Brand-driven Strategies: What’s a Brand Guide and Why You Need One

Whether you have a personal brand or you’re building your business, it’s important to be recognized for who you are.

Building your brand starts with recognising that your brand has a personality.

This personality is formed from different parts of the brand. Great branding is making sure that your brand has a cohesive personality across all digital channels.

Since you’ll be working with a varying number of individuals, you’ll need to document the parts of your brand that make it stand out in a world full of competitors. That’s why you need brand-driven strategies.

What is a brand guide?

A brand guide is a document that encompasses the totality of what your brand is and the specific parts that make up your brand identity.

A brand guide can be described as a manual for your brand. When you buy a product, there’s a manual that explains how the product works and how to use the product. For a brand guide, your brand is the product, and you need to make sure that everyone who’s working with the product knows how it operates.

Different brand guides have varying numbers of pages depending on the components of the brand guide and how elaborately they explain things.

To make a great brand guide, you need to know who your target audience is and be prepared to create an identity that will connect to your target audience.

You need to know the psychology of colours and fonts. They are important to communicate your brand-driven strategies.

Components of your brand guide

Logo: The logo should connect with you and your target audience. Before choosing or designing a logo, ask yourself what is your logo for? Digital channels? Banners? Do you have different versions of your logo for different channels? Your logo should always be suited for a black and white and transparent version. Landscape logos are best, but for socials, you need to make sure they fit nicely. Those are important things you need to know. Your team has to know that the logo shouldn’t be zoomed in or cut. You also need to make sure that you have your brand colours in each one so that it works regardless of which channel you’re showing your logo on.

Fonts: Have fonts that represent your brand. Have at least three and explain how you’ll use those fonts in the brand guide. Your fonts should typify your brand archetype. It will make you stand out amongst your competitors. Wherever your brand is named in the world, the fonts should be unchanged.

Brand voice: This should be distinct and suited for whatever social media platform you choose to build your digital brand on. Your brand voice should suit your target audience. It should show how you’ll be inclusive and communicate with your audience (informal or formal).

Conclusion

When you hire people, it’s important that you give them the tools to properly do their job. That’s what a brand guide helps you do.

It also works with personal brands. For instance, people dress a certain way, and that’s their style. To do something different would not be part of their brand.

Whatever kind of brand it is, it has to have cohesive brand-driven strategies. Your brand should always be the same. Be cohesive and be consistent. This doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes. But as you evolve, you should make sure that you evolve coherently across all media touch points.

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