Why are brand guidelines crucial for your business?

7 June 2022

Brand guidelines are at the heart of a brand strategy. By having a clear understanding of how your brand should look, feel and sound – you and your team will be in the best position to cut through the noise in the local, national or international marketplace.

Why are brand guidelines important? 

What do you think of when someone says ‘brand’? Your mind may go to a particular brand such as Nike, Slack or Google, or it may be another type of business that you are ‘brand loyal’ to. 

Popular brand names – such as those listed above – may differ wildly in their services and brand image, but they all share the principle of having a crystal clear brand rulebook. 

nike trainers in pink to show brand guidelines

What should be included in brand guidelines?

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, creating brand guidelines will cement your business’s identity.

Here’s what your brand guidelines should include: 

  • Business history, mission statement, values and visions
  • Any colour palettes used in logos, on web pages, in emails etc 
  • Fonts and text sizes 
  • Tone of voice 
  • Symbols 
  • Templates 
  • Any photography/imagery styles

You could also include audience personas, competitor research and brand positioning in the document. Every brand has a slightly different style, so pick and choose what you think is relevant for your own business. 

Here’s a great example of clear brand guidelines from Starbucks. This slick site from the coffee giant includes everything that you ever need to know about the brand’s style, tone of voice, font choices, colours and photography styles. Having this information crystal clear helps to make onboarding new employees or agencies a seamless experience. 

starbucks coffee cup

Strengthen your employer branding 

Having a good brand isn’t just for your customers. A clear employer brand can help to recruit the best talent for your business. If you’ve done a great job of developing your brand guidelines, you need to develop the same strategy for showing off your identity to prospective employees.

Communicating your company’s values, culture, perks and benefits are essential things that candidates will be looking for. For us, our brand values: human, flexible, passionate and honest, are displayed everywhere we can put them! This reinforces, to both clients and potential employees, our strong culture. 

According to Glassdoor, 75% of active job seekers are likely to apply to a job if the employer actively manages its employer brand

Your employer branding should go hand in hand with the branding of your products or services. This will help to tell a compelling story of your business. 

brand strategy documents

How to create a brand guidelines document 

You don’t have to go as far as creating a website just for your guidelines, like Starbucks, but compiling a PDF or an easy-to-edit document helps to put all need-to-know brand identity information in one place. Then, if you have a rebrand, you know what needs changing and where. 

Creating a PDF document with all this information is a more traditional route to follow when cementing guidelines, however there are numerous places you can compile them: 

  • Canva. They have an easy-to-follow, easy-to-edit brand style guide. These can be shared and edited by you and your team members.
  • Bynder.  To develop web-based brand guides, Bynder has serviced a range of businesses with their dynamic platform. 
  • Indesign. Made for professional designers, Adobe Indesign is perfect for creating a super slick brand guidelines doc.
  • PowerPoint. Who doesn’t love a PowerPoint? This Microsoft program is easy to use and perfect for presenting.

If you’d like to find out more about creating a strong employer brand for your business, read Hubspot’s guide here. 

Need some advice on your marketing strategy? Our specialists can help. If you’d like to chat about how you can elevate your brand and get your business in front of the right people – please contact us.

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