One way to systematize branding in order to ensure consistency is to create brand guidelines. This kit is going to include everything you need to promote your business through all types of marketing — online and offline — as well as whatever it takes to package your products or services.
Your brand guidelines will set the standard for everything you do from brainstorming to creating, to promoting and selling — and beyond. Your brand guidelines will consist of all the things you need to run your business, and keep everything related to it consistent.
Your mission statement or brand message is the guiding reason for your business to exist. It’s what you do, who you do it for, and why you’re the one your clients should trust. This message, unless your entire audience changes and you switch businesses, should never change, and should stand the test of time.
Audience Profile Through Their Buyer’s Journey
Creating audience avatars that represent your ideal customer at different points in the buying journey will help you — or people you hire to help you in your business — keep the message cohesive along all stages of the buying journey.
You’ll want copies of full-size images for all the finalized design elements that you’ll use to help express your brand’s personality and voice. Things like backgrounds, shapes, and separate elements of the logo kept in a file to use will help you avoid sending mixed messages through your design.
You also need a file that contains all the photography, graphics, video, and so forth in order to keep branding cohesive. Include variations on your logo, all the fonts you will use, and outline all the places you’ll use them. Plus, include your color palette so that it’s simple to grab the colors and get it exact, for you or anyone you outsource to.
Content Marketing Templates
You also need to keep templates for emails, blog posts, newsletters, flyers, posters, presentations like PowerPoint slides, press releases, video backgrounds, overlays, intros, outros, and more. Of course, if you use paper, include all the paper marketing materials too like letterhead, business cards, and so forth.
Content Marketing Calendar
One of your most important ways to market today is via content marketing as it encompasses so many areas. Include information for every social media marketing channel, when you’ll post blog posts, when and where you’ll contribute guest articles. Keeping track of this ensures it gets done.
Graphics Across Platforms
Remember to include graphics that work with all social media platforms, websites, print, and product packaging. All these elements should be standardized, and examples included in your brand guidelines.
You should also have templates of your primary website page or landing page that you can easily just grab and use whenever you want to. There is no reason to rebuild the wheel each time.
Putting everything together in a file in the cloud will help you keep your brand standardized while also allowing you to be more creative. You can add to the basic elements without ruining the cohesiveness of your branding and brand message.
No matter who you work with in the future to create content for your brand, your brand guidelines will help you and them stay consistent.