What’s the point of Brand Guidelines?
There is absolutely no point if it’s a document that sits in a drawer or on in a folder buried deep on your computer. But if that’s the case, you probably don’t put any value in how powerful your brand can be. Particularly in the B2B space, I can imagine so many businesses don’t see themselves as a brand.
Take Google as an example. To sort the cesspool that is the internet and the billions of websites, brands are seen as the most trustworthy source of information and therefore prioritised.
In essence, brands build trust and that in an age of severe distrust is what will help you business attract more customers.
So what do brand guidelines actually do then? They ensure you are as consistent as possible in how you look and how you sound with every interaction with a potential customer. You make them feel they can trust you.
Brand guidelines can be purely visual and that’s important you brand is expressed consistently to look at but what is even more important is what is under the hood about why you exist and what you value so everything created after that point aligns.
I was speaking with a management consultant recently and he said the biggest challenge a lot of his fashion clients were facing was how to express themselves with their marketing.
Often they were not defining their brand pillars and really struggled to know how to create a meaningful campaign. Essentially you are left with no direction to art direct a shoot and end up looking like every other fashion brand who have no core concepts linking their strategy to the creative.
The level you will need to go to to define your brand will vary if you are a startup compared with a global brand but you will have a document which will define you as a business. This is important both internally and externally.
Internally, your employees and even yourself, understand what matters which can help guide all business decisions.
Also externally, whether you use freelancers or agencies, they have a very clear idea in their head what the work they do for you needs to be measured against to ensure it’s ‘on brand’ or as consistent as you can make it in plain English.
With the advancements in technology, it may be more common in the future to have a centrally stored digital brand guidelines that can be updated instantaneously. A document that needs to be emailed digitally can cause issues with ensuring the right version is being used especially if it details the creation of new assets.
So if you don’t have a brand guidelines in place, ensure you develop one. If you do, ensure someone is championing the brand and ensuring everything is consistent.
If you need help with any aspect of how to express your brand, our strength is understanding where you should be positioned in the market and ensuring that gets documented in brand guidelines. Every piece of marketing from then on is influenced by this document.
Who doesn’t want to bring in 23% more revenue? It’s time to get more consistent.