MARKETING TIPS, BRANDING
CREATING A BRANDING GUIDE
Jeremy McLean, Creative Director, New Brunswick
September 14, 2017
WHAT IS A BRAND?
To first understand why we need to have a branding guide it’s important to have knowledge of what a brand is. Once you have a grasp of what a brand is and how it greatly impacts the growth and success of your business then it starts to make sense of why a branding guide is so important.
A brand is a collective experience of your customers, in visual and verbal form, about your product or service.
Most people think of a logo or colours when they think of branding. These are parts of the visual representation of your brand, but they are not the brand itself. The brand is the experience, the feelings people feel about your business, and it has a deep connection of how your company is perceived publicly.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Some business owners that have a certain vision or mindset about their company but do a poor job communicating what they want their company to represent to their community and customers. A BRANDING GUIDE IS A BIBLE FOR YOUR BUSINESS. It helps establish consistent communication for everyone in your company that utilizes any visual or verbal pieces to your brand. This is everything from your website, newsletters, digital ads, all your printing materials, and even the messaging on all of those mediums. Consistency in itself reflects trust and honesty which every brand would want to establish for its customers. If your business is trying to sell an amazing product or service without your core principles of your brand being established, the perception of your company won’t be what you want it to be. This alone can make or break many new businesses, and can limit growth for many established one’s.
Sometimes a basic branding guide is all that is needed to get things started but it can become the go to document for everyone within the company if there’s ever a question about how, what, or how to use the current logo, or what font to use when creating a new proposal. It will provide the exact colours to use when new marketing materials are being created either in-house or by an outsourcing company. It can save hours and hours of time searching for things and makes communication for all parties really smooth. Essentially, creating a branding guide now will save you time and money in the long run and you will look professional and consistent because of it.
Branding guides are an essential part to any size company that values the consistency and professionalism that all of the top brands offer to us as consumers.
There are large variances in what is included depending on the scale of the company, but as a standard you will see the following:
Logo, alternate logo, colour palette, secondary colours, header fonts, body fonts, special use case fonts/styles, imagery, icons, spacing requirements, misuse guidelines, and any important verbal/text that should be used consistently.