Why Your Business Needs a Brand Guide

If you’ve ever walked into a grocery store and felt the frustration of not being able to find the brand you’ve always bought because they changed the look of their packaging, you already know why a brand guide is important.

When a brand, a unique color scheme, or a logo makes its way into the collective mind of the consumer, it can be hard to change course. Constant repetition of familiar graphical elements combined with fonts, styles and other themes make it easy for your company’s individuality to stand out from the competition.

If your company doesn’t have a brand guide, it needs one.

What is a Brand Guide, Exactly?

We’re glad you asked. Simply put, brand guides are sets of rules, formats, voicings and messaging styles that attempt to keep a brand message consistent across all media. This goes for print ads, radio spots, product packaging, and anything else that might contain a reference or suggestion to the brand.

The simplest style guides can include just the basics, like logos, color palettes, and specific vocabulary to be used in messaging. At this point, it’s important to distinguish design guides from writing guides, as the two are often conflated. Because of this, many companies unify their brand guides into one, an all-encompassing guide that covers everything.

For now, we’re going to focus on design guides above writing guides, even though there can be some overlap between the two. As one of the best examples of a unified design style, let’s have a look at the iconography used in Google’s G Suite brands, like Gmail, Drive, Docs, and more:

Google brands
Credit: Google

One of the first things you should notice about the above graphic is that each icon has an intentionally simple structure with minimal depth. When you analyze these different G Suite icons, what you find is that shadowing or dimensional effects are only applied to about five to ten percent of the icon image at the most. Many of the icons remain in 2D for the express purpose of maintaining the brand presentation at lower resolutions. Genius!

Another key feature of these different G Suite design style is their use of the same four colors that are found in the Google logo itself: blue, red, yellow/orange, and green. This wasn’t done on accident: Google wants to be sure that when you see this specific set of colors, you think, “Aha! Google.” And, it works.

Time to Act

Perhaps you’ve realized that your company needs a brand guide of its own. Now that you know the basics of why they’re used, it’s time to start thinking about what to include in your guide. Think about fonts, graphics, color tones, and overall impression. What is the emotional response you want your brand to elicit? What styles, themes, or templates might be best to achieve this?

Want yet more ways to up the amplitude on your digital marketing? Contact Altitude Agency today, and let’s forge forward, together.

5 Reasons Why Your Brand Needs Pinterest

It’s safe to say Pinterest is one of the fastest growing and most popular social media networks in the last decade. Where Vine and even MySpace’s resurgence have floundered and fallen to the wayside, Pinterest has picked up steam and continues to take over social media market share across demographics. If you’re a business, being on Pinterest isn’t just about being on Pinterest; it’s about so much more with referral traffic to your website and brand awareness being some of the perks.

Altitude Agency gives you five reasons why your brand should be on Pinterest and what it’ll do to help you grow your business online.

5 Reasons Why Your Brand Needs to Be Pinning

Drive Referral Traffic

The number one reason every brand should use Pinterest, even if it doesn’t seem like the right fit is referral traffic. Pinterest is one of the leading sources of social referral traffic to websites in the last three years, and this continues to grow for businesses who pin their content that is then re-pinned and shared by other users on the network. In just two to three hours a month, you can drive constant traffic to your website in most niches.

Build Brand Awareness

By pinning your content and leveraging other users sharing it, you can showcase your brand’s expertise online. For niches like home improvement, entertainment, and e-commerce, you’ll continue to show up in searches related to your products and services on Pinterest. As you pop up, more users will associate your brand with what they’re looking for and remember you when it’s time to buy.

Longer Exposure

The world’s attention span is changing thanks to social media. Everybody wants short bursts of information, but it’s quickly lost as something better or more interesting comes along. With Pinterest, high-quality images and content keep coming back for more as it’s rediscovered and re-pinned by users. This means your initial investment in Pinterest will continue to ebb and flow, unlike most other social networks out there like Facebook and Twitter where you’re quickly forgotten. This keeps you top of mind for potential customers when they rediscover your content on Pinterest.

Free Promotion

Unless you spend money on Pinterest Ads – which is worth it depending on the niche – Pinterest is free to use. Once you add pins and begin re-pinning, not only have you set your brand up for success but you’re also going to get free promotion for people sharing your pins. This is a win-win for the initial investment in getting Pinterest boards set up and running. Who doesn’t love free advertising that’ll continue as long as Pinterest is around for people to find you on?

Boost Sales or Generate Leads

According to Pinterest, 93% of its 200 million monthly Pinners use their platform to plan for purchases. By taking the time to make creative pins that reach out to your audience on the social network, you could boost sales or generate leads from the site itself in addition to sending people to your website to do the same thing. This gives you two funnels to drive growth for your brand. The return on investment on Pinterest is on-going, even though all the work to get started is upfront. This should be a no-brainer for businesses looking to drive more traffic to their website.

Pinterest continues to grow daily, and there’s no reason why brands shouldn’t be doing what they can to stay relevant on the social network. With a few hours a month, you could be driving traffic to your website, increasing your brand authority, and generating leads or sales. If you’re interested in seeing how Pinterest will work for your business, get in touch with our social media team and let’s talk.