We all consume hundreds of pieces of content a day; from the emails we glance at, the social media images we see, and the advertisements we see out in the real world, it’s all being fed into our brains. Most of it won’t stick – we’ll forget about it as quickly as our eyes darted over it.

So what distinguishes the content we retain from the content we immediately forget? One word: branding.

Your brand is what will make people stop and take notice. You may recall some branding you’ve seen for something that was not at all marketed towards you but was still memorable for something it did. While you may not have appreciated the branding for the message it was giving out, there’s no denying that it was noticeable.

What is a brand guide?

When most people think of branding, they think of a logo, but the effects of the above experience are not produced by just a logo – they’re produced by all of that brand’s elements coming together to create the perfect storm: an emotional response.

Your brand guide (also called brand guidelines) should outline all elements of your brand, including:

  • Logo and any secondary logos and submarks
  • Fonts
  • Color palette
  • Design elements and/or patterns
  • Values
  • Tone of voice
  • Mission statement

In short, your brand guide contains the rules your brand follows to ensure everything produced looks and feels as though it has come from your brand without your brand name having to be attached to it. It makes sure your content looks the same and has the right messaging, whether it’s your website, an email newsletter, Instagram image, or real-world store.

Why is a brand guide so important?

  1. Humans don’t like unpredictability

We may say we like spontaneity, but the truth is, humans love predictability. We often thrive in routines and there’s nearly always an outcry when a brand or platform changes something, even if it’s for the better. We don’t like change, and brand consistency ensures our customers know exactly what to expect from us. Consistency invites trust, and we only buy from brands we trust (especially if it’s a higher price point).

  1. It removes the guesswork for team members

Whether you have a team of 40 working under you or if it’s just you and the odd freelancer, brand guidelines ensure they know what they need to do and if they’re working to develop something that will be visual (such as a social media post or the graphics for your company trucks) they know exactly what design elements to use and what color palette to draw from. This goes for written content too – your copywriters will know what voice to write your content in.

  1. You become recognizable

If we show you a brand that’s red and yellow, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be McDonald’s. If another brand then used those exact shades in their branding, you’d glance at their logo or content and assume it was McDonald’s, even if they were a gardening company. Our brains are trained to make assumptions, and so you can use this to your advantage to create a recognizable brand. Well-chosen brand elements used consistently will get your customers saying, “the colors on that van reminded me of [your brand].”

Branding shouldn’t be an afterthought – it should be your first thought. And, while getting good brand guidelines shouldn’t be something that delays you from making progress with your business, it should be something you get as soon as possible. If you’ve yet to create a brand guide and all the elements that go into it, we’re here to help.

Creating a brand guide is often daunting, but we’re here to guide you through the process from start to finish. To find out more about our branding and design services, click here.