How to Create and Use Your Brand Guidelines

Are you looking to make your brand stand out? 

If so, have you considered drafting brand guidelines? These are a set of rules on how to present your brand’s content according to a set of guidelines.

These make your brand establish its presence and make it recognizable to the public. With brand guidelines, you’ll teach your company’s content team how to produce content to best reflect your brand.

Here’s how you create brand guidelines for your company:

Create Your Logo

The first step is to create a logo for your brand. This logo should be shared on all content that your brand produces.

This can range from blog posts, emails, memorandums, and most importantly, press releases. 

On a side note, you can use this service to hire press release writers:

Make sure you take your time to create a great logo. This is what the public will associate your brand with.

Ideally, you want to create a logo that can represent your brand without needing any additional text. Think about the logo for Windows, Apple, or Nike.

Color Scheme

The next step is to choose the right color scheme for your brand. You want to choose a color that’ll best suit the mood of your company.

For example, you might choose black if you want your brand to represent authority and respect. Or you might wish to choose red if you want to attract hungry customers!

You want to make sure this color is used in your content as often as possible. You can always expect to see white in an Apple advertisement. Almost every Nike commercial will have a black background somewhere. Likewise, you’ll see splashes of red in a Coca-Cola commercial.

Choose Your Typography

Typography refers to choosing the right font for your written content. You want to take time to look at the different types of fonts that’ll best suit your corporate identity.

For example, it’s unlikely that your company will get taken seriously if you use Comic Sans MS. Conversely, however, a font like Times New Roman or Arial might appear bland.

You can also choose different fonts for different purposes. You can choose one font for writing your brand’s name as part of the logo. You can use another font for publishing written content.

Make sure you choose a font that’s easily readable. But make sure that it’s something that can give your brand a unique edge over competing companies.

You can always change your typography at a later stage. But make sure you choose typography that follows a consistent theme.

Define a Brand Voice

Your brand’s voice describes how your company presents itself. Does it present itself in a serious or stern manner? Does your company incorporate humor into its messages?

Take a moment to think of your favorite brands and their respective voices. For example, we know that Nike likes to showcase the excellence of their athletes when they advertise their brand. They present these athletes in a serious and inspirational manner.

On the other hand, Progressive would often have humorous commercials to advertise their insurance products. Another insurance company, All State, presents itself as serious. They also try to create a sense of urgency with their commercials

You’ll also have to look at what’s appropriate for your industry. Can your brand afford to be humorous, or will this turn off customers? Can it afford to be seductive or will this confuse clients?

We know about “the most interesting man in the world” from the Dos Equis beer commercials. But this brand voice may not carry over to a Vitamin Water commercial!

Make sure you understand your industry as well as your target demographic. You want to make sure that they’ll relate to the brand voice you’re presenting.

What Are Your Values?

You want to think about what your brand stands for apart from selling products and services.

For example, Nike does more than sell athletic wear. They encourage health and fitness. Likewise, luxury clothing brands do more than selling clothes. They also aim to promote a luxury lifestyle.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, most consumers today prefer that companies take a stand on political or social issues. However, you have to think carefully about your vision for your brand before jumping on such a bandwagon.

You want to consider the trade-offs between taking a stand or not taking a stand. If you don’t take a stand on any issue, your brand might get overshadowed by competing brands that express solidarity with others.

On the other hand, there’s still a significant population that prefers brands that don’t take stands on any political or social issue.

They might feel that the brand is patronizing or preaching to them. This can lead to resentment and can cause you to lose customers.

Nike has made several advertisements using the football player Colin Kaepernick who is a figure of controversy. While this may win them some customers, it will also lose other customers. Regardless of Nike’s stance, it’ll be met with praise and criticism.

Chic-Fil-A has taken a stand defending traditional marriage while disagreeing with same-sex marriage. This has pleased some customers and upset other customers.

In both cases, both businesses survive and have a strong support base even if they have critics.

It’s also crucial that you only take a stand if you believe in it. Many brands take stands because they are en vogue. 

But soon enough, this will draw ire from customers who can see that your brand isn’t being genuine in their values.

Create Your Brand Guidelines

Follow the steps in this guide to create your brand guidelines and make your company stand out.

Make sure you take time to work with your creative team to decide what’s best for your brand guidelines. It’s important to know that you can change your brand guidelines to adapt to changing times.

You want to ensure that your creative team will always have a blueprint to work with. 

Please share this guide with your fellow entrepreneurs. You can find even more great marketing tips on our website.

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