Why You Can't Afford To Go Without Clear Brand Guidelines [Contributed Blog]

Last updated: 09-11-2020

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Why You Can't Afford To Go Without Clear Brand Guidelines [Contributed Blog]

When it comes to branding, some companies like to wing it. They assume that everyone is on the same page concerning colors, logos, typefaces they use to represent the company and that consistency will happen automatically.

As anyone in business will tell you, though, that’s not how it works in practice. People have different ideas for how your company should present itself in the public forum. And that can lead to all sorts of confusion. 

Customers love branding because it helps them to identify what businesses offer. Companies that chop and change their style soon find themselves running into authority and trust issues. And that’s precisely the sort of thing that damages their bottom line. 

Thepurpose of brandingis to increase the perceived value of the company in the eyes of consumers. People are often willing to part with more money if they feel loyal to a brand, granting it a competitive advantage. 

But when brand messages are inconsistent through time and space, it quickly leads to problems. Customers don’t know whether they are dealing with the same firm and, if they are, why they can’t make their marketing consistent. It’s off-putting. 

We typically think of branding as something that companies do in-house. But that’s no longer the reality for the majority of firms. Instead, they outsource it to professionals who do it for a living. 

As this article on the merits ofDesign Pickle vs Darkroastpoints out, the industry is changing. In the past, you’d pay a design agency to do your branding on a job-by-job basis. It was expensive and confusing. Now, though, many are moving over to subscription models. And these are making it easier than ever to keep brands consistent through time. The agency simply continues working on content in the same vein on-demand. 

There are also fundamental issues around recognizability that make brand guidelines essential. When people can tell who you are and what you stand for, they’re much more likely to buy from you. That is less likely to happen, though, if you’re continually chopping and changinghow you present yourselfto the buying public.

Sometimes companies experience a phenomenon called “brand drift.” This occurs when the team doesn’t have a clear understanding of which tone and voice they should use in their marketing, and their message becomes diluted. 

Brand guidelines are, therefore, a kind of disciplining device. Firms use them when they want to ensure that they don’t do or say things that are inconsistent with the persona they wish to project. It is particularly helpful for firms that offer a lot of products or sell in multiple markets because it maintains the core values of the firm. 

Brand guidelines are, therefore, a critical tool that you can use to enhance the performance of your business in the marketplace. It can take a lot of time for brands to flourish. But when they do, it’s always worth it. 

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