As you expand your business, it is essential to maintain brand consistency in order to create a memorable and trustworthy brand identity. A brand guide can help you do this by providing concise instructions on how to communicate your company's mission, values, and personality.
A well-designed brand guide will include all the information necessary for creating cohesive and professional branding across all channels, including website design, social media, print collateral, and more. This document should be created early on in the process of developing your brand strategy so that it can serve as a reference point for all future branding decisions.
Scaling your business without compromising the quality of your products or services requires strategic planning and a clear understanding of what makes your company unique. With a comprehensive brand guide in place, you can ensure that your marketing efforts are aligned with your core values and desired message, making it easier to scale up while maintaining the integrity of your brand. An easy-to-follow brand guide can also help you to determine which products or services are the most profitable and therefore worth expanding.
Tips on Creating a Brand Guide to Promote Company Growth
Your Vision and Mission Should Guide Your Decisions
Every brand guide must start with the “brand pillars.” These core understandings will never change, regardless of how the company grows or what changes circumstances bring to market habits, buyers, and media. The vision causes us to make specific decisions about our products and services, or it tells us which guidelines we should revise over time.
Everything else is fluff that can be revised in due course if necessary as your company evolves and changes. Never be afraid to revise the brand guide and make adjustments if it’ll help achieve your brand mission. Knowing your vision will anchor you to what is core too & remember: have faith in yourself.
Eliminate high-risk or low-reward opportunities
A company grows when there is increased opportunity and more people have access to the brand. This leads to a variety of voices but only if your aim is clear. The strategy won’t survive without new outlets so you must consider carefully which route to take. Your online business, at this critical moment in history, calls for effective communication capabilities, that are both riveting and compatible with the vision of your enterprise as it ventures onward into unchartered waters.
One of the most obvious examples of this would be a franchised brand with different locations. At each location, they have accounts on social networks to advertise the products and services available at that particular franchise and provide information unique to the area. This can cause numerous compliance issues if proper training is not implemented along with supervision for each individual franchise community site activity so all information will align with corporate compliance protection policies.
Flexibility is Key
Give yourself permission to keep up with the times.
It goes without saying that generally if something violates the brand guide, it should be removed or recalled in order to maintain the integrity of the brand. Furthermore, a brand guide should be as evergreen as possible - no one wants a graphic style manual that acts as a barrier to the ideation and progress of your larger business goals. That said though if there is a cadence to updates but they are strategically implemented -- not simply for revision's sake -- then new opportunities are always going to come up where omitting certain treatments which may have previously been rejected becomes necessary again. This could be strategic growth versus strangling creativity (and revenue) at its core!
Keep It Simple
Giving everyone too many unbreakable, irrevocable rules causes frustration and limits the flexibility to adapt marketing content in response to unpredictable market shifts.
There's a sweet spot between over-engineering and under-delivering, so if you find yourself coming up with a bunch of exceptions to the rule that you have, it may be worth reconsidering having the rule in the first place.
Next Steps for Your Brand Guide
Having a brand guide gives you the ability to gracefully expand your brand while maintaining its identity. If you need help developing a brand guide, we are here to assist you.