What are brand guidelines and why your company needs them
Brand guidelines are important but unless you understand why, there is little chance you will dedicate the time and investment to construct good brand guidelines.
Your brand is the shopfront to the products, services or concepts you offer and what distinguishes you in the market. It is how your customers/clients/public identify your business.
“If you operated a shop on the high street, you wouldn’t walk out at the end of a business day and leave the front door wide open overnight,” Bella Design & Marketing Studio Manager, Richard Friscuolo, said.
“This is effectively what you do without clearly defined brand guidelines – you leave the door open to how your brand and reputation are interpreted and presented to the world.”
What your brand conveys can be objective or subjective or a mix of the two, depending on what it looks/sounds/feels like.
Brand guidelines are a clear and concise set of instructions, agreed to and shaped by you but influenced by experienced marketing and design professionals.
These guidelines can be picked up and actioned immediately by an external agency should the need arise to ensure your business brand and image continues seamlessly and unaffected.
What do brand guidelines include?
This will depend on your specific needs, business model and the product/services or concepts you offer.
Brand guidelines could include some or all of the following:
Brand Essence: These are the benefits anyone who comes into contact with your brand can expect to experience;
Logo and violations: Details that tell graphic designers the specific measurements relating to your logo (size, clear space, typography, colour palette) and how it needs to look when replicated in a range of environments such as online, in print, social media, exhibition stands, etc;
How to appropriately use your business’s strapline and graphic devices, like icons;<
The style of photography/imagery that supports your brand;
How the brand/logo needs to be presented if used on promotional products;
How brand guidelines can help to launch a successful new business
Going through the process of developing brand guidelines can help a new business, of any size and of any offering, to consider elements of its brand and marketing mix which can be overlooked during the startup phase.
This process can help a new business to present a polished, professional image from the start thus setting the tone for what clients/customers can expect if they choose you over a competitor, and, importantly, why they should choose you and not another company with a similar offering.
An existing business should consider:
Do you have brand guidelines? If so, when were they developed? Are they still current?
How has your business changed? Do you offer new products or services? Have you withdrawn products or services?
What do you want to tell your customers that your current branding isn’t saying? Could your current message be presented more accurately/professionally/creatively?
How saturated is your market by competitors?
What makes your brand stand out to clients/customers?
Why pay for a professional logo and branding
The results we can deliver as a professional design and marketing company reflect our investment in the tools of our trade, from the software we use to the design talent within our team.
We use Adobe Illustrator, it is far superior to any – even the very best – freeware that can be sourced online.
It allows our graphic design team to professionally create branding that has impact across all the materials and media you may use from letterheads to brochures, websites, billboards and advertisements.
But it is our brand guidelines that dictate not only the look of our logo but how/where it can be presented and replicated.<
If you’re considering a re-branding exercise, setting up a new brand/business or would like to update your current brand guidelines, Bella Design & Marketing would be pleased to assist.
For an initial conversation, Paul or Tessa welcome your enquiry on 01565 757 825. Alternatively please email firstname.lastname@example.org.