Be grateful I’m not calling myself a ‘brand guru’. I’m not, and don’t profess to be. However, I wear my ‘brand warrior’ hat with pride.
Where did this brand thing start?
In the early days of proofreading, my biggest client was Microsoft. The marketing manager hired me to get consistency across all channels: print advertising, digital, sales brochures, case studies, white papers and anything else they had going. Much of the copy came straight from the USA and part of my job was to make it more Australian in tone and spelling.
My second-biggest client was Adobe (mainly digital, via MercerBell) and then came American Express (sales letters, print advertising and in-house training manuals), MasterCard (MercerBell again) and Telstra, to name a few.
All of the above brands are rigorous about protecting their trademark, especially on their products. I spent time getting to know the brands and trademarks as soon as I started working on their product or service.
So where does ‘brand warrior’ come into the picture?
I’ve been working on the Microsoft brand (not with the same comprehensive brief as when I started) for longer than have most of the product managers. If there’s a dispute about a trademark use, I’m often the go-to person. Although I don’t work for some of the brands any more, I am still working on their behalf. If I’m proofing, for example, a piece of copy for a client and the copy mentions ‘an excel spreadsheet’, I’ll change it to the correct “Microsoft® Office Excel® spreadsheet’. Same goes for ‘your flash file’. That gets upgraded to ‘Adobe® Flash® file’.
By doing this, I’m not only helping clients and former clients protect their brands, but also, I’m making sure that my current client doesn’t get reprimanded for incorrect use of a product or brand name. I don’t get paid by Microsoft or Adobe but, in my mind, all my clients are once and future clients so I need them to be successful. Part of that is helping them to protect their brand, product or service.
My diligence also shows my current client that I’m serious about brand values and they can trust me with their own brand.
How do you manage brands? Are you still loyal to past clients? I’d love to hear how you manage.
If you’d like me to make sure that your brand is presented in the way it’s supposed to be, please contact me.