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What are brand guidelines and why are they important?

Brand guidelines are your insurance on your brand’s integrity and growth, creating solid foundations for all your marketing activities.

A lot of businesses invest a significant amount of time and effort into creating marketing strategies, building their brand, and developing marketing assets.

If that business has been marketing for some time, it can mean changes to the way they do marketing – some big changes, some smaller ones.

There’s a lot of work that goes into creating a brand strategy, and the biggest threat to it might actually come from your own business.

People, by nature, tend to fall back on what they’ve always done, what’s comfortable for them – especially if they don’t really understand why they’re doing things differently, or if they don’t know where to find specifics about how to do it.

This is why brand guidelines are so important – they are your insurance on your brand’s integrity and growth, creating solid foundations for all your marketing activities.

What are brand guidelines?

Brand guidelines are an established set of rules that enable a business to make sure all their communications build and maintain a strong brand and message.

Brand style guides allow everyone involved in marketing your business to communicate consistently about its mission, principles, and personality. They are a list of dos and don’ts but are also a road map to brand compliance.

What should brand guidelines include?

There are some basic areas a brand style guide should contain. It should begin with information about the company, including history, as well as values, mission and vision.

It should include visual style elements such as logos, including how they should be used, brand colours and iconography, as well as instructions on tone of voice. Font types and font sizes are also defined.

Why are brand guidelines so important?

There are several reasons why it’s important to create brand guidelines, including:

Brand style guides provide consistency

This is important for the simple reason that customers respond better to consistent brands.

Repetition of elements of branding such as logo, colour and tone of voice all add up to the customer feeling as though they know you well. It deepens the relationship and creates trust in your marketing.

The impact of consistent brand presentation across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23 per cent, according to a study by Demand Metric and Lucidpress.

Brand guidelines set rules

Brand guidelines are more than a collection of logos.

They set out a list of rules about how all of your brand assets are to be used: in what communications, where they are placed on the page, the amount of white space required around them.

As part of a broader style guide, brand guidelines can also outline the preferred way to use the brand name in written communications, as well as any other preferences for copy-specific requirements.

Style guides provide tools

Beyond just a logo, brand guidelines also provide all the other tools you need in your marketing, including colour palettes, acceptable variations, fonts and tone of voice.

Brand guidelines avoid confusion

When everyone is reading out of the one rule book it creates greater consistency across your marketing and reduces the risk of variations that might weaken the brand.

This is especially useful if you have third-party contractors or new employees coming to work in your business, as the brand guidelines will help them get up to speed on how your brand should (and shouldn’t) be used.

Brand guidelines make your team efficient

Style guides provide assets and rules that mean employees aren’t having to constantly create communications from scratch every time.

It reduces time spent on generating communications because employees don’t have to think about creating particular elements from scratch – the groundwork has already been done and detailed in the guidelines.

Style guides make your brand more tangible

After repeatedly seeing your brand, consistently and strongly represented thanks to a style guide, customers begin to see your brand assets as more than just designs on a screen or words on a website.

Those brand assets come to life, embodying the values, identity and core offerings of your company.

Branding guidelines make you stand out from your competitors

Strong branding makes your brand instantly recognisable to people who know what your business provides and who you are at a glance, giving you a competitive advantage. It’s that all-important brand awareness.

Style guides create customer loyalty

Think of the many different companies that create the same product – chances are, even with these purchases, we stay loyal to the one brand. This is because we know the brand, its values and identity are familiar to us – not because we think their product is necessarily better than another.

Speak to the brand guidelines experts

Developing a brand strategy and all the assets to support it is only the first step in creating a strong and effective brand. Protecting its integrity and making sure it’s as strong, clear and powerful as possible in the next vital step.

Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, and we’re experts in creating brands – and the brand guidelines to support them.

To find out how we can help your business, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or send us a note via the contact form below.

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