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Category: Branding

Why Brand Guidelines Are Important
Branding

Why Brand Guidelines Are Important

Brand Guidelines communicate a variety of things about your brand, both internally to your organisation or business, as well as externally to your partners, affiliates and the general public. What components a brand guideline contains is not standard across the industry, but the most discernible organisations utilise brand guidelines as a resource for everyone to understand how to represent their brand.

Brand guidelines can contain sections on:

  • Your brand identity (mission, core values, personality, tone, elevator pitch, etc.)
  • Your brand assets and the appropriate use of them (logo, colour palette, typeface, spacing, backgrounds, etc.)

Brand guidelines are a very useful resource when re-branding or starting a new company as a way of communicating with current and prospective customers within your target audience. They are a set of rules to create a unified identity when connecting multiple elements within your brand, such as colours, your logo, and your typography. Here are other compelling reasons to have a set of brand guidelines.

 

Consistency

Every time someone visits your website, sees your business card, or receives marketing material from your company, they receive a perception of your company outside of the content they actually consume. By having set rules and restrictions, it becomes possible to communicate a consistent brand identity.

Consistency is important in making your brand recognisable and reliable. It ultimately communicates that your brand takes pride in the details.

 

Setting Standards and Rules

Your brand guidelines are composed of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. These rules will include when to use a logo versus a wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of colour and typography. You probably know your brand’s identity inside and out, but a new employee may not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive. Twitter’s brand guidelines do an excellent job of defining acceptable ways that other people can display their logo.

 

Recognisable

Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately recognisable within your industry and with your target audience. Building a recognisable brand can take a lot of time, but your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines. Take a look at Google’s brand guidelines. They have become one of the most recognisable companies.

 

Staying Focused

When introducing new products or services, a brand can get stretched too thin. By implementing brand guidelines, you have the tools to quickly and effectively maintain consistency. Brand guidelines help you aim your business’s interests with your intended audience.

 

Value

When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value. Consistency allows your brand to appear more professional and reliable. By implementing brand guidelines, you make it easier to maintain the quality and integrity of your brand’s image.

 

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What is Included in Brand Guidelines?

“Since no two brands are exactly the same, the elements included in your brand guidelines may not look the same as a different brand’s guidelines. However, there are three common elements included in every brand identity guidelines”

 

Colour Palette

These are the colours that make up your brand. It can be wise to not use too many colour options. Brand guidelines should include RGB and CMYK colour codes, so your colours stay consistent between web and print formats.

 

Typography

Brand guidelines will include typefaces and families, font sizes, and the hierarchy of the fonts your brand uses.

 

 

Logo Design

How your logo should be displayed in different formats is an important part of your guidelines. This could include size restrictions, which colours to use, and how your logo should be displayed on different backgrounds. Sometimes it can be beneficial to show how logos should NOT be displayed–seeing your logo stretched in odd ways or put on difficult-to-read backgrounds is not ideal.

 

Additional Elements that may be included:

 

Imagery

Imagery could include the style of photographs, wordmarks, or icons your company uses on your website or marketing materials.

 

 

Brand Tone

Brand tone refers to the words that your company chooses to use in order show your brand’s values and personality.

 

 

Without brand guidelines it is nearly impossible to keep your brand’s identity consistent. If you are ready for brand guidelines, then you need a strategic branding team, like Cove Solutions to help.

Contact us, and we will build your brand through creative, industry leading concepts and digital design. Helping you maintain a strong, cohesive, and distinguishable brand.

4 Ways to Grow Your Sales With Social Media
Branding Marketing Strategy

How To Better Engage With Customers

CEOs want to see a high return on investment and the pressure put on marketing teams to prove that strategies are working is through the roof. With social media changing every day and marketing teams coming up with new creative ways to engage, we feel it’s important NOT to forget the basic fundamentals of customer engagement.

Here is a refresher of why engagement is so powerful, not only in acquiring new customers but also in maintaining the satisfaction of those that already exist.

