Brand Standards - YOURS to Decide
When it comes to brand standards, they are what YOU design them to be. Brand Standards need to be the foundation from which all else flows. They will help you identify and define everything from your graphics style, writing style, content strategy, social media campaigns, and most importantly, YOUR VOICE. Whatever that voice may be. 😎
Rule Breaker vs. Conformist - which are you?
If you are just starting your business, your Brand Standards is one of the first items on your agenda that you want to truly define. You want to ensure that your Brand Standard Guidelines have a solid foundation. Where do you start?
Start with your core values, value proposition and mission and vision. This will be the foundation from which all else flows - brand identity, graphics style, company persona and everything that makes you unique. Exploring these will help you define your persona.
Your Logo. Ensure your logo incorporates all facets of your brand standards such as colors, font, imagery, etc. You want people to associate your logo with your business immediately. It can be done with or without words by using core colors and graphic images.
Color palette - While there are certainly corporations that people associate ONE color with like Red for Coca-Cola, or Green for Starbucks, they actually have a palette of colors. They have PRECISE colors for accents, text and call outs. And, they do NOT deviate. To have a great working palette you should choose 3 - 4 colors. Your main color, an accent color and 1 - 2 supporting colors. Keep in mind, you don't have to be all matchy-matchy! [That's the hard core rule breaker in us!]
Fonts - here is another instance where you want to have more than one font for your business. 2 - 3 is a good rule of thumb. One for main text whether it be website, logo application, etc, another for supporting text such as paragraphs and subtitles and another for call-outs.
Brand Elements - Say what? YES, you want to define what TYPE of pictures you will use for your company. In order to ensure consistency, you want to pick 3 - 5 examples of photographs as examples of what is acceptable along with a reason as to WHY they are acceptable. What feeling does the picture elicit? Are there certain colors in the photo that stand out consistently? You want to do the same thing for any graphic images that may be used for your brand.
Tag Line - Define it! What's your company's catchphrase? It needs to be succinct and clear and communicate to your audience your brand's message.
While Brand Standards are the foundation from which all else flows, it isn't unusual to revise, tweak or evolve them as your business evolves. You most likely will not stray far from your original set of brand standards but you will change them.
Review your brand standards often with the entire team and don't be afraid to revise them as your business evolves.
One last CRUCIAL piece of information regarding brand standards...... Communicate them with your entire team! Enforce them every chance you get whether it is via team member t-shirts / uniforms, appreciation gifts, business decor, team meetings and events. Discuss them frequently. Especially when it comes to core values, value proposition and mission and vision.
Whether you are just starting out and designing your brand standards for the first time. or you're at an inflection point and want to revise them a little, just remember, they are what YOU make them! Don't be afraid to color outside the box - that's what makes your story and voice so unique.
The Crew at ToDN
The Tribe of Digital Natives prioritizes the needs of each client. We strive to help you find your brand voice through a variety of services. We are a culture of thinkers and makers who have been bringing our client's ideas into existence since 2010. Our business works closely with each brand in order to create solid communication strategies that will produce measurable results.
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