Why you need brand guidelines for your business?
Think brand guidelines don't matter? Think again!
The brand of a company (no matter its size or industry) is essential to grow and evolve. But are brand guidelines necessary if you’re not a big corporation?
To be able to maintain your business, you need brand guidelines. A clear set of instructions to get employees quickly aligned with your company's vision and mission. Also known as a style guide or a brand book, these resources also communicate the standards of content you expect under your brand name.
Twain Tip: Brand guidelines are more than just a set of rules on how your employees present in the office or what colours to use for the logo. Although, these are important details to be able to quickly find.
Brand guidelines detail how your business operates (and why). New hires, partners or third-party agencies will quickly know how to act like a true representative of your company. Any work they do on your brand’s behalf will promote your agreed vision, goals and values.
It’s normal for a company’s branding materials and assets to change. Your first ever About Us starts as a lone entrepreneur. You offer eco-friendly straws for kids that pierce cartons and are nice to drink from. A small but savvy business idea based on a gap in a soggy-paper straw market.
Congrats, your straws are a hit with parents and guardians! You tap into a niche market and get lots of feedback. You realise the potential of this demographic and expand your range. Portable, durable straws which attach to rucksacks, pencil cases and keys.
You also hire more people to help manage your orders, create new products because your audience trusts you, and market your growing brand.
Now your About Us changes. Your brand is a team of 10. Specialists in eco-friendly and kid-friendly gadgets (straws, cutlery, plates, hand sanitiser refills etc).
You’re not a huge organisation yet so you might still think brand guidelines are for Coca-Cola. Why waste time and money on them?
Twain Tip: A crucial way of avoiding things you don’t want your company to be known for is to clearly outline what you do want.
One of your new team members (a great salesperson) spots an opportunity for some free ad space in a publication. There’s a fast-closing window to submit. Your team member takes the initiative to pull together the info to submit content. Arriving in your inbox is confirmation of your free ad space.
Excellent. Except you spot that they’ve used your old About Us. Your brand is advertised as a parent frustrated by paper straws that don’t fit their purpose who crafts products from your family kitchen. The colour shades used in the ad were guessed so it’s green but not the right green from your logo. All light greens are equal until you put shades side by side.
It’s not the end of the world but you’re probably going to be dissatisfied with the ad. It doesn’t represent you as you’d like to be known. You’ve got a growing team, an expanded product range and a brand mission to make sustainability and quality go hand-in-hand. You’re even actively hiring as a family-friendly culture with an eco-friendly co-working space.
Twain Tip: Each part of your brand is a carefully placed little piece. You spend countless hours putting it all together to build a bigger picture. Unintentionally changing even one small piece will risk changing the entire picture.
Compile a quick, easy source of all those pieces and your picture will stay the way you want it every time, everywhere. A key part of quality is consistency. From words to colours, to how your taglines are used. These are careful business choices made to meet your goals and attract your key demographic.
If you’re still not convinced, some studies prove companies with brand guidelines outperform their competitors in results and profits.
If you’re a brand or business, you do need brand guidelines. Some are better are others and should be created with an understanding of how content creators especially will use them.
Need an expert team to do all that fuss for you? We’ll get all your brand pieces lined up and presented in a professional template. All you must do is refer to it. Get in touch!