When your customers see a piece of marketing from your business, they should immediately identify it as being yours. It should also establish an expectation of what your communications look and sound like. Do you use the same fonts across platforms or do you fluctuate between different styles to see what works? Brand guidelines create consistency, which breeds familiarity and trust in your audience. From the iconic golden arches of McDonalds to the shiny apple on your iPhone, brand guidelines are in use all around us.
What Are Brand Guidelines?
Brand guidelines, or brand style guide, are used to help employees and people outside of your business convey your brand in visuals and voice. Brand guidelines are surprisingly comprehensive, as they include information on your:
- Primary and secondary color palettes
- Logos and icons
- Logo and icon variations
- Logo taglines
- Photos and illustrations
- Brand voice
- Brand tone
- Grammar (serial comma or no serial comma, Chicago style or AP style, etc.)
Brand guidelines show people what to do and what not to do when trying to get across who your company is. When your customer service representatives respond to people, do you want them to start the email with “To Whom It May Concern” or “Hey, friend!” The two might be at the opposite ends of the spectrum, but there are brands around the world using both to help show who they are. Here’s one example of a brand style guide!
Why Brand Style Guides Are Important
Brand style guides ensure that you and your employees are always adhering to consistent standards when designing marketing campaigns, talking to customers, and representing your brand. They should be given to your marketing agency, used at events when you are a sponsor, used when working with a print shop, or distributed when designing anything that represents your company.
Brand style guides also help customers quickly identify that something is from your brand. If your logo is red and blue, does it always need to be red and blue? Can it be printed in black only or knocked out from the background? While that might seem like a minor change, having explicit standards for what can and cannot be done eliminates confusion and keeps your brand consistent.
Get Help with Your Brand Guidelines from Trembling Giant Marketing
At Trembling Giant Marketing, we specialize in helping businesses of every size reach their targeted audiences through compelling digital marketing. To learn more about our services and how we can take your business to the next level, call us at (410) 925-2454 for a free consultation.