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20 March 2019

A strong brand is one of the most powerful ways to attract customers to your business. Brand guidelines can act as a manual for everyone in your company to use, providing your business with a comprehensive guide to keep all your communications and activities on brand.

Well thought out brand guidelines can bring together all the elements of your business into a cohesive whole. As well as covering the visual elements, they can also take a deeper look at what makes your business truly unique – from the stories you tell, to your brand’s history.

What are brand guidelines?

Traditionally, brand guidelines incorporated visual elements such as your logo, typeface, colours, and image/photography style.

As the idea of branding has evolved, however, many companies are now also keen to ensure the tone of voice, language used, messages, brand history and other non-visual elements are consistent across the business.

These brand building blocks are important for building trusting relationships with your customer base, and having them written down will help to make sure you are all singing from the same hymn sheet.

Tell your brand story

Modern customers of today enjoy a strong brand story. Where have you come from? What’s your passion? Why does your business do what it does? Your brand guidelines provide a place to record all these important messages, and more. You can use this as a point of reference to communicate your message, values, morals and the mission of your company.

If you are undergoing a rebranding exercise, brand guidelines are also a hugely important tool as they can help you strategize and communicate your new brand identity clearly to those it directly affects. Read our 5 steps to rebranding success blog post for more ideas on this.

Brand guidelines case study: JAC Vapour

When one of the UK’s leading suppliers of e-cigarettes and e-liquids asked us to create brand guidelines for their distinctly different brand, we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The JAC Vapour brand guidelines offer a comprehensive overview of absolutely every aspect of their brand. We included visual guidance, such as logo use and different logo versions, typeface and kerning options, product photography and brand imagery requirements, and colour palette specifications. In addition to the visual brand elements, we also included guidance on their brand strapline and tone of voice, brand history timeline and sub-brand advertising.

Brand guidelines case study: Citizens Advice Scotland

We were approached by the national advice charity, Citizens Advice Scotland, to develop brand guidelines to ensure consistency across all of their future communications. As well as including all of the usual brand guideline elements, we also covered some highly brand-specific guidance, such as the use of their ‘spotlight’ graphic device, iconography, data visualisation and details on visuals for infographics. We also backed up these brand guidelines with sub guidelines for all Citizens Advice Bureaux across Scotland.

Are brand guidelines really going to transform my business?

Having worked with numerous companies to create comprehensive brand guidelines, we’ve seen first-hand how transformative they can be for a business’s image. The consistency and professional impression they help to achieve can change your business in the eyes of your potential and existing customers. Think of your brand guidelines as an easy-to-digest manual which brings integrity to your business.

As an experienced branding agency, at Firefly we understand that every business is different. Talk to us today about creating a set of brand guidelines that truly represent your company, and let the transformation begin.

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