If you have worked in direct marketing, then you have seen the Logo Cops in larger organizations destroy promising direct marketing campaigns.
You know the drill.
You spend talent and money creating a great direct mail package with a strong offer. Your direct mail format cuts through the clutter by looking different. The format, though sometimes purposely unattractive aesthetically, is a proven winner. The offer meets all branding requirements by not cheapening the company's products for a one shot sale.
But the Logo Cops still manage to kill winning direct mail and creative executions in other media.
Here’s an example.
Logo cops often want to typeset the letter and follow all graphics requirements as laid out in the company's graphics manual. This is a big no-no for direct mail response.
They further modify the outer envelope to make sure all recipients see a consistent "look and feel" of all company messages. They eliminate critical teaser copy for the same reason. (The list of such stupid changes for the sake of "branding" goes on endlessly).
The Logo Cops just managed to convert a probable winning direct mail package into a sure looser.
All marketers take heed. Branding the company and its products goes far beyond the literal interpretation or focus on "look and feel" found in the company's graphics manual. Expounding on this concept alone would require writing a book.
Suffice to say that we need not ask how the creative execution supports the brand so much as how the brand supports sales. After all, the objective is not branding but selling.
I'd love to hear some of your stories related to how the misapplication of branding has hurt sales in your experience. Please share them by responding to this post.