A lot of people perceive brand governance as a kind of dance between being a brand cop and a brand coach: somebody who focuses a lot on compliance and consistency, and also evangelizes why the brand is important, and why people need to protect it.

These concepts aren’t wrong. They’re certainly the foundation of almost any good governance program. The one possible problem: it’s asking individual brand managers and directors to carry a lot of responsibility and pressure that actually belongs on the shoulders of nearly everyone in an organization.

A better approach is to shift toward a concept of brand governance as a community goal, because brands in many ways are a community. Anyone responsible for creating or delivering a brand experience at any level should recognize their responsibility as both a brand cop and coach. To help develop this community, and ultimately make your brand stronger, think about what makes people good members of any sort of community. Think about how you can apply those ideas to help inspire, educate, and celebrate the people who help build your brand. 

  • Educate and train everyone to be able to recognize when something isn’t right, and to know why it’s important to correct it. 
  • Make it easy for everyone to pick from approved on-brand items. Use processes and systems to let others in the community confirm or validate what they’re doing is correct. In branding and marketing, these can be anything from DAM to workflow to creative templates, and other technologies or processes. 
  • Recognize successes. Celebrate team members doing the best work, which could be moving the sales or customer satisfaction bar higher, or just delivering consistently great experiences regardless of circumstances or challenges.
  • Provide a feedback loop and encourage teammates to share how and why they think the governance could be better, or why it isn’t working. Knowing they are heard will help them feel they are playing a part in the ongoing growth and success.

Instead of focusing on all the things that people are doing wrong, build a community that supports your brand and you’ll see it’s given the attention and respect it deserves. 


Helping create, manage, and deliver brands from start to finish.

In collaboration with Bluebird Branding