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The Importance of Brand Guidelines

The ultimate goal of any brand, when it comes down to it, it to generate something called ‘positive brand equity’ – basically when people see your brand they respond positively to it and are more likely to buy than if it was under another brand. This juxtaposes negative brand equity, where the opposite is true.

In order to achieve this, homogeny across the brand is crucial. My background is in marketing, and I’ve so often seen, especially with smaller businesses, when it comes to a rebrand it’s done in phases. Why you’d rebrand your business in stages continues to confuse me (unless maybe the upfront cost is a barrier? But even then at the very least you can remove your old branding from things). In my opinion, all rebrands should be done in one day, better yet, over a weekend so on Monday morning everything is new. All company literature, signage, pens, mouse mats, business cards, leaflets, flyers, online adverts, social media sites, mugs, notepads, posters, billboards, wallpapers, banners, tattoos, hairstyles and whatever else you have plastered your branding on should be changed at the same time.

I’m sure you’ll have seen before, a changeover in logo design taking weeks to filter itself through the system. The same goes for any changes in company policy when it comes to customer service processes. For example, if something as simple as the greeting given over the phone switches to something new, and it takes a while for the staff to changeover, it can come across as inconsistent and unprofessional.

The creation, distribution and implementation of clear and concise brand guidelines, then, is crucial for ensuring the values of your brand are upheld throughout your company, helping to create this positive brand equity. Simply taking 20 minutes and sitting everyone involved in upholding your brand values down and reviewing the brand guidelines will go a long way to eradicating any inconsistencies in branding.

Font size, type, colour and the like can all be included on a one-page brand guideline overview along with all of the commonly used branding tools (phone intro, keywords etc…). An extended brand guideline should include things like standard printing processes (what type of paper your brochures are printed on, how big they are etc…) which ensures continuity of the brand.

Basically, get yourself some clear, concise and universally used brand guidelines to spread and implement across your company. Assuming you do a good job for your customers, this will all help towards creating large and sustainable positive brand equity.

By Tom Maskill at 23 Jun 2017
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