Why Brand Guidelines Are Critical
Keeping things in order
Have you ever noticed how some of the world’s biggest brands always look cohesive, no matter what medium they’re using? That’s because they have a set of guidelines that dictate how their brand should be used.
Brand guidelines are an essential part of any business, big or small. They act as a reference point for everyone in the company, from the marketing team to the sales team to the customer service team. They ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to how the brand should be represented.
At Dave Clark, we're passionate about helping our clients develop strong and consistent brands. We know that brand guidelines are a critical part of that process.
Basic principles of brand guidelines
Brand guidelines are a set of rules that dictate how a brand should be used. They cover everything from the logo to the colour palette to the tone of voice.
Developing brand guidelines is an important part of building a strong and consistent brand. Consumers in the digital age also value authentic brands that are transparent about their values.
When done well, brand guidelines can help a company to build trust with its customers, employees and other stakeholders. Your guidelines help to ensure that everyone in your company is on the same page when it comes to how the brand should be represented.
Brands that don't take advantage of brand guidelines often end up with a disparate and in-cohesive look. Think of all the times you've seen a company's logo used in a way that doesn't fit with the rest of their branding. For example, when a company's website is completely different from their social media pages. Or when a company's values don't seem to match up with its actions.
We helped ANZ with their brand guidelines
Why brand guidelines are important for marketing
Inconsistent branding can be confusing for consumers and make any business look unprofessional. By having a set of guidelines in place, businesses can avoid these pitfalls and ensure that their marketing communications are always on brand.
The benefits of brand guidelines don't stop there. They can also help businesses to save time and money by streamlining the design and approvals process. And they can help to protect a company's investment in its brand by preventing unauthorised use of the logo and other branding elements.
Why brand guidelines are important for employees
Your brand is more than just a logo or a colour palette. It's a reflection of your company's values and culture. Brand guidelines help to ensure that all employees are aware of these values and that they understand how to represent the brand in their day-to-day work.
In today's competitive job market, potential employees are looking for more than just a paycheque. They want to work for a company that shares their values and has a culture that they can identify with. Your brand guidelines can help you to attract the right employees by communicating what your company is all about.
Once you've hired the right employees, brand guidelines can also help to ensure that they're representing the brand in the way you want them to. What's more, they can help to prevent unauthorised use of the company's name, logo and other branding materials.
Visual branding and messaging
Your visual branding is all about how your company looks. It includes your logo, colour palette, typography and other design elements.
Your visual branding should be consistent across all of your marketing materials, from your website to your business cards to your email signature.
Your messaging is the voice/tone you use to communicate with your customers and other stakeholders. It includes everything from the copy on your website to the way your customer service team speaks to customers. Like your visual branding, your messaging should be consistent across all channels.
The benefits of having consistent visual branding and messaging are twofold. First, it helps to create a strong and recognisable brand. Second, it helps to ensure that your company is always communicating its message in a clear and consistent way.
How to create brand guidelines
Now that you know why brand guidelines are so important, you might be wondering how to create a set of guidelines for your own business. There are a few different ways to approach this.
You can hire a professional design firm to create a comprehensive set of guidelines for you. Or you can put together a more basic set of guidelines yourself.
Establishing uniform fonts and styles:
Consistent font usage is another key element of successful visual branding. Your brand guidelines should specify which fonts should be used for different purposes, such as headlines, body copy, captions and call-to-action buttons.
It's also important to establish a consistent typographic hierarchy, which will help to ensure that your text is easy to read and easy to scan. For example, you should use a larger font size for headlines and a smaller font size for body copy.
You can further simplify your typographic hierarchy by using a single typeface (or family of typefaces) throughout your branding materials. This will create a cohesive look and feel, while still allowing you to use different font weights and styles for different purposes.
Creating consistency in your brand colour palette:
Your brand's colour palette is one of its most distinctive features. And it's also one of the most important elements to get right when creating brand guidelines.
The colours you choose will have a big impact on the way your brand is perceived. They can convey different messages, evoke different emotions and attract different audiences. Consider the different meanings of different colours. For example, blue is often associated with trustworthiness, while green is often associated with growth.
Once you've settled on a colour palette, be sure to specify which colours should be used for different purposes, such as headlines, body copy, backgrounds and call-to-action buttons. A style guide will help to ensure that your colours are always used consistently.
Want to learn more about creating or updating your brand guidelines?
Get in touch with our team of branding experts today. We can help you to create a comprehensive set of brand guidelines that will ensure your brand is always presented in the best possible light.