We hear many people express frustration that their employees, particularly their salespeople don’t utilize the brand properly. They don’t see the point; they use the Word default instead of the corporate font. They don’t like the brochures so just don’t take them, or there’s cowboys who go off and create their own brochure. It’s frustrating when you’ve put a lot of money and effort into creating the brand and materials.
Your brand is every way in which you interact with the public – prospects, clients, suppliers, etc. The above are just design examples, but it can be much more concerning when an employee is conveying the wrong message about the company. For example, they don’t understand your company’s positioning and unique selling proposition.
This often happens because they haven’t bought into it, it’s too difficult or they simply don’t know enough about it.
How Do You Get Them to Cooperate?
If possible, get them involved from the get-go in the creation of the brand and tools. Some companies will have the whole team involved in a facilitated branding session – it’s a great team building exercise. If not feasible, at least ask their opinion on tag line, logo ideas or website designs – get votes. But first see How to Ask for Feedback. People are more likely to buy-in if they feel they had a stake in it, that their voice matters – even if you don’t pick their favourite.
Make it Easy!
Make it easy to adopt the brand and tools by educating them and having your design firm supply easy to use files in a tidy package with a bit of instruction.
Give Some Background: When you’re ready to unveil your new brand, make a big deal out of it with a company meeting, even have your design firm present. Tell them the story of how you arrived there, especially the positioning so they understand the rationale and journey behind it. It’s very easy to criticize when you don’t know the original brief. Even show rejected ideas and explain why.
Style Guide and Templates: Don’t just tell them the pantone colour numbers, what fonts to use and how much space must be around the logo, have Word and PowerPoint templates created with headers and footers, real or dummy text, chart examples, with all the brand elements and colours in place, and style sheets set up for fonts.
Training Session: Teach your team how to use these tools by organizing training sessions. Have someone demo the Word or PowerPoint templates, new tools on the website, or show them how to post a blog. Walk salespeople through practice scenarios on how they should talk about the company in a networking situation. Show them the entire marketing map and what you recommend for what situation or type of prospect and what point in the sales cycle.
If you haven’t given them the background part yet, really, start there.