Did you know that having a solid brand package can help your organization take the guessing out of design?
Branding is everywhere these days. And it is important to the growth of companies and organizations both non-profit and for profit.
What is Branding?
Some think that branding is a logo. Some think it’s certain colors. Or perhaps it’s the slogan. Branding includes all of these things, but ultimately branding is “the experience that your customers walk away with from your business.” Experience is what drives customers to become repeat customers. A good customer experience is enabled by the colors, the logo, the slogan, the companies mission, and how the people and the process work to connect the customer with their product.
As an example, let’s take a look at Starbucks. Starbucks sells its average 16oz cup of regular coffee for about $2.10. You can get coffee just about anywhere for a lot less money. So why is it that Starbucks can sell coffee for more. It’s not because it tastes better or is a better quality. It’s because they are not selling you a cup of coffee. They are selling you the brand experience. The experience of walking into a Tuscany Coffee House and the smell of fresh coffee grounds, with a friendly Barista smiling and offering you a cup. This experience is so important that Starbucks has spent millions to maintain that experience.
A brand guide is a document that lays the brand out for anyone who may be doing something with the brand such as a designer or a web developer. It also helps you understand your own brand better. These documents can be very complicated or very simple. They usually include things like your logo, and how it can or cannot be used. Your colors, mission statement, and other branding pieces. Many times they include information about the”voice” or “feeling” your brand must convey. Sometimes the history of your brand and examples from the past are included.
The Importance of Brand Guides
A brand guide will take the subjectivity and guess out of a brand design. Your brand should be consistent and anything created for your brand should convey the same message. And so the rules and information contained in the brand guide can be used to judge whether or not a design is in compliance with the brand. Now design becomes no longer based on the feelings of the designer or the client, but it becomes based on a set strategy.
Often design choices such as colors and photos can be subjective, but when you have a solid brand and brand strategy it can help guide those choices and remove that subjectivity eliminating the frustration that often occurs between clients and designers.