Every business has its own identity; its own vibe that’s reflected in everything it does. While companies often start by defining their image through a logo, a branding guide stretches much farther than that. From colors and fonts to brand guidelines and writing voice, the culture of your business comes into play through every interaction, even down to the minute details.
That’s why having a business branding guide matters. A branding guide puts all of your employees on the same page. By defining how your company will represent itself through every channel and form of presentation, you create a synergy that coalesces to form your company’s image.
What’s in a Branding Guide?
Defining the guidelines for an entire business can feel like an overwhelming task. How can one guide possibly cover everything? We invite you to start with a “50,000 foot” view. Create an overview of your brand that defines the company’s history, its mission and vision, and the personality you want it to encompass. This will give you a feel for your company’s identity.
Are you hip and conversational?
Professional and elite?
Witty and comical?
However you choose to express yourself, you just want to make sure it connects with your target audience. After all, the purpose of your brand is all about creating a strong company culture and generating new business!
After you have a sense for the identity you want to create, you’ll want to express it through a various guidelines, including:
This includes not only the logo itself, but size and design variations along with details on when and how to use them.
Just like your favorite team has its own colors, so your business should have a designated color theme for digital and physical designs/layouts. This palette should include color swatches with specific color and ink codes to prevent variations.
Yes, even fonts matter when defining your branding guidelines! Many businesses have designated fonts for web and print communications. They may even break down which styles are used for headlines, body copy, and callouts.
Templates and Template Guidelines
Design layouts, grids for print collateral, letterhead, social media, and business card designs should all be defined in your branding guidelines so that they all follow the same look and feel for every department and employee.
From actual image files to the types of images you use (or don’t use) on print and digital media.
Tone and Voice
From lists of words to (and to not) use, to the type of personality you want to convey through written content, advertising campaigns, and other communications, tone and voice should be clearly outlined. Specify the type of language that should be used, and what type of tone or words to avoid.
Examples of Excellent Business Branding Guides
Our list features a few of the essential elements. Many companies take their branding guide even further. Take a look at some of these examples from major companies like Skype, Adobe, Apple, and Facebook. It’ll give you an idea of just how thorough you can be.
Want a Professional to Do the Job for You?
Building an effective branding guide takes a strong understanding of marketing, graphic design, and branding. If you don’t feel equipped to complete the task on your own, or if you simply don’t have the time, consider outsourcing to a professional.
iPartnerMedia employs several skilled professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, and design. Give us a call at 239-449-4749 or contact us via email.