Step 8: Using your brand; visibility, longevity, value for money

A place brand may not be for life but it should certainly have a lifespan of five or so years if it is to reach its full potential.

Make sure you define exactly what the brand is going to be used for and by whom.

If you have managed your stakeholders well throughout the process, you should already have their commitment to using the brand, but at this stage you need to formalise that. Your brand will be weakened if partners, internal or external, carry on with activity that is inconsistent with what you are trying to achieve.

Think about what you want to do with the brand after the first flurry of activity has died down. It is not just about individual campaigns. Are there buildings, facilities or signage that can carry the brand, giving it a long term visual presence in the area? Are your local visitor attractions, especially those run by the council, tied into using it, and using it consistently.

If you want to get value for money from the project, you will need to ensure that the brand has long term presence and penetration, and that your collateral, both printed and multi-media, has a long shelf life. You can keep things fresh through social media and easily updated digital collateral, whilst ensuring that your ‘investment products' keep you going for at least a couple of years.

You should develop a strategy for use of the brand over the next three to five years that spells out how it will support the short, medium and long term objectives for the area. Don't forget that during that period you can and should carry out a refresh or two of the narrative and visuals to ensure that the work remains relevant.