Branding Craves Consistency
How many times has your logo been misprinted? Maybe it was too close to another company’s logo when you sponsored an event. Or maybe some nut-job designer made an executive decision to convert your colors or type your name out in a font they thought looked “close enough.” Maybe even your own in-house team was really feeling the purple end of the color spectrum for your headlines one day.
The point is – brand creep happens. And it happens in the blink of an eye. Major corporations spend thousands of dollars developing brand-usage guides that spell out nearly every imaginable design element and application of their brands. They understand the value of a consistent brand impression and are willing to pay a premium to ensure they stay on brand.
Brand-usage guides normalize your brand’s look, tone, voice, and messaging.
They help you communicate your standards consistently to anyone who touches your brand, including creative vendors, contractors, and in-house employees.
When you forego brand standards and build your brand project by project, you run the risk of going “off-script.” This piece-meal approach creates the potential for confusing your customers and undermining your credibility.
A brand-usage guide can be as comprehensive or concise as you need it to be. Some of our corporate clients have guides that include hundreds of pages of detailed rules and best practices.
If you want an idea of how detailed brand-usage guides can get, click here.
But rest assured; most of our clients get by confidently with a ten to twelve page guide that serves them just fine.
Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a branding expert to create a brand-usage guide for your business.
In fact, it can be an easy, DIY project that you can start today. All you need is a simple document to capture your brand’s basic standards.
What should your brand standards include?
- Fonts – We recommend no more than two to three fonts you use consistently online and in print.
- Logo – Ideally, use ONE version of your logo, with clear standards for placement (i.e., in the upper left or lower right, with a specific amount of “safe space” around it).
- Colors – Choose a primary color palette that is always used, and a secondary color palette, which is used sparingly to augment or complement the primary palette.
- Image standards – Do your images include people or no people; what types of lighting do you prefer? Do you use illustrations?
- Tone, voice, and language – Is your tone casual, assertive, or professional? Do you use slang or is your language more formal?
Establishing consistent branding guidelines not only strengthens your brand’s presence, it ensures a seamless experience for your customers.
When customers feel safe, secure, and confident in your messaging, they are more likely to become loyal members of your tribe.
Ready to lay a reliable brand foundation for your business so you can make more money, work with best-fit clients and build the business of your dreams? Then check out Lab Monkey Brand Academy. Registration closes April 26. The class is limited to 20 participants. Click the button below to learn more!