- Hayley Milne Payne
Brand Guidelines - For the Employee
What do brand guidelines mean to you, the employee?
Your Communications and Brand guys preach about these and if you are fortunate enough you have a treasure trove of templates and tools to help you put them to good use.
The honest truth is that many of you may have never really looked at them that closely. Don’t be ashamed to admit it, but have you stopped for a moment to realise that taking a moment to read and absorb the message behind them, can dramatically help you in your day-to-day role. You may believe simply recognising your company logo is enough, or when asked knowing that your signature colour is dark blue not light blue. You could guess the name of your house font, but haven't taken the time to familiarise yourself with it. I am guessing you are also the person who clicks on the Bold button when you want to make something be bold and are unaware you actually have a bold version of your house font, which you should be using for some very important reasons.
It doesn’t matter what role you play - from front desk, to Sales, HR and IT, you are all ambassadors of your company’s brand, so it’s important you know what that means. It means working together as a team to create a consistent tone of voice through every aspect of your role, whether or not you are in the same room, office or continent. Brand guidelines are the foundation to achieving this.
The larger the company the more complex your brand guidelines are likely to be. They’ll have guidance beyond fonts and colours, addressing best practice use of photography and also language. All this is fundamental to enabling you all to represent that brand equally. Brand guidelines essentially allow you to focus on your content and how you add your value, and not be concerned about the details of selecting colors, fonts, images and what language to use. Your brand guidelines prevent you from having to make these decisions and slow you down.
I have lost count of the number of professionals I speak with who say, 'yes we have brand guidelines so we have a house style'. Implying this means they also know how to apply its information in a way that is the right representation of their brand. Do you think it comes effortlessly to everyone to be able to take that information and translate it into good design, that is used consistently across your entire organization? Absolutely not. I witness those struggles on a daily basis. Not everyone finds this easy and not everyone even has the technical ability to do this efficiently. More often than not people feel that following guidelines and making something look polished takes time they simply do not have the luxury of. This couldn’t be more untrue. Making your documents look professionally designed, often is the quicker option.
I have spent over a decade teaching professionals how to use multiple applications in an efficient and confident way, and have witnessed first hand how their efficiency and quality of their presentations and documents can sky rocket, if they open their mind to doing things in a slightly different way. Learn a few nifty little tricks and thinking a bit more like a designer can instantly transform your documents, and when you and your colleagues are on this same page, your brand grows. It’s time to put your personal tastes aside and be an ambassador for your brand. I offer a range of training solutions to support small businesses as well as large organisations. Levelling out the mixture of technical abilities amongst their work force and providing them with the simple foundations of design, so that they can effortlessly take your companies CI and concistently create powerful slides to help build and maintain your brand. Get in touch for a consultation and find out how I can help you and your teams. Photo credit - Scott Graham www.unsplash.com