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Why Brand Guides are Critical for Success

Why Brand Guides are Critical for Success

If you’ve ever wondered what makes big brands so beautiful, it boils down to their signature recipe – their brand guide. Without a detailed, up-to-date brand guide in place, a brand can become scrambled as eggs. This blog explores what exactly a brand guide entails, the harmful effects of trying to navigate the marketing landscape without one in place, and the clear benefits of creating and sticking to a brand guide.

What is a Brand Guide?

A brand guide is exactly as it sounds; a guide for proper brand representation and recognition through specific definition of the brand’s colors, fonts, logo options, photography/illustrative styles, and rules surrounding each. These guides are shared internally with an organization’s marketing team and with outside marketing partners, vendors, and more. Brand guides can vary from simple to complex, but having something rather than nothing in place is an essential part of setting a brand up for success.

What is Brand Recognition?

Brand recognition is explained as the extent to which your consumers can correctly identify your brand when presented with your marketing materials. Think of brand recognition as your digital identification that gives you access to a loyal audience who trusts your offerings because they can easily recognize who you are. Consistency is key, and a brand guide can unlock your brand’s potential. 

The Effects of an Unguided Brand

Your brand’s visual representation is not something you want to gamble with when striving for success. A brand unguided can be easily compared to leaving a child unsupervised. Without clear direction or instruction, a child can quickly get lost in any situation – large or small. Your brand is your baby, and the best thing you can do to create a clear future for growth is to have a proper brand guide in place. 

Without a guide in place, your marketing team will need to piece together every design it prepares for your organization, using critical time to blindly taking shots in the dark at what your brand “should” look like. This is about as efficient as showing up at the grocery store with no list prepared, hungry, and in a rush to get out the door.

On average, it takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember your brand ( Without professional branding techniques in place, it will be infinitely more difficult to reach that crucial 5th mark. Additionally, in many situations there are multiple personalities who want a say in what they visually like (or dislike) about your branded materials. Whether you’re working with multiple agencies or must adhere to what the company superiors prefer, having more than one hand in the pot can stir up not only emotions, but inconsistent designs presented to the public.”

Not only does a brand guide provide your target audience with a clear definition of what to visually expect from your brand, but it also saves your organization time and money when it comes to designing just about any materials. You wouldn’t start baking without a defined recipe, and you shouldn’t design anything without your digital recipe from your brand guide in front of you. By having your visual style pre-prepared, the marketing team working with your brand will become efficient at creating materials that adhere to your styling rules. Another bonus? Presenting a brand consistently across platforms can even increase your revenue by up to 23% (

Think of your brand as a uniform. With one in place, all the many personalities who may have previously tried to interject their preferences in your brand style will now have a uniform they must consider, adhere to, and work within. Very quickly, your brand’s visual outfit will go from mismatched and blurry to consistently crystal clear, saving you time and increasing your potential revenue. 

How to Build a Strong Brand

Building anything to be strong and successful starts at the foundation. You wouldn’t start working out with 100lb weights if you’ve never trained before, and the same can be said for your brand. The only way to build and flex your brand’s muscles is to take the necessary starting steps with a brand guide. After time and careful execution of the brand rules, your brand will work itself up to the point where it’s strongly (and quickly) recognized by your target audience.

Picking up these metaphorical weights may feel daunting, but we can help lift you up. 

Contact us for a free brand consultation!