Today, it’s a new normal to search about the brand before making a purchase. Thus, creating a strong brand identity is crucial for your success. According to Forbes, conducting research, customers feel in control of their experience and feel confident that they’re getting the most from their experience at all, they form instant opinions about a company through their visual representation. So that, you have a few seconds to capture the attention of the visitors. Here we are with our quick guide to help you in creating effective brand guidelines.
What Is A Brand Guideline?
Let’s start with the definition of brand guidelines. It’s the same for brand standards/books/style guides. So, it’s a set of rules that defines and points out how your brand works, both ideologically and visually. Usually, such info as your brand history, personality, values, vision, and so on is included along with an extensive overview of colors, shapes, tone, etc. It should be flexible, leaving a free room for the creativeness of designers and content-writers but structured so that your brand identity remains recognizable and distinct.
Creating Brand Guidelines In 6 Steps
Yes, competition is fiercer than ever and consumers have much more power because of the technologies. That’s why it’s critical to create the brand guidelines to make the marketing strategy more effective. Below you will find tips and essentials to build a successful set of brand guidelines for your business.
Step 1: Understand Your Brand
Business name, logo, messaging, tone of voice, graphics, shapes, colors — are the key elements that create your brand identity. Yet, before you start designing all of that, you are to understand your brand and get a clear sense of your brand purpose and personality. That’s why you need to define the next things:
- Mission and vision;
- TA (target audience);
- Brand personality (adjectives that describe your brand like “trendy” or “classic”,
- sophisticated” to “quirky”, and so on);
- Core values.
Step 2: Collect Inspiration
Find and choose all the visuals, texts, brands you like to get a clear sense of how your brand should look like. Also, you can make note of what you like and don’t like to inspire and help your team to create something unique that reflects your brand identity. That will help you build a more effective brand guide.
Step 3: Define 6 Essential Aspects of Your Brand Style Guide
There are 6 essential elements to be defined so that all the further brand building was consistent and reflects your brand identity best of all:
- Logo. It’s crucial to make it unique, eye-catching, and memorable yet simple and easy-to-recognize so that people think about your brand when seeing it. It becomes much easier with such services as Crello with a lot of tools and options on offer. Thus, you can create a logo for free, using and customizing ready-made logo templates, for example. Yet, here are a few aspects to consider and add to your guidelines so that your logo looks great overall on your platforms:
- Size, dimensions, proportions (for all the possible formats and platforms);
- White space (how much/little clear space is required for the logo to maintain its visual integrity);
- Color (all the logo variations and inversions that will ever be used).
- Color Palette. Define the about 4 colors of your brand to represent your company and create a more consistent look and feel for your brand.
- Typography. It’s very important to define and dictate what fonts to use for your ongoing designs and content.
- Imagery. Give examples of the kinds of images (art, photography, clipart, etc.) you wish to be used for your brand, adding such details as to when, where, and how they are to be used.
- Brand Story. Storytelling is a powerful tool for building an emotional association with your brand. And that’s become more crucial, knowing that 90% of our purchasing decisions are affected by emotions. So, tell your audience who you are, your visions, values, history, etc. to become closer to them.
- Brand Voice. It means establishing a cohesive set of brand guidelines to define how your potential customers should feel about your brand.
Step 4: List Other Brand Collateral Your Guide Should Cover
Depending on your business specifics, you should also write and describe how the other brand collateral should look like and what they should contain. So, the following elements are a crucial consideration:
- Printed media that includes packaging, sell-sheets, signs, and store elements along with stationary like business cards, invoices, letterheads, envelopes, etc.;
- Digital media includes social media posts requirements, website layouts, ads, and paid promotional media.
Step 5: Outline and Organize Your Brand Guidelines
Compile all the statements and requirements into a single cohesive document. Also, make it easily shared so that anyone can find it when it’s needed. It’s crucial to make it easy to read. So that, add tables of contents for easy navigation across the document.
Step 6: Continuously Update Your Guidance
Remember that your brand is living — it constantly evolves and changes according to the needs and wishes of your audience. That’s why you should keep your brand guidelines relevant and updated. Check it and change it according to the present requirements so that it remains effective.
If you are eager to build a strong brand with a clear identity, then a brand style guide document is crucial for your business. It should outline the following aspects:
- The exact color palette;
- The font and typography;
- The way your logo should and should not be presented;
- The brand’s visual style, voice, culture, history, policy, etc.
Using this quick guide, you can create a really effective brand guideline with all the possible nuances and aspects described in detail.