The importance of brand guidelines
Do you own or manage a business that is lacking consistency in terms of the brand you are trying to portray? Or maybe you can’t get your brand story across? It’s probably because you haven’t established your brand guidelines. In this article, we explain a bit more about what they are, why they are important and how they will benefit your business long-term.
What are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are exactly what they say on the tin… guidelines to tell you about your brand. Whilst this may sound obvious, why would you need them? It’s your brand? Well as much as it’s for you, they are for everyone else too.
Your brand guidelines will tell you and other people working within your business various things:
- Logo – Most companies have various versions of their logo so it can be used across different platforms, the usage of your logo should be clear as day and one of the first things you see in your guidelines.
- Colour palette – This could be anything from the colours used within your logo to the colours used across your website.
- Fonts – A font can say a thousand words (quite literally), so getting it right and keeping it consistent can be the difference between your brand being recognised or not.
- Copy – Does your business have specific phrases or taglines that are used regularly to promote the brand? All of this information will be explained in your guidelines.
- Values – How would you explain your brand values? Put some keywords into your brand guidelines to explain who you are.
- Your story – Where you started from, how you’ve grown, who you really are… giving some background into your story will make for a better brand.
- Rules – Should your logo only ever be placed on the right-hand side of a social post? Or maybe certain words should be capitalised? Or certain colours should only be used for buttons on the website? All of these ‘rules’ can be incorporated into your guidelines for a more cohesive brand.
Why are they important?
Whether you’re a one-man band, an SME with 10 employees or a huge corporate company with 100+ people working within it, all brand guidelines will follow the same principle. Everyone should be on the same page when it comes to your brand, you can very quickly take a wrong turn if you’re not all singing to the same hymn sheet.
How will brand guidelines benefit your business?
Identity – Brand guidelines are there to give you some identity. When they are in place you should be recognisable, whether it’s a post on Facebook telling your audience about a new product or a printed banner at an event.
Consistency – Using consistent branding will allow you to get noticed and make what you’re telling your audience more engaging.
Keeps the focus – You don’t want anyone, whether it’s your Marketing Manager, or Julie from HR getting their hands on your brand and going off-piste. Brand guidelines keep the focus on what’s important to the business.
How do you create your brand guidelines?
Whether it’s a single A4 piece of paper or you’ve worked with a graphic designer and marketing agency to create a brand guidelines presentation, you need to put some thought into the document, it’s your brand bible after all!
As a marketing agency in Dorset, we have dealt with many companies that either don’t have brand guidelines at all or need them revisiting as they’ve become outdated as the business has grown.
Examples of a good brand
Getting your brand right can take time (and money), but every brand has to start somewhere, right? Let’s take a look at a few companies that have clearly got their brand guidelines spot on…
Nike – see that tick and you will know immediately what brand it is. Nike has built a hugely successful brand through strong messaging, consistency and transparency.
Rapha – It’s all about selling a lifestyle for this cycling e-commerce brand, which wouldn’t have been possible without well-thought-out brand guidelines. From the insanely sharp imagery used across their website to the consistent look and feel of their social media platforms, Rapha has really hit the nail on the head with their branding.
Ready to take control of your brand?
Taking your brand to the next level is an important stage if you want to grow your business. Speak to one of our team about your marketing goals and how brand guidelines can support that process.
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