Bulletproof your brand – why you need some brilliant brand guidelines
So, you have been working for months perfecting your brand, ensuring that the logo, tone of voice and any supporting content perfectly sum up your personality and appeal to your key audience. You now need to ensure that it stays that way. To do this you will need to have a comprehensive set of brand guidelines at your disposal.
Brand guidelines are a blueprint for how you should communicate your brand both internally and externally. The guidelines are a set of strict rules that should be followed to the letter, or you can face damaging your brand in the long run.
Every organisation will be different and have unique values that need to be communicated to ensure that the brand stays on track. However, there are a few common factors that nearly every set of guidelines consists of.
1. The core brand essence
This is the overarching message of your brand; what your key values are, the mission statement and an introduction to the personality of the brand (to be explored further in the guidelines).
2. Your brand assets (including the logo, fonts colourways and applications)
This section of the guidelines is the base for all internal use of the assets. You should focus on clear and consistent use of these, ensuring that the logo is to the correct size, to the exact proportions and staying within the brand’s colour palette. Within the assets, there are other core elements such as fonts, both main and supportive that need to be considered.
3. Core Personality Pieces
Away from the more standard elements of the brand guidelines, each organisation may have key fundamental elements that need to be communicated. These consist of essentials such as images styling (both photographic and illustrative), use of any icons/symbols and use of language, including the correct tone of voice to use in all communications.
If all brand guidelines generally contain the same information, what makes a good or bad one? Below are a few tips to take your brand guidelines to the next level:
Your guidelines are in place to ensure that your brand is protected, however there must be a certain level of flexibility, otherwise over time any application of your brand will begin to look flat and uninspiring. We suggest that you create a few variations of your logo (full colour, mono and white) and give a preference of placement. If you have the capacity, we would also recommend assigning a member of your team to be a ‘brand guardian’.
Keep them interesting
Guidelines are a rulebook; however, this does not mean that they have to be dull and boring.
The design should follow the same company ethos and personality that you are explaining within the document. If you bring these to life in an engaging way, it’s more likely that your staff will understand them.
Keep it simple
Almost the hardest part to do. We know you’ve got a lot to say, but you have to keep these as user-friendly and simple as possible. Most of the time, brand guidelines will be used by marketing teams, however you have to envisage that these can be used by anyone; therefore, you have to keep them clear and concise. We would also recommend that all internal teams are aware of them and have their usage explained.
Your guidelines are the best way to ensure that your brand stays the way that it was originally intended.
If you would like to know more about the importance of brand guidelines, or if you would like to chat about your requirements, please get in touch.
Call 0191 249 8384 or email Lauren@blumilk.com