 

Nurture

The most basic of the fundamentals–nurturing your customer relationships. Think of your customers (potential and existing) just like you would any relationship in your life. Let’s break this down. When you’ve identified a prospective friendship, you begin to take appropriate steps that will help you build the relationship. An effort is put into a relationship building process that might begin with a few texts here and there, that may lead to invites to grab a coffee (or a couple of cocktails, let’s be real lol), and hopefully regular meet-ups, but certainly not without continually fostering the connection. The work is never complete, and just because the initial effort was put forth, does not mean the relationship will last.

 

Continually adding value through meaningful interactions throughout the relationship is just as imperative to the success of the relationship as the initial interaction. This is no different for your business, and this also includes knowing when to, well…chill. You wouldn’t overwhelm your new friend with constant texts, phone calls, or emails, just because the individual hasn’t responded, or declined an invite, so don’t make this mistake with your customers. Keep it simple, and don’t be clingy.

Build on your connections through interactions, such as email, that have a clear and meaningful goal.  Be aware, this doesn’t translate into ‘always shoot to sell.’ This will turn people off because purchasing is not always relevant to a customer’s journey. Recognize when your message is coming on too strong, and drive your engagement based on where your customers are in the buying process.

 

Always Have An End Goal

Before sending an email, posting on social media, or engaging in any way with customers, think about the end goal. What, exactly, is the interaction supposed to achieve? Then, be very clear, so there is no confusion in your message. Remember, you (a human), is trying to engage with potential or existing customers (also human), so avoid using language that is difficult to understand. Be real, relatable, and clear.

 

Not only should your messages have a clear goal, but your entire engagement effort should be mapped with purpose, from delivering content at the right time, to being able to appropriately develop steps to reach that goal. Timing plays a key role in just about everything. This rings true for engagement between company and customer. It is important to identify the personas of your customers to better understand when the timing will be most beneficial to engage. This includes the best times to post on social media which, by the way, is early afternoon on a weekend via Facebook.

Again, remember to remain mindful of where your customers are at in the buying process. Nothing says disconnect like sending a welcome-email to an existing customer, or a “We’ve missed you” message, to a customer who recently purchased a product. Engage with your audience by creating specific and relevant goals for each interaction throughout the entirety of the buying process.

 

Patience

Part of effectively engaging with customers is patience. As mentioned before, don’t overwhelm your customers by trying to rush the process. ‘Rome was not built in a day’ and your customer relationships will not either.  Every individual who reads your blog, visits your website, and views your social media page or post, is at a different stage of the buying process. Expecting a potential customer, who has recently subscribed to company emails, to immediately begin purchasing is just asking too much. Relax, because overloading email subscribers in attempts to spark a purchase will backfire. Be patient. It will benefit your business in the long run.

 

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Utilise Tools To The Full Extent

It is important to recognise that the fundamentals of customer engagement really boils down to knowing your audience. Who is your business targeting and how is that audience reacting to engagement efforts? If your business is not using video to engage with customers, you are missing out on connecting to a huge population. Forbes reported that 84% of Millennials (who make up one-quarter of the nation’s population and have been identified as the largest generation of consumers) don’t trust traditional marketing. They want to visualise and interact with content because it is what Millennials are familiar with and understand. Developing a video, a poll on Instagram or maybe a live stream to fit your audience might be the perfect way to create customer engagement. But how do you get a better understanding of what type of engagement appeals to potential and existing customers? Once this question is answered with research and knowing your end goal, you will better be able to utilise your marketing tools to facilitate customer engagement.

It is essential to make sure your engagement efforts are getting a return on investment by watching the numbers. You need to know who is clicking and reposting on Facebook and Instagram, you alos need to be aware of click rates in emails. Understanding your audience will help facilitate engagement.

Take full advantage of the tools available to assist your business in its customer engagement efforts. Doing so will build the confidence needed to believe in your plan, and remember to be patient while properly nurturing your leads and existing customers. Strive to be different, but don’t forget about the fundamentals of what makes a good business, a good business.

“Rome was not built in a day”

 

In the comments, let us know how you best engage with your customers