What is a brand guide, and what’s in it for you?
This year has been such a blessing – I’ve been exposed to lots of different projects just these first three months, including a PledgeMusic campaign, national tour, international tour, album releases and marketing overhauls with my clients.
I’m meeting lots of other folks in the industry and learning so, so much. And it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t share some of my experiences with you.
One of my clients has asked me to jump on meetings with his marketing team, and so far it’s been a blast. We are putting together a carefully thought out 3-month campaign in order to really grab his target audience and hold on to them. I don’t think I’ve ever been through a marketing project this extensive, so I’m really grateful to have the opportunity. And excited!
So, working with the marketing company, we’re going over my client’s brand and image based on who we are targeting, and they created a beautiful document called a Brand Guide. It’s a very useful tool to have for any brand, including a musician, to have in order to stay true to your goals and target audience as an artist.
What’s a Brand Guide?
A brand guide is typically in the form of a PDF that puts together visual assets that complement the brand, and in this case, the music and personality of a musician.
What’s in it?
- 2-3 sentences summarizing the overall feel, sense, colors and descriptive words of the artist.
Go into what the visuals in the brand guide should reflect a sense of. You might have to save this for last.
- Displays the full name logo as well as mark, as well as any secondary marks, such as colors or patterns that can be used in your graphic designs.
- The options of fonts to be used for any graphics or websites, to be used as consistently as possible.
- Background images, patterns and images that convey the vibe of the music and your personality as a musician. It’s always good to include 4-6 examples, so you have a variety of options to pull from.
Why have a Brand Guide?
A brand guide can help anyone, and more specifically the person on your team who is making your graphics (like your designer or virtual assistant) understand your brand and message you want to convey right away.
When done properly, you’ll be able to hand off your guide to anyone who needs to understand your brand, build graphics for you, or create marketing materials for you.Essentially, a brand cheat sheet!
Doing it yourself.
If you’re not in the position to sit down with a marketing team, you can certainly create one yourself – I suggest bouncing ideas off of someone like a virtual assistant, colleague or friend.
A good place to start is to first establish your marketing mission statement, which can be something like:
From there, you build out your mission words. For example:
Those two things will really set the roots for building your own brand guide, and will make every piece of marketing in the future clear, consistent and effective!