Companies spend thousands each year on employee on-boarding, advertising and marketing materials.
In many cases, however, there is one common thread missing between the above-stated elements: consistency.
Consistency is the secret of incredibly impactful brands, especially the brands that don’t have the luxury of being renown such as Starbucks, Nike and others. This consistency must exist across all platforms—both in written and design forms—to make the most of your spent dollars.
So how does a company move towards a state of blissful consistency? Brand guidelines.
Here are three reasons your company needs to set up brand guidelines:
1.) You’ll Be Required to Formalize Style Rules
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No matter the size of your brand, there should be various style rules.
These include anything from what the preferred representation of a logo is to what font is acceptable to be used in marketing materials and email formatting.
The brand guideline process will require your organization to formalize or revisit your style rules if you haven’t already done so. This is an important step to insure that all platforms are being created with a particular and consistent framework. This will put your organization in an important position to figure out what should be used where and how everything fits together.
Here are some common topics tackled in the style rule conversation:
- Narrative (history blurb, slogan, service list)
- Font selection
- Color scheme
- Preferred logo and logo usage
2.) You’ll Centralize All of Your Style Rules
After formalizing brand guidelines, you’ll be able to centralize all of these style rules into a place where anyone can find them.
Centralization is the secondary motive of setting up brand guidelines.
3.) Your Employees Want It
Employees want to know how things work–they don’t want to be left wondering. The last thing you want is for your employees to be confused about your brand’s style rules and uses.
In some cases, they may take the time to figure it out. In most cases, however, without a framework available they’ll take matters into their own hands. This creates an environment where inconsistency runs rampant and affects every written and visual medium employees approach.
The larger your business is, the more dangerous this environment will become. How will you look to your audience and the public if your marketing department is using Arial and a secondary logo for marketing materials while the advertising department is creating print ads with Times New Roman and your primary logo?
At the end of the day, your employees want a centralized place to answer all of their branding questions, especially spanning across departments and roles.
As an added note: if you have brand guidelines currently available, it’s definitely worth asking your employees if they still have remaining questions. I also recommend adding an FAQ section in the beginning of the guide.