Best Practices for Implementing a Brand Guide
Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator
Having consistency in your branding is key to having a successful brand, especially online. There are many factors in an online presence that need to stay consistent in order to become more memorable to the customer. For example, when you see an ad or product packaging, you might know the brand within 2 seconds because you recognize its fonts, colors, and design elements. Brand recall indicates a stronger connection to a brand and is a result of heightened brand awareness. If a customer can recognize your brand when thinking of products by category, or briefly looking at them, then you have it made. Think of it this way: what brands do you think of when you hear the word “coffee”? Most people think of Dunkin’ or Starbucks. However, now with small businesses gaining much more traction, those brands are getting a lot more recognition than ever before.
Building a business with strong branding is all about consistency, and having a brand guide will help you stay on track. A brand guide contains all the visual elements and is used to help guide a creative team to present a unified vision of the brand to the public. These style guides are extremely helpful, especially in a digital marketing agency, because they help graphic designers, marketers, web developers, and community managers stay on the same page. They also help dictate the content of a social media profile, website, advertisement, and even print work. Designing a brand guide is simple, and it can be made internally or with a digital marketing agency. This visual guide will not only include the logo, fonts, colors, and images, but also the mission statement, buyer persona, and important client notes on a brand. This guide is going to encompass everything about your brand, so when someone looks at it, they will have a comprehensive overview of your company. Not all clients provide us with brand guides, but those that do make it easier for our team to get the ball rolling faster. With a brand guide, most of those general brand styling questions will be answered in the brand guide. Trying to just “wing it” and let the branding evolve itself over time, without strategizing a plan, is far less efficient. If your language and graphics are always changing, then you will lose trust and confidence in your target audience.
A brand guide involves gathering all the brand assets, which can take some time because you’ll have to potentially work with multiple departments. This is an important step you should never skip because a little leg work now will prevent you from wasting time down the road. The best time to use a brand guide is in the beginning stages when you’re introducing your business. Ideally, it should be established before you start to post or publish anything. This way, you won’t waste time trying to figure out a strategy as you go. Regardless of the industry or the size of your company, a brand guide will help you stay organized and have a consistent online presence. When a customer understands something, they will buy. If they’re confused, even if it’s a great product, they won’t buy. Keep it simple with the direction, and that’s what a brand guide will help you do. Although you can always create a brand guide internally, we advise you to work with a digital marketing agency because they have branding experts who can collaborate on what can work best for your brand. Some people like the look of something, but that doesn’t mean it will be best for their brand. From copywriters and designers to content strategists and community managers, we have a team that can put their heads together with you to create a strategy that fits both what you want and what works for your brand.
At MSM DesignZ, we put in the time and energy required for success, so you can ensure you are using every dollar for maximum return. With over 20 years in the business, we have watched marketing evolve from traditional to digital. Whether you need a website refresh, a more attractive email, or a quality online presence, we can do it all. When we take on a client, we put in 110% and treat every brand as if it’s our own. We will always continue to place our clients’ needs at the heart of our operations. From web development to social media management, we’ll work directly with you to build a personalized strategy to not only retain but also gain business. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at https://www.msmdesignz.com/contact/, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!