Whether you call it your business brand bible, brand guidelines or branding book, every company should have a document which defines exactly how their brand is used and replicated. This is an essential aspect of brand marketing and will ensure that the brand identity is used consistently and to best effect across every channel and customer touch point. So what should this guide include?
- The brand history and background – include personality, values and the history of the brand and the company behind it. This context is great for new starters at your company and those responsible for writing marketing content or for developing new marketing assets for the brand, such as agencies.
- The brand mission statement and tone of voice, with examples of how it is used and any phrases, words or styles that must be used or avoided.
- Logo usage – how and where it should be used, where minimum spacing and sizes apply, which versions are approved and where there are ‘no go’ rules.
- The brand colour palette with your primary and secondary colour palette and RGB / CMYK codes for screen, print and web.
- Typography – defining the font or typeface that must be used for print and digital and acceptable alternatives.
- Image styling and details of any photo bank that might be available.
- Examples of marketing materials and details on where staff can find or reorder approved materials.
Most small businesses can start with a small brand handbook and develop it over time to include examples of brand layouts for websites, social media and advertising, along with editorial guidelines and PR information and key messages.
The important thing is that, once the brand guidelines are created, they must be reviewed and updated regularly and implemented consistently across the business along with brand management and sign-off processes. This allows everyone to be on board and ready to use your brand correctly, consistently and to measurable effect.
If you’re based in Bristol and need more guidance when it comes to forming the basis of your brand guide, contact bob today.