IMAGINE IF YOU DIDN’T EAT ALL DAY! (SUCKS RIGHT)
You get in your car and decide to drive to a restaurant whose primary colors are red and gold. When you drive into the restaurant you are greeted by two golden arches that form the shape of an “M”. You get out of the car and order a burger and some fries.
Which restaurant did you go to?
If you guessed McDonald’s you guessed right.
If you didn’t guess right, you must have been living under a rock all of your life.
For everyone who guessed right, how did you guess right? I never mentioned the name of the restaurant only the colors and the logo. Are you a detective or are just familiar with the Mcdonald’s brand?
The logo and the colors are components of the Mcdonald’s brand. Their brand is so rooted in our lives that we don’t even need to say the brand name to recognize it. This is the ultimate goal of any brand and I know they got there by having a brand guide.
In this article, I’m going to explain what a brand guide is, why you must have one, and how you can create one for yourself.
What is a Brand Guide?
You can think of a brand guide as a bible for your brand. Do you know how the bible tells you what to do and what not to do? Well, your brand guideline is the same thing for your brand. It’s a set of rules that dictate how your brand is presented to your audience. The main purpose of it is to keep your brand consistent through all the channels that you use to connect with your target audience.
Why is it important?
Your brand is what makes your company your company. Its what the public sees and it will determine whether they will interact with your business or not. A bad brand will not sell anything, I MEAN ANYTHING, not even if Jesus’ shoe was one of their products. I hope this shows you how important your brand is.
What makes a brand guide successful?
A brand guide makes sure everything that your brand is pushing out is consistent. Whether it’s the color, logo, brand message, etc. You can think of it as a formula sheet. Sort of like the formula sheets that you get in school for a math test? It tells you what’s what. What formula to use in each situation.
How to create a Brand Guide?
I am now going to show you what you need to do to create a banging brand guide.
The first thing that you want to go over is your brand story. Your brand story is the reason you do what you do. What is your ultimate goal or what ultimate problem are you trying to solve with your business?
Creating a brand story is simple. It is made up of three components.
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- How did you solve it?
- Show the success of your solution.
For example, this is a brand story of a clothing line called Guy Laroche.
“Established in 1957, Guy Laroche is an eponymous brand founded by the French fashion designer. While creating the brand, the founder had a clear aim in mind: liberating women’s bodies away from the New Look, towards a comfortable, understated elegance both “refined and discreet”. He wished to update both the old tradition and the end product – but never, ever undermine its quality.
Soon, Guy Laroche launched Guy Laroche Monsieur, an equally emancipated line that offered flannel jackets, shirt jackets, and that paired corduroy suits with turtle neck sweaters. The company also started making perfumes. In 1987, the designer was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by the French government. Today, the company is led by its creative director Marcel Marongiu.”
What is your target audience?
Who are you trying to connect with? Who are the people that you are want to appeal and sell to? This is where you create different buyer personas. According to Hubspot, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.
What do you need for these buyer personas?
You want to know:
- If they are married or have children?
- How do they get their information?
What makes your brand your brand? In other words, what about your brand differentiates you from your competitors?
Your brand vibe: If you had to describe your brand vibe in 1-3 sentences what will you say?
Brand Voice: If your brand was a person what will the tone of their voice be? Would it be very serious, funny, or mysterious? You aren’t limited to these three I’m just giving you some ideas. When you find out which it is, also show what it’s not.
Your mission: What does your brand stand for? What does it aim to accomplish?
Feelings- What type of feelings do your customers get when using your product or service?
Solutions: What does your product solve for a customer?
Your logo is so important. It’s going to be the first thing a customer sees when they interact with your brand and it’s how they are going to recognize you. Make sure your brand is shown through your logo. In your brand guide, you should show how your logo should be used and how it shouldn’t be used. Be sure to use examples for how your logos should and shouldn’t be used.
We all know the saying “It’s not about what you say, it’s how you say it. Choosing the right font is important because each font has its distinctive feel and use. Your font could be fun, serious, or even bold. It just has to represent your brand.
Your font should go hand and hand with your brand. They should belong together, kind of like how a couple who finishes each other’s sentences. You should choose one primary font and one secondary font. In your brand guide, you need to show what font to use and how to use it in each respective situation.
How could we forget the colors? A color palette is a set of colors that you will use in your brand. These colors will help your customers recognize you. Colors affect people. So it’s important to choose the right colors for your color palette.
Here are a few colors and their meanings:
Elements are patterns and gradients that are used to boost your brand. They can be used as special icons.
This is the part where you show your brand is presented to the world. How will your brand look on T-shirts, packaging business cards, etc?
I believe in you so go out there and create a stellar brand that I’m going to recognize!