How to manage brand standards for multi-location businesses

If there’s one thing almost every business looks forward to, it’s growth and expansion. Growing from a single location business to a multi-location business is a sure sign of success. However, it may not be a piece of cake to navigate.

While expansion may not be as difficult as starting a brand new venture, it certainly does have its challenges, one of which is maintaining brand standards across all locations. This challenge is more pronounced when it comes to running multi-location marketing efforts, including email campaigns.

Before looking at this significant hurdle you’ll have to face when expanding, let’s first of all look at the pros and cons of growing your business into multiple locations.

Before looking at this significant hurdle you’ll have to face when expanding, let’s first of all look at the pros and cons of growing your business into multiple locations.

Source: Search Engine Land

Benefits of running a multiple location business

Expanding your business to multiple locations has many benefits that are worth the hard work put into scaling. Here are a few of the most enticing ones:

Increased revenue

This is one of the most apparent reasons for expanding into multiple locations. More locations result in more revenue for your business. This, in turn, will empower you to continue spreading your wings.

Establishing a strong brand presence

Expanding into multiple locations helps you build a stronger brand presence. This results in consumers trusting your brand more.

Easy cash flow management

Because of the increase in revenue that results from running a multiple location business, it becomes easier to manage your cash flow. For example, it becomes easier to bring developments to each location as they can pool their resources together.

Helps spread the risk

By running multiple locations, you spread the risks that are associated with your business. You don't keep all your eggs in one basket. For instance, if you run a single location and it burns down or is destroyed by a natural disaster, you lose everything. However, if you have 10 locations and one gets hit by a disaster, you have nine other locations to keep your business going.

Challenges of running a multiple location business.

As much as running a multiple location business does have its benefits, you’ll have to be aware of the challenges involved. Some of the most challenging include but are not limited to:

Maintaining a strong corporate culture

Managing and maintaining company culture across multiple locations is one of the challenges you are most likely to face with a multi-location business.

Managing your human resources

Each new location means a new set of employees to supervise. This means you’ll have to come up with a more robust and reliable system to ensure your human resources are well managed.

Communication

This is one of the biggest challenges that every business in multiple locations faces. Communication, both internal and external, becomes more of a challenge the bigger a business grows.

When it comes to external communication, another challenge arises – managing your brand identity and standards. This is particularly so when it comes to running email campaigns that are location specific.

Which brings us to our main point of discussion today—overcoming the challenges that come with multi-location email campaigns.

How to manage brand standards across multiple locations.

When it comes to communication, particularly in regard to marketing, maintaining your brand standards across all your locations is crucial. While each of your locations has its own unique qualities that must be included in their email campaigns, brand standards must be maintained.

Giving your customers a consistent brand experience is crucial in ensuring that you maintain their trust. It also reduces friction when it comes to taking the desired action in your emails.

Unfortunately, it’s a challenging exercise if you don’t know how to go about it, particularly if you don’t have the right tools.

This is one of the main reasons we created Emma HQ. Emma HQ is a one-of-a-kind email marketing solution that helps you manage communications that go out from each of your locations. Call it a central hub for your multi-location email marketing campaigns if you will.

So how do you go about ensuring your brand standards are maintained across all your locations?

1. Create a brand style guide.

One of the most important things you need to establish from the onset as far as multi-location email marketing is concerned is a standard that guides the use of email in campaigns. For instance, how often should emails be sent out? How long should they be? What words do we use (and not use)? What graphics do we use and what is our color palette?

One of the most important things you need to establish from the onset as far as multi-location email marketing is concerned is a standard that guides the use of email in campaigns.

Source: 99 Designs

While each location may have its own email marketing team, it’s vital that they all follow the set rules that govern how email marketing should be done. These standard guidelines will ensure that everyone knows what to do when sending a campaign.

On an unrelated note, it also helps when a marketer is transferred to another location. They’ll fit in easily.

2. Establish a brand personality.

The most significant factor to consider when setting standards for your multi-location email marketing are brand personality.

Brand personality refers to the way your brand speaks and behaves in their emails. This encompasses facets like brand voice and tone and is determined in part by the products or services you offer. For instance, if your brand chooses a humorous personality, maintain it across all locations.

Apart from personality and voice, the language you use in your emails should also be maintained in every maintained across locations.

3. Set and lock template designs.

One of the most significant advantages of using an email marketing service like Emma HQ is that you get access to tons of gorgeous email template designs. The disadvantage is that everyone has their own idea of what a fitting template looks like.

One of the most significant advantages of using an email marketing service like Emma HQ is that you get access to tons of gorgeous email template designs.

Source: Emma

This is where one of Emma HQ’s primary features comes to the rescue of your brand identity. Instead of each location having their own favorite set of templates (leading to inconsistency in your branding), you can select email templates that resonate with your brand and set them as the templates that each location will use.

This is multi-location email branding at its best.

4. Pay attention to typography.

Typography is the art of arranging printed matter. The central aspect of this field is font type. When dealing with multi-location email marketing, the types of fonts used must be standardized. This is because fonts play an important role in strengthening your brand.

A classic example is the font Coca-Cola uses on its packaging, it’s unmistakable.

While you don’t necessarily have to go to great lengths to create your own unique font, you have to ensure that each location uses the same font in their emails.

One fact you’ll have to be cognizant off when it comes to fonts is that different email clients treat fonts differently, particularly custom fonts. This is why you need to ensure that the fonts you use are web safe. That is to say, they are verified to appear the same way no matter which email client they are opened from.

5. Maintain the same color scheme.

Visually speaking, color is one of the most important facets of your brand identity. The reason behind that is that people remember colors better than anything else. This is why if each of your locations uses different colors, it can confuse your customers. Your choice of color scheme should be taken seriously, and maintaining it should be a priority when it comes to multi-location email marketing.

Your choice of color scheme should be taken seriously, and maintaining it should be a priority when it comes to multi-location email marketing.

Source: Very Well Mind

Using different color schemes in your multi-location email marketing causes your brand personality to become inconsistent. Another reason why colors play an important role in branding is that they help express your brand’s personality.

6. Standardize image use.

Images play an important role in ensuring that your emails are visually appealing. However, the choice of images used by all your locations in their email marketing must be governed. That’s because not every type of image resonates with your brand identity.

For instance, you’ll have to set guidelines on image size and type. And if your brand favors GIFs more than static images, you will have to consider a get around for subscribers who use Outlook as it doesn’t support animated GIFs.

7. Centralize your campaigns.

Having a marketing team in each location has the advantage that each location will be better able to send location specific content to their customers.  The danger lies in the fact that brand consistency can be compromised. This is why it’s important that you’re able to run all campaign ideas through one central location.

Again, this is where Emma HQ differentiates itself from all other email marketing software.

With a system that is centralized, each location can pass all their campaigns through the head office where they can be approved or disapproved depending on how well they maintain your brand standards.

Wrap up

Your brand identity is probably the greatest asset your business has. It fosters trust and encourages your customers to build relationships with you. This is why maintaining brand standards is so important when running multi-location email campaigns—it ensures that your customers will immediately recognize your emails, leading to higher open rates.

While maintaining brand standards across multi-locations is one of the biggest challenges marketers and business owners face, that shouldn’t be the case. By utilizing the organization, efficiency, and centralization that Emma HQ brings to your multi-location email marketing strategy, you can ensure that your brand standards are maintained and managed in one, central place.

Ready to streamline your multi-location email campaigns? Then check out Emma HQ. It’s a simple solution to a complicated problem.

 

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. Unlike other email providers, Emma puts their customers first. It's email marketing that works for you.

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