Brand Guidelines: Backbone of a Business Identity
How do you define brand guidelines and how do they fit in your business model?
Well, let’s say you have an amazing product/service with lots of potential and a strong marketing strategy. But you also want that your product/service also resonates deeply with your target market. This is where brand guidelines come to action. Simply put, any set of rules or standards that describe how your brand is going to work are your brand guidelines.
With well-defined brand guidelines, you can ensure that all kinds of communication from your business is consistent. Having these rules documented can make it so much easier for you to keep your developers, content creators and designers to be in sync with the design standards of your company.
Using brand guidelines make sure you have a strong marketing strategy and every message going out of your business is cohesive.
Typically, the elements of brand guidelines are some basic information about the business such as vision & mission, history, logo design and usage, color scheme, type style and design for business cards and letterheads. As the business grows, these brand guidelines can be made more detailed by including the rules for the designs for brochures or flyers, layout of the website, copywriting and social media properties.
The elements together, which are divided into style guides for copy and style guides for visuals, need to be in concert. For example, the choice of colors for your brand will be used in the logo, in the typography and in the design of the website. Similarly, this style guide will decide how these design elements will be used in the marketing collateral such as brochures/pamphlets/flyers, online advertisements and social media posts. And each of these individual elements hold immense significance on their own.
For example, a logo is the fundamental part of a brand identity as it is an element exposed to your market the most. Similarly, a lot of thought should go into the choice of colors so that it connects with your audience at an emotional level. If you start out with wise selections, you will end up with a good design style; it’s as simple as that!
And most of all, you have to stick to your brand guidelines for the sake of consistency, longevity and integrity of your brand.
Once in place, a business has to make sure it is being implemented correctly and is producing the rightful impact. It’s helpful to remember to keep your brand guidelines balanced; meaning they are easily adaptable by your creative designers without having to compromise your brand identity.