Danish Pastry House – Evolving Brand Identity for the Digital Frontier

In the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of food and beverage, where trends come and go with the changing seasons, brands that carve out something unique endure.

This industry, more than any other, demands innovation and uniqueness, not just in the flavours offered but in the entire brand experience. Beyond fleeting trends and momentary tastes, it’s about crafting an experience that no one else can offer. This uniqueness, often shrouded in claims of authenticity and superiority, is not always delivered, but it stands out remarkably when it is. It’s not just about what you offer; it’s about how you make your customers feel, how you resonate with their values, and how you fit into their lives.

Enter Danish Pastry House, a beacon of authenticity in Southern Ontario’s bustling food scene. With over 18 locations, including prestigious spots like Yorkdale Mall, Sherway Gardens and Union Station, they’ve created delectable pastries and woven a narrative of genuine Danish culinary art. Their journey is one of passion, tradition, and a deep understanding of what it means to offer a unique culinary experience.

Crafting Uniqueness in a Competitive World: Danish Pastry House’s Story

Danish Pastry House has become a favourite, not by accident, but through a meticulously crafted experience that blends tradition with strategic vision.

Each location, from Sherway Gardens to Yorkdale Downsview, is more than a store; it’s a gateway to Danish culture. This brand understands its roots and presents them as a selling point and a heritage celebration. Their secret? An unwavering commitment to authenticity and strategic distribution ensures their exquisite pastries reach as many hands as possible.

In a market where consumers are continually bombarded with choices, standing out is about more than just good food. It’s about creating a physical and emotional space where customers feel connected. It’s about telling a compelling, genuine story deeply rooted in the brand’s identity. This connection is what Danish Pastry House has mastered, creating not just customers but loyal brand advocates.

Balancing Growth and Brand Identity: The Overlooked Digital Frontier

However, amid their rapid expansion and the pursuit of top-tier quality, some aspects inevitably fell by the wayside. Brand identity consistency and a robust digital presence – critical in today’s market – were overshadowed by operational priorities. This oversight is typical in fast-growing businesses, where the focus is on product and physical presence.

The challenge was clear: How does a brand deeply rooted in tradition and physical experience translate that essence into the digital world? How do they ensure that their digital presence is not just an extension but an integral part of their brand story?

This is where the journey of transformation began.

A New Chapter: Redefining Digital Identity for Danish Pastry House

Recognizing this gap, our journey with Danish Pastry House began.

The task? To redefine their digital identity to mirror the uniqueness of their brand. This was a brand that had a story to tell, one that was rich, textured, and deeply connected to Danish culture. Part of this transformation was the creation of Danish Coffee Roasters. Inspired by Danish cities, each roast tells a story of a different locale, weaving a tale of heritage and flavour.

This was not just about creating a new product line; it was about creating a narrative that complemented and enhanced the Danish Pastry House brand. Each coffee blend became a character in their story, each one with its unique profile, linked back to the landscapes and cities of Denmark. This approach provided a new product and enriched the brand’s narrative.

Digital Transformation: Building a Cohesive Online Presence

The transformation involved developing a new digital facade that resonates with their ethos.

For Danish Pastry House, it meant a visually appealing website that tells their story. The website for Danish Coffee Roasters followed, focusing on the narrative of each unique blend. Utilizing Shopify, we enhanced their online visibility, streamlined their e-commerce capabilities, and managed their growing empire more efficiently while maintaining their authentic voice.

The new websites were about functionality and creating an online space that echoed their physical stores’ warmth, authenticity, and uniqueness. Every element, from the colour palette to the imagery, was carefully chosen to reflect the brand’s identity. The result was a digital experience that was not just a shopping platform but an extension of the Danish Pastry House story.

Beyond the Baked Goods: The Impact of a Reimagined Brand

Post-rebranding, the results were palpable.

Danish Pastry House experienced a surge in brand recognition and customer engagement. Customers now enjoy a seamless online experience fully integrated with the essence of the Danish Pastry House brand. This translated into increased web traffic heightened engagement on social media platforms, and, most importantly, a significant uptick in online sales. Their digital presence became a living, breathing extension of their physical stores, capturing the unique Danish essence that defines their brand.

