3:00 minutes

What’s a Brand Guide? And Yes, You Need One!

A brand is more than just a logo. It’s the identity of your company. Your brand is what makes you stand out from your competitors. It’s what gets customers to trust you and relate to you. With the launch of your business, you probably have a good idea about the values you want your company to represent and the message you want to portray to your target audience. It’s a good idea to keep this information all in one document; a brand guide. Your brand guide, also known as a brand guideline or brand book, acts as a blueprint for your company’s identity. These guidelines include your company’s history, message, values, mission statement, and personality. A brand guide also details some design elements for print and web appearances such as logo, logo placement, color palette, fonts, and more.

WHAT’S IN A BRAND GUIDE?

There are a variety of elements you can put in your brand guide. They include:

  • Logo Design: Brand Guides outline how logos should look in different formats, including size restrictions, which colors to use, and how they should look on various backgrounds.
  • Color Palette: Your color palette includes the colors that make up your brand.
  • Typography: Includes typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses.
  • Imagery/Photography: Includes how your photographs will display, such as the types of wordmarks or icons your company will use on your website or marketing materials.

A brand guide is a vital part of your business because it helps promote consistency with your brand. How? Because it sets rules. These rules are what’s going to guide your company in the way it appears to, speaks to, and services its customers. So how else can creating a brand guide help your business?

Brand guidelines are crucial to the development of your brand and its overall success because they:

1. KEEP YOUR BRAND CONSISTENT ACROSS MULTIPLE CHANNELS

One study showed that:

  • Consistent branding boosts revenue by up to 23%.
  • Brands consistently presented are 3-4 times more likely to achieve brand visibility than those with an inconsistent presentation.
  • The most significant negative impact of inconsistent brand usage is the creation of confusion in the market.

Having a consistent brand identity is vital for building trust with customers and making your brand appear authoritative. For example, if the logo on your website looks different from what’s shown on your business cards or other marketing material, this shows inconsistency with your brand. As a result, your existing customers and clients will have a hard time recognizing your company. A brand guide will put specific rules in place that won’t limit creativity but, at the same time, will keep your brand identity consistent, clear, and recognizable.

If your brand is solid and consistent, your target audience will get a good understanding of your company’s message, authentic personality, vision, and mission.

2. MAKE YOUR BRAND MORE RECOGNIZABLE

How many times have you seen an ad for insurance company Geico? What key branding element helps you recognize the company? The talking gecko. Sure, the Geico gecko may not have anything to do with insurance products. Still, it creates a strong brand identity because consumers can recognize the company among a group of other brands.

By creating clear guidelines in your brand guide, you can outline critical elements that will help customers more easily recall your brand and identify it. What’s important about a brand guideline is that it give you enough room to be creative and fun.

Heinen's Grocery Brand Guide3. SET RULES AND STANDARDS

Brand identity guidelines set rules for certain brand elements. For example, you can set specific rules for something as simple as a logo color. Imagine that your company logo can only be used in versions of blue and white, but never in green or yellow. Perhaps these colors are the same as the logo colors of your competitor, and you want to stand out from them by using something different. Whatever the reason for setting such guidelines, these rules are essential for your team members. They help keep your graphic designers, web designers, and content creators on the same page. In addition, by setting rules for voice, tone, and imagery, you can send a cohesive message through all your communication channels.

And if you have employees, they can become familiar with these rules and standards, which can help them understand what your brand stands for. In addition, you can save time as you won’t have to explain every minute detail to new employees.

Big Rocket can help you make your brand story resonate with your target audience. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

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