What are brand standards and why should we use them? In today’s blog post I’ll highlight the importance of developing brand standards and how to utilize them properly to help leverage your brand.
Brand standards are a business’s guide to cohesive branding, messaging, and composition. The standards mentioned within a style manual are essentially “guidelines” which dictate the general feel and style of a brand. If you think of brands off the top of your head, a few that may come to mind are Nike and Apple. They both have a strong sense of brand identity and standards. Both Nike and Apple are excellent examples of strategically developed and implemented brand standards. Without these standards, brands can seem all over the place in terms of consistency. It can seem as though the brand is being built by many different, overlapping voices, rather than one unified voice.
Brand standards specifically lay out the “do’s” and “don'ts” or a brand’s look. What can be done, what can’t be done, and what should never be done. Having a set of guidelines to define your brand creates trust, and most importantly, consistency. The major components of these guidelines include imagery, colors, fonts, and messaging styles. The more detailed the guide, the better. Developing an all encompassing brand standards manual allows employees to easily read and effectively implement the content within to achieve cohesive branding. Style guides should be built so thoroughly that a stranger could read the manual and properly understand the key takeaway points. (Psst. We’ve got a guest blog post by a professional editor on style guides. If you missed it you can find it here!)”
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