that are in existence that some one somewhere has designed. So what about the design in principle why is it in some respects different from other print material.? well, part of the answer is self explanatory, different formats, boxes, tubes, generally anything on a 3dimensional plane, design and text wraps around the package. It begins as a flat piece of design of course, but  then takes on the 3d element when the design is manipulated around and across. Any way I am stating the obvious. There are specific principles and guidelines a designer has to administer to. A die line is the flat base line illustration that defines the dimension perimeters, of where the design should be placed. The printer requires a vector file, that may be layered and include cut lines. Protecting the integrity of the package is paramount, the package should be robust enough to withstand the ravages of storage, transport, shelf life and consumer use.The designer also has to think about customer accessibility and product functionality. A customer may buy an alternative product if the design package is over packaged and difficult to read. A carton of milk sploshes everywhere when opened, because the carton designs functionality, is not as successful as it should be. Environmental considerations are far more prevalent today. Sustainability and conscientious recycling are the order of the day. A company that produces environmentally conscious products may illicit greater public favour, who are more likely to purchase.



Design for print continues to play a major role in the functioning of society as a whole. Digital processes,  the convenience of the internet, and social media, have streamlined, and often replaced traditional print applications. However, there remains a huge contingent of advertising, marketing and information providing, print material available for your business. If the fullest extent of the printed material facility is not taken advantage of, then business will not be truly competitive and business may suffer as a consequence.





 


Saturday, 20 February 2021


                                 Design Integrity

Maintaining ones Integrity both personally and professionally should be a  constant preoccupation  for any designer. The internet is saturated. Millions of images, everywhere, millions of individual writings, and millions of business proclamations. This fantastical internet invention, has both enabled  an access to everything, and conversely, submerged everyone that has access to it, in a virtual quagmire of one up man ship, questionable design ethics, and integrity compromises.

Everyone that resides in commonplace reality understands that life does tend to question personal and professional integrity, life has a unhappy knack of squeezing even the most die hard puritans into unrequested compromise, and/or, forces them into a complete reversal, of personal ethics and standards. Lies or little white lies (permitted?)  are, some may argue, a necessary part of life.

The design industry should be built on integrity, designers are responsible for the very fabric of societies creation. Everything in life has its origins in design. It follows therefore, that personal and professional ethics should be upheld, for the greater good of human life. Unfortunately, the design industry is not always a true  advocate for the common good . Advertising for example, may be subject to subversions of the truth, unseen by the unknowledgeable layman, design may be manipulated to be seen in a different light to what it really is, smoke and mirrors are often employed to sell an ideology, or product. In a saturated marketplace, designers integrity maybe compromised in the race for business acquisition. Trading standards and watch dog organisations  safeguard the public, so that they receive just what it says on the tin, and usually, make sure most of the questionable dialogue doesn't infringe on  consumer liberties. However, it could be agued that even sanctioned design maintains a manipulative stance.


It is well known that for a business to be successful, a sound moral and ethical structural base is a major part of the integrity that the business should impart to their customers. Trust, is paramount in customer engagement and conversion. A well respected  business is guided by policies, and protocols, ethical considerations, and values freely and frequently distributed to their workforce, and further disseminated through to  their customer base.

Here is an example of how the company Unilever, formulates the main principles and disseminates the information.


How can a designer become an ethical entity, what are the structures by which the consumer is protected, and, is it evidence based and measurable? Firstly, is the design practice user-centred It is surprising to find user-centred practice is uncommon amongst designers, which implies  a professional ethical  failure. The desire for aesthetic sophistication, and the desire for profits, should come after the needs of clients. Placing end customer's first, and ourselves last, may impart a fairer ethical model for designers to pursue. Below are a list of ethical considerations for designers:

(The list may not be exhaustive please add a comment if you can think of any more)Designers must act as client advocate, developing effective communications and promoting Inclusivity and participation of clients and audience members.


