Every brand essentially wants the same thing – to be instantly recognisable and attract a strong sense of loyalty from its customers. For example: how many of the brand logos above can you name? Leave a comment below with your guesses.
Your brand identity is precious and chances are you’ll know it inside out. But as the next marketing campaign is decided and the work is handed over to a trusted, reliable creative agency, it’s easy to fall into the trap of assuming everyone else knows the brand in as much detail.
A clear-cut set of brand guidelines can really help give the design team a greater sense of what your brand is all about. And with better understanding comes fewer amends, which ultimately means less wasted time and money spent on your campaign. Not only is that good news for you, but the design team will feel like they’ve done a great job – everybody wins!
As a starting point, here are five key things to think about when drafting your brand guidelines:
1. Brand values
Choose the most important attributes that anchor your brand. E.g. ‘Innocent’ fruit juices may want to showcase their ‘responsible’ approach to a commercial environment whereas ‘Lynx’ grooming products may want to highlight their ‘stylish’ appeal to their target audience.
2. Tone of voice
This is the most essential part to giving your brand the same feel across all your marketing collateral. Design (such as colour scheme, logo and typography) will contribute heavily to your physical appeal, but the emotional connection between your brand and potential customers will be set by the tone of your copy, so you need to choose your words wisely! If we work together on a project in the future, you can always make the most of our copywriting services, offered by our expert in house copywriter.
Place a single page overview of your brands look and feel within your guidelines, including your identity, colours, typographic treatment, imagery and other graphic devices, so it’s easy for the design team to locate. It can also help to provide a few examples of how not to use graphics and what not to alter.
4. Grammar and punctuation rules
Consistency is key for any brand, and there are enough eagle-eyed enthusiasts out there who will waste no time in pointing out any discrepancies in your copy. Formatting rules for headers, subheads, dates, times, bullet points etc can save a lot of amends when it comes to proofreading.
5. Social media outline
Any noteworthy business these days needs to have some sort of social media strategy to keep up with their competitors, but with so many sites saturating the online community you need to choose which ones benefit your brand most and how to position yourself in tone with the site and your values. If you find you’re too busy to post regular updates on social media, take a look at the social media packages we offer in our free copywriting booklet and relax knowing we’ll keep things ticking along. You can trust it will be well worth it.