In my line of work as a business consultant, I’ve found that one of the hardest things for my clients to do is develop their branding.
Branding includes every way that you will market your business to the public, from logos, graphics, and color palettes to voice, tone, and messaging. It’s a lot and can be quite overwhelming – which is why, of course, they come to me to help take care of the complex parts for them.
Once we nail down their branding, however, we’re still not quite finished. There’s one more step that all business owners and entrepreneurs need to complete on their branding journey, one that’s going to help them maintain their brand identity for the long haul.
The step they need to take is to develop their brand guidelines.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that you establish for your brand, to dictate how your brand presents itself at all times and across all mediums.
Let’s see how brand guidelines work using an example that everyone can relate to: Google.
When Google grants permission to other companies or entities to share any element of their branding, as for a product they’re working on together or an advertisement, they require those partners to stick to very specific brand guidelines.
For example, if they use the Google logo in any way, they must use the logo that Google has approved, with the colors that they specify. They also mustn’t add any additional elements to the logo.
These are just a few of the brand guidelines that Google has set up. They also created rules for the language their partners use to describe the relationship between them, their products, and Google, and instructed them not to use the same combination of colors in their branding as Google uses.
What Are The Benefits Of Having Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines may sound complicated, but it’s important to have them because they provide three important benefits.
1. They Create Branding Consistency
Consistency is a key element in branding. It makes your business look more professional and helps you communicate your message.
Brand guidelines help you create consistency on two levels.
On one level, they tell other companies who partner with you on a promotion or a product how they should represent your brand. This way, your branding remains the same, whether it’s you or someone else promoting it.
On the other, they keep all the members of your team on the same page. From graphic designers to marketers, everyone knows how your brand is supposed to look, sound, and feel to the public. That’s because you already set up rules for them to follow.
2. They Establish Rules For Your Marketing Team
Without brand guidelines, your marketing team will be like a ship lost at sea without a compass. They won’t know what logos to use, what color palette they have to work with, what kind of language they can use in their messaging. The result will be that no marketing gets done at all.
By developing brand guidelines before hiring on a marketer or a marketing team, you’ll eliminate a lot of unnecessary confusion and enable your marketers to churn out content much faster.
3. They Increase The Value Of Your Brand Content
Content that follows brand guidelines is always higher in value than content that’s just thrown together with no thought of consistency. It appears professional, well thought out, and cleaner.
In short, it’s more representative of your business, which is what you should always strive for with branding.
Are you ready to start building your brand guidelines? If you are, then Inspired Melissa is eager to help! Reach out to me here and let me guide you (no pun intended) through this process.