Here´s the thing: a brand identity guideline is THAT PARTICULAR THING strong brands have in common. Think of Coca-Cola: Their branding is the same whether in America or the most recondite place in the world. Red, white, and black colors. Same brand voice, same message, and visual identity. That’s what marketing and branding-savvy experts call brand consistency.
Whether you purchase a Coke in New York or in Tokyo, you’ll get the exact product—although the one you’d get in Tokyo would likely be in Japanese, lol.
One thing is true: Coca-Cola is a consistent brand all around the world. You’ll never get a can of Coke in shades of blue or green, so to speak.
Therefore, brand identity guidelines are the glue in people’s minds that make brands recognizable everywhere. That’s why you need to know the importance of it. If you master this unique tool, you’ll get the most out of your branding and marketing efforts. Creatitive´s got your back when it comes to building strong brands. In this blog, we’ll share the ins and out of how to create brand identity guidelines.
Why Are Brand Guidelines Important?
Brand guidelines, also known as brand identity guidelines or style guides, are crucial in maintaining a consistent brand image and message across various marketing materials and communication media. These guidelines encompass all essential brand elements defining a verbal and visual identity, such as brand colors, fonts, logo usage, and voice.
Ensure you attain a clear brand guidelines template so your brand remains easily recognizable and memorable, regardless of the platform or medium you choose to feature your brand personality. This consistency helps build trust and credibility with a brand’s target audience, including gym directors, e-commerce business owners, athletic-minded business owners, and entrepreneurs.
At Creatitive, we always say to work smart, not hard. Well, crafting a brand guidelines template will ensure your brand is perceived how you intend it to be across all channels and touchpoints. In the words of Catharine Slade, author of “Creating a Brand Identity: A Guide for Designers”:
“A strong brand identity is the foundation for successful communication and engagement with your audience.”
Picture this: you just launched a gym location and want to create a buzz around your brand. Think outside the box: how could you make your brand stand out without a cohesive brand story, core values, and a mission statement? Remember those components resonate with your target audience: attract and convince them.
It’s fair to say that without a comprehensive brand style guide, your creative team might struggle to maintain consistency in your brand’s logo, colors, and visual elements across various marketing materials. This could lead to an unclear brand image, confusing or alienating potential customers.
In other words, if you implement a well-defined brand guide, you ensure that every piece of content, from your website to social media posts, reflects your brand’s personality and speaks with a consistent, authoritative, and inspiring voice that captivates your audience and keeps them engaged.
What are the 7 Elements of Brand Identity?
First off, let´s see what brand identity comprises:
- Color palette
- Brand voice
- Brand story, mission, and vision
- Brand guidelines
That being said, brand identity guidelines help establish a solid foundation for a brand by outlining the above brand elements and rules that should be followed to ensure consistency across all communication channels. It is essential to have a comprehensive and well-structured set of brand guidelines to create a unified brand image and foster a strong connection with the target audience.
How Do You Write a Brand Identity Guide?
Go step-by-step when working on it with your team. It might be a multiple-day process. So, be patient. Get your creative juices flowing and remember the power of The Brand Identity Matrix so you achieve clarity and a well-integrated brand identity. To begin, try your best to follow this checklist:
- Start with an introduction to your brand’s mission and vision
- Detail your logo guidelines, including usage and variations
- Describe your color palette, including primary and secondary colors
- Outline your brand’s typography, such as font styles and sizes
- Establish guidelines for imagery and photography
- Define your brand voice and messaging
- Include any additional design elements unique to your brand.
7 Practical Tips to Develop Brand Identity Elements for Marketing
It all comes down to clarity. Branding is like knowing yourself. In a sea of competitors, you must identify who’s your audience —which involves conducting market research. Once you understand who will interact with your brand, you can design branding and graphic assets to convey your message attractively. But before that, make sure you give people what they need.
Say you’re about to launch an e-commerce marketing campaign. You must think like your potential customers. Think: How can I solve one of my audience’s problems? Why should they choose and prioritize my product or service over my competitors’? Active listening is key to identifying those pain points you can eventually hit with creative and unique solutions.
Are they tired of endlessly waiting for product delivery? Are they disappointed with other brands for not receiving any reward for their loyalty? Are they striving to get outstanding customer service? Do they consider your competitors’ pricing strategies overwhelming and even unfair? Then ask yourself: what can I do to resolve those problems?
The questions above are just the tip of what could be a not-so-well-handled market issue. So, dig up what people are saying about your industry or niche. Then get down to the nitty-gritty of their struggles. Then come up with creative solutions. And keep in mind there’s nothing written in stone. No matter what niche you are involved in, businesses are ever-evolving. So find new ways to develop compelling, sweet solutions for your potential customers.
