How to create brand copy guidelines and business strategy

DSM Digital School of Marketing - business strategy

The truly great brand guides do one thing above all else, and that informs. Your guide’s most basic job is to teach everyone who sees it – whether it’s one of your employees, a member of the media or, alternatively, a graphic designer – what your brand is and how to implement it effectively. This can be done in a number of ways however it all comes back to what information your audience is looking for in brand standards.

What is a brand?

Your brand is what your customers, as well as audience members, think of when they hear your business’ name or see your logo. It’s what you represent in addition to who you are as a company. It’s both the voice as well as the tone within the content you create. In addition, it can be experienced through the entire body of work which you produce. Therefore, a brand style guide captures your brand and makes it both understandable in addition to replicable.

Well-defined and -maintained brand style guides allow you the opportunity to present your brand clearly. In addition, they allow you to establish trust with your audience. This is all while ensuring that, internally, every person you work with is on the same page when it comes to your brand. When a brand style guide is in position, every single person in your business should understand both what the brand is in addition to how to implement it in the work they do.

What are the components of brand copy guidelines?

The following are the components of brand copy guidelines:

  • Brand Purpose or Mission: How the brand will behave on its insight.
  • Brand Values: The system by which the brand lives. The brand values are a benchmark to measure behaviours and performance.
  • Brand Personality: The acknowledgement of human personality traits (seriousness, warmth or imagination, etc.) to a brand as a method of achieving differentiation. This is usually achieved through long-term, above-the-line advertising and appropriate packaging and graphics. These traits inform brand behaviour via both prepared communication or packaging as well as through the individuals who represent the brand – its employees.

What is a mission, vision and positioning statement?

A mission statement specifies the organisation’s purpose or reason for being in existence. All plans and programmes should be in line with this target. It is a plan to be achieved within a timeframe of typically three to five years.

The vision statement describes the organisational picture at a future time.  A vision establishes the overall direction of the organisation. In addition, it is what the organisation strives to be and is an aspiration to be pursued.

A positioning statement is something which YOU do in order to cause a change of perception in the prospect’s mind. Therefore, a positioning statement describes how you would like to be perceived, what you intend to do to create and maintain it.

What are brand values?

Your brand is one of your most important assets. It is essential that everyone understands the value of the brand and knows how to use it. Values are at the very core of your brand. They’re the centre from which everything radiates, including your brand’s:

  • Look (design),
  • Message (voice), and
  • Relationships (customer service).

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