Last updated on January 19th, 2023
If you own a business, you are likely familiar with creating brand guidelines. These guidelines ensure brand consistency across all media, including logos, fonts, colors, and taglines. The guidelines also help maintain your brand’s tone of voice and personality traits.
Brand guidelines are crucial to developing a solid and consistent brand reputation in their niche markets. Since digital assets have become integral to most brands’ marketing strategies, it is about time you switch to digital brand guidelines and eliminate those conventional ways of printing the guidelines.
So, if you plan to go digital with your brand guidelines or realize that your guidelines have failed to meet their full potential, you are in the right place. This article will show why you should choose digital brand guidelines over traditional ones.
Why Traditional Brand Guidelines No Longer Work
There was a time brand guideline accessible only in print or PDF format. Unfortunately, those traditional methods of keeping the guidelines do not work for most organizations in today’s digital world. So, it is time to create and distribute brand guidelines digitally.
Here’s Why Traditional Brand Guidelines No Longer Work
01. Hard To Update and Distribute
With every update you make to your PDF brand guidelines document, you need to redistribute it to your team. This leaves much room for mistakes, such as omitting someone during distribution. There is also no way of knowing whether everyone has read them thoroughly.
In addition, if you have multiple teams working on different projects that need access to the same information, keeping track of updates and changes across all the other documents using the conventional guidelines can be challenging.
02. Require A Lot Of Work To Maintain
Brand guidelines are long documents with detailed information about each aspect of your brand identity. The guidelines must be regularly updated as things change — say, when you revise your logo or change your font.
But updating guidelines using the traditional ways is time-consuming and requires extra effort. This is because no in-built version control or comment systems are available, making collaboration among teams for incorporating changes a challenging task.
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03. Unable To Serve Their Purpose Efficiently
While a PDF brand guidelines document contains a lot of detailed information about your company’s brand identity, it may not serve its purpose as well as expected.
First, a PDF document stowed away somewhere in the depths of your computer can be hard to find when you need it urgently. And if it’s printed, it may be even harder to see in the document stack on your desk. In addition, traditional brand guidelines are hard to update, and they can become outdated and unusable unless updated regularly.
Secondly, brands use videos or other forms of dynamic content in this digital age. But a PDF document cannot perform some tasks, such as including an intro template to a video as part of your brand guidelines, which you can do easily with digital brand guidelines.
With so many digital channels available today (think email marketing, social media, and mobile apps), you opt for a faster way to track all of your brand assets. A PDF, on the other hand, is no longer good enough to track all of your content and assets across multiple channels.
Why You Should Choose Digital Brand Guidelines Instead
The traditional formats of band guidelines, such as a PDF document, printed brand book, or even a static webpage, are fading away and giving way to digital brand guidelines. That is because the digital guidelines are easier to update and much more efficient in maintaining cohesive brand identity across all touchpoints.
Main Benefits Of Digital Brand Guidelines:
01. Access and Share Guidelines Quickly
You can access the updated information about your brand and its look and feel with digital brand guidelines. As a result, everyone in your organization will always be on the same page when creating new campaigns or designing marketing material for an upcoming event or promotion.
Digital brand guidelines also make it easy for anyone in the company to share their work with other departments or colleagues in other locations. Since all brand assets and guidelines are kept in one place, everyone can access them with a click of the mouse. This saves time and makes things simpler for everyone involved!
02. Ensure The Safety Of Documents
Traditional brand guidelines are usually printed and kept in a binder in the office. If left carelessly, they can get lost or damaged by spilled coffee cups or other office hazards.
But digital brand guidelines are safe records and are quickly accessible when you need them. You can store them in a secure online location, such as a brand hub, that anyone within your organization can access at any time with a few clicks of the mouse.
03. Save Time and Money
Building your brand guidelines can be complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Most companies spend months working on them, only to find that they need to update them again soon after.
You can make changes whenever necessary using an online brand hub without waiting for approvals or paying for expensive revisions. Digital brand guidelines allow you to create consistency in your visual communications for conveying a brand message.
You can easily follow a standard for everything from typography to photography. Keeping your brand guidelines in one place will make it easier to ensure your new brand assets are coherent with the existing ones and avoid having to pay for changes.
04. Improve Team Collaboration
By using digital brand guidelines, your team members can access and share information about your company’s identity. You can also send updates about your brand or logo design. This helps everyone stay updated with the latest changes in your business. Also, your team members will learn how to use the brand rules for interactive content.
Traditional brand books can make you forget important information about your company’s identity. Since traditional brand books are typically in PDF format, it can be challenging to determine who has which version or whether a team member will bother reading the updated guidelines when they are working on multiple projects.
But with digital guidelines, you can manage all of your branding materials from one location with the help of digital solutions like Desygner, making it easier for everyone to stay informed.
Building Your Digital Brand Guidelines
You might wonder what to do to go digital with your brand guidelines. Creating a digital version of your brand guidelines goes beyond designing a nice-looking document in InDesign and exporting it into a PDF format. Instead, it’s about creating a place to store all your branding assets that any team member can access at any time and from any device.
That’s where a digital brand hub comes in. A digital brand hub is a website, app, or other platform used to house all of your brand’s online content. It helps ensure your marketing materials are consistent with your brand strategy. A digital brand hub should include your brand guidelines, style guide, and branding assets.
If you are looking for a brand hub that allows you to store your branding, marketing, and content assets in one place, Desygner’s Corporate Marketing Hub is the right solution. With this software, each team member will have instant access to all essential assets of your brand.
Digital brand guidelines are the most effective in keeping your team on the same page for brand consistency across all your marketing materials. That leads to a cohesive brand image on all touchpoints and a shared sense of identity. Small businesses should prefer a digital version of their brand guidelines over the traditional one. So, regardless of what stage you are on in your business, it’s time to go digital to make your brand more accessible and flexible.