Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
As I'm sure was the case for many of you, when I was a little kid, my Mom used to set my clothes out for me.
In doing so, she would ensure that I would look decent when I was out-and-about. If I looked sloppy or uncoordinated, it would make me look ridiculous and undoubtedly also reflect on her.
But beyond that, as she laid my clothes out for me, my Mom was also teaching me about what colors and patterns go together, so that someday down the road I'd have the ability to make those choices myself. Happily, I think I still get on pretty good these days. So, thanks Mom.
But as I was thinking this morning about that process of learning that I went through when I was a kid, it struck me that the same thing can be true of how we design, structure and fill our communications materials. Understanding what makes a quality, consistent good impression isn't necessarily an innate ability. In fact, I think it’s probably more natural for us to slip into knee-jerk reactions based on emotion.
For instance, your organization may need to drum up sales and as such, you might do up an ad with a big discount even though cut-rate has never been your brand promise. Or, you decide to improve your call to action by making all the buttons on your site hot pink even though that's not in your brand color palate at all. Or, you forego your usual commitment to concise and approachable text on your site in favor of a full-on technical listing of all that your product offers.
While those decisions might feel right in the moment, they make for a horrible outfit for your brand image and they reflect you badly in the short and long term.
This is why the role of a brand manager is such an important thing to set up for your organization. Essentially, they are the Mom to your brand. They are the person who is whole-heartedly invested in your brand image and have the skills and experience to help you put on the right communications outfit every day - day in and day out providing consistency and ensuring quality.
If you don't have that person in your organization, get someone. If you have someone in that role, empower them, listen to them and appreciate their work. They are invaluable to your brand.
Kinda like a Mom.