Moreover, the digital transformation journey for Danish Pastry House wasn’t just about enhancing its online storefront. It was a holistic approach that encompassed every touchpoint of the customer journey. From when a customer discovered Danish Pastry House online to the final click to purchase, every step was imbued with the brand’s signature warmth and authenticity. This meticulous attention to detail ensured a consistent and delightful customer experience, mirroring the satisfaction of stepping into one of their physical locations.

Savouring the Flavor of Digital Success: A Look at Results

The impact of these changes was quantifiable. Website analytics showed a significant increase in new and returning visitors, indicative of a growing and loyal customer base. User feedback highlighted an appreciation for the ease of navigation and the compelling content mirrored the in-store experience.

The introduction of Danish Coffee Roasters as a brand extension received an overwhelmingly positive response, with customers praising the rich storytelling and the quality of the coffee, further cementing Danish Pastry House’s position as a leader in the food and beverage space.

This digital revamp also had an unexpected but welcome effect on in-store foot traffic. Customers who discovered the brand online were more inclined to visit the physical stores, seeking the complete Danish Pastry House experience. This synergy between online and offline channels demonstrated the power of a cohesive brand strategy that understands and leverages the strengths of each platform.

A Toast to the Future

Danish Pastry House’s journey is a testament to the power of a well-thought-out digital strategy in amplifying a brand’s essence. In the competitive realm of food and beverage, their story is a reminder that authenticity, when aligned with strategic digital implementation, is not just a business strategy but a recipe for creating enduring customer relationships.

As we look to the future, Danish Pastry House stands as an inspiring example for other businesses in the food and beverage industry. Their success underscores the importance of evolving while staying true to one’s roots. In a world where digital presence is increasingly crucial, their approach serves as a blueprint for blending tradition with innovation, ensuring that every digital interaction is as satisfying and authentic as the first bite of a Danish pastry.

In the end, Danish Pastry House’s digital transformation is more than just a case study; it’s a narrative of embracing change without losing one’s essence, of expanding reach while maintaining quality, and most importantly, of building a brand that resonates as much online as it does in every flaky, buttery bite of their pastries.

The Vital Importance of Website and Social Analytics in 2023: Embracing Google Analytics 4

Unlock the power of data-driven decision-making

As we progress through 2023, the importance of website and social analytics continues to grow, enabling businesses to make informed decisions and optimize their digital strategies. With the introduction of Google Analytics 4 (GA4), businesses are now presented with a powerful new tool to better understand their audience and drive success in the online sphere. In this article, we’ll discuss the vital role of website and social analytics in 2023 and explain why businesses should consider making the switch to GA4.

The Growing Role of Data in the Digital Age

Data has become increasingly crucial in shaping business strategies, particularly in the digital realm. Website and social analytics provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and trends, empowering businesses to make data-driven decisions that boost performance and drive growth.

The Limitations of Traditional Analytics Platforms

While traditional analytics platforms have provided useful insights, they often fall short when it comes to tracking users across multiple devices, understanding complex user journeys, and integrating data from various sources. This has led to an increased demand for more advanced analytics solutions.

Enter Google Analytics 4: A Game-Changer for Data Analysis

Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has emerged as a powerful new analytics tool designed to address the limitations of its predecessors. With improved tracking capabilities, enhanced privacy features, and advanced reporting options, GA4 enables businesses to gain a deeper understanding of their audience and make more informed decisions.

Enhanced Cross-Device and Cross-Platform Tracking

One of the key advantages of GA4 is its ability to track users across multiple devices and platforms, providing a more comprehensive view of customer behavior. This allows businesses to better tailor their marketing strategies to the specific needs and preferences of their target audience.

Improved Privacy and Compliance

With increased concerns about data privacy and the implementation of stringent privacy regulations, GA4 has been designed with privacy in mind. This includes features such as data minimization and user consent management, helping businesses maintain compliance with privacy laws and protect user data.

