The Ultimate Tool for Marketing Professionals: 15 Ways to Use a Brand Guide
Developing a brand guide is all about maintaining brand identity by including specific instructions for every brand element in a single document so that employees, marketing agencies, and any approved subcontractors will understand how to represent your brand to the public.
The intent is to maintain a clear, unambiguous identity throughout the marketplace.
Due to the availability of widespread online marketing avenues like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and numerous conventional resources, having a clear identity across the spectrum helps your brand become recognizable.
A brand guide references what should and should not appear in any content that will represent your brand. Comprehensive brand guides contain guidance for the use of logos, messages, and other marketing materials that may appear in any print or online media.
Why Have a Brand Guide?
Marketing professionals offer several reasons for maintaining an effective brand guide.
Your logo, colors, and font represent your brand and what your prospective customer base may recognize in your business. Every element from your website, PowerPoint presentations, signage, business cards, coupons, t-shirts, and color and fonts on your website should match.
Inconsistency of message breeds uncertainty of identity. Consumers who see multiple variations of the same style may become confused about which company they have chosen.
What Should Your Brand Guide Include?
Brand Guides, according to one Master Class article, should include the following elements:
Company Mission and Values
Inclusion of mission and values provides a roadmap for guidance about what the company stands for to guide all design choices and messages.
Your logo is an essential brand asset. While there may be various iterations of this to accommodate available space (i.e., billboards vs. phone apps), examples of using the logo in multiple scenarios are essential.
Brand identities relate to color. The brand guide should define acceptable colors by code numbers and other identifications to ensure consistency.
Typefaces and Fonts
Fonts, styles, sizing, and spacing are key identifiers.
If you use additional specialized imagery, symbols, or other representational modes as part of your identity, these must be clearly defined to project a distinct representation.
Visual tone, such as whimsical, scientific, or friendly, should be consistent throughout all material. Your brand guide should show sufficient examples to convey the manner you wish to maintain throughout all marketing and communications presentations.
Examples of How a Brand Guide Can be Used
Here are 15 instances where the adherence to a practical brand guide is critical:
This must be consistent with your brand guide. The website is your e-commerce “home,” so any variation from the brand guide here can be considered a true “identity faux pas.” Strict adherence to the brand guide is vital.
Advertising on Facebook and other social media pages offers several options to create and expand a company’s image. Consistency in every post or advertisement must comply with the brand guide in all details.
This form of messaging which can be created in the form of blog content and articles about the brand should maintain the style and tone of the brand. If the company’s preferred tone is whimsical, the content strategy should reflect that tone in some way.
Invoices and Letterheads
These should reflect the style, colors, and logo to reinforce the company’s image to customers and correspondents.
Such signage should communicate a consistent brand identity, whether in the central locations or for branches.
Whether they are held indoors or outdoors, like ball games, races, and others, sporting events should display signage that reflects every detail of the brand guide.
Flyers and Announcements
Any unique marketing or special event announcements must reinforce the brand with the designated visual elements like colors, styles, logos, as well as the appropriate tone of voice.
Events held in public may include conventions, fairs, charities, and fundraisers, or other places where large groups come together, and this instance will require your brand to be represented effectively.
Company Vehicles and Truck Signage
These should reflect an accurate company logo and any messages. Because of their high visibility, vehicles serve as important marketing assets.
Instagram and/or Pinterest
These pages present an essential visual opportunity to present your brand. This social media opportunity, like Facebook, can be used to reinforce your brand and visual identity if done correctly and consistently.
Social Media Interaction
Undoubtedly, this instance allows you to communicate directly with your target audience and potential customers, answer their questions, and draw more customers into the marketing funnel toward conversion. All messages should reflect a single brand identity in style, tone, and logo.
Such a form of advertising must reflect all components of the brand guide accurately. Repetition breeds recognition, and television is still an essential tool for companies to promote their presence.
Billboards and Signage
This method of signage advertising should always reflect an accurate logo, consistent tone, accurate color scheme, and inviting message.
These should maintain the same emphasis on brand consistency for employees to reinforce the importance of staying within the guidelines in every instance.
With some examples including magazine and newspaper advertisements, print advertising should represent the logo accurately to reinforce the brand.
Implementing Your Comprehensive Brand Style Guide
Here are some key implementation elements to implement an effective brand guide to maintain a consistent and recognizable brand image:
- Educate staff and agencies
- Provide easy access to all appropriate parties
- Explain Company Vision, Mission, and Values
- Make the Guide digital for ease of use and duplication
- Include any logo variations
- Standardize materials and guidance
- Define colors by code and application
- Specify font and typography
- Articulate a specific voice
- Specify tone with examples
- Include definitions
- Use examples of incorrect usage
Creating Your Brand Style Guide
Enlisting the help of qualified marketing and brand guide specialists will help you professionally formalize your mission to create guidelines that clearly define your brand image. The task will be to eliminate redundancy so that each representative and marketing initiative will be consistent throughout all forms of media.
The professionals at Insivia provide the tools and template to create a consistent, actionable brand guide that will match the vision and mission of any company.
Frictionless Clarifies Your Strong Brand Identity Message
With proven tools and collaborative techniques, the Frictionless platform helps organizations develop, their brand throughout the entire spectrum of online and conventional media.
Developing a clear and concise brand guide is an essential part of improving an organization’s presence.
Inside Frictionless, we've created a Brand Voice Builder. This tool is the perfect assistant that will help you establish your brand's identity and tone. Check it out and test drive it yourself today!