There’s a saying that “no business is too boring for branding,” but we’d take things a step further and say that no business is interesting enough to go without it. In other words: Every business (in every industry) can benefit from branding, and it’s a worthwhile investment that can help your business soar to new heights. With that said, there’s always a right time to invest in branding — and acting at the right time will ensure that you make the most of your investment.
Brand guidelines — the internal “bylaws” that dictate how to use certain branding elements (like logos, colors, and typography) — are a useful branding tool that work to keep your brand consistent. For example: LegalEase’s color palette is outlined in our brand guidelines, and there’s a clear reason behind our use of blue, gold, and white. Our brand guidelines also include our unique tone and voice, which we filter content through to ensure it’s us talking rather than some other law firm marketing agency. These guidelines can also include brand values, your firm story, clearly-defined do’s and don’ts, and anything else that helps to give your brand (and content) context.
With a set of clear brand guidelines, you can create a cohesive ecosystem where each branding element works toward a common goal. Without clearly defined guidelines, your brand can start to meander off-target; and things can start to feel like you’re slapping a spoiler from a Corolla on an Aston Martin.
So, we know that brand guidelines are useful. But when are they most useful? We’re glad you asked!
Invest in Brand Guidelines When…
You Want to Start Strong
When you’re first building your firm’s brand, brand guidelines serve as less of bowling bumpers and more of a recipe. You’re starting from square one, and your brand guidelines can help position you as the leader than you are — rather than just another firm using canned social media templates. While you can always pivot as needed, starting strong with clearly defined guidelines will help you create a unique brand identity that clients will recognize and respond to. Brand guidelines ensure that you are using all of the necessary ingredients to create your desired image, and will also keep your content on-brand when you inevitably partner with outside vendors.
Your Competitor is Doing it Better
If your brand is Rocky Balboa, your competitor’s is Ivan Drago — and you better believe that they’re working when you’re not. In other words: When you’re not dialing in your brand, your competitor is. Redefining brand guidelines can be a great way to get back up to fighting weight, and circle back to the reason you built your brand in the first place. Brand recognition is a defining factor in customer decision-making, and investing in clear brand guidelines can help make your brand a knock-out (sorry, not sorry!)
You’re In It For the Long Haul
To some business owners, building a brand is a necessary evil. But, if you truly believe in the power of branding and want to turn your successful business into a respected brand, investing in brand guidelines is an absolute must. Gym bros like to say things like “abs are built in the kitchen,” and even though these might elicit (and deserve) eye-rolls, they’re true. In that same vein, brands are built by putting in the work and doing more-or-less the same thing — repeatedly. Brand guidelines are a surefire way to make sure the branding work that you’re doing is toward your desired goal, and investing in these guidelines can be your best chance at success.
Branding Isn’t the End Goal
While building a strong brand can be the end goal, it doesn’t have to be. With a strong and consistent brand that comes from having clearly defined brand guidelines, you can maximize the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Sure, a strong brand is great, but without an equally strong marketing campaign you become a bit like Cameron’s dad in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with his prized Ferrari. Once your brand is built, put the top down and open up the throttle — your brand guidelines will keep you on the road.
LegalEase: Your Brand Guideline Guides
Whether your brand is brand new, established, or somewhere in the middle, brand guidelines can be a valuable asset to your firm. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to brand guidelines, and your firm’s guidelines will be unique from that of the firm down the street. To make sure that your guidelines are geared toward your firm’s strategic goals, enlist the team at LegalEase — and invest in brand guidelines that will keep your firm on the right path toward strengthening your brand.