AI-Powered Insights and Predictive Analytics

GA4 leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide businesses with valuable insights and predictive analytics. This enables businesses to identify trends, anticipate customer needs, and make proactive decisions to optimize their digital strategies.

The Importance of Social Analytics in 2023

Social analytics have also become increasingly important in the digital age, as businesses strive to understand and engage with their audience on social media platforms. By leveraging social analytics, businesses can measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns, identify high-performing content, and fine-tune their strategies for maximum impact.

Making the Switch to Google Analytics 4

Considering the many advantages of GA4, businesses should strongly consider making the switch to this advanced analytics platform. By embracing GA4 and leveraging its powerful features, businesses can gain deeper insights into their audience, optimize their digital strategies, and drive success in the increasingly competitive online landscape.

The vital importance of website and social analytics in 2023 cannot be overstated. As businesses continue to navigate the digital age, the need for advanced analytics tools like Google Analytics 4 becomes increasingly evident. By embracing GA4 and harnessing the power of data-driven decision-making, businesses can unlock new opportunities for growth and success in the online sphere.

Strategic Digital Investments for Businesses in 2023: A Comprehensive Guide

Position your business for success in the digital landscape

As we venture into 2023, the digital landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Now more than ever, businesses must invest strategically in their digital presence to stay ahead of the competition and capitalize on new opportunities. In this piece, we’ll explore the key areas where businesses should focus their digital investments to maximize growth, efficiency, and customer engagement in 2023.

Mobile-first User Experience

With mobile devices dominating internet usage, prioritizing a mobile-first user experience is crucial. Invest in responsive web design and ensure your website loads quickly and efficiently on various devices to provide a seamless browsing experience for your audience.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Organic search remains a vital source of website traffic. Invest in robust SEO strategies, including keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building, to improve your site’s visibility and drive targeted traffic to your online presence.

Social Media Advertising and Engagement

Social media platforms offer unprecedented opportunities for targeted advertising and direct engagement with customers. Allocate resources to create compelling social media campaigns and regularly interact with your audience to foster brand loyalty and advocacy.

Content Marketing

High-quality, valuable content is essential for attracting and retaining customers. Invest in producing engaging blog posts, videos, infographics, and other content formats that address your target audience’s needs and interests, positioning your business as a thought leader in your industry.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation

AI and automation technologies, such as chatbots and machine learning algorithms, can significantly improve business efficiency and customer experience. Invest in AI-powered solutions to streamline operations, enhance customer support, and gain valuable insights into customer behavior.

Data Analytics and Personalization

Leverage data analytics tools to collect and analyze customer data, enabling you to offer personalized experiences and recommendations based on individual preferences. By providing tailored content and offers, you can boost customer satisfaction and conversion rates.


As cyber threats become more sophisticated, investing in robust cybersecurity measures is crucial to protect your business and customer data. Implement advanced security solutions, such as encryption and multi-factor authentication, to safeguard your digital assets and build customer trust.

Online Reputation Management

Your online reputation can significantly impact your business’s success. Allocate resources to monitor customer reviews and feedback, address negative comments proactively, and encourage satisfied customers to share their positive experiences to bolster your brand’s reputation.

Voice Search Optimization

With the growing popularity of voice assistants, optimizing your digital presence for voice search is becoming increasingly important. Incorporate long-tail keywords and natural language into your content to ensure your business is discoverable via voice search queries.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

AR and VR technologies are transforming the way customers interact with businesses. Explore opportunities to integrate AR and VR into your digital presence, such as offering virtual tours or product demonstrations, to provide immersive experiences and differentiate your brand.

To thrive in the digital landscape of 2023, businesses must make strategic investments in key areas such as mobile-first user experience, SEO, AI, and content marketing. By focusing on these critical aspects and continuously adapting to emerging trends and technologies, you’ll position your business for sustained growth and success in an increasingly competitive market.

