The Importance of Having a
Brand Guide for Your Business
Brand recognition is an essential element of marketing. But when people see your brand logo/design, what do they feel and what do they think of? The importance of carefully choosing colors, logos, and fonts for your brand cannot be understated. By having a clear, distinct brand identity, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition and become easily recognizable to your audience.
Think about Coca-Cola; what colors come to mind? You probably pictured red and white and the large cursive fonts they use. That wasn’t by accident; a team of people sat down and strategized Coca-Cola’s brand image. These things seem pretty obvious, but a lot of work and expertise goes into choosing the right colors, logo design, and fonts for a brand. Brands need to develop a well-established brand through this design process. In this article, you’ll learn more about the important elements of using brand guides for your business to build a strong brand identity.
Intro to Brand Style Guides
Brand style guides are used as a template for all corporate messaging. It contains information about the specific brand colors, logo designs, and font styles that must be used whenever the brand name is mentioned in the media or in advertising. With this brand style guide, people within the company can maintain a standard brand image that represents the business well.
The brand style guide is based on market research and analysis and aligns with the brand’s vision for the business. It shows the world what your brand feels like and what it represents. This guide is necessary to maintain consistency whenever the brand name is used in the media. This is essential because it is the “personality” of the brand and resonates with the audience better when there is consistent messaging in the way the brand is represented.
Whether that is through colors, fonts, or cool logos, your brand is communicating a message and the brand style guide ensures that the message is consistent. These are some of the main elements of a brand style guide:
- Color palette (chosen carefully to elicit emotions in the audience)
- Logos and icons (designed to set the brand apart from the competition and to be easily recognizable)
- Typography (font styles, sizes, and spacing that best represents the brand’s communication style)
These are just a few of the main elements that a brand style guide has in order to keep brand communication as consistent and effective as possible.
Why Branding Matters
According to Forbes, using the same logo, image, font style, and colors is integral to building strong brand recognition. Whether you’ve written a blog post, published a book, or posted a YouTube video, when your audience regularly sees the same, consistent branding, then your brand recognition will improve.
People go as far as to have merchandise and email signatures to reinforce their brand image. These are good strategies because the more people see your brand name and its colors, it will become more easily recognizable. This is also an essential element for marketing so that your business doesn’t get confused with other businesses.
Think of the colors blue, red, and white. Now, look at the image below:
Without seeing the words “Pepsi,” you can immediately tell that the image above represents Pepsi. Notice the use of blue and white colors in the background. That is consistent with the brand’s colors. Look at the image again and observe the cup; it’s blue, with the iconic Pepsi logo in the middle. You can’t miss it, and as soon as you see it, you immediately associate it with the Pepsi brand.
Imagine if Pepsi changed the shade of blue they used every other week, their brand recognition would not be as strong as it is right now. The Pepsi marketing team has used consistent colors and logos to represent the brand for decades. It’s doubtful that you will look at the Pepsi logo or the Pepsi colors and think of Coca-Cola. The reason for that is that both of these brands have distinct branding.
As a consumer, you may not pay attention to it that much, but even in marketing and advertising, you’ll notice that brands are very consistent with the colors and imagery they show you. Brands benefit when consumers can quickly identify their brands and don’t confuse their products with their competitors.
Use these major soda brands as an example of how vital branding consistency is for a business.
Why Your Business Needs a Brand Guide
If you bought a pair of sneakers and saw that the Adidas logo was in all-caps with six stripes instead of three, what would you think? That’s usually a red flag because it means that you’ve bought a counterfeit product. Checking the brand logo is an excellent way to tell whether or not what you purchased was authentic. This is how consumers view it when they see inconsistent branding. Consumers are often distrustful of products that don’t have branding consistent with what they’re used to seeing. Look at the Adidas logo below:
The logo has exactly three stripes that are different from each one. The logo font is distinct and they always use lower-case letters for the brand name. This branding is so distinct that the day you see it with a capital “A” instead of the lower-case, you’ll know that something is wrong with the product you just bought.
This will help you think about branding very carefully from now on. It’s not random that Adidas uses that font and those three stripes for its logo. Their company has a brand guide that is followed religiously. Even when Adidas collaborates with other brands or celebrities, their branding is still very consistent.
This is another example of branding consistency done right. Your business must have a brand style guide to follow so that the branding is the same for all future advertising and media coverage.