In marketing, brand implementation refers to the physical representation and consistent application of brand identity across visual and verbal media. A proactive plan can help protect you from underachieving and negative results. When implementing your brand strategy it is imperative you do it the right way at the right time. In visual terms, this can include signage, uniforms, liveries, interior design, and branded merchandise. Brand implementation encompasses facets of architecture, product design, industrial design, quantity surveying, engineering, procurement, project management, and retail design.
Brand implementation is an integrated part of a branding cycle and needs to be initiated during the brand design and development phase. It is the planning and execution of brand strategy using project management techniques. Brand implementation is the continuous and consistent application of the brand’s image in all business units, communication channels, and media.
This refers to marketing and branding as a unified whole. In marketing, it is common to describe the formation of strategy as “magic” and implementation as “logic:’ As such, brand implementation is the logical side of the equation that rolls out new brands, rebranding, and campaigns in a systematic fashion. In that respect, brand implementation is a continuous process, which requires controlling the brand’s image and presence despite changes in markets and company structure.
A brand implementation may touch on a number of areas including:
- Business Alignment – Achieving buy-in amongst business units for the strategy.
- Distribution – Engaging distribution partners.
- Visual Branding – Visual branding of things like uniforms, locations, information, web sites, media, business cards, vehicles, marketing collaterals, architecture, and interiors.
- Storytelling – Communicating information such as a mission statement in a compelling way.
- Advertising & Promotion – Generating brand awareness.
- Product Design – Designing and launching products.
- Customer Experience – Implementing the intangible elements of the brand such as customer service.
Brand implementation emerged as a discipline in the 1990s when brand owners recognized the need for consistency across branded estates. The competition on the business market is continuously growing stronger where organizations offer end-customers homogenous products and services. Traditionally, brand implementation was handled by various parties, including shop-fitters, interior designers, and sign companies. There is a generally accepted assumption that it is important to have an efficient and strong brand. Lack of centralized project management led to inconsistencies, while information dissymmetry meant suppliers had too much control over brand issues. Still, there is a need and interest among the management’s point of view to start the brand strategy and internal branding implementation inside. Brand implementation was consequently coined as an umbrella term for all aspects of the application and maintenance of physical brand assets.