Brand Guidelines Crea­te brand gui­de­li­nes and get star­ted

Our brand is what peop­le say about us when we’­re not in the room. Jeff Bezos, the foun­der of Ama­zon, once said this. Why is this important to under­stand? Well, becau­se we don’t crea­te our brand, our cus­to­mers do. They take what we give them, every litt­le touch­point with our com­pa­ny, and turn it into a fee­ling.

We can only steer that fee­ling one way or the other, and it is cri­ti­cal to the suc­cess of our busi­ness that we do: our busi­ness must feel the same at every touch­point. One buil­ding block on this jour­ney is the Brand Gui­de­li­ne. A refe­rence gui­de that defi­nes exact­ly how we pre­sent our­sel­ves and makes it easier for our employees to con­vey a con­sis­tent image.

Why is this important? Reco­gni­ti­on is key!

Brand Guidelines August 10, 2023 Pascal Jodocy 6 min

Brand gui­de­li­nes - what is it?

Brand gui­de­li­nes are a set of design and con­tent gui­de­li­nes that ensu­re a con­sis­tent cor­po­ra­te iden­ti­ty. They inclu­de:

  • our cor­po­ra­te iden­ti­ty
  • our cor­po­ra­te design
  • our cor­po­ra­te lan­guage

The­se need to be defi­ned to ensu­re the suc­cess of the busi­ness. At the heart of this are two fac­tors:

  1. the com­pa­ny its­elf, with its values, aspi­ra­ti­ons and gui­ding princi­ples
  2. the tar­get audi­ence that the brand stra­te­gy is inten­ded to reach.

Nor­mal­ly, the deve­lo­p­ment of a brand stra­te­gy falls wit­hin the realm of cus­to­mer-focu­sed mar­ke­ting. Incre­a­singly, howe­ver, it has an impact on other depart­ments and pur­su­es other objec­ti­ves.

Why brand gui­de­li­nes are also important for inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons

It is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important for poten­ti­al cus­to­mers to be able to reco­gni­se a com­pa­ny immedia­te­ly so that they can choo­se it. With an effec­ti­ve brand poli­cy, we make it easier for our cus­to­mers to choo­se us.

But the­re is ano­t­her important area whe­re a brand poli­cy is nee­ded: employ­er bran­ding. If you want to posi­ti­on your com­pa­ny as a strong employ­er brand, you need gui­de­li­nes just as much as you do for tra­di­tio­nal mar­ke­ting. And here are the rea­sons why:

1. Your busi­ness loo­ks pro­fes­sio­nal with con­sis­tent brand posi­tio­ning

A user-friend­ly, con­sis­tent design appeals to peop­le and con­veys com­pe­tence and secu­ri­ty. This is exact­ly what you want to achie­ve with your inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons. On the one hand, you want to show your cur­rent employees that your com­pa­ny is suc­cess­ful and sta­ble. On the other hand, to have a repre­sen­ta­ti­ve figu­rehead for inte­res­ted app­li­cants. The mes­sa­ge behind it: You are not working for just any com­pa­ny, you are working for a repu­ta­ble com­pa­ny with a repu­ta­ti­on.

2. A con­sis­tent brand iden­ti­ty shows per­so­na­li­ty

If logos are con­stant­ly chan­ging, colours are not adhe­red to or the tone of voice is con­stant­ly chan­ging, this is not exact­ly a sign of cor­po­ra­te self-con­fi­dence. A con­sis­tent brand iden­ti­ty, on the other hand, allows you to show per­so­na­li­ty and stand out from the crowd. It shows that you know who you are - and that you don’t bend over back­wards for every litt­le thing. This is authen­tic and inspi­res not only cus­to­mers, but also employees and poten­ti­al employees.

3. Reach your tar­get audi­ence with a cohe­si­ve brand

When your bran­ding works, it works for you as a busi­ness and for the peop­le you want to per­sua­de. This is always rela­ted to posi­tio­ning: If you choo­se a cer­tain design, it will appeal to cer­tain peop­le - and not others. The same goes for tona­li­ty and, of cour­se, cor­po­ra­te iden­ti­ty in gene­ral. The moment I crea­te a brand, I auto­ma­ti­cal­ly posi­ti­on mys­elf. And that means that I may not reach ever­yo­ne, but I reach my actu­al tar­get group much more. In recrui­t­ing, but also in inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on, this is worth its weight in gold. After all, you want the peop­le who work with you to share your values and pur­po­se. A well-foun­ded brand gui­de­li­ne pro­vi­des the best basis for this.

