Brand guidelines play an essential role in enabling a multitude of agents express a brand’s message to all and sundry.
Whether it’s the marketing team, the customer services department, a roving sales person or a sub-contracted agency….whoever it is, brand guidelines are an essential tool within a successful brand.
A brand’s guidelines are effectively a range of rules that provide guidance for how a brand should be represented in design, in word, in imagery, in general appearance, in the environment, you name it.
Here are just a few key roles that brand guidelines play:
Brand guidelines ensure an accurate and relevant delivery of the brand.
So many people play a role in communicating a brand and making it live. Brand guidelines provide a single reference point to how it should be done. They help keep everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.
Brand guidelines help deliver consistency across all forms of media.
Customers expect to be engaged and communicated with as human beings. A consistent approach across all marketing material and where ever the brand interacts with its customers is key. It not only helps generate more accurate customer perception, but also reduces the need to put right negative outcomes, which can be costly.
Brand guidelines enable a brand to build its image within its marketplace.
Once a brand is accurately and consistently delivered, it is able to create an evolving presence that resonates with others.
For example, a utilities company might want to hang its hat on the fact that it delivers a greater percentage of its energy via ‘green’ means compared to its competitors. Only when the company consistently and accurately communicates that message (both internally and externally), and delivers upon it, will it be able to lay solid foundations to its image.
Brand guidelines can help generate and retain trust amongst a brand’s customers.
Once a brand is delivering upon its promises, customers will start to trust it.
That same utility company might want to make a bolder ecological promise to jolt the market. If its fulfilled its previous promises, then it will be able to make greater waves and louder noises. It will know its customers believe what they hear and potentially feel an even great association with the brand. By default others are also more likely to listen, with some increasingly likely to switch.
There are, of course, a great deal more benefits to having a coherent set of brand guidelines. The above are just a few that highlight how by initially ensuring consistency in how a brand is expressed, the broader long-term benefits can be much more powerful.