For someone with a company named Brand Building Communications you would think I’d be the biggest proponent of branding ever. Well, that’s true, I am. I believe in the power of brand, and I know that it can make all the difference in the world when it comes to capturing and retaining market share. At the core of branding is a simple word: consistency. But how hard is it to maintain consistency? And, after a while doesn’t it become, well, boring?
Recently, I embarked on a journey to help a global organization ‘think’ about its brand. In this case they were considering the visual message - logo and naming. With what amounts to a few hundred ‘franchises’ around the world visual consistency is very important to them, especially because they can’t patent their name in certain regions. The logo mark is then their unifying feature. But after 7 years with the same visual identity new franchises were beginning to find their own way. They wanted to better express their local brand, specific to the culture of their city and the people they most wanted to reach. Suddenly, the corporate logo wasn’t feeling quite right. I totally get the concept of hyper-local, and I love it, in general. And yes, the original logo was feeling a bit staid. But localizing the logo across the globe, especially since this organization has ambitious growth goals, could get very tricky.
Here’s the thing…
With a hyper connected world, one that is changing at an incredible pace with no slow down in sight, keeping a brand relevant and fresh will become a harder proposition for branders. For sure. But that’s half the fun, isn’t it? It’s those knotty problems that keep us up at night, but also keep us in the game. More and more branding will need to be localized in a way that doesn’t detract from the mother ship, but keeps the expression real for the audience it wants to reach in that little neighborhood in Santiago, Chile, for instance. Finding ways to extend the brand so that it satisfies local needs while paying homage to the one that birthed it is the new challenge. And that is what makes this world so fun. Let the games begin!