16 Jun The Importance of Brand Guidelines
When you are starting a business your first thought is what you are offering and how to do it so that it is financially profitable and logistically possible. Then, pretty soon after you have that idea solidified in your mind, you start thinking about what to call your business and what your logo is going to be.
This is the fun bit; it allows you to have creative input into your working future and gives a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when you land on something that fits your business perfectly.
While the logo is the masthead for your business, the actual ‘Brand’ is so much more. The brand is not just the image of the business, but also the personality of the company which helps customers decide whether they want to purchase from them or not. It is an amalgamation of the identity of the business which includes all the services that are offered as well as how they present themselves, and their core values.
To cement your brand identity in the minds of customers, you have to have a consistent look and tone in all communications; your logo, colour palette, typefaces, and voice will help you do that.
Brand guidelines act as the backbone of any organisation’s brand management. A clearly defined set of instructions for employees and suppliers, and they ensure that everyone understands what it takes to maintain and uphold their corporate identity.
Why consistency is important
When you start out you think about some core values and the way you want to be perceived by your customers. You might start by thinking of some key adjectives you want people to use when describing your business.
This means that people (employees, stakeholders, customers, the public) will only build this perception if they experience these values every time they interact with you.
This interaction might be in person, over the phone, email, print material – anything! The tone of voice when representing your business is what will reinforce how the business is run and what it stands for.
Each time a logo is used incorrectly or a colour outside of the colour palette is used, or you speak with the wrong tone of voice, the brand as a whole is damaged.
Have a comprehensive brand guidelines document and a Brand Guardian.
The brand guideline is a document which is the dos and don’ts for the brand. All employees and stakeholders should have access to this document and know how to apply it to their day-to-day work.
The Brand Guardian is someone who signs off on all designed or printed material. They know the brand guidelines inside out and they know how to apply them. Having one person sign off on all branded work means you will have a consistent output.