From design to production to installation, quality control is one of the most important aspects of a branding project. In fact, quality control is something that begins at the genesis of a project by accurately defining the message you’re trying to convey in your space. Unfortunately, it’s often not considered until the end of a project, when the product is being installed. If the branded environment you want to create isn’t feasible, that error should be caught long before production begins, allowing for a solution to be devised. The sooner you can bring in experts to assess the quality control of your project the better.
After deciding to invest in a branded environment, you’ll need to choose between a generalist marketing agency and a specialist such as Continental Office. Be mindful of this partner selection process. Generalist agencies tend to offer a more basic solution whereas specialists can evaluate designs from concept to completion. While a generalist might be more cost-effective in the short-term, consider the long-term effects of a branding project. Quality control will vary widely when the project is a two-week promotion as opposed to permanent signage.
Make sure your branding partner is checking in every step of the way and contributing directly to the process. If you choose to go with a generalist, check their references and make sure those references have completed a project similar to what you’re considering. Working with industry experts that can show you graphic and material examples of how the project will be executed is just as important as the final design. A specialist will stand by their final deliverables and make sure that you’re 100% satisfied, providing the highest quality solution allowed on a given budget within time constraints.
Quality control is a system of checks and balances and must come from every department. When everyone brings a carefully trained eye to the project, it ensures that the user experience is a great one and guarantees that:
- The message is told on brand and on voice
- The color selection is exact
- There are zero errors or typos
- The quality of materials and imagery is high
- All text is legible from appropriate viewing distances and angles
- Accessibility requirements are met, such as the proper height for monitors or signage
- The final product is perfect and lasting
Ultimately, communication is key to ensuring quality control runs smoothly throughout a branding project. Make sure everyone is on the same page and collaborate not just with your branding specialist but your internal stakeholders as well. Having your physical space and assets prepared at the start of the project will help experts to conduct a thorough space audit and confirm the quality of your assets. Have a realistic expectation of how long you want your branded environment to last. Some designs are intended to change every few weeks while others will last for years. If you’ll be updating a digital display wall monthly or even daily, make certain you have someone to do that to ensure the permanency of your display. Determine who’s responsible for the life cycle of your branded space.
Embark on your journey to a branded environment. You’ll be so glad you did!