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Monday, July 15, 2013

Lead with your brand guidelines!

In the past 'Brand' was perceived as your logo, your colour, your 'look'.  The word  'Brand' has now come to mean the manifestation of the company's 'emotive essence'.

Everyone's aware of the importance of getting the 'brand' right, but far to often the easy option is taken. Sure it's quicker (and in the short term, cheaper) but developing your brand on the fly, and not establishing the up-front core brand definitions, will lead in the long term to a dysfunctional and over crowded consumer message.  This is particularly relevant if your business is stretched around the world, many markets mean many local permutations. A solid structured brand is essential to bind these all together and communicate a single message with clarity.

A good, well structured branding guidelines document will define and established your brand position. Enabling your message to rise above the competition.

It should not only define your products logo, colour palette, fonts etc. but extend beyond that into the attitude and ethos of your company. It's philosophy, it's aims, even the way it answers the phone or how it structures emails.  

It should take into account online social profile, and offer up a solid insight into public perceptions and trends, backed up with interviews and research.  

We find, if time and budget allows, it's helpful to carefully dissect your customers views about your existing profile through qualified research. This can be painful for the company but will provide a real world starting point to identify opportunities to create a more successful brand that focuses towards the point of sale.
The answers will develop into options for your brand enabling it to separate and surpass your competition.

It should examine the company internally as we'll as externally - look at your competitors, how you react to competition and how you compete.

Considered answers that enforce the brand definition are a tremendous asset to your creative and marketing team. Your brand profile is a unique presentation of your company and as such becomes part of your company's worth.  A brand definition document will aid execution of your strategies and answer definite problems that arise or will arise in the future.

It will add confidence to your suppliers, create structure for your employees, and add a 'value' asset to your market worth.

"But can't I develop materials without this background work?" 
Yes, of course you can, and we often do... But you must be aware that your team is missing out on a critical outlined structure to define you.  It can make the difference between branding that hits the target and branding that falls short.  

Mark Fletcher
Graphic Designer

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