Brand Guidelines – What’s the point?!
Updated: Oct 18
More often than not, the answer is a resounding ‘NO’. This is the first thing we look to address when creating new marketing materials. Without a coherent brand guide, your business will not have consistency across all of the internal and external touch points. In a nutshell, your brand will look different to all those who come across you and could cause confusion.
A simple logo is fine, but how does this translate across to your website? Do you have continuity in terms of fonts, colour schemes and style? Furthermore, does this continue through to your printed materials and in-house documentation?
Your brand guide is the toolkit required to create and design the branded materials that give your business a professional and consistent look and feel. They are used by your marketing teams, graphic designers and / or handed to your business partners, franchisees or product distributors so that they don’t get carried away and create something that looks different.
It is important to make sure that there is no ambiguity, otherwise your brand may be misrepresented somewhere along the line, and you will have little or no control over how your brand is perceived by the customer or end user.
What should be included? Below is a list of the top 5 things to include in your brand guide:
1: Brand Statement / Vision Statement – Do you have a vision statement or something in particular that your brand / company strives for? It could be quality, customer care, or any number of things, but it should be written as part of your brand guide so that other people know exactly what it is your company stands for.
2: Logo – What does your brand look like? How do people recognise your business? How do you display your logo and which colours and font do you use? (Usually a colour logo plus a black on white and white on black option). Are there any restrictions on how the logo should be used.
3: Complementary colours – Most brands tend to have just one or two main colours and then a range of other complimentary colours that can be used alongside the logo. Your designer will be able to help you identify what these complementary colours might be.
4: Brand Imagery – How do you currently use images to describe what you do? It maybe that you have some of your own photography, or perhaps use stock images for your materials – whatever the case may be, it is important to have a set of brand images that can be used again and again throughout your materials to get the consistency you need.
5: Brand elements – In some cases, a logo on its own is not enough, and to give more depth to your materials, brand elements can be introduced. For example, you may decide to use a graphic watermark or an icon (useful for social media!) and how this is used should be listed in the brand guide to avoid potential confusion amongst employees and partners.
If you need to develop a set of brand guidelines for your business, then please contact us.