The Value of Brand Guardianship
According to Garnermarketing, brand guardianship is “a process designed to deliver consistency; synergy of your brand identity, across all marketing and promotional platforms, amongst colleagues but also all external audiences.” However, while brand guardianship may seem like a different name for the business practice of ensuring that the whole marketing presence of a company appears coherent and streamlined, it involves a lot more than that.
In a way, brand guardianship goes back to concerns around what a brand actually means in an era of such swiftly changing technologies – since the advent of the internet, it has become much more difficult for businesses to make mistakes, since technology has allowed potential customers to be much more discerning about which services they utilise.
In the age of ever-evolving digital technologies, it is fair to say that a company IS its brand, since that is most often the first contact that potential customers will have with the company. Effective brand management can mean keeping a brand consistent and meaningful across all channels. However, and importantly, it can also refer to reputation management in terms of keeping to the image which the company or business has created for itself.
If a brand represents a company, guardianship means ensuring that it continues to serve as an effective point of dialogue between the company and the customers it serves. The modern-day emphasis on cross-channel marketing (marketing which occurs in multiple forms – both digital and non-digital – simultaneously) has led us to the point where a brand must be consistent for the company’s image to be preserved without confusion.
If a company utilises cross-channel marketing, then it is a safe assumption that they will be using a variety of marketing techniques, both digital and traditional – perhaps they will have physical brochures and yet also maintain a social media presence (besides their website), or use television advertising as well as a marketing campaign online where potential customers can apply their own spin to the products on offer. Using this mix of marketing styles will require a company to keep a close eye on the brand they are using, in order to keep it the same across all channels.
If a company keeps the brand the same across all the marketing channels they use to advertise themselves, they stand a much better chance of keeping their image clear and coherent in the minds of the people they are trying to reach. If they allow different versions of their brand – say, for example, different versions of their logo – to be used on different forms of their marketing, it could lead to people becoming confused.
In short conclusion : the discipline of brand guardianship is ensuring that the visual brand is consistently applied everywhere, to avoid cognitive dissonans in the minds of their audience.