I have always considered brands as an extension of the human being; just like us, brands also have a life course. Every day, a new brand is created and, like a newborn baby, it also has attributes and characteristics that only become obvious and understandable as we come into regular contact with it.
Children are often given instructions about what to do and what not to do in everyday life. Similarly, brands also need rules that will help them stand out in the market. These rules are the result of a careful examination of its market, competition and the purpose of its existence.
Later, when a child starts school, he or she makes his or her own list of do’s and don’ts and a lifestyle that is adapted to his or her desires and dreams. A brand, too, builds what it does and does not do, which clearly indicates what it will look like, how it will behave and how it will talk. Just as the simple things that guide us in our daily lives form the basis of our existence and make things extremely organized and easy, the brand’s guidelines, in a very effective and systematic way, focus on how the brand will liberate its content in the world. This provides a solid framework to use as a starting point for any branding work.
Like traffic lights, guidelines provide a sense of direction. Creativity within its limits can be a challenge, but at the same time it provides the necessary guidance. When you have too much to explore, it can become intimidating and paralyzing. And at the end, you may be exploring different routes without knowing exactly where to go. When a thoughtful guide is created, it allows the branding team to clearly understand how to do it instead of hitting the nail on the head.
Life without rules is unimaginable. In fact, without rules, there would be chaos. So how can a brand live its life without any regulation and guidelines? It is these guidelines that distinguish the brand from others; they provide the necessary guidance to achieve its purpose. The brand guidelines give the brand a sense of coherence. This is essential because it ensures symmetry and consistency of the brand’s voice that echoes the audience. This will then create brand awareness and build trust.
So whether you are a start-up, an established brand or thinking about changing your brand image, it is never too late to develop brand guidelines.