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Branding guidelines – what are they and why are they important?

Branding guidelines can be a powerful asset to your business; helping set you apart from your competitors and serving as a way to make a real name for yourself in your particular industry. They are a way for customers or clients to recognise your business. Without realising, you may already have brand guidelines in place – albeit in an unofficial way. Is there a certain colour scheme you like to work in? Do you have a specific tone of voice? Do you use your logo in a particular way? These are all brand guidelines.  Sometimes they are referred to in other terms, such as style guides, and it’s important that a company starts off with core brand guidelines which they can then build upon. These include things like marketing strategy, formatting, typography & fonts and the kind of clients you work with; as well as the others we’ve already mentioned. Once you have these core brand guidelines in place, they act as a kind of blueprint for the rest of your business. As your business grows, you can continue to add more. It’s worth noting that brand guidelines should never hold your business back or stifle creativity. They are there to keep you on the right track and steer your business in the right direction. Sometimes you might push the boundaries of your guidelines, bending them as you need to but always working within them.

So why are they so important?

Brand guidelines serve to define your business so that when a customer or potential customer sees a brochure, PR piece, website content or flyer, for example, they recognise it as belonging to you. Having a set of guidelines can help you consistently deliver a coherent, clear and concise brand message to your audience. Without it, your aims can become unclear and muddled, which is no good for anyone. With every piece of work that you do you’re making a statement and brand guidelines can help you achieve this. They make everything so much simpler, straightforward and easier to accomplish. If everyone in your business knows your brand guidelines, they can use them as a sort of roadmap when coming up with ideas, saving you time and resources. For more information on branding, development or web design in Manchester, contact us at VisionSharp.
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