Evolve Your Business with Canva, ChatGPT, and Creative Marketplaces

The secret to a thriving business in the digital age

In an era where technology has disrupted traditional business models, innovative solutions and platforms have emerged, levelling the playing field for companies of all sizes. The marriage of design tools like Canva, AI-powered language models like ChatGPT, and the vast offerings of creative marketplaces can bring about remarkable changes in your business. In this piece, we’ll delve into how you can harness these tools to unleash your business’s true potential and solidify its future success.

Canva: Your Visual Identity Superpower

Canva’s user-friendly design tool provides a treasure trove of templates and resources, enabling anyone to produce striking visuals quickly. Mastering Canva will empower your business with a distinct visual identity, making it memorable and attractive to your target audience.

ChatGPT: The AI-powered Game Changer

Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is an AI language model designed to generate human-like text based on input. By integrating ChatGPT into your business strategy, you can automate tasks such as customer support, content creation, and social media engagement, giving you more time to focus on strategic initiatives and growth.

Creative Marketplaces: The Ultimate Asset Library

Creative Market, Envato, and Dribbble are examples of platforms providing an abundance of design assets, templates, and resources that can accelerate the creation of communication and presentation materials. Utilizing these artistic hubs is an intelligent option for those mindful of their budget; however, relying exclusively on ready-made assets might result in a similar appearance to the competition. Tread lightly and make use of the material in a manner that compliments your brand rather than leading it.

The Dynamic Trio: The Key to Business Success

By combining the power of Canva, ChatGPT, and creative marketplaces, you’ll streamline your operations, enhance customer support, and elevate your brand’s visual identity. This potent combination can help your business thrive in today’s rapidly evolving landscape and set you up for future success.

In Conclusion

The digital age has given us an opportunity to rethink how we approach business. Embracing user-friendly design tools like Canva, AI-powered language models like ChatGPT, and the vast offerings of creative marketplaces can transform your business, giving you the competitive edge needed to succeed.

Stay curious, keep learning, and adapt to the latest technological advancements to secure your business’s future.

Crafting a Compelling Brand Message: Your 10-Step Guide to Rising Above the Noise

Stand out and inspire in today’s crowded marketplace

In a world where brands and campaigns are constantly vying for attention, it’s crucial to rise above the noise and captivate your audience with a powerful brand message. The key to success is to craft an inspiring message that remains true to your vision while avoiding monotony. In this piece, we’ll walk you through a 10-step guide to creating a brand message that resonates with your audience and sets you apart from the competition.

1. Define Your Brand’s Core Values

Identify the values that are central to your brand’s identity. These core principles should serve as a foundation for your brand message, helping you create an authentic and consistent voice to which your audience can relate.

2. Know Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial to creating a brand message that resonates. Identify their needs, desires, and pain points to craft a message that speaks directly to their emotions and aspirations.

3. Develop Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Your USP sets you apart from your competitors. Clearly articulate what makes your product or service unique, and weave this into your brand message to showcase your value to potential customers.

4. Establish Your Brand’s Tone and Voice

Your brand’s tone and voice should reflect your core values and be consistent across all channels. Consider your audience and what will resonate with them – should your voice be authoritative, friendly, or humorous?

5. Create a Compelling Brand Story

A well-crafted brand story helps to humanize your brand and build an emotional connection with your audience. Share the story behind your brand – your journey, challenges, and successes – to make your brand more relatable and memorable.

6. Develop a Clear and Concise Message

Clarity is vital when it comes to your brand message. Make it simple, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid jargon and complicated language that may alienate your audience.

7. Evoke Emotion

Emotion drives decision-making, so make sure your brand message triggers an emotional response. Find the right emotional chord to strike with your audience, whether it’s joy, trust, or a sense of belonging.

8. Be Consistent Across All Channels

Consistency in your brand message is crucial for building trust and recognition. Ensure your message is cohesive and aligned across all platforms – from your website and social media to advertising and customer communications.

9. Iterate and Test

Don’t be afraid to test different messaging approaches to see what resonates best with your audience. Gather feedback, analyze data, and adjust as needed to refine your brand message over time.

