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Brand guidelines: Lots of words read by no one

Xerox announced it helped with the recent Lloyds Bank rebrand.

It said: ‘The production of marketing literature and an extensive set of brand style sheets was managed by Xerox to ensure consistency throughout the re-branding efforts of the new products.’

I'm sure it did a great job, I’m a big fan of consistency and can see the importance of brand – so much so I’m commissioning a feature on it for our Nov/Dec issue. However, I can imagine this ‘extensive set of brand style sheets’ sitting on desks, getting stained with various breakfast and lunch items before eventually being discarded.

How extensive they were I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure they won’t be read by anyone other than the poor soul who proof read them… but then in the Xerox release it detailed how it automated key areas of production and these included proofing. So there goes the only potential reader for these ‘extensive style sheets’.

Internal comms is something I’ve noticed creeping to the top of the agendas for many B2B marketers, and the discussion about communicating the importance of brand seems an on-going one. But there has to be a more effective way of combining the two than distributing ‘extensive style sheets’.

I don’t know what other internal activity Lloyds is doing/has done to communicate its new brand, my aim isn’t to have a dig at them. It’s to have a dig anyone who insists on producing pages and pages of fonts and different shades of green with instructions of when to use them. I think it’s an uninspiring and unpractical way to deal with a brand.