The ultimate goal for brands is to encourage their audience to buy into their communication, mission and make a purchase at the end. Brand guidelines align all the necessary materials for this encouragement in three areas for a company – value, consistency, and perception. It is crucial for businesses to spend the time and resources determining the proper guidelines for maintaining brand identity. This article will explore further why brand guidelines are important for your business.
What Makes Up Brand Guidelines?
99designs provides an in-depth overview of creating a brand guideline, but the basic elements of brand guidelines are the following.
- Visual Identity: These are items that define what your brand shows to the world and what it stands for. It is one of the primary elements which you need to define through your brand guidelines. Your logos, color palettes, typography, and pre-formatted communication templates are all elements of your visual identity.
- Brand Tone: This includes the voice that your brand carries throughout all forms of internal and external sets of communication across all channels. It includes your content that expresses your brand tonality.
- Strategy: This deals with the intent of your brand – the vision, mission and values that reinforce your brand’s message that you are trying to share. Your brand’s strategy defines your position in the market and differentiates you from the competition.
Your brand is one of your most important assets. The value of your brand must be understandable to anyone who views your brand identity. Brand guidelines allow businesses to properly utilize the brand to achieve business objectives and help explain how employees can reflect brand values, such as customer service or leadership, in the way they interact with customers. They set the tonality of the brand up front and help center your overall business structure based on your preexisting branding philosophy.
You’ll want to ensure you are able to use the brand elements from your style guide consistently. Brand guidelines elaborate on specific rules for running a brand and set the standards for items such as brand names, logos, typefaces and other design elements used in advertisements, newsletters, packaging, and online communications. Consistently communicating the brand platform at every level of interaction with customers is key to increase brand engagement for your audience. When customers identify your branding materials frequently, they’ll be able to connect those items to your message and purpose.
Brand guidelines play a crucial role in managing perceptions of your company. Every time you interact with customers, employees, other individuals in your industry, brand guidelines help reinforce the perception of your company. Communicating with too many voices, for example, may compromise your brand perception and leave confusing messages to your audience that are open to interpretation. Sticking to a solid idea built into your brand guidelines lays the foundation for a reputation of reliability, and allows you to better articulate brand missions and strategic priorities.