Balancing Brand Guidelines and Creativity

Brand guidelines are essential for building brand recall. They help to keep a consistent tone of voice across all brand communication. While it does restrict the brand, it also pushes it to get creative while following the guidelines. Here is how a brand can balance brand guidelines and creativity to create impactful campaigns:

Define Consistent Elements

Brands that have consistent elements present in all their brand communications train their followers to recognise them, even on a screen filled with content from other different brands. Using symbols, fonts, colours and images helps create brand recall in the mind of the user. Brands like Google, Coca Cola, Mc Donald’s and many others use this to be identified by their followers. 

Avoid Overdoing It

While it is good to have consistent elements in your brand communication, using them all together can be a bit too much. So, make sure to mix and match the elements as required by the platform the communication is meant for. This is what will leave the maximum impact on your followers. 

Brand Colours are Essential

Colour is crucial for your brand identity. It plays an important role in helping us classify objects within seconds and can help send indirect messages to the mind. Colours can signal whether your brand is carefree and fun or reliable and serious. It is also what sets you apart from your competitors. 

Brands need to identify a colour scheme for all their brand communication and stay consistent with it across all platforms to ensure brand recall.   

Update and Tweak Your Brand Guidelines Regularly

While consistency is important, so is switching things around so it doesn’t get monotonous. Brands can easily get creative and make slight changes to visual brand identity items like price tags, receipts or shopping bags. 

Some brands even decide to make changes to their brand logos every few years to ensure they are relatable and fresh. 

Do Your Market Research 

 The only way to know what is working for your brand and what isn’t is by conducting market research and asking consumers their thoughts. This is important to understand whether they identify with your brand. Such research can also be conducted before making any major changes to brand guidelines so you can get a better understanding of what works. 

Put together a group of your target customers and ask them their thoughts on the new brand logo, ad or tagline before you launch it in the market. 

Don’t be Afraid to go Off-Brand on Social Media

Social media is where a brand can experiment and keep up with the trends. Don’t be afraid to go off brand on these platforms to achieve success. Make use of unexpected formats and try different kinds of content pieces to see what works best for your brand. Sticking to brand guidelines for every social media post can get monotonous and boring.

Keep Up with the Trends

Especially for those brands that are targeted at millennials and Gen Z, it is important to keep up with the trends. Make sure you keep an eye out for the most prominent design trends and ensure that your designs don’t become outdated. Make sure your brand identity evolves with the times while staying in line with your business objectives. 

Retain Core Visuals

While redesigning major assets like logos, make sure that you retain core visuals like colours and shapes. Just modernise it based on the design trends and make sure to transfer the most memorable elements to your new brand look. This will help with the brand recall even through the reinvention of major brand assets. 

Keep Your Records

Whatever asset you create for your brand should be saved over the years as it will help you navigate your visual presence in your audience’s mind over time. It can also be an asset for ensuring consistency of your brand identity and will help your future employees understand the evolution of the brand assets better.