Branding Craves Consistency

Posted on Apr 9, 2015 | 0 comments

  How many times has your logo been misprinted? Maybe it was too close to another company’s logo when you sponsored an event. Or maybe some nut-job designer made an executive decision to convert your colors or type your name out in a font they thought looked “close enough.” Maybe even your own in-house team was really feeling the purple end of the color spectrum for your headlines one day. The point is – brand creep happens. And it happens in the blink of an eye. Major corporations spend thousands of dollars developing brand-usage guides that spell out nearly every imaginable design element and application of their brands. They understand the value of a consistent brand impression and are willing to pay a premium to ensure they stay on brand. Brand-usage guides normalize your brand’s look, tone, voice, and messaging. They help you communicate your standards consistently to anyone who touches your brand, including creative vendors, contractors, and in-house employees. When you forego brand standards and build your brand project by project, you run the risk of going “off-script.” This piece-meal approach creates the potential for confusing your customers and undermining your credibility.  A brand-usage guide can be as comprehensive or concise as you need it to be. Some of our corporate clients have guides that include hundreds of pages of detailed rules and best practices. If you want an idea of how detailed brand-usage guides can get, click here. But rest assured; most of our clients get by confidently with a ten to twelve page guide that serves them just fine. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a branding expert to create a brand-usage guide for your business. In fact, it can be an easy, DIY project that you can start today. All you need is a simple document to capture your brand’s basic standards. What should your brand standards include? Fonts – We recommend no more than two to three fonts you use consistently online and in print. Logo – Ideally, use ONE version of your logo, with clear standards for placement (i.e., in the upper left or lower right, with a specific amount of “safe space” around it). Colors – Choose a primary color palette that is always used, and a secondary color palette, which is used sparingly to augment or complement the primary palette. Image standards – Do your images include people or no people; what types of lighting do you prefer? Do you use illustrations? Tone, voice, and language – Is your tone casual, assertive, or professional? Do you use slang or is your language more formal? Establishing consistent branding guidelines not only strengthens your brand’s presence, it ensures a seamless experience for your customers. When customers feel safe, secure, and confident in your messaging, they are more likely to become loyal members of your tribe.     Ready to lay a reliable brand foundation for your business so you can make more money, work with best-fit clients and build the business of your dreams? Then check out Lab Monkey Brand Academy. Registration closes April 26. The class is limited to 20 participants. Click the button below to learn more! Share...

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Making Room for Mental Health in Your Employee Benefits Plans

Posted on Oct 9, 2012 | 0 comments

Employers know that mentally healthy workforces are more productive, miss fewer days of work, and have lower medical costs. As businesses, we value the return on our investment in our workforce’s health. Yet most employers stop short of offering comprehensive benefits that adequately address mental health issues, focusing instead on physical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and asthma that are often compounded by undiagnosed mental illnesses. In an article published by the Partnership for Workplace Mental Health, the following facts build a powerful case for including mental health benefits in your lineup: Less than one-third of adults with a diagnosable mental disorder receive treatment in any given year; Mental illness short-term disability claims are growing by 10% annually (accounting for 30% or more of the typical employer’s disability claims); and Individuals who are depressed but not receiving care for the condition consume two to four times the healthcare resources of other enrollees. Despite these staggering facts, many employers continue to offer mental wellness benefits as either part of a suite of optional benefits, or not at all. And few employers take the time to offer employees the education and guidance they need to take full advantage of the benefits available to them. How Can Employers Provide Better Mental Health Services for Their Workforce? Chances are that if you’re researching the impacts of mental health on your workforce’s productivity and engagement then your company is on the right track to making an improvement in its benefits programs. You may even already provide key services that your employees aren’t using to their full advantage. Here are some tips and tools to help your company reduce the costly expenses associated with untreated and undiagnosed mental illnesses in your workforce: Evaluate your current mental health benefits and services: assess exactly what services fall under your plans and understand how to use the health services that you currently provide. Compare your current offerings to other available options in the marketplace: The National Business Coalition on Health has developed a comparison tool to help you do just that. Develop strategic programs that complement your benefits plans: employers commonly offer financial incentives for participating in biometric screenings that help employees assess their physical health—but not their mental health. For tips on offering anonymous mental health screenings for employees, visit www.mentalhealthscreening.org. Screening results should alway be followed up with professional on-site counseling, educational materials specific to any results received, and explanations of how the company’s benefits program can offer support services and access to care. Market your benefits and support programs: This is where so many employers miss the mark. It’s not enough to offer even the best benefits in the industry if you’re not helping your employees understand how to use them. According to a study by ADP (Automatic Data Processing, Inc.), 60% of employees don’t understand the benefits programs offered by their employers. Currently, most employers are in the throes of communicating the changes to their new benefits plans in preparation for the new year. While enrollment education is critical in helping employees to choose the benefits that will serve them and their families in the coming year, we must also help employees to understand their benefits so that they can better use them throughout the year. Lab Monkey Design specializes in internal health and wellness communications for employees. We produce internal benefits brands, open enrollment communications, educational healthcare marketing, and a variety of customized wellness campaigns to help your employees make the most of the benefits you offer. When your employees are able understand and use the benefits you provide, your company will thrive...

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