7 Important Reasons Why A Brand Guidelines is Valuable
Brand guidelines are a beneficial resource when re-branding or starting a new company; as a way of communicating with current and prospective customers within your target audience. The brand guideline contains a set of rules to create a unified identity when connecting multiple elements within your brand, such as colours, your logo, and your typography. Here is another compelling reason to have a set of brand guidelines.
If Coca-Cola were to lose all of its production-related assets in a disaster, the company would survive.
– A Coca-Cola Executive
The reason? Because of their in-depth brand style guide that guides everything Coca-Cola.
One of the most valuable assets that a company has is a brand guideline (sometimes known as a visual identity guide), something to help employees understand how to represent the organization both internally accurately and, most importantly, externally.
If you have an in-depth brand style guide, nothing is open to discussion, and it minimizes the chance of error: there’s a right way and – inherently – there’s a wrong way.
Now that you have an in-depth understanding regarding the importance of guidelines to a brand, now let’s look at the particulars, the seven specific reasons creating one is integral to your brand.
Setting Standards and Rules
Your brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. The rules include using a logo, wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of colour and typography.
You probably know your brand’s identity inside and out, but a new employee may not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive.
Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. It is essential that everyone understands the importance of the brand and knows how to use it. A 2005 study by consultants Booz Allen Hamilton and Wolff Olins found that brand-guided companies outperform their competitors, with results that improve profitability.
Brand guidelines operate at two levels: they explain why your employees, distributors and marketing agencies should use the brand to achieve business objectives, and they provide practical instructions on how to use brand elements consistently. According to control manufacturer Honeywell, every employee is an ambassador for the company’s brand. Brand guidelines explain how employees can reflect brand values, such as customer focus, innovation or leadership, in the way they deal with customers.
A consistent tone of voice, especially one that is sincere, informed, and friendly, will help your brand maintain an image of professionalism and expertise. However, the tone of voice is only one element. Consistent use of colour, typography, imagery, and logos throughout your print and digital marketing materials is critical. Take the time to ensure your message and visuals are working together to strengthen your brand. One of the most important reasons for a business to establish brand guidelines is to provide an impression of trust and competence.
Think about your favourite brand. What words would you use to describe it? How does that brand visually represent itself? Brands that are instantly recognizable execute their marketing campaigns (print, digital and social) with strict adherence to well-established guidelines. When you see the “Orange Square” with a square white box at the top right corner, you know you’re looking at GTBank’s logo. The black and orange in the Harley-Davidson bar and shield logo is another example of how colour and symbol paired together immediately delivers brand recognition. Both companies fiercely protect all elements of their brand (logos, colours, messaging), which helps the marketplace identify the “genuine” brand from imitators and improve overall brand recognition.
Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately identifiable within your industry and with your target audience.
A key goal of brand guidelines is to ensure that all parties use the brand elements consistently. Brand guidelines provide information and tools and set the standards for using brand names, logos, typefaces and other design elements in advertisements, brochures, newsletters, packaging and online communications. Guidelines give your company control over the way other people use your brand so that its visual appearance is always consistent.
Building a recognizable brand is a lot of work, and takes a lot of time and dedication to your image and messaging. Still, your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines. For example, Google; they have become one of the most recognizable companies.
When your brand’s image is consistent across all levels, it elevates your brand recognition within the industry and amongst customers. By being consistent, customers will be instilled with a sense of trust and brand identity that grows into a relationship and brand loyalty, as well as word-of-mouth.
You can use brand guidelines to demonstrate the connection between your company and other parties associated with you. If you operate a network of distributors, provide them with a style guide on using your brand as part of their identity. Cisco distribution partners, for example, are a group of distributors that consistently achieve standards set by the network company Cisco. They use Cisco identity to differentiate themselves from other distributors; Cisco benefits by extending its brand consistently to other parties.
Brand guidelines play an important role in managing the perceptions of your company. Every time you communicate with customers, suppliers, employees, investors, journalists and the community, it is essential to build and reinforce a consistent perception of your company. Brand guidelines help you to achieve that goal.
Do you want to start a brand identity, a rebranding project, or create a brand guideline for your brand? Get in touch.