10. Stay True to Your Vision

Your brand message should be a reflection of your vision and values. Stay true to your brand’s core principles and maintain authenticity to build credibility and trust with your audience.

In Conclusion

By following this 10-step guide, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a compelling brand message that cuts through the noise, captivates your audience, and sets you apart from the competition. Embrace your unique story and values, and stay true to your vision as you navigate the ever-changing landscape of branding and marketing.

Ontario’s $2,500 Digital Adoption Grant

The government of Canada has introduced a $2,500 digital adoption grant to help businesses with the cost of making their products and services more digital. It is meant for Canadian for-profit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered for GST/HST, have been in existence since March 2020, and have generated less than $20 million in revenue in 2019. Businesses can apply for the digital conversion grant online.

The government of Canada has defined “digital” as “the application of technology to transform information into useful data.” this program aims to help businesses adapt to change by increasing digital sales and transitioning from traditional commerce to eCommerce. For example, you could use the digital conversion grant to make your business more digital by creating a website or eCommerce store, developing an app, improving your social media presence or building an online advertising campaign.

Businesses that receive the digital conversion grant can also be eligible for other beneficial programs like the Employer Health Tax exemption if they meet specific criteria, so it’s worth exploring these options.

What to do with the $2,500 Digital Adoption grant?

First of all, congratulations! Free money is always nice. It’s not much to write home about, but here are a few recommendations on what to do with the grant money based on where you are in the life of your business, use of online tools, and digital presence. Here are just a few recommendations.

Websites and Content
If you don’t have a website yet, this is the perfect time to set one up! A website will help you build credibility as a business and offer an online space for your customers to learn more about your products and services. Are you worried about maintenance and everything that goes with having a website? Keep it simple and straight to the point with evergreen content that local search engines love. Things like news, timely advice, menus, service updates etc., can continually be updated and promoted through your social media channels at little to no cost.

People make judgements about businesses based on their websites. Suppose yours isn’t promoting visitors to connect or is poorly designed. In that case, it can be challenging to convince them that you’re trustworthy or professional enough for them to do business with you. If you already have a website, but it’s pretty basic, this is an excellent chance to invest in a photoshoot or video and ensure you have the right content and forms to build your sales funnel.

Headless and Social eCommerce
If your website has everything it needs and then some, consider taking your eCommerce strategy even further by getting on social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok and setting up a simple cart to sell services and products directly through these channels. These techniques can be targeted and significantly boost sales over time if they’re done correctly. You’ll never know unless you try.

Payper Click Campaign
Creating a PPC message on Google Ads and focusing your keyword and target area can generate immediate traffic to your site. Especially for websites that don’t rank high, a drip campaign could be sustained over a period of time to make sure your ads are being served up on the first page of Google.

Give Back
Developing a brand is so much more than the bottom line. “Do the right things and the money will come,” “Build it and they will come,” “Pay it forward” While cliche, these expressions have merit (as long as things are planned and executed correctly). Why not take your grant money and get familiar with online crowdfunding for charities you believe in? Create a compelling online pitch with your grant money and connect with like-minded individuals in your community. Do good, feel good isn’t all that bad or self-serving. You have to stand for something, after all.

Making the most of it

Think about your business in the context of long-term goals and set a realistic budget to achieve what you need to drive results. $2,500 is a great start – but it only gets you so far. Knowing where to start is half the battle. We help our clients navigate these decisions daily as trusted advisors.

If you’re considering what your next steps are, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do to help.

What to consider in choosing the right branding agency

Selecting the right branding agency to work with is a process that typically happens before your project starts and is a crucial first step. For some clients, having everything under one roof is desirable but it’s quickly realized that it often comes with a price tag that can cause extreme sticker shock.

The traditional model

The days of genuine full-service design agencies are few and far between. A typical more prominent agency has a lot of top-heavy management that outsources work to smaller shops or contractors who do the job. So you end up paying for margins and overhead at that point. Or the big guys are buying up smaller companies or creating new branches to crush the competition. At that level, you’re often faced with many promises and the good old broken telephone, which can cause tension and politics that slows down any momentum.

