Brand Guidelines seem to have received a bit of a bad press recently. ‘Boring’, ‘long-winded’, ‘rarely read by anyone’ – just some of the references we’ve heard being bandied about of late.
But wait a minute. Is a good set of brand guidelines not an essential part of effective marketing, capable of creating and maintaining a strong, consistent identity for your business? Can good brand guidelines not be punchy and simple enough to flick through, whilst covering the key points for keeping the look and feel of your brand consistent? Well, yes and yes.
So what exactly are brand guidelines?
Brand guidelines are a set of easy to use, step-by-step ‘rules’ (sorry, they are what they are!) created for your team of creatives, writers or developers, to ensure the look and feel of your brand remains consistent, cohesive and easily recognisable when reaching out to your target audience.
A good set of guidelines properly adhered to will ensure the following elements of your brand are kept consistent across all online and offline marketing channels:
- the application, size and positioning of your logo
- the style and size of font used
- your colour palette
- the style of imagery used
- the style of language and tone of voice.
Brand guidelines are a handy tool if your team members change or you have a new team member on board. Consistency is key, and everyone needs to be up to speed with what is right and what is off-limits with regards to your brand’s style.
Is there a good time to implement new brand guidelines? Certainly if your company is considering a rebrand, it’s really important to think about developing new brand guidelines at the same time. Implementing them at this stage is an effective way of getting everyone on-board with the new look and feel of your brand, whilst avoiding messy diversions from your original brand messaging.