When you’re evaluating the many choices available to you for branding and marketing support, make sure that you’re shopping smart.
There are a few tools you should be getting as part of the engagement that will save your company time, money and countless headaches.
1. Project Start Form
At our company, it’s an interactive PDF that covers critical project details–including objectives, timelines, stakeholders, vendor contact information, routing and review process and budget–ensuring we’re all on the same page as we move through the project together. It also captures vendor information, approval processes, and a current inventory of your creative assets, making it a valuable reference tool throughout the course of our work together.
2. Brand Standards Guide
This is a must for every branding or identity project we undertake, and is provided to you at the conclusion of the project. Clients share the guide internally and with other vendors to ensure consistent application of the brand and its identity going forward.The Guide typically includes logo specifications, color palettes, typography specifications, illustration and photography style guides and brand voice. The depth of the document will vary by company and client need, and is an important tool to ensure you get the most value from your branding investment.
3. Copy Toolkit
This is a tool we developed to use with our own clients, and it’s one we don’t see too often among competitors.The Copy Toolkit is a library of text components that can be applied consistently across all of your packaging and marketing materials, including digital and print. It includes 25- and 100-word intros, features and benefits, and (if applicable) measurements, composition, care and use, and warnings. For our global clients, we provide the Toolkit in multiple languages according to their markets.We can create copy for our clients, or they can provide it if they prefer. The value of the Toolkit lies in the consistency it provides, and the time that it saves by eliminating the creation of new copy as every new need arises. The Toolkit also empowers clients to produce more of their own material internally if they wish, and know that it will be consistent with materials we create for them.
An organized and complete archive saves countless hours when you need to reference, update or borrow from old projects. And while we always recommend clients maintain their own backups, we maintain multiple file backups as well, so even in a worst-case scenario, your files–including packaging, ads, identity, web, sales support and more–will be recoverable.
We’re happy to share our experience, along with these and other valuable tools like our Scope Sheet, which we’re happy to email to you. The Scope Sheet will help you get the best-quality creative work. Here’s to great projects, clever creative and productive partnerships!