Consistency is key to branding. It’s about knowing what to expect when you buy your favorite brand of coffee or cheeseburger or toothpaste or orange juice. You know exactly what you're getting. There’s no guess work. Today, that coffee will be the same as it was yesterday and it will be tomorrow. We like that, because in a world that’s changing quickly, it’s nice to be able to rely on some things staying more or less the same no matter where you go.
Corporations spend millions and even billions of dollars developing their brands, so it’s no surprise that they are extremely protective of them.
But the product itself is only one aspect of the brand. Marketing also plays a monumental role. If a local McDonald’s franchise suddenly decided to switch its Golden Arches logo to a Purple Bridge logo, not only would it confuse consumers, it would probably make headlines in the news, and McDonald’s would be seriously upset. It’s a big deal.
While brand consistency is essential, local affiliates of national brands have their own unique needs and objectives with marketing. To reach the customer, they need to speak to the customer in ways that seem relevant to their lives. Particularly for businesses that need to get customers through the door of a physical location to generate revenue, taking into account geographic proximity – and intricacies – is paramount when developing marketing campaigns.
How is a national or global brand expected to localize content for audiences around the world while abiding by its own branding rules and standards?
Letting the local affiliates do it on their own without any guidance isn’t an option. Why not? Letting local offices do marketing one-offs threatens consistency, and thus threatens the brand.
Another option is to let the national office handle all localized content across local affiliates nationwide. Logistically, this is a huge burden for business on both the local and national levels, requiring continuous back-and-forth communication and long lead times to make it work. Consequently, it’s also a very expensive option, often prohibitively so.
What local businesses really need is a combination of brand consistency and local autonomy – a way that allows local affiliates of national brands to tailor marketing messages within the context of both the brand guidelines and the local audience.
This is also exactly what we offer through our local marketing automation solutions at Brandmuscle. We take out the guesswork for local affiliates, enabling them to connect with their local customers in exactly the right way, with no surprises, no “Purple Bridges. Just compelling, localized marketing content that works.