Branding guidelines are essentially a rulebook that defines exactly how your brand works and presents itself. The presence of these guidelines can help to strengthen your brand voice by ensuring that everyone on your team represents your company the same way. Creating branding guidelines is easy, because they can be as detailed as you want them to be! Read on for some pro tips on creating or updating your set of guidelines.
Importance and Purpose
Are you wondering why you should spend your time making or updating your branding guidelines? Your customers’ or clients’ trust in your brand relies heavily in the branding that your company puts out. And, according to a study by Edelman, 70 percent of people in 2020 say that trusting a brand is more important today than it was in the past. Brand consistency helps customers to better recognize and trust brands, not to mention consistency in branding has been shown to increase revenue by 33 percent (Oberlo). Plus, when you introduce branding guidelines, it will facilitate content creation for your team, as they will have a source to guide them through representing your brand.
Best Elements to Include
Include your logo in your guidelines, as well as all variations of it if you have any. Explain in what situations your team is to use each logo variation. Additionally, include your company colors. According to Reboot, using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent, so it’s important to be consistent with your chosen color scheme. Drill your colors down to their exact hex and RGB codes, and include the values in the guidelines so that your colors are easily replicable by your team.
An easy to implement branding must is enforcing matching email signatures across your team. Messy and mismatched email signatures can confuse people conversing with multiple parties on your team. If you can, include links to your website in your email signature, as well as other means of contact such as your business phone number. A visually pleasing signature can strengthen brand image and increase customer recognition.
Another great element to include in your branding guidelines is a company description of varying lengths. Your team may be called upon to provide a company description for any number of different reasons, and providing this information for them can save time and keep your brand image and voice consistent.
Any other information that you’d like to include is down to your business. Do you have a specific font that you prefer to be used in all communications, blogs, or branding collateral? Is there any grammar or punctuation rules specific to your business that you’d like your team to follow to keep your brand voice consistent? Or maybe there are certain words you prefer not to use? All of these are great things to include in branding guidelines
DSG finds that the simplest way to arrange branding guidelines is by writing them in a word document or a slide deck. Your document may be heavy on visuals, so work in whichever program you feel most comfortable with typing and inserting visuals.
When you complete your branding guidelines, alert your full team on the existence of the document. Distribute it widely and encourage the team to keep it on file and refer to it as needed. Let them know where it’s located, or otherwise encourage them to contact you if they are in need of another copy. Never forget to update your guidelines if your company branding changes!
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