As business owner, it’s your job to be the watchdog, or “brand police” for your brand. It’s your job to make sure your team or your suppliers use your visuals correctly. Be vigilant. Don’t just assume people know how to use your graphics, what your company colours are, or what type of photographs you use.
Here’s six basic tips to keep your brand safe and maintain your brand guidelines:
1) Don’t squash your logo–EVER. If you’re not sure how to resize your logo properly, watch this short video.
2) Don’t “borrow” images from an online source. Either buy stock photos, take your own, or get images from a free stock site. It’s the way to do it professionally.
3) Don’t ask suppliers to go hunting for YOUR logo. People shouldn’t be told to “get the logo off my website” or “just get it from my Facebook page.” Suppliers need your correct logo in the right format.
4) Don’t let your staff guess at your company colours. Whether you’ve got CMYK, RGB or HEX values, that’s what you should be using. Not just a “kindda sunset orange.” If you have a social media manager working for you, that goes double.
5) Don’t fall victim to the latest font trend. Love that sweet script everyone is using in their Facebook posts? Unless it’s really in line with your brand image, stick to your company fonts.
6) Don’t switch from one image style to another. If you’ve never before used those cute “icons” of your face, or those avatars that are illustration-based, why start now?
And if I’m repeating myself….it’s because it’s important:
ask your designer for a brand image standards sheet (or guidelines) so everyone can use your colours, logo, etc. correctly.
Protecting and respecting your brand ensures consistency. It doesn’t do you any favours to invest in design and marketing if you let your staff pick whatever style of photograph catches their eye, or continue to use outdated stationery with old phone numbers scratched out. You must be vigilant about maintaining your standards.
As you grow your brand and work on your brand image, always ask yourself:
Is this in keeping with the image I’m building? Or am I just falling victim to a trend?