Marketing and advertising often work through frequency. The more exposed your target audience to your ads, the better. There is a high chance that they will remember what you are offering and how to visit your store. This happens when your materials are actually a standout—the type that rises above the clutter. Regardless, an ad becomes highly effective when your audience is exposed to it. With that, you need to make sure that everything they see is consistent. The material should be in line with your business’ philosophy and principal aesthetics. If you want to ensure this, you need to come up with a brand bible.
A brand bible or brand guide is a set of rules and principles that will guide art directors and designers how to use your brand’s components, from the logo to the use of colours. Every marketer and brand manager should have one to make sure that their brand is being used accordingly. Here are some of the things to keep in mind:
Brand guidelines are not a set of heavy text that your creative and brand managers will read. The rules are supposed to be visual—showing will always be better than telling. If you are talking about how to place your brand in a regular poster, you should demonstrate it by showing a mock-up poster and the situation of the brand in it. If you want to talk about how to avoid brand violations, you need to show some examples where the brand components, such as logo and tagline, are compromised.
Describe your audience
Your brand bible is not just about the visual components of your brand. It is also supposed to discuss the personality of your brand. One way to do this is by describing your target audience. Specify the type of people your brand is serving. List down the rules when it comes to brand voice—the tone of written materials and the words that should be avoided. These rules will surely be of great help to the copywriters working on the materials.
Discuss the essentials
Your brand guidelines have a lot of sections, and you need to be specific about these rules. Essentially, you should specify the colours that the designers should be using. You will need to discuss the typefaces that should appear on the materials. You may even talk about how your brand should be used in traditional media, including banners, product labels, and digital media.
List down the violations
Now that you have discussed the essentials, you should then specify the violations that the designers should avoid. For one, you can say that the designers are not supposed to put your logo against dark backgrounds, nor are they supposed to stretch it. Basically, this section should include all the things that you don’t want to do to your brand.
A brand guide is an important advertising and marketing tool that will help you make sure that your brand elements are consistent throughout your materials. It also reinforces the idea that your brand is a valuable asset that is supposed to be properly taken care of. Every art director, graphic designer, brand manager, and decision-maker should always refer to it as far as advertising is concerned.