I was talking to a colleague last week, a newly minted consultant, who asked my opinion on licensing brand strategy. I suggested once a brand strategy is sold, it makes sense to put an annual license fee on the strategy, for as long as the company uses it. A nominal amount. Rather than simply sending an invoice each year, the fee should come with value. And that value is an open-ended offer to the client to share work with me for validation – so they know it’s on strategy. The fee would also cover an annual refresher or training course on the brand strategy – one which new employees or agencies should attend.
One of my biggest regrets with What’s The Idea? is that I often finish a brand strategy then sail into the sunset; leaving the brand and marketing managers to deal with compliance. At mid-size, small and start-up companies marketing directors typically don’t have these skills.
My friends at Brandtuitive are good at this. They make sure training is part of their engagement. The notion of making a company pay a recurring annual fee for training and compliance, albeit a small one, makes lots of sense. But is has to be more about compliance than a license of the idea. (And remember “Campaigns come and go, a powerful brand strategy is indelible.”)