Designers should operate a consumer led practice. Clients must be treated with dignity and respect. Any negative or misleading communication between designer and client and on an unsuspecting public, should be seen as a negative reflection on the profession as a whole. 

  •  
  •  Designers should not knowingly impart false information.
  •  Confidentiality is paramount in dealing with clients personal, 
  •  and professional information.

  •  Designers should recognise that their practice contributes to the health 
  •  and safety well being of the general public, and should act in a way that 
  •  does not compromise this wellbeing.

  •  Designers practice should be transparent, open, and honest, 
  •  candid and timely. Clear Communication that imparts free flowing  
  •  essential information, inline with consumer and public interest should 
  •  always be fostered.

  •  Designers must be environmentally conscious and promote 
  •  sustainable practice.


A designers integrity is cemented at a very young age, when they discover they have talent for ideas, posses an imagination that no one else appears to have, and have natural abilities to turn form and colour into designs from seemingly nothing and at ease. Their abilities set them apart, they wonder how they should act and treat those around them, that ask for their design opinions or image making abilities. As designers mature, they find like everyone else, that to operate alongside and inside a society that holds little recognition for their services is difficult. life is difficult for the majority of us, even within the wealthy countries of the world. People need assurance that a business is trustworthy, and that they will receive the goods advertised, in a  manner that reflects the high standards of a companies projection. Professional Standards, are both the responsibility of  individual members, and the company as a whole. Design that  upholds high professional standards, will not only create a wholesome user experience, but will also promote the design industry as a whole, thus growing, and maintaining the integrity of design, and the designer.


         .

Thursday, 18 February 2021



   The importance of brand consistency
  

Designers,  like to think that it’s obvious for everybody outside of the design bubble that great branding is essential and it doesn’t stop at choosing a name, logo, and colour scheme for your business.  

60% of millennial consumers expect consistent branding across all marketing channels and 91% of consumers would rather buy from an authentic brand – so it is, in fact, important to have a well-defined brand and to present its messages in a similar format all the way through from the first customer interaction to the purchase and beyond. 

But let’s delve further into the meaning and importance of maintaining brand consistency and how to do it with ease. 

What is brand consistency?

Brand consistency is when a business (or even an individual) communicates in a way that always aligns with the company’s overall branding strategy that highlights its mission, vision, and values. 

You can think of consistent branding like driving on a clear road: straight, easy to navigate, and allows for same-speed cruise control. It’s not boring, but it is consistent. Inconsistent branding can feel like roadwork: speeding limit changes, traffic jams, and roadblocks that divert you off the road, and on occasion, gets you lost. 

You might also hear marketers and branding experts refer to consistency and inconsistency as on-brand and off-brand. 

                  Why is brand consistency important?

The importance of brand consistency is sometimes overlooked, especially in smaller businesses where there are not enough resources to concentrate on this area. However, not taking brand consistency seriously can mean missing out on potential business. Consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 23% – here’s how it can drive more business:

                    Building brand recognition 

Consistently seeing similar designs and reading similar messages can extend your brand’s ethos and help become memorable and recognisable. For example, if I say, Red Bull, you will immediately remember the look of the can, the line drawing commercials, and the “Red Bull gives you wings” slogan. 

             Helps you stand out of the crowd

Your branding should be specific to your business and so differentiate you from others. When somebody fancies an energy drink, they will likely choose a brand that they can recall rather than some random fizzy-sugary never-heard-of-drink.  

                  Triggers positive emotions

Going back to the highway simile, a clear road calms the driver and makes the ride enjoyable, while a highway full of roadblocks and hard-to-navigate sections only creates frustration. When a brand communicates clearly and in an always-similar manner, that triggers positive emotions. 

      Builds trust, loyalty, and word of mouth

81% of customers say they need to trust a brand to buy from them. When you try a new brand and you like it, you’ll remember to return to it. If you’re exposed to the same messaging, same design, same values, delightful customer service over and over again, you will start to spend money with the brand as it’s always been a positive and easy experience to interact with them. Trust and loyalty then can turn into advocacy and build word of mouth marketing.

