Do annual reports translate the company brand well?

Annual reports are often seen as daunting projects even for seasoned professionals. So having to translate the brand attributes, in what is essentially a financial document, targeted at investors and analysis can sometime seem a challenge.

Annual reports are often seen as daunting projects even for seasoned professionals. So having to translate the brand attributes, in what is essentially a financial document, targeted at investors and analysis can sometime seem a challenge. I’ve spent quite some time looking through a host of annual reports, from both UK household-names and top global players, reviewing the case for ‘do annual reports translate the company brand well’.

The top global brands instantly recognise the importance of both online and offline stakeholder brand experiences. Author Dirk Knemeyer (whose clients include Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, McAfee and Yahoo) provides some information on how best to plan for this by highlighting the importance of consistency across all touch-points, working from the premise that an organisation engages in a broad and complex set of interactions with its customers, of which the brand experience portrayed both offline and online are closely interlinked.

For example, GE positions itself as ‘imagination at work’ (http://www.ge.com/ar2010). Both their offline and online reinforces this brand position through the consistent application of these values across all areas of – the visual presentation of information; the tone of voice; the balance between imagery; text and white space; the printed and site design; construction and print production; clean and simple functional elements; error-free delivery and using the latest interactive technology to further enhance the stakeholder brand experience. A lot of time and effort is being put into these pages, making use of dynamically-generated web pages has really helped make the content visually engaging and reinforced the brand position.

2010 for me will always be defined by the number of press and industry conversation around some of our more recognised brands and how they have or haven’t translated across all channels, which struck the most passionate of debuts and noisy objections; just look at Gap. In 2011 we’re already seeing how unifying all communication channels, (GE, Microsoft, IBM, Apple, Coca Cola, Deutsche-Bank, Deutsche Post DHL, P&G…) you can deliver the same consistent and well-branded messages to deliver a consistent brand expression.

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About the author:

Smith Joseph (Co-founder and Creative director of BergHind Joseph)

Smith has over 20 years’ experience in branding, corporate communications and employee engagement across a range of applications including print; point of sale; marketing; advertising and online communications.

Prior to setting up BergHind Joseph, Smith has held senior creative, creative lead and art director positions for a number of leading UK design and advertising agencies. Producing work for various UK brands and making ideas really come to life.

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