In this article Kenny Harper describes the recurrent problem of inconsistent marketing and brand messages that organizations release. With a chain of people working on these it is easy for the messages to become misconstrued. Kenny demonstrates why having a brand guide acts as a solution. He leaves you with key tips to consider and ideas of what to include.
Causes of Marketing Message & Brand Inconsistency
A brand guide is very valuable. A brand guide can help communicate to your whole team what is in your brand. There are a lot of things to consider; from photography, colors and fonts to your messaging and how to use those different elements altogether.
What happens a lot of the time is similar to playing the elevator game, you have someone who who starts the story and then passes the story along to the next person. By the time you get to the last person playing the message is so distorted that it’s not even close to the original message intended.
This happens frequently with marketing and branding. You define what your brand is, pass off your materials to someone, they manage other people, it goes down the line and before you know it you have pretty incongruent marketing messages as a product. That really works against you because it’s not communicating clearly to your target audience who you are and what you’re about.
A Brand Guide for Consistent Communication & Clarity
This is where the brand guides steps in and helps each person in the chain of command really understand how to do things properly in order to fit and communicate your brand.
Keep It Simple
Brand guides don’t need to be super complicated, once upon a time I was working for an advertising agency and we were working on an international brand. This company had a brand guide that was so thick and so structured that it included everything from to where to put specific logos, which lines you could use, how long and how close the lines could be to each other, the colors to use, etc. It was so defined that when we were required to do a website redesign project for this client, because we had to follow the brand guide, we ended up designing a website that looked almost like the original.
This brand guide in particular was too tightly defined and had too many parameters. The moral of the story is, you don’t have to create a big thick brand guide, you’re creating a personal brand and can simply have one, two, or three pages that simply communicate what your brand is what it’s aiming to portray.
It Can Include:
- Font Used
- Your Mission
- Your Vision
These are just some examples. This enables anyone is going to be working on and representing your brand, or creating marketing and sales messaging for you, to do so in a consistent manner that best reflects who you are and what you’re about.
My recommendation is to go ahead and create your brand guide. If you want a brand guide template or some examples, go to kennyharper.rocks for downloads and to find out more information.