Jessica Levin has lived and breathed advertising and marketing for over 20 years. She loves every conversation from digging into what brands stand for and where they differ. To Jessica, there are so many puzzle pieces to build as a plan rolls into place thinking about how the message can be translated to emails, social posts, blogs for a website. Jessica now works with teams to define their audience and customers.
When you’re building the brand behind your company, it’s important to establish a set of rules and guidelines to promote consistency throughout your marketing materials. Brand Guidelines serve as a resource for how to present your company to the world. From logos to fonts and brand voice to the color palette, this style guide will ensure that your company is properly represented across all platforms.
When we onboard a new partner at Imagine Media, one of our first steps is to take a deep dive into their brand guidelines. This information is vital to our team because it helps us understand the company at a very personal and detailed level. Whether it’s our copywriter trying to assume the brand voice, or our graphics team making content for their social channels, all of the information included in the brand guidelines helps us build and represent their brand.
You might be wondering what should be included in your brand guidelines. As with any creative process, a great place to start is by building a mood board. This will help set the tone and overall feel of your brand.
Another important element to include in your brand guidelines is all versions of logos and signature graphics that you would like to be utilized. Specifying color and logo size is important for people working with these elements. You can also make clear what would be an example of unacceptable logo usage in this section.
Next, you’ll want to incorporate typography and messaging. Determining the fonts that represent your brand is an important step in creating the personality of your company. Messaging and brand voice are how your brand communicates with their audience. This subject can be relatively tricky, but if you provide your creative team with a clear brand voice, it will make the copywriting process much more effective.
Finally, defining your company’s color palette is an essential part of your brand guidelines. Keeping color consistent throughout your marketing materials will support your presence online, on social media channels and throughout your marketing campaign. When you consider colors like Tiffany turquoise or Coca-Cola red, you get a true appreciation for how much color influences your brand.
Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of brand guidelines, take note of how other companies establish their timeless brands through these elements. If you’re interested in learning more about branding, we highly recommend our friends at Wildcat Echo, who have branding down to an art form!
Story By: Sophie Duncan
Everything you put out into the world from your brand’s social media builds the personality of your company – that is your brand's voice! Creating a brand voice is imperative because a it helps solidify the purpose and motivation behind a business. It’s how you connect with your audience and keep them coming back to you. Here are some tips on how to guarantee you get your brand voice across in the way you want.
1. Create the character for your brand
It is essential to know your brand inside and out to create a good brand voice. You need find out its personality - funny, quirky, professional, matter-of-fact. This choice will depend on how you want an audience to perceive your brand. An easy way to start is by choosing a few adjectives to describe what your brand is, and what your brand is not. Be as specific as you can. Examples include: confident but humble, social but not boisterous, clever but not sarcastic. Essentially, you are building who you are as a brand and giving viewers a reason that sets you apart from the competition. In short: define your voice, then keep it consistent.
2. Know your target audience
This one seems fairly simple, but it is something easily overlooked. You need to understand your target audience, who you are trying to reach and what they care about. Speak in way that is relevant to them, and in ways they want to receive the information. For example, would it be more effective to reach someone in your target via a native advertising article or a short funny clip?
3. Be authentic
While it is important to strategize in creating your brand voice, be careful that you do not sacrifice authenticity. Though using other brands as inspiration for creating your own in the beginning can be a great jumping off point, you do not want to be something you are not. If you lose what makes you unique, it comes off as fake or trying too hard to an audience and it will show through. You want to give an audience a personal look at your brand, and being fake or unauthentic will not get you the audience you want. Every brand should be willing to open up and relax. Regardless of what your brand voice is, authenticity is key.
The final important part of brand voice is to just keep moving forward. If you do not get a solid brand voice right away, that’s okay, just keep trying until you figure out what you are going for. Brand voice is like language, it is fluid. It changes and adapts at every stage of a brand’s life cycle. Because our world is ever-changing, as a brand you need to be adaptable and be a lifelong-learner. Ultimately, never be “finished” creating your brand voice.
Story by: Amanda Carneglia
We are so thrilled to announce our newest client: FunBites!