Branding

The Importance Of having A Brand Guide

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

You have worked incredibly hard on creating a great brand. You have a name, you even have a logo that looks great. However, between all of the variations of the logo, your font, and your colors, you want to make sure you have your brand in line whether you hire somebody new, are featured in an article, or need to work with anybody else that needs access to your assets. Welcome to the need for a Branding Guide.

 

SO WHAT IS A BRANDING GUIDE?

A Branding guide is a a document (or sometimes book) that shows anybody who reads it what your brand is all about. Think of it as a reference book that keeps all of your company info. Your branding guide should always include a few key elements.

 

WHAT TO PUT IN A BRANDING GUIDE

Company Mission and Brief Overview

You want to first put your reader in the mindset of your brand. The best way to do this is to add your mission statement and company overview to the branding guide. Don’t spend too much time on the company overview and don’t make it too lengthy. This is basically your elevator pitch that you use to quickly explain who you are and what you are all about.

Your Logo

The branding guide should feature your main logo and all of the different variations. This also includes the different colors for your logo and instructions on when and how they should be used. I would also suggest to add a graphic that shows the minimum amount of space that should be surrounding your logo. This is only used when other people will be using your logo but it is definitely something that you want to have.

Color Scheme

The color scheme is extremely important to have on your branding guide. You don’t want others guessing what your colors are or assume “this looks close.” Your brand is important to your company’s success so be sure to include your entire color palette on your branding guide. You want to include the RGB and CMYK codes (if you are wondering what these mean check out this post as well as the Hex code so that anybody can make sure they are using the correct colors.

Fonts

Just as important as your colors, your fonts show off your brand and convey emotion to viewers. Make sure that you always include your fonts and variations for other people to view. This includes all parameters of your Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, and Body Text. Also include the colors that you use with the text and when they should be used. This provides an extensive guide for others and makes sure that your brand is represented in the best way possible.

Where Can I Make a Branding Guide?

Branding guides can me made in a variety of places and ways. However, I would suggest putting everything on a digital platform for two reasons. The first being that if you decide to change something with your brand, you don’t have to order another book or print another document. Secondly, branding guides are also meant to be resources for people to download assets. If somebody wants to use your logo, you can send them your branding guide and they can download any version of your logo that they would like to use (upload a svg and png version of each graphic). Additionally, you can also include your font packs so that if you bring on a new employee, they can install the fonts on their system. The best outlet for making your branding guide is going to be Frontify.com. It is free, intuitive, and comprehensive in order to make a strong branding guide that can easily be updated and shared.

Hope this helps in creating your brand from the ground up or just updating your company for the current digital business world. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any further questions.

Marketing
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Written by:
Steve Cassingham

The Power of Story for Brand Growth

Stories remain to be one of the most important pieces of society. Throughout history, stories have been a way for cultures to pass on values, ideas, and concepts. While there are many mediums to share stories in today’s culture, the principle remains the same: make it memorable. So what makes a story a memorable and why is it paramount in modern marketing?

The Hero’s Journey

Many are familiar with the hero’s journey. The idea that a protagonist must overcome an antagonist, whether it be a person, a challenge, or an internal struggle. When we feel close to the hero, we want to cheer them on to success and we feel empathy. This is extremely powerful because it means that we care about what happens to the hero, which encourages us to see the journey through to the end. Stories usually have a climax at the end which is the culmination of the buildup and ultimately the lesson learned by the hero. If you were told the result of this climax at the beginning of the story, you probably wouldn’t care as much about the story. This is because it takes time to develop a certain level of care for the story and the characters within it.

Stories in Modern Marketing

In today’s culture, we are constantly surrounded by brands, marketing, and media. More time is spent in front of a screen than ever before and most of that time is spent being exposed to brands. Traditional marketing with short one-liners and a sales pitch are not as effective as they used to be. This is because people do not care. Brands have lost touch with the consumer while chasing the bottom line. While growth and sales are important, the strategy and building a loyal audience is crucial. When a person cares about a brand and the journey that they are on, it is hard not to cheer for the success of the company. This simple concept, while more complicated to implement, is the key to driving sustained growth for years to come.

Implementing Stories Into Your Brand

To put it simply, share your story. Building a company and a brand is not always fun and games. There are struggles, challenges, deadlines, and decisions that have to be made. While it might be tempting to only share the successes, sharing the journey of the ups and downs is the game-changing strategy. This doesn’t mean that you should suddenly try to publish on every platform available (if you can, do it) but make a conscious decision to be more thoughtful in what you are creating for the current platforms you use.

Take a step back from your brand and look at the goals you are trying to accomplish, the mission of the company, and where you visualize the company in the years to come. Take that vision and craft a story around it. Who are the characters? What is the big challenge that you are trying to overcome? What lessons can be learned along the way?

Take these answers and implement it into everything that you share. Before posting, writing, or recording, think about if what you are doing will help push that story along. Then take that content and integrate that thinking into everything you design, write, and say. Over time, you may find that you are now the protagonist that everybody is rooting for to win.

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