From time to time, a client interested in a particular content project will ask, regarding design, “What about our brand standards?”
After all, they’ve invested so much time, money, effort, money, talent, money – and money – into creating and maintaining those standards, shouldn’t its content follow them?
Let’s think this through. By intent, the brand standards send a message. If you’re lucky, that message is consistent with the one you paid zillions of dollars to develop – the one enshrined in your value proposition and USP and mission statement and yadda, yadda, yadda. This may be true. I hope it is.
But this is certainly true: when you impose your brand standards on fresh content (I’m not talking brochures and salesware – I’m talking real content, you know, the material that has intrinsic value to your audience), you’re telling everyone, “This is the same old stuff. More of the same old, same old. The been there, done that material.”
Which is exactly the opposite of the message you want to send with your content – that it is fresh, new, useful, valuable, pleasurable, helpful.
So when it comes to content, what should you do with your brand standards?
Sure, put your logo and contact info in the back or at the end. But don’t let your content scream “branding” at the top of its lungs. Instead, let it speak on the terms that matter to your audience. Let it speak of your expertise, experience and good will.
And maybe the people who read/listen/watch your content will be eager to hear from you again.
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