The job is done and the brand manager is happy. The rebrand has been successfully completed and the brand is launched. It is conceivable that on this festive milestone brand consistency has no priority. On the other hand, this is precisely the ideal moment to start managing the brand. A few weeks after the introduction of the new visual identity you start to see it happening. The PDF with the brand guidelines will be circulated and both internal and external parties will enthusiastically get to work with the source files. Gone is the overview, the control you thought you had, and your precious brand disperses before your eyes.

Distribute, instead of disperse

We recommend to start managing your brand and select a brand portal during the preparation of the rebranding. It’s better for your brand and the brand manager can remain satisfied. A brand portal is much more than an online corporate identity manual. It is an online platform to optimally inform, facilitate and inspire the internal and external users of the brand. By developing a brand portal you avoid fragmentation and you can maintain, increase and prolong the interest that is there for the brand.

Brand portals come in all shapes and sizes

In a brand portal, all current corporate identity and brand guidelines and source files, brand building blocks and designs of brand carriers come together. Visually and textually, complete with examples and background information on the subject. A brand portal is also capable of facilitating in an advanced manner, for example, by automatically formatting business cards, posters in accordance with the guidelines. Active Brand Portal function as a community where brand users share and inspire each other. Through an automated approval process the brand manager can see if everything is according to the guidelines and the right brand experience.

Content strategy is essential

It is important to formulate a content strategy in which you determine how this great range of information can be transmitted in the best possible manner. Please pay attention to the type of visitor, learning behavior of people and the type of information you want to convey. A designer of an external agency can probably use the specifications of an ad but a marketing manager who then has to evaluate the branded item on the correct use of the brand style cannot. The various target groups should be able to understand and apply the information. There is a difference between need-to-know and nice-to-know information. Need-to-know information is essential information that should be readily available to all users and the nice-to-know information may be more tucked away. Specifications and source files for example, are useful for designers, but not relevant for everyone. This example could be given a permanent place in a submenu so that the designers find it quickly. In short, make for an inviting navigation. For example, set yourself the goal that every visitor should be able to find what he needs within three clicks. The search function on a brand portal is an immense advantage over a static corporate identity manual in PDF.

Plea for an open door

Prevention is better than dispersing, that is the message of this plea. It seems obvious, but often the added value of a brand portal is underestimated and a PDF as corporate identity manual seems sufficient. The portal is the means to improve the consistency, familiarity and visual look of your brand. A brand portal usually requires a higher investment than a corporate identity manual in PDF format, but then you have the ability to share guidelines with different audiences easily, you won’t lose time in spreading the visual identity manual and source files and you’ll have control over versioning guidelines and source files. In other words, the efficiency quickly delivers unparalleled cost savings and time savings. Then your brand will only get stronger.