We all know that if you want to succeed professionally, you need to dress for success. Even in our current world of Zoom meetings, what you look like in camera view is important. Guess what? The same is true of your brand.
A strong brand guide makes sure that every time your brand is visible it consistently showcases who you are both visually and verbally based on a clear brand strategy. Once you create a strong brand guide, you can carry your brand identity across all marketing channels – emails, social media, websites, events, advertising, and print materials.
For example, when you are crafting a blog post, referencing brand guidelines around tone of voice helps stay on-brand with your language. Or you can maintain a consistent visual direction by turning to the brand guide during a photo or video shoot or even when sourcing stock photography
There are three primary components of a brand guide:
Strategy: The unifying aspect of your brand guide is your strategy. Have you clearly articulated the why you exist or your purpose? Is your brand story clearly articulated within your brand guidelines so everyone can repeat it? Have you explained exactly how you are different and why someone should purchase your product or service?
Visual. Visual elements of your brand identity include your logo, color palette, photography, illustrations and icons, and typefaces. These outward-facing elements often set the visual tone of your brand. Are you creative, bold, enthusiastic, confident, serene, collaborative, positive or a whole host of adjectives? To use our dressing for success analogy, this is your first impression. Are you at the cocktail party in jeans and a t-shirt?
Verbal. Just like your visual brand identity has a tone, so does your verbal component. For example, your verbal tone may be bold, conversational, passionate or direct. Understanding your tone and articulating it within the brand guidelines helps anyone working with your brand – both internally and externally – to provide verbal consistency to prospects and customers.
Remember, brand guidelines are as important to your employees as they are to customers and prospects. They convey your strategy, values, messaging and look to everyone in the company — from sales, marketing and customer service to HR, operations and finance – so they can be the best brand ambassadors possible.
Nothing makes us happier than helping companies develop their brand guidelines. We’d love to help you with this vitally important task.
Drop us a line!