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Brand Consistency: Print Buyers are the backstop

In the world of sales and marketing, it’s hard to overstate the importance of brand consistency. The brand is the company’s face and voice, and an enormous amount of effort and money goes into building a brand and maintaining its consistency.

A consistent, well-managed brand may be worth up to 20% more than a competitor’s brand, according to one report.

Print buyers play a critical role—that of the backstop—in brand consistency efforts.  They’re the last line of defense for the brand.

They don’t make the multitude of decisions that go into establishing the brand standards and guidelines (including logos, colors, font size and style, letter-spacing, paper type, and finishing). But they must develop specs that result in printed products that are correct in every way.

When checking specs and proofs, print buyers must be able to understand the terms and know what they’re looking at. They also have to know their company’s approval process—for instance, who needs to see proofs, and what approvals are needed before purchase. No print buyer wants to purchase printing with even the smallest of errors.

Because of this, print buyers may want to use some of the “downtime” available during the current economic slowdown to review their company’s branding guidelines and ensure they have the right digital assets, correct templates, and specs for frequently purchased items like stationery, business cards, POS materials, and sales brochures.

In addition, it’s worth reviewing key details with marketing staff, such as:

  • Logos (different versions, without and color, reverses)
  • Brand name (font and style, letter spacing, capitalization style, one or two words)
  • Color lay and how colors are derived: Pantone spot, four-color build, specs)
  • Fonts and how they’re used in heads and body copy, as well as color (if used)
  • Paper types and finishing 
  • Spot coating (making a logo stand out as glossy—this counts as a fifth color)

Once you’re sure of your brand details, you might want to consider how, or if, your system for managing print purchases—whether it’s spreadsheets or print management software—supports brand consistency.

For instance, eLynxx print management software allows you to build an online storefront with rate card pricing for all your frequently used items, such as stationery and business cards, and sales collateral—so that anyone in your company can access and order the correct materials.  All the items in your store are print-ready and pre-approved with the right logo, layout, and colors. The software allows you to make certain aspects customizable—for instance, a sales rep could add her contact information to a brochure—while the majority of the piece can’t be changed. You can replace items in the storefront when anything is updated or changed, so everyone continues to use the right versions.

When it comes to brand consistency, print buyers need to make sure every detail is right.

eLynxx offers a Swiss Army knife approach incorporating the best parts of digital asset management (DAM), on-demand customization and acquisition, and tracking of the finished piece. For a demonstration or information, contact info@elynxx.com or 717-709-0990. 

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