The importance of branding guidelines for your business
Branding consistency for 2018
Now that we're into the new year the big red guy is now safe back in the North Pole, plotting for next years Christmas delivery schedule. It's the time now where people set new years resolutions and hope to get past February without breaking them. If you are a business owner or involved in an organisation you may hope that 2018 runs smoothly for your business or organisation. It would be great if you could get the kind of constancy that the big guy gets for Christmas Eve. Getting around the world in one night dropping down each chimney and leaving the presents underneath the tree. All in one night.
The need for brand identity guidelines
One thing that will help you keep a level of consistency to your brand is a set of branding guidelines. Have you ever received a set of broachers back from the Printer only for your heart to skip a beat because they were just not what you asked for? You thought that what you had articulated to the guy or girl in the print shop was enough to get the branded broachers that you were after. This is a scenario that happens often where time and money are wasted because the Designer in the print shop had no reference to work from, nothing to spark inspiration, no visual identity to work from.
My Logo is my baby
If you thought of your brand identity, as a human being, more specifically your logo as a baby, your baby. If you have ever used a Babysitter or maybe your mum in law. If it was for the first time you most likely gave them a set of guidelines on how to look after your little bundle of joy. You may have told them the time that she naps or how she likes her food. There is always some form of guidelines weather written down or given verbally. If none of this is done it is left open to interpretation. What your mum in law feels is a good time to nap maybe completely different to what you think is suitable and what your little one is used to. A baby is the most precious thing to parents and only the best care will do.
Now if we flip this around and look at it from a business and brand point of view your baby becomes your business logo and your mother in law becomes that guy in the print shop. Your logo should be very precious to you. It deserves to look its best when it's out in public. Logo design is a process that takes time. its the first visual symbol that your customers will see. Part of that process should involve the logo Designer walking you through how your company logo should be used.
What can help you to keep your sanity is a well-crafted set of brand guidelines. The length and content of your guilders will be reflective of the size of your business. So if you run a local bakery then you could probably have enough info in 5-6 pages. If your manager of a large 100-200 staffed company with 3 to factories then the guidelines will be more robust. That logo will have to exist in many more place then a Bakery, but quality and consistency are paramount in both cases.
Guidelines can be used in every part of your business. They can help you with training your new employees on how to greet and interact with customers or how to even arrange a window display you have a, for example, a bakery there is going to be lots of face-to-face contact with customers. A customer should have the same experience with each member of staff. If there is a vast difference between each experience then this can have an adverse effect. With the amount of choice available to customers they will go elsewhere. What each staff member should be doing is reflecting the brand personality. Each business is a brand whether they are aware of it or not. A brand is a product, service or organisation with a personality. Knowing what your personality is and managing it consistently is what creates a good experience for your customers.