Branding Is All The Rage These Days
You hear a lot about “branding” and “building a brand” these days. It’s all the rage, and it seems everybody successful has this thing called a “brand.” Whether you’re an established business or a new hotshot on the block, building a brand is one of the best ways to build customer loyalty. It’s simple: people fall in love with brands.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
To build a brand, you need to make sure your content, creative, and messaging are consistent. The consistency leads users to associate the tone, voice, and look of your messaging with your company. To maintain consistency, brand guidelines are essential. Brand guidelines are, simply, a visual and verbal description of how you want your brand to look and sound. It’s a set of tools and rules that anybody can use to create creative collateral. This expedites the process of making the creative elements needed to keep your brand relevant. Brand guidelines keep everybody on the same page and save time. Sounds like a win-win.
In order to build out a list of brand guidelines, you first need a clear understanding of your brand. What makes you unique? What sets you apart? These are important questions that should be answered before building out brand guidelines. Understanding what you want your brand to be allows you to clearly understand what you want your brand to look like.
How to Build a Set of Brand Guidelines
Now that you know what makes you unique and what your look and feel is, you can build out some guidelines. Like we said, brand guidelines are guides that expedite the creative process. The world is a lot faster now. To stay relevant, you need to be able to create and execute content and messaging quickly, while maintaining a look and feel that your audience knows. Brand guidelines help you rapidly respond to new needs, while maintaining consistency.
So, the million dollar question: what makes up a set of brand guidelines? A few things to include in your brand guidelines are: your logo and any derivatives of it, your color palette, any fonts you wish to use, and your company mission statement. A more robust brand guidelines document can include any web styles for buttons, page layouts and any parameters you want printers to be aware of. Basically, you should be able to hand these brand guidelines to any designer and they should be able to create content for you as if you were creating it.
There’s only so many ways we can say that last part. Brand guidelines are incredibly important, especially for businesses looking to scale and build a following in today’s incredibly fast paced, visual-based world. Do you absolutely need brand guidelines? If you want to go back to the drawing board each time you want to make a new piece of content, then technically… no. But, if you value saving time and money, then you’ll want a set.