It happens every so often when you’re out and about, you somehow spot someone you know, even through a crowd of people. The moment you see them, there’s no doubt in your mind they are exactly who you think they are. It’s their style, the way they walk, the sound of their voice – there’s just something so unique about them that makes them stand out.
And brands have it too.
The Rules of Recognition
Your brand can only stand out in a crowd of other brands by following the rules – or brand standards.
A brand standards guide provides the rules for all the things that make your brand real – everything from the typography, color palette, logo, slogan, voice and tone and even the mission statement.
Think: Disney’s font style, McDonald’s golden arches and Nike’s “Just Do It.”
Brand standards structure the personality of your brand. It allows you to build a relationship with your audience by creating consistency across all the messaging and visual elements used in your website, social media, blogs and advertisements.
Because brand standards provide the foundation and structure for the success of your brand, it can be extremely destructive when they aren’t followed.
Breaking the Rules Will Break Your Brand
When brand guidelines aren’t followed, it can cause confusion and even mistrust.
Think about your favorite brand and the things that make them stand out. Imagine if they begin to stray from their brand standards – maybe the typography or logo changes or their advertisements have inconsistent messaging and tone – it can make you start questioning the integrity and legitimacy of the brand.
Some popular brands, including Apple, Coca-Cola, GAP and Kraft have all, at one point, suffered from stepping too far away from their brand standards guide. After facing an uproar from a confused and disappointed audience, they all eventually went back to strictly following their brand standards.
Simply put, if a brand wants to cultivate a positive relationship with its audience and avoid the messiness that comes with inconsistent brand messaging, then it should always follow its brand standards.
If you need help creating the standards that will make your brand stand out, get in touch with a DeanHouston+ marketing expert!