In a large company, it can be difficult to maintain consistent branding in all aspects of the company at all times. In fact, it’s nearly impossible if everyone is doing their own ordering of marketing materials and branded merchandise!
Employees and partners could use the wrong version of the logo, a tagline that has been retired or colors that are not consistent with your brand. This could lead to a huge amount of rework or waste, which could end up costing you a lot of money.
Decrease the Opportunity for Human Error
Many companies are implementing centralized online company store programs to decrease human error associated with purchasing branded merchandise, promotional merchandise, marketing and sales materials.
An online company store program is an eCommerce platform designed to make ordering marketing and sales materials for multiple locations or remote employees painless. These increasingly popular programs include the employee-facing and administrative software, outsourced consulting on product selection, design, and order management, and support services to manage the setup, ordering, and approval processes.
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If your company doesn’t already have a specialized system in place to manage the purchasing and distribution of such materials for everyone in the organization, it could lead to inconsistencies and costly errors.
You see, each time your employees need to place an order for new materials, it’s like it’s the very first time. They will source new vendors and suppliers, choose new product and arrange logos and art all over again; every single time. And, whenever your staff changes, the people responsible for purchasing and managing the approvals for new branded merchandise and marketing materials also change.
If there is no standard operating procedure in place and employees and partners are just doing their own thing, they might not be clear on several things that could lead to mistakes in ordering.
When placing orders, employees and partners may not know:
- Where to find the proper art files for printing
- Your detailed branding guidelines
- The approved fonts, sizes and colors for your brand
- Guidelines pertaining to the placement and sizing of your logo
Disorganization is Detrimental to Your Organization
Have you ever been in a meeting and noticed an employee using a self-made Power Point template or someone wearing a shirt with the old logo? If they make that simple mistake in company meetings, they may also be making them in front of customers, creating a sense of confusion and disorganization around your brand. Like a disorganized file folder, human error or a lack of branding knowledge could lead to a great deal of inconsistency across your organization.
Most often, employees just don’t know where to turn for the information they need and/or don’t have the time to figure it out, so they find vendors and place orders themselves. This urgency and lack of organization can may be costing you more than you realize.
Order the Branded Merchandise and Other Marketing Materials You Need, When You Need It
Often, in the case of branded merchandise, things are purchased in high volume. So, if an unapproved version of the logo was used on such an order, you could be looking a huge mound of wasted merchandise taking up space in your warehouse.
An online company store program helps to reduce these errors because everything is pre-approved up front. The brand guidelines are learned, studied and set in stone with materials being sampled and approved just once.
When the store goes live, those approved materials are available for order as often as you need them, without having to go through approvals all over again. It’s a repeat order rather than a first time order, which makes ordering simple, quicker and completely eliminates the possibility of waste due to error.
Reducing Error for Smaller Companies
Now, keep in mind, an online company store program is not the right solution for every company. If your company is small or mid-sized and has just one location, you might not need a big system like this just yet. However, there is still a lot you can do to reduce errors in your merchandise and materials orders.
For example, you could create a folder containing all the resources and information needed for ordering new branded merchandise, marketing and sales materials. Make this folder easy to access for all of your employees and communicate clearly and often where to find it and how to use it.
Things you may want to include in the folder:
- The approved pantone colors for your brand
- The proper art files for printing
- Contact information for approved suppliers and vendors
- Size and specifications for logo use and placement
All of these important details can be decided on up front, just like in an online company store program, empowering you to set your employees and partners up for success.
Decrease Branding Inconsistencies with an Online Company Store Program
If you run a medium to large sized organization that does not currently have a system in place for ordering new branded merchandise and sales and marketing materials you could be delivering an inconsistent image of your brand without realizing it. The addition of an online company store solution will not only help you control logo usage and approved art files, but also will help you cut costs and alleviate waste.
What are the aspects of your brand you have the hardest time managing? Share your experience with us below!