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Shellie Pierce

Shellie Pierce Principal

Exclusive Blog Posts

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Protect Your Brand! 3 Reasons Your Business Needs Brand Guidelines

 

First of all, just what is a Brand Guideline document? Simply put, think of it as your brand playbook. A Brand Guideline document is a one to two-page document outlining the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of your business identity. Every large business has this, in fact, some of the larger brands have volumes on it, but sadly, many small businesses fail to realize the importance. I’m of the belief that no matter the size of your company or what industry, having a brand guideline document can help you strengthen and grow your brand, and ultimately your bottom line. Here are 3 Reasons Your Business Needs Brand Guidelines:
 

  1. Your Brand is an Asset – Protect It! You wouldn’t let someone redecorate your house, why would you let someone redecorate your brand? Just like the money you spent designing and furnishing your house, chances are that you spent at least a little money developing your business identity. In addition to money, it’s certain that you spent a lot of time and thought into how you wanted to portray your business through your logo and your chosen color palate. Why not protect what you’ve built? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen sales people or other teams get “creative” with their email signature, the company tagline or even with the logo itself, usually with the end result being something not even close to the desired identity. Then, it was up to me to kindly ask them to change it without offending their inner-artist. A simple one-pager outlining the proper usage goes a long way in circumventing this.
     
  2. Dress for the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have. How many times have you heard that advice to a rookie employee looking to climb the ranks? Well, the same goes true for putting on your “Brand Suit”. I’ve always been a big fan of making a company I market look bigger than they are on paper. Countless times I’ve had people tell me, “Oh, X Company only has 120 employees? I thought they were around 500!” That has always been a result of putting the very best foot forward with the brand identity and visual appearance. Little things like consistent use of colors and font really do contribute to making this happen.
     
  3. Consistency Pays Off. We all know repetition is key to piercing through the noise of all that hits our target audience these days, but is what you are repeating consistent? Look at the top brands closely and you will see meticulous consistency with things like taglines, logo placement, font usage, color palate and imagery. This isn’t for nothing. They know that to make people remember them, consistency is their best friend.

Are you still in doubt? There is a science to the art of brand development and promotion that has lasted the test of time growing brands from nothing to household names. Take a mental inventory of the ones that you know off the top of your head (Google, Facebook, Apple ring any bells?) and ask yourself if you are ready to get in the game. Email me for a free example of 1-page brand guideline document.

Shellie Pierce is Principal of PierceMarketing, a full service marketing and design firm serving the Automotive and Technology industries. Shellie can be reached at shellie@piercemarketing.com or via www.piercemarketing.com

Jim Bell
Great read Shellie. It is so true in protecting your brand. I think back to the old movie Coming to America. You think about McDowells and McDonalds in that movie. Granted, it could never work today as they would be sued, but it does come down to protecting your dealership brand. One way to do that is to make sure that you have alerts set up with Google on your dealer name and different variations of it so you can react if God forbid, something does get said that is out of line online. Also, setting up alerts with social media is another key to make sure that things are consistent online.

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