How to stop brand bastardisation with brand guidelines

By HGB , Aug 21 2020
Your goal is to build a professional, credible brand that is memorable, packs a punch and connects with your buyer persona, and this starts with setting brand guidelines.

However, we can probably all raise our hand and confess to having seen a colleague produce something that doesn’t represent your business or the professional image you want to develop.

Think of a PowerPoint presentation, illustrated with clip art, your company logo stretched out of proportion or placed inside a box. Either way, it has the cringe factor and does nothing for your logo design.

So, how to stop brand bastardisation while setting out a clear brand strategy for your team?

The best way is to empower them with internal marketing guidelines which can be achieved in four easy steps:

1. Brand guidelines

Quite like the name suggests, brand guidelines provide guidance as to how to use your brand. Sometimes referred to as the brand ‘rule book’ this powerful document clearly explains:

  • Your brand
  • Your colour family
  • What size your logo should be and how much space it needs around it
  • The type style and fonts that should be used for headings versus body copy versus on your website
  • Other items such as imagery or photography; samples of core stationery, such as business cards and letterhead; and tone of voice for content creation.

2. Accessible font family

Your type style might be outlined in your brand guide but these fonts need to be accessible to staff. Make sure they are loaded onto their computer. Easy access helps reduce the risk of brand bastardisation.

3. Templates

Some people have a creative streak and some don’t. Either way, don’t let your brand be bastardised by individual interpretation of what looks ‘good’. Provide your staff with templates and guide them as to what is acceptable. Three templates that will help your team include:

  • Email signature
  • Word document
  • Powerpoint presentation

4. Brand Police

Guides can be set but unless they are enforced they can quickly be forgotten. Keep on top of your culprits and make it company policy that nothing leaves the building without being sited or signed off by your brand police.

This could be an internal person, someone in your marketing team perhaps, or you may prefer your out-house marketing consultancy do this for you.

Over time you may find your brand informants to be on the outside. This is exactly what Domino’s did when they dropped the word ‘pizza’ from their brand and then asked their customers to ‘dob’ in any franchise owners who hadn’t made the change.

By establishing guidelines you can empower your team (or your customers!) to confidentially embrace your brand and prevent bastardisation occurring. Your business and your brand is an investment, how do you protect yours?

If you need weapons to empower your team and protect your brand, click on the link below to see what marketing services HGB can provide for you.

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