Do you ever feel that your brand is all over the place?
Are you having trouble maintaining brand consistency across channels?
You're not alone. In today's fast-paced digital world, it is more important than ever to have a strong and consistent brand presence. But with so many elements to consider, from your logo to your tone of voice, it can be difficult to create effective brand guidelines.
Any good marketer knows that building a strong brand is key to running a successful business. However, it is not sufficient to simply establish a brand; you must also ensure that it is represented consistently across all channels.
Brand guidelines are the rulebook that ensures your brand is always looking its best, no matter where it's seen. They tell you how to represent your brand visually and verbally, from your logo to your color palette to your tone of voice. But how do you make sure your brand guidelines are up to scratch?
Don't worry, we've got you covered.
In this article, we'll explore how to create brand guidelines that ensure your brand is represented consistently across all channels, so you can focus on what you do best - building your business.
Start with a Strong Brand Strategy
Brand guidelines that are both clear and consistent can only be created from a solid brand strategy. Take the time to research & know your target audience, define your brand's values and mission, and develop a messaging framework that resonates with your customers before creating your guidelines. For example, if your brand is aimed at millennials, you may want to use social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok for marketing, as research shows that these platforms are particularly popular among this demographic.
Identify Your Brand Elements
Your brand elements are the building blocks of your brand. These include brand identity collaterals such as your logo, typography, color palette, imagery, and tone of voice. Clearly define each of these elements and provide guidelines for how they should be used consistently across all channels. For instance, you could specify that your logo must always appear in a particular position and size, and that it must be surrounded by a certain amount of white space.
Create a Comprehensive Style Guide
Your style guide is the holy grail of your brand's guidelines. It provides detailed instructions on how your brand identity elements should be used in various marketing contexts, such as social media, print materials, and web design. Use examples and pictures to help people understand how to use the elements of your brand correctly. For instance, you could include a section on social media that demonstrates how your brand's tone of voice should vary depending on the platform, such as using a more formal tone on LinkedIn and a more casual tone on Twitter.
Train Your Team
Your brand guidelines are only effective if all representatives of your brand adhere to them. Provide training and resources to ensure that your team members, partners, and vendors fully comprehend and can effectively implement the guidelines. For instance, you could create an internal training program that covers best practices for social media, copywriting tips, and graphic design principles.
Regularly Review and Update
As your brand grows and evolves, your brand guidelines may need to be updated to reflect these changes. Make sure to review and update your guidelines on a regular basis to ensure they remain relevant and effective. For example, you could change your color palette to reflect current design trends, or you could change your tone of voice to better reflect your brand's values.
If you don’t have the proper branding in place, it’s time for a brand refresh. Your brand is one of your most valuable assets, but it is not set in stone. As your business evolves and expands, your brand may need to adapt to the shifting environment. If your brand no longer resonates with your target audience, or if your messaging and visuals are inconsistent across channels, it may be time to refresh your brand.
In conclusion, brand guidelines are an essential tool for any brand seeking consistency and recognition. You can make sure your brand always looks its best by starting with a strong brand strategy, figuring out what makes your brand unique, making a thorough style guide, training your team, and regularly reviewing and updating your guidelines. And if you need help getting started, why not reach out to us? Our creatively driven team will help create compelling branding that engages your audience and ensures they're on board with your brand's message.