November 21, 2013

Balancing Budget and Quality for Your Brand Refresh

Like all good business decisions, your brand refresh should start with a plan. As we have reiterated in several of our previous posts, we highly encourage you to consider many details when creating this plan. For instance, in a previous post we discussed the relationship between time, cost and quality and the necessity to budget for quality levels in your brand refresh that reflect your brand strategy.

To avoid disconnects between quality control and budget accuracy during your brand refresh, we recommend taking an important step while your brand consultancy is creating your design system. Consider adding a Value Engineering step for assessing the value and function of your branded assets parallel to the development of the design system.

A good Value Engineering effort should take the brand guidelines and treatments for the visual touch points and analyze them with three dimensions of quality. The following dimensions of quality should all be considered together in tandem, like a synchronized juggling act, all while preventing quality obstacles that could inflate costs or affect delivery time.

1. Visibility: Determine if the treatment is designed for the proper level of visibility for the image given the asset or visual touch point.
2. Longevity: Ensure the design allows the image to withstand the required life of the asset.
3. Performance: Specify that the branded assets will perform at the quality level that supports the overall brand strategy.

Recently, one of our clients in the hospitality industry went to great lengths to increase their “revenue per available room” by refreshing their brand. The quality upgrades they built into the specifications for every branded asset made historical budgeting almost impossible. In many instances, it forced them to establish new supply chains and increase the budgeted cost for the branded assets.

Your own analysis will help you balance the important factors of quality, such as longevity, visibility and performance with cost and time. By adding the Value Engineering step, you create a brand refresh budget that achieves the lowest total cost of ownership for the branded asset or item while specifying the quality level that supports your brand. As a result, you reap high functioning, cost-effective assets that align with your brand refresh strategy.