Brand standards are a set of guidelines that provides the colors, graphics, logo specs and fonts that comprise your brand. They’re the glue that holds your brand together and help to create and protect your company’s brand identity.
Once they’re established, it’s imperative that all employees understand and uphold them. Many firms invest a considerable amount of human and capital resources into developing a solid brand with a unique logo and brand identity, only to see them diluted along the way.
Here’s why brand standards are so important and why you should implement them within everything that you do.
Visual representation correlates with brand recognition
Having a brand standards guide that is strictly enforced throughout the company creates consistency, which in turn creates brand recognition amongst clients and prospects. One of the most important elements that should be defined is a logo specifications guide. This document gives strict instruction on how the logo is to be used—and not used. No one should ever be able to adjust the look of your logo.
In addition to defining the rules for your logo, the brand guidelines should also identify a primary set of Pantone colors to use for the majority of your communication materials. You may also have a secondary color palette to use as accent colors that enhance the design of marketing materials. By adhering to specific Pantone colors, graphic elements and logo specifications, customers are able to easily recognize a brand at first glance. That’s why it’s so important to solidify what your brand should look like across all platforms (i.e. your website, marketing materials, stationery, etc.).
Messaging is key for brand voice
From speeches by top executives to every day communication materials, your brand voice should be communicated clearly and consistently in every channel your customer encounters. Defining a set of key messages you want your organization to convey helps ensure your people are providing a consistent representation of your brand. As a rule of thumb, three to five messages are about the most anyone can easily remember and consistently deliver. In addition to speaking them, be sure your key messages are implemented throughout your company—from marketing materials to your website.
Standards help guide your employees
The whole point of brand guidelines is to help every person in the organization to understand your mission and uphold the brand in everything that they do. Once you establish these guidelines, they’ll be able to do this better, which will translate into a better customer experience. Additionally, if you use an external agency for creative or have new hires, they will be able to reference these guidelines for communication materials.
Is it time for brand refresh?
Brand standards are only useful if you have a solid brand to enforce with your team. If you brand is tired or dated, it may be time for a brand refresh. Once you have a positive, modern logo and brand, then implementing brand standards will be paramount to keeping it consistent and increasing brand recognition. So if you do a brand refresh, be sure to quickly get rid of any old brand materials, and be sure your employees have access to materials with the new brand.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why Your Firm Should Have Brand Standards
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