A Simple Guide to Brand Guidelines
Starting a new business or considering a rebrand? Then you’ve probably come across the terms “brand guidelines” and “style guides” at some point in your journey. Maybe you’re wondering what they are, why they’re essential, and how you can create your own.
Well, you have come to the right place.
Let’s start with the basics.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Think of brand guidelines as your brand’s rulebook, the master plan for how your brand looks, feels and communicates.
Brand guidelines are like a roadmap that ensures consistency across all your branding efforts, from your website design to your social media posts and everything in between.
Why Brand Guidelines Are Important
There are many reasons why having brand guides is a must for your organisation, but here’s our top 5:
1. Consistency: Brand guidelines establish a consistent style for your company while allowing creative flexibility. They prevent brand distortion over time, maintaining brand recognition and professionalism. Consistency in visual and written communication is key to a strong, cohesive brand identity.
2. Brand Recognition/ Brand Identity: Consistently representing your brand will help you become more recognisable within your industry, your target audience and your customers, enabling them to recall your brand better in the future.
3. Efficiency: Having guidelines in place streamlines your design and marketing processes. Your team won’t waste time reinventing the wheel with every new project.
4. Competitive Advantage: They give you a competitive edge by ensuring a consistent, professional image.
5. Guidance for Everyone: Brand guidelines empower your team to make decisions that align with your brand’s vision, even when you’re not there to guide them personally.
For more on this, read our blog on brand identity and the importance of brand guidelines.
How to Create Brand Guidelines
Crafting brand guidelines may appear overwhelming at first, but it need not be and it can be a straightforward process.
When established effectively, it can significantly enhance your organisation’s culture and image. However, there are numerous touchpoints to consider.
Here are a few concepts to contemplate as you delve into defining your brand and establishing concise brand guidelines.
Here’s a simple guide to get you started:
– Define Your Brand: Begin by understanding your brand’s personality, values, and target audience. This forms the foundation of your guidelines.
– Design Elements: Decide on your logo, colour palette, typography, and imagery. These visual elements will give your brand a unique identity.
– Voice and Tone: Establish how your brand sounds in written and spoken communication. Is it formal, casual, or somewhere in between?
– Usage Guidelines: Specify how your logo and other design elements should be used. Include clear dos and don’ts to avoid any brand missteps.
Creating a Distinguished Brand Identity
Brand guidelines play a crucial role in creating a sense of established professionalism for potential customers. When your organisation consistently presents a cohesive and clearly defined brand identity, it fosters trust among clients.
Whether it’s evident in marketing materials, website aesthetics, packaging, or advertising efforts, following these guidelines represents professionalism and dedication.
This commitment to excellence significantly enhances the way customers view your organisation, ultimately resulting in heightened brand recognition and a positive reputation.
How to Develop Brand Guidelines
Developing brand guidelines is an ongoing process. As your business evolves, your guidelines should periodically evolve too. Food for thought:
- Regular Review: Set aside time for regular reviews of your brand guidelines. Are they still aligned with your brand’s vision and goals?
- Feedback Loop: Encourage feedback from your team and customers. Their insights can help you refine your guidelines.
- Stay Current: Keep an eye on design trends and industry changes. Your guidelines should adapt to stay relevant.
Brand Guidelines – The Unsung Hero
Brand guidelines serve as the bedrock for your brand’s visual and verbal identity, guaranteeing uniformity and professionalism. Over time, this investment will prove beneficial, as steadfast and professional branding can lead to the cultivation of brand loyalty.
Ready to create your brand guidelines and take your business to the next level?
Soap Creative is here to help. Feel free to reach out with any questions or for more guidance on crafting your brand guidelines.
Remember, your brand is your story, and brand guidelines are the storyteller’s manual.