Brand guidelines work to establish where you as a business are, where you want to go and how you should look and talk.
Having this ‘set in stone’ will enable your staff to understand your business personality and how to apply this personality to their work to best resonate with your target market(s).
Brand guidelines are used to ensure that those working with your brand all stick to the same rules. This ensures a brand is not diluted; it is amazing how the smallest changes over time can weaken and change a brand’s look, feel, messaging and culture.
When it comes to brand guidelines, varying degrees can be drawn:
In their most simple format, brand guidelines consist of a style guide or ‘visual identity guidelines’. Visual identity guidelines stand as elementary aesthetic rules on the use of brand colours, typeface and logo. Thus providing you with the tools to keep your basic brand identity consistent, regardless of supplier, agency or designer.
Normally presented as a brand book, in their fullest form brand guidelines go further than style guides. Opposed to solely detailing how your brand should look, these consider your brand as a whole: from logo application, the tone of voice and messaging, to your full-colour scheme, stationery, livery and more. These also will imply how a brand can grow over time without weakening.
First off, consistency is key. And this is exactly what brand guidelines achieve: a consistent use and projection of all branded elements. This consistency ensures your brand won’t water down over time, and all valuable brand equity will work in your company’s favour. This is key, especially when we consider the huge amounts of time and money that are poured into the development and creation of brands.
Secondly, having written brand guidelines is crucial. Written brand guidelines minimise interpretation and prevent your brand changing over time. Think Chinese whispers – however hard you try, eventually your message will be manipulated and not necessarily for the better. The same goes for a brand without written guidelines.
Thirdly, brand guidelines are a set of rules that everyone can follow. Brand guidelines are crafted in such that leaves out complex jargon so that they can be read and implemented by your entire workforce. This is important as each member of your staff will need to know how to implement your brand. Whether that’s on your website, in their email signatures, by their telephone manner, email tone of voice or even how the office and reception should look.
Businesses struggle to successfully expand without a correctly established brand position and message. This is why, as a result of our unique brand workshop you will be supplied with brand guidelines. These make sure that across all channels and media, branded experiences will remain consistent. It is this that ultimately builds brand loyalty and brand engagement.
We can also create, tighten and refresh brand guidelines independently of a brand workshop. However, these are usually less conclusive. This is because a brand workshop allows the opportunity to fully understand your brand identity, its intended uses and the quality of its current application.