What is a Brand Guide?
As a business, it’s essential to have a brand guideline. It ensures you have a comprehensive, concise look into your brand’s identity.
The brand guide gives your company the guidance and support that define and build your company’s brand and vision. By having a clear and detailed overview of your company’s values, you can create a uniform brand look and tone of voice for internal and external communications.
Is it essential for a business to have brand guidelines?
When it comes to a business, having a brand guide is essential to create a solid and unified identity. With a well-defined brand guideline, your business can effectively convey its message, image, and mission to current and potential customers.
1- Helps avoid miscommunication
A brand guide outlines everything from a company’s mission and values to its tone of voice and visual representation. With a set of rules to follow, the potential for miscommunication reduces, meaning your business’s core message and spirit can be more effectively shared.
2- Helps marketers to create campaigns
On top of being necessary for developing your brand’s personality, a brand guide can also act as a roadmap for creating effective marketing materials and campaigns. Having the cohesive visual and verbal language to refer back to helps save time and resources, allowing you to produce marketing content more efficiently and quickly.
3- Brings out the clarity
A well-defined brand guide ensures your business’s success and long-term growth. It can help you develop your business’s identity, make your marketing materials more recognizable, and better promote your message.
What should a brand guideline contain?
A brand guide should be the foundation for any successful company. It’s a comprehensive document that outlines a company’s values, mission statement, tone, design, voice, colors, logo, etc. A complete brand guidelines pdf will provide a cohesive identity to represent your brand consistently and meaningfully.
The foundation of your brand guide starts with a strong brand story. What makes you unique? What do you do? Why do you exist? Your account should explain why people should care about you and provide a sense of familiarity with your customers.
Your brand guide must provide information on who your target audience is. Knowing this helps ensure that the way your story is shared, the content you produce, and the images used will resonate with the people you want to reach.
A brand guide should contain guidelines to keep the logo consistent and recognizable across all platforms, media, and products. Symbols are the same in placement, color, typography, and even angle and size.
Colors are potent triggers, evoking different emotional and physical reactions from people. A brand guide should dictate the exact shades and combinations of colors associated with the brand and any variations or exceptions to this.
Fonts and typefaces convey the tone and feel of a brand, so the fonts associated with a brand should remain consistent, evoking a unified and recognizable message.
Image guidelines ensure that customers will recognize and remember the brand by keeping it consistent across all platforms, whether in print or online.
Tone of voice
The tone of voice sets the brand apart, creating an impression in the minds of the consumers. It communicates the company’s purpose, values, and personality, giving customers a feel for what to expect.
5 Steps to create a brand style guideline
Step 1- Choose a template for brand guideline
Think of good branding names, companies, or people in the industry who have already developed successful branding. Please spend some time researching them, looking into the template for brand guidelines, their mission statement, color scheme, fonts, and logo. Ask yourself, how can you adapt these ideas for your brand?
Step 2- Put 7 elements of a brand style guide
Establish all 7 elements mentioned-
- Brand story
- Targeted Audience
- Logo Guide
- Color Palette
- Images and other visuals
- Tone or voice of the brand
Step 3- Include other brand-oriented elements
Other brand-oriented elements include
- Website Guidelines
Include blog or article policies to maintain brand standards. Such as reviewing blog comments for appropriateness and off-topic conversations, acceptable language standards, etc.
- Social Media Guidelines
Create social media policies and guidelines, such as frequency and type of postings, branded hashtags, engagement tactics, etc.
- Product Guidelines
Define guidelines for packaging and labeling, including branding consistency, standard templates, layouts, copy tone, acceptable fonts, sizes, etc.
Step 4- Choose a file format
If you’re creating the guide for online access only, you’ll want to choose a format that is easy to share. Some popular designs include brand guideline PDF, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint. These formats can be downloaded and easily accessed online, but some advantages and disadvantages exist.
Step 5- Keep the brand guide updated
By updating your brand guide, you’re making sure that your messaging remains consistent across all mediums. Moreover, regular updates to your brand guide ensure that everyone within your company is on the same page about what your brand stands for and what it represents.
Creating a brand guideline doesn’t have to be overwhelming! The process can be relatively painless if you break it down into manageable steps. If you have taken the time to understand your company, market, and customer base, creating a brand guide that reflects who you are will be a success!