This brings us to the next question, what is a brand? The image that you visualize in your mind when someone talks about a brand, reflects the power of branding! We often confuse branding with just a brand logo. However, branding is way more than just a logo.
It differentiates your brand from the others. A powerful branding done ethically helps your business in the long run. And if not, then here are the 6 possible reasons why your brand is not working for you.
What is a brand guide?
It is a document that describes, defines and presents what your brand can look like and what it cannot. It’s essential to lay down some ground rules that you follow across all online and offline channels and mediums.
What is the importance of brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are important because they help you define how the brand elements are used and guide the rules on how a business speaks with the audience. This is very useful when you are rebranding since you don’t have to lay down every single rule again.
Here is why brand guidelines are important:
Consistency is the key to have a unique brand identity. Following a standard set of rules helps to create a strong brand identity.
Strong and consistent branding helps users understand what your business is communicating. It reflects the true personality, the promises, mission and vision of your business. These brand identity guidelines should be aligned with your brand mission.
When we speak of Apple, what is the first image that you visualize? Whatever it is that came to your mind, whether its a sleek silver laptop or a half bitten apple, that’s the power of branding. You are easily able to recognize a brand among a group of brands, which is indeed a great thing for a business. This means a user is easily able to recall your brand and identify it.
Having strong and consistent branding through brand guidelines will help users identify, recognize and recall your brand better in the future.
Having brand identity guidelines helps you create a standard set of rules that are to be adhered to at all times. These guidelines are standard and can be referred to at any point in time.
This not only includes the colours that can be used for your brand but also includes what should be the overall look and feel of the brand elements. Once you have set standard rules, you can further outline what your team can and cannot do with your brand elements. For example, our RedAlkemi logo can only be used in versions of red and white. Never in blue or yellow. These rules are important for your team members, especially those who play an important role in design & communication.
A brand consists of many brand elements that need to send out a cohesive message. And for this, the graphic designer, the web designer, the content writer should be on the same page, which is possible if they know the brand identity guidelines very clearly.
To have graphics, content and website that are aligned collaboratively to send out the same message, you need a brand style guide. With elements like voice, tone and imagery - all team members of your team must be well versed with the brand guidelines so as to send a cohesive message through all your communication.
Having a set of rules that every employee of your organization has to follow, either for a new design or new marketing campaign. You as a business owner save your precious time by handing over the brand guidelines, which they need to follow. This saves both time and efforts of the employee and the organization on whole.
If yours is a business, then it is definite that at some point you will be adding more and more employees. And to make all these employees understand what your brand stands for, can be quite a tedious task.
To avoid such a chaotic situation, you need to provide every employee with the brand identity guidelines. So that they know what your brand should look like and what to avoid at all costs, what colours can you use, what the logo should look like, etc. This saves your time and efforts in explaining every single detail to the new employees.
So, to sum up, your business can work more efficiently if you have brand guidelines. It makes your life easier and also eases out tasks for your employees. So, even if you have a great website, a well-drafted marketing strategy, impactful content and well-designed graphics, not having brand guidelines can hold back the success of your business. For this purpose, creating a style guide for a company is important.
Anuja is the Co-founder and CEO of RedAlkemi Online Pvt. Ltd., a digital marketing agency helping clients with their end to end online presence. Anuja has 30 years of work experience as a successful entrepreneur and has co-founded several ventures since 1986. She and her team are passionate about helping SMEs achieve measurable online success for their business. Anuja holds a Bachelors degree in Advertising from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chandigarh, India.