Sure, you could try your luck on Fiverr or hire a freelancer. For many that go down this path, they quickly realize that to get the results desired, you have to make a wise decision and invest once into a verified leader in the industry. Because time is money and you don’t want to do the same thing 2 or 3 times before you get it right.

The alternative

Enter the agile, ‘anti-agency’ that can fulfil your needs with thoughtful planning, strategy and handpicked team members who are specialists in their own right. Refreshing transparency and reasonable budgets to get the same, if not better quality of work complete.

Qualifying an agency is no different from an agency qualifying a client. It’s a relationship like any other and you’re going to be working with each other for the duration of the project and, ideally, well beyond that, so you want to make sure it’s a good fit.

We happily categorize Jackson Wynne as this option.

Things to look for

How they work

You’ll notice a lot of overlap and similarities in processes between branding agencies, depending on what you’re looking for. Having a process in place ensures that a project runs smoothly and it’s not their first rodeo. This provides structure and a formula that can be followed for consistent results. Some agencies get a little carried away, branding and trademarking this and that, which gets to be a bit much – but it speaks to packaging something up that feels more like an exclusive, secret formula. It’s a bit market-y and cheesy, but someone is buying into it. Of course, you need to go off-script for something new or different.

Services offered

Does the agency offer what you need? Often there is some wiggle room if you require something more specific. Things can be accommodated and brokered or project managed, but make sure the core services offered align with your needs. Occasionally, you are not sure what you need, so that’s where consultation and planning phases help map out insights that are useful to do the work properly.

Track record

There are too many “fly by night” companies who won’t be around next year. You want to make sure you hire someone with a well-balanced, seasoned portfolio with specific examples of work via a portfolio or case study format.

Having some experience in your industry is beneficial. Sometimes taking a calculated risk is fine because transferable skills and related projects can apply. Enter the catch-22 – how does one get experience if they are never hired for it?


This is a standard. Most work will speak for itself, but it helps to verify things by a client who worked with the agency. Ask for references if needed.

Things to be cautious of

Companies claiming they can “do it all.”

There are a lot of inexperienced companies that claim to be able to do it all. I would be very suspicious of that claim since diluting your core service offering means you’re spread thin and become a jack-of-all-trades; yes man, “we can do that for you.” But you just have to wonder if they really can do it and how well they can do it, if at all in most instances.

Too trendy

Flash in the pan agencies who are one-trick ponies fill a niche, but you want to be careful about those young companies still figuring things out. The allure of hype and PR only takes you so far. Buying into excitement is fine, but you need to consider your short-term *and* your long-term needs.

Trying too hard

I’ve seen smaller agencies try to look bigger than they are by doing some pretty weird stuff like Photoshopping the same employee 4 or 5 times into a photo to make it seem like there are more people in the office. Overcompensating for lack of warm bodies is embarrassing at best and just comical to see. If the end product you produce speaks for itself, you shouldn’t need to throw smoke and mirrors at clients to feel like a legitimate service provider.

Lots of buzz words

I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand and see through this veil. If the rep you’re talking to throws around many big words, they’re selling hard and don’t know what they’re talking about. Little do they realize that they are probably scaring you off unless they’re speaking your language, then it could be music to your ears?

Things to consider


With the internet, working with companies abroad is becoming standard. Figuring out time zone differences can be tricky to work around but very doable. There is something to be said about face-to-face that is a challenging element you want to try and have if possible but work with what you have.

Starting small

Building trust and rapport is essential to make sure both sides are committed. Starting on a large project may not be an excellent first step. Perhaps you want to try a smaller project first to test the waters and develop a working relationship before you dive in. That is more than fair.

There are many providers out there that offer similar services. They all have very similar processes and approaches, use the same technologies, etc. Ultimately, develop a relationship with people you think you would enjoy working with! What makes these companies different? It all boils down to that.

Talk to them, meet them, get to know them and trust them to do the job!