4. Brand gui­de­li­nes sup­port cor­po­ra­te cul­tu­re

Peop­le are par­ti­cu­lar­ly moti­va­ted when they see them­sel­ves as part of a com­mu­ni­ty. Tha­t’s why poli­ti­cal par­ties have emblems, sports clubs have flags and who­le coun­tries have lan­guages. They are all sym­bols. And when we share them, we feel a sen­se of belon­ging. The same is true of com­pa­nies and their brands. Com­pa­nies crea­te a com­mon frame­work for all employees through a uni­form appearan­ce in design and wor­d­ing, but also through con­sist­ent­ly repre­sen­ted values. Without this, the­re is essen­ti­al­ly no cor­po­ra­te cul­tu­re. And without a cor­po­ra­te cul­tu­re, the­re can be no suc­cess.

5. Brand gui­de­li­nes make work easier for HR staff

It’s not just mar­ke­ting that needs brand gui­de­li­nes to avoid having to start from scratch every day. If you have a strong gui­de­li­ne for your employee com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on, you make it easier for your HR mana­gers - and the qua­li­ty of your HR mea­su­res incre­a­ses.

How to crea­te brand gui­de­li­nes?

A brand poli­cy defi­nes in a few sen­ten­ces or key­words what makes your brand uni­que. The best way to do this is by bran­ding are­as:

1. Iden­ti­ty

This inclu­des key ques­ti­ons about you and your cor­po­ra­te per­so­na­li­ty:

  • Who are you?
  • What makes you spe­cial?
  • What are your values? How are they reflec­ted in your actions?
  • What is your rea­son for being?
  • How would you like to be per­cei­ved?

2. Design

If you have alrea­dy defi­ned design gui­de­li­nes for your mar­ke­ting, you can use them as a star­ting point and adapt them for your employee com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons, e.g:

  • Logo gui­de­li­nes
  • Colours & colour balan­ce
  • House font & text gui­de­li­nes
  • Images & image style
  • Gra­phics & icons
  • Lay­out for emails, web­sites, PPTs etc.

3. Ter­mi­no­lo­gy

This is pro­bab­ly the most important area of your cor­po­ra­te com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons. The way you com­mu­ni­ca­te says a lot about your values and the way you want to work tog­e­ther. The most important aspects of wor­d­ing in inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­ons are

  • Tone of voice, e.g. more casu­al, more for­mal, on a first-name basis or not
  • Form of address
  • Key messages
  • Eng­lish or Ger­man
  • Lin­gu­is­tic images

Why ever­yo­ne in the com­pa­ny should know the brand gui­de­li­nes

Brand gui­de­li­nes are use­ful for streng­t­he­ning the brand intern­al­ly and extern­al­ly - if they are app­lied cor­rect­ly. This only works if ever­yo­ne is awa­re of the gui­de­li­nes. After a while, for examp­le, a tone of voice emer­ges from com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. As human bein­gs, we usual­ly respond to com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on by imi­ta­ti­on: the way someo­ne speaks to me is the way I respond. Nevertheless, the gui­de­li­nes should be proac­tively com­mu­ni­ca­ted to new employees so that they don’t have to pain­sta­kin­gly find out what defi­nes your brand, but know it from the start.

Brand Gui­de­li­ne - a prime examp­le of use­ful e-lear­ning con­tent

At SAPE­RED we are fans of digi­tal solu­ti­ons. Howe­ver, this does not mean that we recom­mend e-lear­ning per se to our cus­to­mers. It all depends on the lear­ning con­tent, the tar­get group, the envi­ron­ment and the lear­ning and busi­ness objec­ti­ves. A brand poli­cy is an ide­al examp­le of con­tent that can be deli­ve­r­ed well through digi­tal trai­ning. If an employee lear­ning plat­form alrea­dy exists, the poli­cy can be well pla­ced the­re.

The situa­ti­on is dif­fe­rent when crea­ting brand gui­de­li­nes. This requi­res crea­ti­ve col­la­bo­ra­ti­on and tri­al and error - ide­al­ly in a work­shop with lots of inter­ac­tion.

Sounds exci­ting? Then let’s talk. Whe­ther you want your employees to under­stand a brand poli­cy or any other important cor­po­ra­te issue, we will find the best form for your trai­ning. Regis­ter now for a free con­sul­ta­ti­on, we look for­ward to hea­ring from you!

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