What Should be Included in your Brand Guidelines
When you are building a brand for your company what are your main aims? Apart from making a lot of money!!!
To be memorable? To create a following of loyal customers? To stand out from your competition? To be easily recognisable?
You do in fact want to be all of these things and the best way to do it is to ensure consistency in your branding. There is a lot of confusion out there about what exactly brand guidelines are, what value they offer, and the role they actually play.
Brand guidelines are a tool designed to give your brand consistency and flexibility. They communicate a variety of things about your brand, both internally to your organisation or business, as well as externally to your partners, affiliates and the general public.
They are not just about colours, fonts and the spacing as some people think! Effective guidelines need to be so much more than that. They should be used as a resource that everyone linked to the company can use when learning how to represent the brand.
Brand guidelines can take many forms and can alter slightly depending on the business, so rather than list what needs to be in one. I’d like to rather just tell you what could be included.
Brand guidelines can includes sections on:
- Goals, vision, mission, core values, archetypes, voice, messaging.
- Competitor analysis, customer persona, customer tribe, positioning.
- Brand assets, including your logo, colours, fonts, photos etc.
You can see my instagram post on the topic here.
They are a very useful resource when rebranding or starting a new company. The process of creating one can really help nail down what your company is about and how you can communicate with prospective customers and your target audience.
The most successful brands stay in the customers mind through repetition of a visual identity. They are easily recognisable and offer a clear sense of reliability and security to the public.
A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or organisation
Developing a consistent brand needs to start with a brand style guide. You may know your brand inside out but a new employee does not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive.
When ever someone from the public visits your website, sees an advert or even a business card they make a perception about your company. You need this perception to be consistently high and on brand. By having a clear set of rules and restrictions it becomes possible to communicate a consistent brand identity.
Being consistent with your brand identity makes your company far easier to recognise and engage with, whether online or visiting a shop. It can take a long time to build a brand but sticking to thorough guidelines gives your company a better chance of achieving it. Have a look at Google's brand guidelines here for a glimpse at one of the worlds best known brands.
When you have a cohesive and identifiable brand it increases the brand’s value. You appear more reliable and more professional to the public. By creating and implementing brand guidelines, you make it easier to maintain your brand’s image with integrity and quality. Have a look at a Nike’s brand guidelines for one of the world's most valuable brands.
Your brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. These rules will include when to use a logo versus a wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of colour and typography. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive.
Without brand guidelines it is nearly impossible to keep your brand’s identity consistent. If your company is a startup or looking to complete a rebrand, then you might want to do a brand strategy workshop.
Looking at all the information and ideas that are needed may seem like a daunting task, there is a lot to think about and keep on top of. Really, what you’re doing is having conversations about yourself. You’re thinking about who you are and who you want to be, and how you and everyone in your organisation can show that off to people.
At Vivi Creative we can help you and will work with you to create and develop a unique brand for your company. We will build you a thorough and cohesive brand identity and brand guidelines, that will make your brand recognisable and memorable to your potential customers.
Thanks for reading.