As Forbes magazine puts it, a brand guideline is “an essential tool for establishing brand identity”
And that is a statement we massively agree with.
A good brand guideline will take everything about your brand, from your mission, your vision, what you stand for and its very heart and soul and then beautifully translates it into design. The guide will help everyone to know how to communicate with your brand.
What are brand guidelines?
Think of it like this. Your brand guidelines will be the key document that will help all of your content creators, colleagues and co-workers to communicate a consistent message to your audience and customers. A well laid out brand guideline will keep your whole image on track and allow all of your team to sing from the same hymn sheet. The guide will need to be shown to every single person whom will interact with your customers, so everyone in customer service, your marketing department, your sales and design departments. A brand is the image you constantly want to be displaying, and the guide will help people to do that.
Why are brand guidelines so important?
Your brand is your company’s identity. Your brand is how everyone sees you, feels about you, and has opinions about you. It is the most memorable aspect of your business and is an element your customer will rarely forget about.
Put it this way; imagine your Dad being the kind of person to always wear a nice shirt, with casual jeans and always has his hair well maintained with a certain glow to his skin. This is the way you have known him to be pretty much all of your life. Now imagine just one day, out of the blue, he comes downstairs wearing an Iron Maiden T-shirt, denim shorts and a tattoo on his forearm. I would imagine you would feel very uncomfortable and a little unsure as to what was going on. You would question your Dad and wonder why the sudden change. This same principal does apply to brands as well. Your customer will get used to your brand, and your way of operating. Any sudden changes and out of the ordinary differences to the way you communicate will alienate and scare your customers.
What should we include in our brand guidelines?
These are some of the most important factors to include:
- Logo variations
- Colour palettes
- Tone of Voice
A start-up might only need a simple version that outlines logo, Typography and colours. In contrast, a large company might need something a lot more in-depth that covers the brand values, the tone of voice, Imagery and signage.
However, a brand as you know is a lot deeper than that. It involves everything and everyone within your company and is the foundation for how you want your business to be remembered.
When should I implement brand guidelines?
Brand design is a process best worked on with us in partnership with you. It is a journey of discovery and is a patient process but having us work alongside you makes the process a lot smoother and focussed.
Implement your brand guidelines sooner rather than later to not confuse your customers and to keep them coming back for more.