Maintain consistent branding for your business with our tips on branding guidelines.
Consider the ways you brand yourself as a trainer.
This could be through your logo, business name, or even your communication style and tone with clients.
You may run your own business or train for another organization as a trainer. Either way, when organizing, marketing, and delivering your training sessions or services, being on-brand will give you a highly regarded reputation and boost your credibility.
Strong branding creates a familiarity that clients can trust and feel confident going back to time and time again. But what are some tactics we can use to ensure we are doing that?
If you are training while representing an organization, you may already have branding guidelines you need to abide by. This guide will help you make sure you have all the basic components of a branding guidelines document and can serve as a reminder to evaluate your current branding guidelines.
If you are an independent trainer or your organization does not have branding guidelines, this week’s blog will give you a head start to ensure you have all the necessities.
The way you design any component of your brand influences how your audience perceives it. It may seem trivial compared to other parts of your organization. But your logos, communications products, packaging, etc. serve as the “face” of your brand and are the first thing people see. It’s small but consistent touches like this that make your brand stand out. There are a few different design elements to keep in mind for your brand:
Typography – Your typography choices play a role in practically every aspect of your brand. Typeface gives tone and overall aesthetic to your brand as a whole, whether it be professional, edgy, juvenile, etc. When selecting a typeface, you first have to choose between serif and sans serif.
Serif font has embellishments on the ends of the text (Times New Roman is a common one):
San serif fonts don’t (Open Sans is a common one):
See the difference? There’s a lot of debate regarding which one is better. Generally, the serif typeface is a bit more formal, but that doesn’t mean that sans serif can’t be used in a professional context, as it has a more modern feel.
There is also debate in regards to which one has better readability. Some people prefer the way the embellishments in a serif font differentiate the letters more. However, there’s something to be said for the simplification of a sans serif typeface.
The most important thing is to not mix too many different typefaces. Ideally, if you choose a serif font, stick with that throughout all your branding or vice versa.
Logo – Your logo is effectively one of the first things someone sees associated with your brand. Your brand guidelines should include all viable depictions of your logo, such as greyscale versions and logos with and without text. You should also note how much spacing you want around your logo at all times.
Your logo should have a transparent background so you can seamlessly integrate it into any of your designs. If you don’t have a copy of your logo with a transparent background, you can create one with the premium version of Canva (it’s totally worth it).
Colors (Code converter) – Consider your brand’s color scheme and how you use it in various parts of your organization or business. In order to make sure you are being consistent with your branding colors; it is crucial that you know your brand’s RGB or Hex codes. Generally, if you worked with a graphic designer, these codes have been included in your logo design, it may look something like this:
If you don’t have these, don’t sweat it. Simply place your logo in Canva and it will give you the Hex code. If you only have the Hex code and need the RGB code (or vice versa), there are many converters you can use to get these codes, such as this one.
Your messaging should reflect the tone, voice, and communication style of your brand. It should also be consistent with your vision, mission, and value statements.
The basic idea of these three components is as follows:
Mission: A general statement of what the organization strives to do each day.
Vision: A forward-thinking statement of what the organization is working towards.
Values: The core priorities of the organization both internally and externally.
Boilerplate – A boilerplate tells the reader what the brand does in a short paragraph. Sometimes, different boilerplates are needed depending on the situation, but having one in your brand guidelines is crucial, even if it is just to serve as a template or baseline. Boilerplates are used for a variety of different documents and marketing/communications products such as:
- Sales collateral
- Press releases
- The “About Us” page on your website
- Funding applications
- Award nominations
- Fact sheets
- Media advisories
- Any standardized written or digital documents
Your boilerplate should provide the who, what, when, where, and why of your brand. It should give the reader a high-level background of your company without being more than a short paragraph.
Brand voice – how does your brand sound to your audiences? Some companies may want to present an edgier voice. For others, it may be more calming energy. As a B2B company, we strive to have a professional yet approachable voice. With professionalism in mind there is no room for slang terms, however, another brand – such as a trendy clothing brand targeted at Gen Z – can get away with using more acronyms and slang terms. They can also get away with a more light-hearted tone and humor when interacting with their audience. That’s not to say that you can’t have some fun with your marketing if you aren’t in that category, you just may have to be a bit more strategic.
Distribute, distribute, distribute
Once you have documented all of this, it’s time to distribute your branding guidelines. This document isn’t meant just for marketers – contrary to popular belief. Sure, marketers generally develop the branding guidelines, but anyone in an organization can benefit from maintaining the brand guidelines. Make sure you distribute any branding materials other departments in your organization may need, such as letterhead, company email signatures, etc.
We hope this “guide to branding guidelines” gives you some insight into presenting a consistent and authentic brand. How do you ensure consistent branding through your organization? Do you have branding guidelines? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by Katelyn Roy on