Beyond the Logo: The Power of Brand Guidelines
In a saturated digital landscape, brand consistency is key to standing out. Lucidpress found that consistent branding can increase revenue by up to 33%. But what does ‘brand consistency’ mean? Simply put, it’s the practice of presenting your brand in a uniform way across all platforms and touchpoints, from your website and social media to your print materials and blog posts. It’s not just about the visuals; it’s also about conveying a consistent message that aligns with your business’ values, ethos, vision, and goals.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Your brand isn’t just a logo and some colours; brand guidelines ensure everything you create is consistent. These guidelines serve as a rulebook for your brand’s visual and verbal identity. They outline the dos and don’ts for everything from your logo and colour palette to your tone of voice and core values. The more detail you are able to add, the more consistent, authentic and recognisable your brand becomes.
Why You Need Brand Guidelines
Credibility and Trust
When consumers encounter inconsistent branding, it can erode trust. Brand guidelines help maintain that trust by ensuring uniformity. This includes not just visual consistency but also value-based alignment. When your brand communicates consistently in a manner that aligns with its values, it builds deeper levels of trust and engagement with the audience.
Efficiency and Collaboration
Well-defined brand guidelines streamline the content creation process, making it easier for teams to collaborate and produce high-quality brand assets. With guidelines that include not just visual elements but also value-based rules, teams can more easily align their work with the broader organisational mission and goals.
In a crowded market, a consistent brand stands out. Your brand guidelines act as a strategic tool to differentiate your brand from competitors. They help not only in terms of aesthetic appeal but also in messaging, by underlining what makes your brand unique at its core.
Key Elements of Brand Guidelines
- Logo Usage: Guidelines on how and where to use your logo.
- Colour Palette: A set of primary and secondary colours that represent your brand.
- Typography: Fonts and their usage across different mediums.
- Imagery: Types of images that align with your brand.
- Tone of Voice: The personality your brand should convey through written content.
- Brand Values and Goals: Explicitly outlines your ethos and vision, and how these should be communicated
How to Create Brand Guidelines
- Audit Existing Materials: Review your current branding elements, including how well they align with your brand values and vision.
- Consult Stakeholders: Gather input from people who know the business best, especially those who have a deep understanding of your brand’s values and goals.
- Draft and Revise: Carefully curate a draft of your brand guidelines, including all the key elements listed above.
- Implement and Train: Roll out the guidelines with your design and marketing teams.
Review and Update: Regularly update the guidelines to keep them aligned with what matters to your brand, including shifts in values, market dynamics, or customer expectations.
In a world where brands are fighting for our attention, brand consistency is a great way to capture and retain your audience. Brand guidelines are not just a set of rules; they are an investment in your brand’s future.