“Tell, show, do.”
While leading employee communications for a large company, I worked on many of its learning and development projects. We described everything we expected of employees to tell them specifically how to meet those expectations. Next, we showed them examples of the expected behavior in action. Lastly, we gave them exercises to practice was expected of them before performing the work in the real world.
This approach works well with training of any sort, and it can also be applied to brand training and standards. After putting effort and investment into developing a strong brand, how do you ensure everyone uses it correctly?
- Tell – To ensure that employees, partners, and vendors correctly represent your brand, create a brand style guide. At a minimum, include visual examples of how to use your logo, color palette, preferred fonts, and photography. See a simple example here.
- Show – Within your style guide and in any training you provide, go beyond simply describing the correct usage to show real “do’s and don’ts.” Show examples of your brand in all its forms — not just your logo on a page, but also your brand voice in writing, and your photography, color palette and iconography in video or animation.
- Do – Give employees or partners the opportunity to apply your brand standards as you work through examples together. By transforming “before” versions of off-brand work to “after” examples that make your brand shine, they’ll build the skills they need to use correct branding going forward.
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