When you have a brand it is important that everything you do reflects it, as all too often we witness brands at odds with what they are trying to achieve. Having a clear set of brand guidelines can help alleviate this.
You will have seen them yourselves; letterheads differing from websites, websites differing from social, social differing from marketing literature – you get the picture.
The problem is, with so many different variations to a brand, your message to the consumer, whether B2B or B2C, is confusing.
If you don’t know your own DNA, how can you expect them to?
- A simple test to discover whether your brand offers a cohesive overview of what you do is to print out any forms of marketing you carry out and lay it side by side.
- Do all the items look like they are part of one family, or are there a few distant cousins and long lost relatives sneaking their way in?!
- We would strongly advise companies to collate and stick to a rigid set of brand guidelines which everyone can relate back to when looking to promote your brand.
- Brand guidelines are put together as part of a manual for businesses to follow, this is so team members can communicate with one another and also external consumers efficiently and with the same key messages and company values in mind.
- They make sure the personality of your brand – core elements such as tone of voice, logo, colour and imagery – are reflected throughout.
- Brand guidelines should be tailored to your company and showcase the rules for your business principles and how elements of your brand should be used.
So why do businesses need them?
We put these guidelines in place to ensure that there is consistency across all marketing, visual branding and messaging, ensuring that your brand has clear uniformity.
In doing so it enables your customers to become familiar with your brand and its values, therefore developing instant brand recognition and improving customer loyalty.
Being consistent will help to strengthen your brand identity. At the same time, they still need to allow for flexibility and for the business to grow, evolve and eventually re-brand.