The importance of Brand Continuity

Launching a brand is exciting and sometimes anti-climatic. Your hard work has paid off over the last few months and everything has come together according to plan. All too often we find ourselves in a rewarding position to be in. The project was successful, everyone is happy launching product all can be proud of and things are on the up and up.

And then, it comes time to see the brand through. Creating a brand is dare we say the “fun part”. Ensuring the brand is phased in across everything is where the real test comes into play. That next step of your brand is maintaining a consistent voice for all touch points be it in advertising, online or in-person.

Life after launch

What happens after a brand is created or redesigned? Enter the brand execution phase. This is where you implement the brand assets and direction across all of your channels. If it’s a new company, it would be introducing your product or service to the world. If it’s an add-on to what you have, you’re making sure your existing customers know about it and you’re reaching new ones. If it’s a rebrand, remind people you’re there and reintroduce yourself.

Businesses hire design firms because they provide specialised services they are unable to produce otherwise in-house. The design company you hire ideally becomes an extension of your business. An agile, bootstrapped team ready to fill in where you might typically fall short.

The hand-off

Perhaps you have a capable in-house team who can take the brand assets and maintain the integrity of the original vision. More often, though, this is not an option – because you hired a third party to consult in the first place to make sure the work was on point.

So the work gets delivered. But between the hand-off and the execution, if there is no follow through there is a major disconnect.

Brand as a Guide

When you think of the phrase Brand Guide the word ‘Guide’ can be a little misleading. If it were worded more strongly, it would seem a little strict or overbearing. What was the point of going through a brand exercise if the content is ignored or abandoned, or the staff implementing the work is incapable of participating at the level of quality needed to see things through? This, of course, all comes down to budget, delegation and resources available. But it’s a shame and happens much too often across all industries: lack of resources to see it through.

I’m all for breaking the rules when you need to. Brand extensions, short-lived promotional tie-ins, collaborations, one-offs. There are all sorts of situations where you might need to push the limit of what your brand looks like to some extent. But this is the exception and not the rule.

Consistency is king

Forget content for a minute. Being consistent is mission critical. If your identity is beautiful, but your website doesn’t match, you have a problem. Rolling out work and phasing things in is one part. But stopping half way or ignoring platforms altogether can cause issues and create confusion at best.

It’s not just what you look like; it’s what you say. The type of content you’re putting out there. Does it fit within the framework or your brand? Or are you just going off script and thinking about each piece as you go in an isolated effort. This is where strategy comes into play to ensure you’re sticking to a script.

It’s not personal; it’s business

When we talk about brand continuity, one can quickly consider parallel’s in other worlds. In movies, usually, there is a team member who makes sure from scene to scene there are cohesive shots that flow from one to the next. Details like wearing a hat in one shot to the next are thought about. This is so that the viewer can enjoy the movie without being put-off or scrutinising over the details that were overlooked or missed. Hopefully, you have a good script, cast and the story is enjoyable too. Oh, and the director is important, paramount even.

Franchises are another excellent example. Business owners buy into a system that works because it has processes, sales material, marketing, promotions in place that can be followed. Franchisees pay a premium to be a part of that system, so you know they will make sure they are following that plan as closely as possible for a return on their investment.

Everywhere and Beyond

Say for example your logo is great, your print material is perfect, your website is not terrible, too. But you kind of half-baked your content and your social media accounts are inconsistent. That’s a confusing thing for your customers. They’ll wonder what is going on or is this even the same company?

Did your marketing department take over but didn’t follow or ‘get’ the new brand? Maybe someone on the team has their own agenda or has gone rogue. Are there additional resources required, training, hires to can add to the team or certain portions to can hire for? With turnover and new promotions, it can go sideways quickly. Getting everybody on board and buying in is necessary to having everything work together towards a goal.

After a project is launched, staying on as a brand advisor for continuity may be the solution. A general maintenance contract or retainer should fit the bill to ensure things stay on track. Breaking things up into phases can help. All in-house departments and any external service providers need to *stay* on the same page.

A little love and attention is always required. Do as I say, not as I do. What you say you are, what you think you are and what you do should be the same thing.

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