We, being graphic designers, have high standards--for design. Other areas of our lives may or may not live up to such strict guidelines. The best way to go about guaranteeing that the brand experience stays intact is to spell out how it needs to be represented in well put together Brand Guidelines. Boring, right? Not so fast - some of the best guides out there are just as creative as the companies they represent.
Companies With Effective Brand Guidelines
And it's not all about "the logos." Your brand represents not only who you are, but how people perceive every single aspect of your business. Yes, your logo and your business card matter, but that's just scratching the surface. It could be the first impression they garner from the first phone conversation. Or it could be how "business casual" is defined in your office.
Ways Brand Guidelines Can Hurt Your Company
To the point, what could go wrong if you don't establish some brand guidelines? Here we go:
- Colors are way wrong. Like 1988 wrong.
- Skewing, stretching, distorting of logos and graphics.
- Fonts get swapped out with ones called "Papyrus" and "Arial".
- Sizing, spacing, white space usage all goes out the window.
- Many, many other bad things can happen. (Insert photoshop effect here.)
How Brand Guidelines Can Help Your Company
Even more to the point, how can establishing guidelines help your company thrive?
- Brand awareness - consistency and repetition is key. Keep your marketing cohesive to avoid confusion and build brand recognition. This builds top of mind awareness. You've never seen the Nike swoosh stretched all out of proportion, right?
- Professionalism - Having guidelines means you care about your brand and want it represented accordingly.
- What you see is what you get. Having a great brand and great brand standards showcases who you are and what you do. If you're brand image is awesome, you're more likely to attract awesome clients and increase business.
Remember-- consistency, repetition and cohesion across all your marketing channels gives your company the professional image you need
How do you ensure that your brand is clearly defined and used appropriately inside and outside the office walls? Get yourself some guidelines published and educate those that are affiliated with your brand. In the long term, it will pay dividends.