If you are currently working on the development of your brand identity, one good practice is to keep all of your brand elements in one place. This ensures that all your employees or freelance contractors who need access to the documents can find them easily, and they’ll know how best to represent your brand. This document with all your brand elements is what we call brand guidelines.
As one of the top branding agencies in Phoenix, we want to share important information on how you can use a brand guide to establish and keep a consistent identity at all times:
What Makes Up a Brand Guide?
Simply put, a brand guide is a document that has all the details of a company’s identity. This includes all the rules and guidelines that all employees should refer to when communicating with the public or representing the brand. This may have rules for the proper use of the official brand logo, the font type, size, and color, typography, as well as the mission and vision statement of the company, its values and positioning, just to name a few. The brand guide is also called the brand book.
The brand book may be used internally exclusively, or you can create one for your partners or vendors to make sure that the brand identity is consistent across all platforms and marketing materials.
What’s the Purpose of a Brand Guide?
A brand guide can be used in different ways. Here are some of them:
You don’t want your brand image to differ from one social media platform to another, nor do you want your staff or distributors to represent you in different ways. You want to make sure that the same logo and fonts are used in all marketing materials, be it printed or digital. By maintaining a consistent brand image, it will be easier to achieve brand recognition and, ultimately, loyalty.
To Ensure Brand Quality
Brand guidelines can include rules and best practices, as well as what everyone should avoid. For example, you can clearly indicate that drop shadows should never be used with your logo or that designers should never use high-contrast colors for the background. It helps everyone be on the same page.
To Help Narrow a Brand Design
Some businesses make the mistake of doing constant rebranding. While that is perfectly fine when done every few years or so, doing so too often could negatively affect the company and its ability to keep its customer base. When you have a brand guide, you can narrow down your brand design to a specific look or feel that you’re going for. Additionally, any changes you would make to it would have to be carefully considered.
What You Should Include in Your Brand Guide
If you still don’t have a brand guide and you’re thinking of creating one for your company, here are some of the things that you should include:
You don’t have to include all the iterations of your logo, which could even confuse the users of the guide. Just use the one that you’re officially using and in versions that they’re used for. For example, a small logo for the small ads and communication documents and a large one for full-spread ads or posters.
Be clear on the only colors that can be used for visual representations of your brands. When you include the color scheme, don’t just indicate the Pantone names but also their hex codes, RGB numbers, and CMYK details.
You can dictate which font styles, sizes, and spacing should be used for all your marketing materials, be it printed or digital. This will eliminate guesswork for the designers and at the same time ensure consistent and professional looking output at all times.
If your company uses doodles, photos, or other imagery that you prefer for the brand, make sure to include them all in the brand guide so your graphic designers have a clear idea of what’s on-brand and what’s not.
This applies to both visual tone and brand voice. Make sure that the visuals match the identity of your company. Likewise, the brand voice that should be used for all your messaging—in your content, communication, and others, should also be consistent. So whether you’re going for funny, friendly or serious, make sure that you indicate that clearly on the brand guide.
Mission and Value
You should also include your organization’s mission statement and the core values that will introduce the brand to new readers of the guide helping them get a better feel of who you are as a company and as a brand.
With all the available channels for marketing right now, both offline and online, it has become even more critical to maintain consistency with your branding. You have to build on top of the branding image you have created and not stray from it in order to boost brand awareness and recognizability. If you are unsure about how to start your brand guide, you can seek the help of a reputable digital marketing agency in Phoenix.
Elly & Nora Creative is an established personal branding agency in Phoenix, AZ, and we can help you establish your branding and improve the impact that the brand makes on your audience. Contact us today to find out how we can help your organization!