Contributed by CADA Consult
Your company has values, a personality, and a mission; all together, you have your brand identity. Your brand identity is how you want your customers to think of you and remember you as. Developing brand guidelines will help you create a powerful one. From there, you can build loyalty, trust, and grow through consistency and flow.
Brand designer Arlene Delgado dives in deeper, saying, “Your brand identity is the core essence of your brand. Having a strong and consistent brand identity communicates the personality of your business and shapes your customer’s perception of who you are and what you stand for. It creates trust and helps set you apart from other businesses. If done right, it helps to attract your ideal clients to you so that the people you can serve the most find you and stick around.”
How can you create a powerful brand identity?
First, you’ll have to develop your brand guidelines. With it, you’ll be able to deliver the experience your clients expect for each and every interaction they have with you. Arlene adds, “The brand guidelines document is essentially your brand bible. It is a document that outlines who your business is and the aesthetic of your brand.” It’ll help you keep your social media accounts, packaging, emails, website, and other forms of communication consistent and on-brand.
How to develop brand guidelines?
In your brand guidelines, you’ll want to include these 7 elements:
1. Position and vision statement
This section has everything to do with what you do at this time, who you’re serving, and how your brand envisions supporting their customers in the future. For example, Blueland’s mission is: "Our mission is simple: make it easy to be eco with innovative products in reusable packaging that are convenient, effective, and affordable."
While their vision statement is: "We hope to continue our mission of eliminating more single-use plastic packaging and making it easy for everyone to be eco-friendly."
2. Brand values
Your values lead your business choices, the images you post, and the stories you tell. For example, our client, Handmade Beauty, is a nail, bath, and body line offering a complete line-up of toxic-free, handmade products. Their core values are:
3. Core messaging
Your core messaging is where your brand identifies your key differentiators and story points. Your message is most powerful this way. Sharing this with your ideal customers will help them decide why they should choose you over your competitors. Sometimes they need reminding, so being consistent with what’s unique about your brand is essential.
4. Logo usage
Chances are you have different formats of your logo. You may have a vertical or horizontal design. Or perhaps you have a wordmark. Think and decide how each will be used.
5. Brand voice
Think: who you’re talking to, what they need, and what they want to hear. This way, you can tell your brand’s story in an authentic and relatable way. When we write email subject lines or captions, we like to use Spark Toro to help us learn how our audience talks, the words they use, and the tone they respond to.
We’ve found that casual, yet informative and passionate conversations can build brand loyalty for conscious consumers. We also learned that being trendy and trustworthy is noteworthy.
6. Typography and color palette
Typography and colors provoke emotions and influence how customers view the personality of your brand. “So much of this is subconscious,” tells Arlene. “Blue calms the mind, red increases appetite, purple denotes royalty, white evokes purity, and so on.”
She adds, “Specific fonts can make customers feel or associate your business in a particular way due to the deep links in culture and their usage. Other elements play into typography, such as size, contrast, and spacing, which affect text readability.”
Consumer tip: Inauthentic ‘green’ companies use this knowledge to persuade purpose-driven consumers.
“Some companies use the impact and psychology behind color to their advantage by investing money into marketing that paints their brand as “green” when in reality they’re not doing their due diligence in ensuring that the brand is actually sustainable. This is called greenwashing, and it misleads purpose-driven consumers into investing in what they believe is a sustainable option. Greenwashing is used to distract the consumer from what is really going on. It’s important for people to look a little deeper into the brands they’re investing in.”
7. Photography and design elements
Imagery is especially important for social media and email projects. When you’re consistent with your photography and design elements, your followers and subscribers know who this message is coming from. Plus, when they come to recognize your brands’ style (and enjoy your content), it will get them to stop scrolling. Or stop and open up that email. In turn, you’ll have a greater opportunity to solve their problems and build brand loyalty.
“Get really clear on how you want your prospective customers to feel while interacting with your wellness and sustainability brand. It is vital to making aligned aesthetic choices for your brand,” advises Arlene.
All in all, use your brand guidelines to help your creativity flow and inspire future campaigns. “Your brand guidelines give you a structure that will help guide your creativity while also maintaining the integrity of your brand. I find that having the aesthetic guide for your brand gives you a roadmap that feels more creatively liberating than limiting. It takes some of the guesswork out of creating marketing materials and allows you to put your energy into new ideas.”
Have you outlined your brand guidelines? Or do you need help with defining your brand guidelines? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a personal referral.
We recently spoke with leaders in the experiential and event space to hear their expectations for the near-future of live events, which are ramping up this summer. As one pro pointed out, we’re already seeing proof that most people will feel comfortable engaging in old established behaviors way sooner than anyone predicted. One of the reasons for such comfort levels stems from the safety protocols we can all expect to see in place this summer, helmed by innovative companies dedicated to keeping event guests COVID-free. Check out the leading platforms and insights from their founders below.
VOW Digital Health
The first platform of its kind, VOW Digital Health is a customizable solution for management of COVID-19 health protocols. Founded by longtime event pro Jennifer Brisman, the health safety platform provides event hosts (including The PR Net!) and workplace managers with powerful tech to manage test results, vaccine status and other CDC health screens. The only professional platform for events, VOW helps hosts minimize risk via the app; customers, employees and/or guests upload their health screening info to get a digital access pass.
“VOW Digital Health believes that COVID-19 safety is paramount to successfully reopen business and restart live events worldwide. That’s why we are proud to have created the first professional solution for events, meetings, hospitality and entertainment,” says VOW Digital Health Founder & CEO, Jennifer Brisman. “We are ecstatic to help a global ecosystem get back to the greatest moments that make up the fabric of our lives.”
Fog City Girls
Guests want to know that fellow event-goers are safe to be around, and they want assurance that the venue itself is clean, too. While the onus is on internal teams to make sure the space is properly sanitized, their efforts can go a lot further with help from Fog City Girls. This organic, non-toxic dry fogging disinfection system cleans the air and surfaces of COVID-19 and other pathogens. Co-founder Alex Dickerson (who you may know as CMO of Daily Front Row) shares that it takes only 30 minutes to disinfect spaces, and that half-hour keeps spaces clean for up to seven days.
"I am delighted to see so many in-person gatherings return this summer, it shows a strong positive trend in the fight against COVID,” shares Head Fogger Alex Dickerson. “Fog City Girls is a great additional layer of safety, to help protect people at different stages of vaccination and with varying risk profiles. Fogging is an easy, fast and affordable solution for those that want to have true white-glove service and top level sanitation at events. I think people are going to be forever changed with their approach to cleanliness and being together in large in-person events. Even though we are all feeling safer and are happier being out in groups, there is a base-line comfort level that is increased when party goers see that the planners have done all they can to keep things clean."
With screened guests and squeaky-clean venues, events will be safer than ever this summer. For more safety solutions, check out:
Emed - COVID-19 tests governed by avatar proctors, sold as a set of six, with seamless results. Ideal for traveling to locales where you need proof of a negative test.
Ellume - Now available at CVS, this home test is easy to use, and they also have a self-swab test that you can send to a lab. At $34, it’s a simple and safe solution.
NYC Rapid Test - Testing services in a mobile unit.