Chances are high that even if you don’t have your own brand guide for your business, you’re familiar with the concept. And while the concept of “becoming a brand” might not be something senior stakeholders are ready to buy into, let us assure you that brand identity isn’t just for consumer products.
What is a brand guide?
Exactly what it sounds like. A set of guidelines on how to apply your logo to any visual assets. What fonts and colours to use, and the tone of voice and language.
Put simply, it’s a dummies guide to creating marketing collateral. It should make your job much easier if working with a creative or digital marketing agency. Your brand guide should immerse them into your company.
What should it include:
- An overview of your brand’s past, present and future, its personality and values
- Your message or mission statement, plus examples of how to apply these
- Tone of voice with examples of language and keywords to use in campaigns
- Your logo and how to use it (e.g. on black, white, transparent backgrounds and spacing)
- Your colour palette
- Fonts and variations
- Your buyer personas
- Visual styles (photography, graphics)
- Guidelines for social media presence (e.g. use of logo on images, any adaptations to tone of voice/language)
- Design guides for email
- Design guides for ads
Four reasons why
#1 Build recognition, awareness and drive consideration
Recognition leads to awareness, which drives consideration. Yep. So it’s important that your brand looks consistent across all touch points, digital and print. If something looks off, it could erode the trust your leads were building and lose you future sales.
#2 Consistency: this is who you are
When a customer knows what to expect, they feel comfortable. And when they’re comfortable, they’re more likely to spend money. Imagine if a well-respected, scientific brand were to randomly use Comic Sans. Without good reason, it is jarring and something feels almost sinister.
#3 Maintain professionalism and identity
Visuals aren’t about creating a pretty picture. They build powerful campaigns. Trust. Authority. Recognition. Your customers and leads alike, will come to expect a certain standard from your business. That standard covers service as well as appearance.
#4 In-house or agency = we’re all in this together
If you work with a marketing agency or freelancers, time is money. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time with unclear briefs or leaving things open for interpretation. Not only will you have endless change requests, but a job that could’ve taken a couple of hours could lapse into days.
Working creatively with innocent
We work with the internal design team at innocent on their packaging. They send us their creative concepts, and we help make that into the finalised end result. Care, attention and understanding are crucial. A tight set of brand guidelines helps us achieve this without a disconnect between what’s created in-house and what’s created at our creative agency.
Helping establish Mum&You
When we first starting working with Mum&You, they hadn’t yet launched in the UK. The project was about building an exciting, premium brand in the parenting category.
As a fledgling brand, it was essential to present a consistent image across all the touch points. We built their e-commerce website and a series of digital campaigns for Google Adwords and social media.
Branding is an essential part of your marketing strategy. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors and highlights your promise. If you’re stuck for inspiration and feel like your visuals could do with a boost, let’s have a chat. Our creative team has a wealth of experience working on a range of exciting brands, both established, spanking new and all those between.
Contact Us to discuss creating brand guidelines that work for you.