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Why you need brand guidelines

Mar 11, 2024

You know how there are just some brands that feel like they “work”?

Like when you walk into your favourite shop and things just feel aligned? That thing that makes you love it so much shines through, but you can’t always put your finger on what it is…

Or when you discover a new coffee shop that leaves you wanting more. Is it the way the staff greet you? The cosy feeling the environment of the cafe gives you? The cool glass mugs they serve their coffee in? Or the art they hang on their walls?

All of this is the power of branding.

One brand that springs to mind for me is Grind Coffee here in London. See how powerful their brand is? What are they offering and how does the expereince of their website make you feel? 

And, of course you don’t have to have a bricks and mortar business to create this experience for your customers. This can be done online too. In fact without the possibility of the physical elements, creating this experience for your customers online is even more important to help your business stand out.

Studio Lago Design Malarkey Cakes Website mock up

So what are brand guidelines and why are they so important?

Brand guidelines are like the blueprint for creating the feeling that your business evokes. They define the visual aspects of your brand like your logo, colour palette and typography, but they also go beyond the things we see in a brand to define your tone of voice and the experience you offer your customers.

Consistency is key

Have you ever visited a brand’s social media profile and been confused by their inconsistent visuals and messaging? Then maybe you’ve hopped over to their website and everything looks and feels different again? When a brand is all over the place, it’s hard for your audience to connect with you and recognise you. This confuses people and, simply put, confused people don’t buy.

Brand guidelines ensure that all aspects of your brand are kept consistent across platforms offering a look and feel that your audience can recognise at all touchpoints with you.

Consistency not only helps you build brand recognition, but also makes it easier for your audience to trust and engage with you.

They’ll help you save time and money

By having clear brand guidelines in place, you reduce the likelihood of costly mistakes or the need for frequent revisions. We all know as small business owners that time and money are your most precious resources. This can save both time and money in the long run, especially for small businesses with limited resources.

When you have brand guidelines in place you don’t have to spend time going over what design assets to use like colours or fonts time after time, because you already have a set of guidelines in place that’ll help keep things consistent. Making these design decisions over and over is not only costing you time and money, but also diluting your brand and making it far less consistent.

Take the example of creating your social media posts on Canva. If you go down a rabbit hole every time you create a new post, change the templates you use, the fonts and the colours, this not only costs you time, but makes your brand less and less recognisable each time.

Builds brand loyalty and connection

When you create a consistent and memorable brand experience, it makes you more likely to be able to build a loyal following. People are drawn to brands that evoke a sense of community and belonging and create an experience for their audience. By following your brand guidelines, you can create a more cohesive brand story that’s far more likely to resonate with the right people.

What do your favourite brands have in common with each other? They probably all have their own personalities and stories to tell. And they probably also have their own voices and visuals that help set them apart from their competitors. Having brand guidelines in place can help you define that personality and set the tone for creating a brand that helps your business connect with people on a deeper level.

 

So, brand guidelines are essential for any business that wants to build a strong, recognisable brand that attracts the right people.

Having brand guidelines in place means you’ll be able to create a consistent brand, save time and money in the long run and build brand loyalty. Have you got brand guidelines in place?

It goes without saying that a part of what I create for all my clients is a brand guidelines document to help you keep your brand consistency on track and save you time and money when creating content for your business.

Get in touch to find out how we can make this a reality and create brand magic for your business.

About the writer…

I’m Katie and I’m besotted with taking adventurous female creatives, coaches and educators on a journey of discovery of their business from the foundations up, to give them a crystal clear brand vision and a new found confidence to make an impact.

I know what it’s like to start a business and then find yourself on the road to burnout because actually, you’ve taken so many wrong turns and lost sight of the reasons why you started on your journey in the first place.

I hope these design notes inspire you to create the brand of your dreams. 

Katie x

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