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The Olympic Challenge Of Brand Protection

July 24th, 2012 - Posted by Jamie Thomson, Managing Director



Alternative logo by Roy McCarthy

You have probably read or heard about the steps being taken to protect the sponsors’ sole rights to use various terms and logos for this year’s Olympics. It is an odd situation where those that have allegedly paid for less than 20% (the sponsors) have more rights than those that pay for the rest (the taxpayer).

What this does demonstrate, even though it is an extreme case, is the value of the brand and how far some organisations go to protect it. Big companies understand the value of their brand, so why are there so many SME’s that do not?

For our ISO 27001 certification we spent a considerable amount of time working on our Brand Guidelines, it is actually something we are still working on to make sure it covers as much as possible and to destroy or delete any off brand materials. It is amazing how much we have found and I have been looking at the top reasons of why:

  1. We are a multi location company, in fact we are a multinational company, where people’s time is a very precious resource and they often think that doing it themselves is quicker and more efficient.

  2. We were not using the tools we had or if we were then that route was not being enforced as the only acceptable way to get RedTie branded material.

  3. Everyone thinks they have design skills!

So how are we working to improve ourselves? First of all we wrote a “Brand Bible” starting with the basics such as logos for print, logos for the web, fonts, colours etc. It is time consuming process but once complete the maintenance becomes a fairly simple task.

We then moved the latest brand compliant company materials online, in just 2 easy to find places, public documents such as our brochure and logo’s are hosted on our website, other company documents such as business cards, letterheads, customer contract templates and our advertising material found a new home (one that we should have been using all along really but you sometimes do not see the woods for the trees) on our own Web to Print solution. This also had the added benefit of allowing a lot of our material to be tweaked whilst still complying with the Brand Bible.

After making brand compliant materials easier and faster to access (one internal webstore and our company website, both available all the time all around the world), we then introduced the policy and training for employees so they understood that it was the only acceptable place to get company materials and the procedures for requesting changes if they needed them.

Finally we have been destroying all off brand materials. You would think this is easy but the temptation to just use up the “last few” we already have is very strong, we are all taught not to waste anything. Brand protection needs to be engrained throughout an organisation, just think of getting rid of the off brand material as a way of cleansing the system.

We were slow to use our own Web to Print solution to help with brand protection but our customers definitely were not. In fact some of our customers’ largest clients adopted their Web to Print offering because of the benefits of brand protection it provides. The RedTie system empowers a company to control how it’s brand is presented, ensuring consistent presentation, format and quality. Your brand is your product’s identity, RedTie is ready to help you take on the challenge of protecting it.