Branding Guidelines are your blueprint for your business brand and they appear in many forms, from simple logo style, colours and fonts through to complete detailed instructions for every single aspect of a business.
It’s a very good idea to have branding guidelines in place, no matter how large or small your business is.
If this is all totally new to you then start with focusing on maintaining consistency with the beginnings of your brand; the fonts you use, the colours you use and how your logo should look. Once you have that down you’ll want to think about a whole lot more too, including uniforms, signage, online presence, copy character and more.
For examples all you have to do is look at some of the bigger companies out there, who take their branding very seriously:
Coca Cola: http://www.scribd.com/doc/128665405/Coca-Cola-Brand-Standards
And look at all this lot on a Google search: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=brand+guidelines&rlz=1C5CHFA_enGB580GB590&es_sm=91&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=bwzrU978JKPT7AaAj4CgBQ&ved=0CDIQsAQ&biw=1255&bih=712
You see, once you start thinking about your branding as an important part of your business, then you begin to understand the power that you can create by remembering to be consistent and, as you grow, stick to a clear set of guidelines that maintains the look, feel, ethics and personality of your brand.
Branding is all around us and most of the best branding we don’t even notice, it’s so well done that it’s just what we come to expect. Yet when you consider implementing the same in your own business you realise quite what a mammouth task it is and how important having strong branding guidelines is to keeping it all under control.
Think about any high street chain store. One of the reasons you go in them is because you know what you’re going to get, wherever you are in the country, or even the world! This is only possible because they stick to brand guidelines in all their stores. From how the shop is set out, what sort of hangers they use, how the tills are positioned, what uniform the staff wear, what the staff say, how complaints are dealt with, what music is playing, the packaging, how products are presented and SO much more.
So you see, you really are starting small when you only focus on consistency in your fonts and colours.
Once you begin to create a strong identity for your own business then not only do you stand out from your competitors because you know who you are, you also give your clients a much clearer message that they can connect with. And as we know, when you enable your clients to create an emotional connection with you, then you are giving them an easy way to love your business and become strong brand ambassadors.
Today’s action point: If you haven’t already started working on your own brand guidelines, now is the time to take action. Start small and then add to them as you go about your business. Soon you’ll have a comprehensive guideline of what your business is about and how you keep that message, look and feel consistent.
If you’d like to know more, I go into more detail about Branding Guidelines in the Ultimate Brand course, where you can learn more about them and how to create your own brand guidelines too.