  Maintaining brand consistency throughout the
                          customer journey

By now you are (hopefully) convinced that brand consistency should not be overlooked. Building your own brand from scratch can be challenging but maintaining brand consistency throughout the customer journey can be an even bumpier ride. 

The key to consistent messaging is that everybody in the business knows about your branding guidelines, understands, and adheres to them. Sharing branding knowledge is much easier than you would think – and the following framework will give you a structure to start with.

                         Develop a brand book

Having a nicely designed, short, and easy-to-read brand book is the first step you need to take. You can refer to this book when onboarding new joiners or explaining the brand values to stakeholders in other departments that are not particularly close to marketing.

The brand book can take a more holistic approach to guidelines, so rather than listing colour codes, font types, logo concepts, etc., it should focus on top-level business attributes. The brand book should cover your business’ mission and vision statement, it’s essence, personality, served audiences, and clearly outlines the brand positioning.

Having these in writing will make the whole brand image more official, professional, and easier to grasp. After all, you can’t expect your teams to adhere to a brand image that they don’t fully understand. 


      Create branding guidelines and policies

Unlike the more abstract brand book, your branding guidelines and policies should be as specific as it gets.You could develop design guidelines that include your brand’s colours with samples, HEX, and RGB codes. Font types, weights, styles are also important – not only for designers but everybody who creates documents. Capturing the tone of voice (ToV) of your brand will also help you communicate persistently with customers via your website, social media, blog articles, sales enablement content, and even when providing customer service. 

One approach you could take is to outline rules for each common type of content in your business. For example, you could have guidelines that are mostly applicable to visual content like banners, posters, infographics, sales decks, etc. Then you could write ToV documentation for marketing material like blog articles and social media posts or customer service guidelines for responses and support material. If you create video content, you can specify background music options, intros & outs, and video transition styles. These policies will make adhering to guidelines much easier and you can always improve them over time based on the feedback of your team.


                    Design easy-to-use templates

Guidelines are good but templates are better. Design and marketing templates can help maintain brand consistency as they make it easy for anybody in the business to create materials that are always on-brand. 

The templates must be accessible: If your designer creates some great social media templates in Photoshop but nobody else in the business knows how to use that software, it’s as useful as a concrete parachute. 

If your marketers are familiar with Canva, create templates there. If your salespeople put together sales decks in Google Slides, that’s where you’ll need to work. If customer service runs on Intercom, that’s where your canned responses need to be. You get the idea.


                  Schedule alignment meetings

Talking things through can add an extra layer of confidence in being able to stay on-brand. Some teams, like sales and marketing, tend to work quite close together. Sales and marketing alignment meetings can be rolled out to other teams too. Short but regular meetings can give you the space to talk about your brand as part of the agenda, answer questions, or point out slip-offs. The importance of regular catch-ups is as important as ever: remote teams need to schedule such interactions, otherwise, important activities like ensuring brand consistency can slip through the cracks. 


                  Add a review step in your workflow

Quality assurance is in general important, and adding a review step in your workflow can improve the quality of any activity or project. If you only take one thing away from this article, this should probably be it.Reviewing material will instantly improve the quality of work at your business, however, without the right culture and preparation steps, task reviews can seem somewhat tedious. But when you have developed a culture of delivery and teams work together to deliver high-quality work, reviews can put the cherry on top.

If you implemented all the tips above, reviewing the work of other teams can add an extra layer of reassurance that the whole customer journey will be consistent. What’s more, you will be able to gauge how well others managed to utilise the brand book and your guidelines, make use of the pre-made templates, and take away information from the alignment meetings. This information will help you iterate on your processes and identify what’s next to improve.

As a result of your hard work, your whole company will be much more likely to support maintaining brand consistency, which ultimately will lead to a smooth customer journey with familiar and positive experiences all the way through.