When people think of branding, they often think of an organization’s logo, brand colors, or other visual aspects. The visual element is certainly a piece of the brand, but branding overall is much bigger than that. Branding includes things like your voice, writing style, and the general feeling people get when they interact with your company. All of which can be influenced by developing a branding guide for your business.
So, what is a branding guide and why do you need one? Let’s explore three primary reasons your brand needs one.
Consistency for your brand
Consistency matters in all things marketing, and that includes your brand. A branding guide will detail how to use your logo, brand color palette, fonts, etc. You can also include information about the customer experience and your brand voice as part of the guide. This can help any team members or volunteers understand the goal for positioning your brand. A style guide, which impacts the consistency of your written content, could also be included as part of your branding guide or as a separate document.
Easier in-the-moment decisions
The leaders of small businesses and small nonprofits are always juggling lots of things. Anything you can do to streamline efforts and make certain decisions easier is a win. Your branding guide does just that – makes in-the-moment decisions easier. Need to send something to print? Your branding guideline has the color specs your printer will need. Training a new nonprofit volunteer to help with your social media? Your branding guidelines will give them some direction around logo use, colors, voice, etc.
Legal protection of your brand
This ties back into consistency really, but it’s worth highlighting on its own. If you want to pursue a trademark for your logo, a company slogan, or another aspect of your brand, the consistency of your prior use of those elements plays a role. If you already have some elements of your brand trademarked, consistent use of the trademark or registered trademark symbol matters as well. Make sure any guidelines around trademarks are included in your brand guidelines.
If you don’t yet have a branding guide for your business, it’s time to create one. Set aside some time to create a basic document that you can help you and your team achieve greater consistency in all aspects of your brand. If you need help, reach out to the StoryPath team to start a conversation.