Brand Identity Guidelines: Whatever the size of your business – you need to think B.I.G.!
08.03.2017 by Jon
Think of brands and you’re likely to have no problem bringing to mind some of the well-known names behind the products and services in your life; the car you drive, the jeans you wear, the toothpaste you use, the breakfast cereal you start your day with; there’s a very good chance you will be able to recall logos, straplines, corporate colours – maybe even font styles.
By association, you will recall what these products stand for, what their values are – and why you like them enough to buy them over their competitors. This is the power of brand recognition. Because you instantly recognise these brands whenever and however you encounter them, they stand out from the rest; in time, a relationship develops, and as long as the brand continues to deliver on its promises, this will eventually evolve into brand loyalty – the ‘Holy Grail’ for any business.
No matter what size your business is, it’s never too early to start thinking like a big organisation and take control of your brand identity. To build brand recognition it will be essential for you to be consistent in your branding across all communications. Your marketing and sales communications are likely to involve a wide range of online and offline media, and any inconsistencies in how your brand appears will confuse your audience, dilute the power of your communication and will not contribute to building brand recognition.
To ensure your identity always looks exactly how it should, you need to have Brand Identity Guidelines – a reference manual that sets out how all the different elements that make up your brand identity should look – in every potential communication scenario. Business cards, websites, brochures, advertisements, presentations, signage and merchandise are just a few of the areas to consider, there are plenty more depending on the nature of your business. It’s important to remember that internal communications are just as important as external communications, and in some cases – as with email templates for example – they can overlap. There are few things that look more unprofessional than receiving emails from more than one person in an organisation, using different fonts, layouts and footers.
There are no hard and fast rules about how Brand Identity Guidelines should look, or what they should contain. For a large organisation, they can be very comprehensive, but for a small to medium size business, they may just contain the ‘basics’. These might include:
- Visual reproductions of your logo in colour and in black and white.
- High and low-resolution files of your logo in all the formats you are likely to need.
- Pantone references for each of the colours in your logo.
- Font details and point sizes to be used in different areas e.g. Headlines, sub-headlines and body text.
- Instructions – along with visual examples, showing how your logo is to appear in different situations e.g. its position and size in relation to page size or page orientation.
Having your Brand Identity Guidelines in a PDF format will make them easy to send out to third parties like printers and media publications, who are going to be working with your brand.
Your brand identity is one of your most important assets, encapsulating all of the time, energy and money you have invested in creating your business. It is unique, and it’s what sets you apart from all of your competitors, so protecting its integrity and making sure it always looks exactly how it should is a key responsibility for any business owner.
Is your brand identity protected? Talk to Studio 18 about creating Brand Identity Guidelines for your organisation. No matter what size your business is, we can set out the rules that will help you develop recognition and build loyalty with your customers.