One of the most important steps to take in launching your business is coming up with your brand. This is a crucial step because your brand defines how people will perceive you and how well you will be known. The creation and maintenance of your brand are the key factors to being recognised and patronised by your audience, and to keep up with it, there should be a brand guide in place.
Brand consistency can be your key to a world of bigger possibilities and opportunities. Consistent brands across all channels and media will help you retain and gain your customers, keeping your sales rates more stable. An inconsistent brand does not foster trust and loyalty which are essential in growing brands, and keeping their conversion rates high. Therefore, brand guides serve to reinforce your brand’s foundation, keeping your identity aligned with your mission, values, and practices.
Over the years, many different techniques and strategies have been discovered to keep branding consistent through all forms. These would run from what kind of visual you want your organisation to project, the photography, colours, shapes, taglines, to the slogans and taglines you create along with your advertisements. Creating a brand guide is something you will need time to discuss with your marketing and creative teams – and that’s something we could save for another day. Before we dive deeper into the how’s, let’s talk about the why’s first.
Check out these 6 top reasons why you need a brand guide to help you get started!
Brand consistency allows you to become immediately recognised within your community and gives you the chance to become a familiar name in your industry. This is especially important if you are in an industry with multiple competitors that have the same vision and values as you, because when your brand is a familiar name, you are the first one they turn to when they are in need of the products and services you are offering.
It may be challenging, and it will take a lot of time to build a brand that’s easily recognised, but that is where your brand guide will be helpful. Your brand guide will help you make sure you do not fall outside your scope and that you stay within your niche’s community.
Recognition and Familiarity
As consumers, we are quick to recommend our favourites to the people we encounter. This is where recognition and familiarity of the brand becomes very important.
Being recognised immediately and becoming a familiar name in your industry should be one of your top goals as an organisation. Recognition and familiarity bring revenue in, helping your brand reach more by getting 3R’s from your customers – Repeats, Referrals, and Reviews.
Your brand guide will help you become immediately recognisable and familiar to audience in your industry, which in turn, would get you more customers and increase your revenue.
Having a brand guide in place does not only help you build trust among your industry’s community, but also within your own organisation. A consistent brand keeps your team members and your customers informed and reminded of your values, helping them become more confident in trusting you with their needs.
This also aids in getting your team members and partners in the usage of your brand – avoiding misuse of the logo, colors, and taglines in the materials they work on. This helps show your audience that your organisation functions as one, and every person involved projects the same the values, vision, and mission of your business.
As a business owner, you would want your brand to be recognised professionally for what you do best – whether that’s delivering services or creating products for your customers to enjoy. The consistency that comes with following a brand guide for your business helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field – without the need for a ‘write up’ that introduces who you are.
Having a consistent face for your brand, no matter what new product and service you add to your roster keeps your business professional and helps build trust among your industry and your customers.
Branding is the face of your business. How your customers perceive you will mostly depend on what your branding looks like. Since your brand shows your business’ values, vision, and mission, any inconsistency in your branding will have a negative impact on how your customers see your business. Even if your services and products are the best in the market, your branding will get in your way if it has not been designed with care and appears confusing and sloppy.
On the other hand, a consistent, polished, and well-created branding will tell your audience how serious and professional you are. Following your brand guide and always making sure that your materials are aligned with it will show your customers that you mean business, and they will feel more comfortable to patronize your brand.
Given that branding takes plenty of time to polish, it is impractical to always have to sit down and take time to come up with how to align your branding when you think of new products or services to offer.
With brand guidelines in place, you will find more time to develop and enhance other areas of the business because you will already have a cheat-sheet when it comes to keeping yourself aligned with the rest of your content and materials. Your brand guide will allow you to focus more on the quality of your products and services than making sure that the community recognises your brand.