Updated: Aug 27, 2020
Hey – Hi – Hello.
You know what really grinds my gears? Incohesive branding.
You would think before opening a business, the owner would at least do a quick google search on “How to Brand my business”. But no! I continue to stumble upon genius concepts that lack the consistency we all subconsciously want and it becomes the main reason they’re just keeping their heads above water. I don’t know their sales, but we can all tell, no?
My theory is that some people associate the concept of branding to companies like Mcdonalds, Apple, and The Hilton so when opening a ‘Local’ business, they remove the urgency of solidifying their identity. With that said, I can agree that a 200 page brand book isn’t necessary for your local bakery, but I will never understand the complete absence of portraying yourself in a uniformed way.
Brand guidelines outline your identity and give you a guide on how to execute the brand you envision in the first place. It’s an organizational tool that can be handed off to any designer, social media manager, or executive that ensures you’ve provided the tools and guides that help protect your brand identity. But wait….there’s more.
Following your brand guidelines also make your brand recognizable. There’s a reason we associate “red and yellow” with McDonald's or think of Nike when someone says “Just do it”...and guess what, if you’re consistent enough in your branding, you’ll be recognized too. Maybe not globally if you’re a local shop, but the neighborhood will know that’s your coffee cup I’m walking with.
Mcdonalds is Nathan’s favourite brand because of it’s consistency and innovation when adapting to different eras, cultures, and trends.
Yet another perk is removing the massive amount of time wasted creating your next menu, flyer, business cards… anything. It’s all in your brand guidelines. The templates are done. The business cards are designed, and also… you guessed it… it looks cohesive and strengthens your brand identity. Mindblowing isn't it?
Here are a few basic elements to cover when creating your own brand guidelines...
· Brand Positioning & Personality
· Brand Values
· Brand Tone of voice and Language
· Design Values (Logo, Fonts, Colours, Additional desig elements)
· Logo Protection (usage, colour application and clearance area)
· Application (business cards, letterheads, menus, website layout)
· Image Style (Photography, videography, textures)
You’re welcome. Rant Over.
Written by: Alla Malina, Creative Director @ FSM