Author

Fátima
2020-09-16

What Is a Brand Guideline, and Why Do You Need It?

What Is a Brand Guideline?

A “Brand Guideline," or also known as a brand book, is a descriptive outline of a brand's image, mission, voice, and core values. A brand guideline includes every visual detail such as color palette, logo, fonts, and much deeper features like the brand's personality, slogan, and goals. 

With a cohesive and comprehensive brand guideline, a recognizable and memorable brand will be born. A brand that is clear about its visions, services, products, ideas, and, more importantly, knows its connection with customers. 

Every famous and popular brand has a brand guideline from Apple, Google, Coca Cola, to smaller-scale companies. Without a doubt, a brand will totally benefit from an attractive, informative, and precise brand guideline. 

If you ask yourself, "Does my brand need a brand guideline?", the answer is a big YES. And this article is going to tell you why!

Why Is a brand guideline Important?

A brand guideline is how the world knows you. It helps a business maintain consistency in what a brand looks, feels and sounds like. It is a rulebook that presents a brand to the competitive world of marketing. 

A consistent brand guideline can act as a new employee orientation. They can easily get accustomed to the rules and principles. It is a professional way to train and correct them.  

  • Ensure Correct Usage: A brand guideline is a precise list of your rules, what to avoid and what to apply. The wrong and right of your brand are in it for everyone. 

  • Eliminate Confusion: A straightforward and definitive brand guideline ensures that anyone reading or using it is aware of your brand’s message, look, and feel. 

  • Bring Continuity: A comprehensive brand guideline helps your partners and even fans to get familiar with your brand's voice, and goals and this will bring you continuity.   

  • Determine Standards: Your brand guideline specifies your logo, color palette, fonts, etc. This results in having constant collaterals and a clear set of standards. 

  • Increase Brand Awareness: When you are empowering and advertising your brand consistently and creatively, people will remember your logo, name, and products. It builds trust and increases sales.  

In more specific words, your brand guideline is the portrait of your brand’s identity! If you have a steady brand identity, you will attract more customers, gain recognition, and boost sales performance. 

How to Make an Efficient Brand Identity?

Before designing a brand guideline, you need to think about every aspect of your brand. You need to know your brand. What do you do? How do you do it? And why? You need to specify your brand’s identity. It includes mission, vision, target audience, brand personality and core values.

Once you are aware of your goals and ideas, you can aim for those visual elements in line with your brand's central message and values. 

  1. Mission and vision

A brand mission is to know why your brand exists, and a brand vision is to know where you want it to go. They help you know your audiences.

By having a clear concept of your business and knowing your inspirations, you can go for your target customers. Consider them as a descriptive route of how to accomplish your purposes. 

defining your brand’s mission guides you in creating blog contents, paid/sponsored content, ad copy, slogan, tagline, and visual media. 

  1. Target Audiences

Who are your clients? In what way your services or products help them? To know your audiences, you must study their behaviors, and analyze their needs. With this information, you can define what they expect from your brand and how to fulfill them. 

Social media like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook will give you valid information about people’s habits, and buying standards. 

having a specific persona for your beans guideline will direct you to creating best blog content, ad copy, and visual media. 

  1. Personality and Core Values

Describe your brand with related adjectives. If your brand is a person, how would it be? Friendly? Classy? Trendy? Your branding team can help you with this process by using the "Is/Is Not" method. 

A brand’s values determine every aspect of it, like decisions, perspectives, goals, and actions. 

Reading our Brand Identity article will answer all your branding questions. 

How to Design a brand guideline?

  1. Content: Consult and prepare the rules, words, and guidelines that should be part of your brand guideline.  

  2. Design: Decide on the design and layout of your brand guideline's pages. You want it to be visually appealing. Homer Studio can help you design your intended brand guideline.  

  3. Export: Your brand guideline project will be saved as your requested format, like PDF. 

  4. Publish: Upload and publish your brand guideline on different platforms.

 

What Should a Brand Guideline Include?