I mean, your brand could build its foundations in resolving a major problem. Think about Netflix and the video streaming industry. Two decades ago, nobody would’ve ever thought Netflix would be able to beat big fishes like Blockbuster. Back then, Netflix was a DVD rental company, but here’s the thing: Netflix and its executives were thinking beyond the low-hanging fruit, the short-term activation, and the quick-wins of the entertainment industry, now Netflix is part of the everyday vocabulary, spare time, and they have undeniably revolutionized the way people spend hours and hours in front of the TV.
Over time, they have consolidated as a worldwide company, and it’s fair to say everybody recognizes Netflix’s brand identity. Everything from the color palette to logo and app design, most families and individuals around the world are part of the Netflix culture.
With that said, to develop effective brand identity elements for marketing, follow these steps:
- Define your target audience and their preferences.
- Create a memorable logo.
- Choose a distinctive color palette.
- Select appropriate typography.
- Develop a brand voice that resonates with your audience.
- Incorporate your brand story, mission, and vision.
- Establish a set of brand guidelines to ensure consistency.
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See your brand guideline as an inventory of your brand’s key elements. That said, keep in mind that your brand style guide should provide you with a list of all the aspects of your brand identity. It entails the core elements, everything from primary and secondary logos to color palettes, typography, imagery, and other visual elements. A well-executed brand style guide ensures brand consistency, making your brand recognizable and trustworthy.
Your mission statement is a vital part of your brand identity. It succinctly conveys your company’s purpose and values, guiding your team’s actions and decisions. Radim Malinic, the author of “Book of Branding: A Guide to Creating Brand Identity for Startups and Beyond”, says:
“A well-crafted mission statement sets the tone for your brand’s personality and helps create a strong connection with your target audience.”
Logos and Branding
Logos are your brand’s visual representation and should be instantly recognizable. David Airey, in “Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding,” explains:
“A memorable logo is critical in building a strong brand identity, as it helps distinguish your business from competitors.”
Logo guidelines specify the correct usage of your logo, such as size, colors, placement, and any potential variations. Remember: It’s more than just a logo; it’s your first impression in an overcrowded market. Adhering to these guidelines ensures your logo remains consistent across all marketing materials, promoting brand recognition and trust.
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Brand Story, Mission, and Vision
Your brand story is a narrative that shares your company’s origins, values, and aspirations. It helps forge an emotional connection with your audience, making them more likely to engage with your brand. The mission and vision statements are essential components of this narrative, outlining your company’s purpose and long-term goals.
Best Brand Guidelines Examples
Emphasizing its signature red color and recognizable script logo, Coca-Cola’s guidelines showcase the power of a consistent and memorable brand identity. In this case, Coca-Cola enjoys a privileged reputation due to its brand consistency. As we said at the beginning, you’ll never get a can of Coke in shades of blue or green, right? Since they stick to their brand guidelines, you can recognize Coca-Cola on any communication channel.
Known for its minimalistic design and attention to detail, Apple’s brand guidelines are a testament to its dedication to simplicity and consistency. Apple has inspired many brands with its brand guidelines, but one thing is sure: Apple’s visual identity, overall imagery, and aesthetic are unique.
Nike’s guidelines focus on its iconic swoosh logo and bold typography, ensuring instant recognition and a strong brand presence. Despite their collaborations with activewear brands and even luxury brands such as Off-White and Louis Vuitton, Nike’s swoosh logo is unique and easily recognizable. Ultimately, that’s the main goal, building long-lasting relationships through a creative brand identity guideline.
Airbnb’s guidelines highlight its friendly, approachable brand personality through the use of vibrant colors, engaging imagery, and a distinct brand voice. One more time, its logo conveys a warm and cozy message to its audience, which has led them to be a watershed of the online marketplace for short-term homestays and experiences.
With a focus on simplicity, Google’s guidelines emphasize its colorful logo, clean typography, and user-friendly design principles.
Our Designers Can Create One for You!
At Creatitive, our brand experts and graphic designers can help you create a strong, easy-to-recognize brand identity and a smooth set of brand guidelines. We understand the importance of crafting a brand that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition. Contact us to get started on your journey to a captivating brand identity.
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What are brand identity examples?
Brand identity examples include the visual and verbal elements that define a brand, such as logos, color palettes, typography, and brand voice. Some well-known brand identity examples are Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and Google.
What are the 5 Cs of branding?
The 5 C’s of branding are:
Clarity: Your brand message should be clear and easy to understand.
Consistency: Maintain a consistent brand identity across all touchpoints.
Commitment: Stay dedicated to your brand’s values and mission.
Connection: Build strong relationships with your target audience through an engaging brand experience.