Going beyond brand guidelines to engage and educate internal audiences

You’ve worked diligently on creating a new brand and now you’re finally ready to launch and roll it out. To ensure that the organization will support the change and effectively deliver branded content and experiences, you’ve created written brand usage guidelines. While guidelines do often provide comprehensive details around positioning, architecture, visual identity and verbal identity, now is a good time to ask, “Are guidelines enough to engage and educate my organization around brand change?”

To answer this question, we suggest starting with identifying who you’re trying to influence and what type of outcome you are seeking. Different members of the organization have different relationships with the brand. A CEO, creative director, finance manager and product developer all have vastly different relationships with the brand and their needs differ quite a bit. For example, the merchandising team may need logo clear space measurements, minimum logo size and approved colors, while a call center representative may need direction on how to speak in an on-brand way. 

Beyond functional differences, people have different learning styles, creating even more variability in how your organization adopts the new brand. That’s why it’s important to define priority audiences and identify their educational needs when it comes to bringing the brand to life. 

After determining who you’re trying to reach, begin to think about what it will take to engage and inspire them by creating unique learning resources. While brand guidelines are effective in explaining what to do, they often lack context around how to do it. Just because you can follow a recipe, doesn’t mean you know how to cook. Same goes for brands, just because you’ve read the brand guidelines doesn’t mean you know how to deliver the brand. The key is to generate excitement around the new brand, so that audiences are motivated to learn how they can contribute.

In today’s digital world, it’s human nature to seek visual experiences that help us understand how to do something. Videos are a great resource to learn almost any process. Seeing how something is done removes the anxiety of performing the task, giving the viewer the confidence that they can do it too. Shorter videos that condense the learning process are really gaining traction as well, providing a sense of immediate gratification in seeing the outcome.

So how does this apply to equipping brand users? It boils down to providing an experience that captures the attention of the individual, creates memorable moments around how the brand comes to life, and instills confidence in their ability to deliver the brand. We discussed video as an excellent medium, but organizations can also turn to in-person or digital brand trainings, lab sessions, templates, infographics, internal campaigns, and access to best practices examples. Engaging and educating goes well beyond brand guidelines, creating the need for a full brand training curriculum that meets each audience where they’re at.

At TenTen, we help clients work through the process of identifying the most important brand users and ways in which to educate them, building out brand curriculum with a goal of making each person a brand champion. Every brand demands its own unique experience when it comes to engaging brand users – and that’s what keeps things exciting! Are you getting ready to launch and roll out your new brand and need help thinking beyond guidelines? Reach out to hello@tentengroup.com to get the conversation started.

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