A successful brand guideline should have the following: 

  1. Brand Story

This is the introduction to your brand guideline; it includes brand mission, vision, and values. In this part, you explain your brand and tell its story. Depending on your intentions, this section could be long or short. 

You can tell them about your slogan and history. You can use emotional statements to create a bound with the customers. 

Some may skip this part of the brand guideline, and to avoid this, your need to be straightforward and super creative to attract their attention at the very beginning.  

 

  1. Visual Elements

  • Logo: Your brand needs to be identifiable and optimizable in different situations. In your brand guideline, you include all the approved versions of the logo, how it would be used in different platforms, the placement options, and other alterations.

  • Icon, Patterns, Textures: Every specific detail about your brand’s iconography and graphic designs need to be mentioned in the brand guideline.

  • Typography: The font style should be defined for digital and print formats. It needs to outline when to use a font, acceptable typefaces, and other elements such as size, style, alignment, space, and color.

  • Colors: Your brand needs to be associated with specific colors. Your brand guideline must identify primary, secondary, and alternative colors. It should be outlined when and how these colors can be used. Features like shade, brightness, contrast, and hue need to be identified. 

  • Imagery: A brand guideline must include details about its photography from editing, size, colors, to the style of images, mood, and feeling. Here is how the Homer studio helps you with its photography services.

  • Page instructions:  It must contain details about website pages, print pages or any other brand-related pages like flyers, or brochures, and distribution of texts and images.

 

  1. Public Relation Policies

  • Language: Define the language your brand uses to communicate. Based on your intentions and targets, choose the specific audience, formality, domain, and tone, whether academic, formal, general, informal, or neutral.

  • Grammar and Formatting: The related rules about abbreviations, numbers, capitalization, acronyms, times, and titles should be mentioned in the brand guideline.

  • Readability: This part includes guides for the length of the sentences and simple/ intricate structures. 

  • Style: It should have a vivid explanation about the style which can be technical, non-technical, slang, or casual. 

  • The tone of Voice: Determining a specific tone helps you communicate with your target audience easily. It can be emotional, logical, intimate, distant, humorous, etc. 

  • Email: Explain the email structures, signatures, and format.

  • Social Media: Your brand guideline should outline your social media’s purposes, posting times, channel’s addresses, types of posts, responding policies and caption’s instructions. 

 

Top Tips for Designing Effective BrandGuidelines

  • Decide Who Will Receive It.

You need to establish a clear view of who will receive, read, and use this guideline. Knowing your target audience will be an excellent factor for choosing features like content, style, and other information. You may distribute it for your business partners, investors, customers, or employees, so write and design your brand guideline to attract and engage them.

  • Act Creative and Simple.

You want to make sure that the brand guideline can be easily understood by a different group of people and yet is filled with creativity. The level of creativity differentiates you from others. Keeping it simple and creative will increase your brand awareness and give you a recognizable name. 

  • Be True to Your Beliefs and Style.

Your brand guideline is like the signature of your company. It is a combination of your working style, culture, and level of expertise. People tend to trust those who are true to their words. For instance, if you are in sports, keep it energetic and healthy. 

  • Include Specific Details and Helpful Features.

Avoid any complications and misunderstanding, by including vivid data, specific details, and practical approaches in your brand guideline. Let your brand book be as clear as crystal. Informative, fun, and helpful at the same time.  

  • Anticipate Questions.

At the end of your brand guideline, it is necessary to mention some contacts and email addresses. People may have some questions about your guideline, by giving this info you create a team that answers their questions. Also, having a FAQ section will be appropriate.  

Some brand guideline Examples

Homer Studio Helps You Design Your Brand Guideline 

We are proud to help you with all your needs related to marketing campaigns, designing, web/app development, UI & UX design, and overall the branding process. 

We will consult you on how to increase your reach by offering you commercial production and SEM/SEO Services. 

What made us more reliable is the practical results of our latest projects, and how they incredibly develop each day. You can keep up with Homer studio's portfolio and see how having a professional team on your side can improve your business. 

 

We don't do magic; we help you live up to your REAL potentials! 

 

Categories:
Branding