Protect Your Brand

What does it mean to “protect the brand”?

In the beginning of my career, one of my mentors taught me that my #1 priority as an account manager was to “protect the brand” for my clients. Today, if you search “how to protect your brand,” you’ll get a lot of results for trademarking, patents, etc. (all the legal ways to protect the intellectual property of your brand). Or, you’ll find a million and one ways to ensure your marketing team is following your logo and color guidelines.

While legal protection holds its own high necessity for businesses, we’re marketers; we’re not lawyers, and our relationship with clients goes beyond ensuring logos are used correctly, so what does it mean for us to protect our clients’ brands?

At Syrup, one of our 4 core values is Steward. The LITMUS test we ask ourselves is “do I have the client’s best interest in mind?” Everyone on our team is held accountable for doing more with less and ensuring we’re leading our clients from our individual seat (paid media, social media and content, design, development, etc). It isn’t just the responsibility of the Account Lead, it’s a mindset everyone on our team must have.

What does it mean to have a stewardship mindset, and how does this value help us protect the brand?

The Stewardship Mindset

  • Begin within
    • Leadership – Adoption of the stewardship mindset begins with your core leadership team. This includes where you hang out, who you associate yourself with, and how you lead and manage your meetings. How you establish yourself both internally and externally flows to your internal team – and therefore every prospect and client you encounter. If you keep your company’s and your client’s best interests in mind, so will your team.
  • Maintain consistency and authority
    • Brand guide – This is especially important if you’re working with multiple partners. Your brand guide establishes the rules and keeps everyone on the same page, ensuring your name and look are always consistent.
    • 4 Voices – Similar to the brand guide, it’s crucial to have a consistent voice with any content your company releases into the world. At Syrup, we create what we call “4 Voices” for each of our clients — not 10 voices (schizophrenic), and not 1 voice (narcissistic), but 4 voices to ensure we have a healthy variety and can reach each unique audience member. Establishing 4 Voices ensures the content your brand releases speaks to your potential prospects and also establishes you as a thought leader for your industry. With an established brand voice, you’ll be able to empathize with your customers and they’ll trust your consistency.
  • Plan for deviance
    • Negative keyword searches – This is a technical one, but so important. Using negative keywords in Adwords allows you to ensure your business does not appear in search results for irrelevant searches. Don’t waste the money for people to click on your brand if it’s not relevant, AND ensure your brand isn’t associated with the wrong situation.
    • Think like the non-compliant buyer – There’s always that one. You’ve created the perfect experience, the perfect solution — but there will always be someone that doesn’t get it. That person may be a prospect (or they may not), but when you “think like a non-compliant buyer” you’re anticipating the unexpected.

At the end of the day, the importance of safeguarding our clients’ brands isn’t just beneficial to the client. Brand stewardship ensures our clients’ customers receive a consistent experience every time. Those consistent experiences build trust, ultimately increasing lifetime value. Increased lifetime value = increased revenue. It’s really a no-brainer.