A brand guide is your bible. They are rules that define and shape all your brand activities and prints.
Why is it crucial to have a brand guide? A well-framed brand guideline defines every little aspect of your brand. It allows your brand to stay consistent.
Netflix, Spotify, Medium, and Starbucks are some of the best brand guideline examples.
Why should you upgrade your brand guidelines? One of the reasons to update your brand guidelines can be rebranding. Others may include changes in the mission and voice, logo, typography, color palette, so on and so forth.
Given below is a list of 5 things that you can do to upgrade your brand guide.
1. Comprehensiveness Is The Key
Your brand guide is the foundation on which you build your brand. It acts as a constitution. But what if your brand guide is incomplete? An incomplete brand guide is like half-knowledge, and half-knowledge is dangerous.
A comprehensive brand guide must contain the following things -
- Mission and Vision
- Brand Identity
- Target Audience
- Logo and its variations
- Tone and Voice
- Color scheme
You can also include - editorial guidelines, iconography, and photography guidelines. Try and make our guide as all-encompassing as possible. It will help you work better with freelancers and other creative agencies. You create a sense of familiarity when you stay consistent across all your mediums. The online brand guide by Audi is an exemplary example of brand guidelines.
2. Include Red Flags
A good brand guide tells you what to do, but a quintessential guide will also tell you what not to do. It is easier to figure out what one must do. But, when the line is blurry, it's hard to figure out what not to do.
Ensure your brand guide incorporates all the things your brand cannot do. It can include the following -
- Words not allowed to use
- Other brands you are not allowed to quote
- Political topics you should not address
- How you should not use the logo
- Use of specific backgrounds, fonts, or colors
In short, you can include everything that could get you in trouble or things you do not want. Your brand guidelines will help you steer clear of legal issues. It will ensure that you do not divert from your brand outlook as a whole.
3. Leave No Room For Uncertainty
Let us say your brand uploads a blog now and then. Now, imagine a different font size and font for every blog. You may encounter a similar situation with your logo size in different prints. What does it convey? Inconsistency.
To ensure that everything goes out in the same manner, address these issues in your brand guide. Be specific. For example, to ensure consistency in font size, you can mention the size for the title and body for every medium.
4. Pick Up A Professional
Do we need to explain how using a professional can change the game? Yes, you may know, but they know it better. They are the masters of their trade. Their knowledge, insights, recommendations, and efficiency with tools will enhance your brand guide.
How do you hire the right professional?
- Do a sweep of the professionals.
- Go through their previous works.
- Ask about their specialty.
- If possible, follow up with their previous clients.
5. Brand Your Guide
Your brand guide is a manual to your brand and includes everything one should know about your brand. It incorporates the dos and don'ts, musts, and shoulds. Why not apply these rules in creating your branding guide as well?
Use your brand guide as a marketing strategy. Include a few elements of your brand such as color scheme, fonts, variations of logos in your brand guide. Showcase the vibe of your brand in your brand guide.
Your brand guide should be up to date, self-sufficient, and self-explanatory. It should give all the information that a professional, who works with you, might need.
A comprehensive brand guide will create a solid base for your projects. It will ensure that everyone from every team is on the same page. Including red flags will save you from inconsistency, legal troubles, and unwanted things. Precision will leave no room for uncertainty and blurry boundaries. Do not hold back from creating an extensive, detailed document. Hiring a professional is the wisest decision you can make. Allow them to create wonders for you and set an example. Apply your brand guidelines in your brand guide itself.
Invest in your brand guide to enjoy the fruits it will bear. Let us know how you plan on upgrading your brand guide for 2022 in the comment section.