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A guide to ensure brand compliance for your company

Where did the Idea of Branding Originate? 

To fully grasp the concept of a term we can look into the history of where a word came from. In the ancient Scandanavian language of Norse, the word “brand” meant “to burn.” Back in those days they referred to a burning piece of wood as a “brand,” later named a “torch.” As the 1500s approached, it became common for a rancher to have unique branding irons designed. These would be their signature mark, permanently placed onto each of their cattle in order to show ownership, or in other words, their “brand identity.”

From the very beginning, branding was all about making your mark, both literally and figuratively. When you saw a branded marking on a cow it was, in essence, what we know of as a “logo” today; it was the logo of the cattle ranch it came from. The designs were simple, distinctive and instantly identifiable. 

People came to know their meats by these markings. You knew which beef would have the best flavor and texture by which ranch it came from. Similarly today, you can know what to expect when you buy certain brands of food, drinks, purses and shoes, for example. You can trust your investment because you know where it came from and how it was made.

What is Brand Compliance?

Your brand represents who you are and what you stand for. Companies work long and hard to build their brand identity up so it is crucial to remain in control of it, making sure it is never placed in jeopardy of straying. Consistency matters to your customers and therefore also to your bottom line. So what is the meaning of brand compliance? Brand compliance ensures that your message remains consistent at all times.

When a company has strong brand compliance this means that they have a set of strategies they follow; strategies that ensure all the elements of their brand are protected and that they are kept in perfect alignment with the values and quality standards of their company. For the ranchers this may have been making it a rule that they only bought a certain quality of feed, or that they culled their cattle in only the most humane ways, kept only a certain number of cattle to ensure they lived and ate well, etc. 

Changing anything that might affect the quality of what services or products you offer could potentially undermine the success of your business and that is where putting brand identity guidelines in place comes intimately into play.

What are Brand Identity Guidelines?

So, what are brand identity guidelines? Brand identity guidelines serve as a written manual and style guide, setting forth brand standards that you’ll use across both digital and print media. Following these brand identity guidelines ensures that your brand is being portrayed accurately. You want your consumers to develop trust in your brand and it’s promise so you need your entire organization on board with this synchronized effort and to know how to put it into play.

Creating a well defined brand identity for your business ensures that the day to day interactions with your brand are simple and effective for your employees and your clients. The foundation of your brand is your logo, and each of your public platforms (websites, social media, print collateral, and other promotional material) should consistently incorporate your logo and other brand elements. Simply put, your logo and your branding is your promise to your audience, serving to remind them of what they can expect from you in each and every encounter.

We can help you create your very own Brand Identity Guidelines. To design and implement successful long term brand strategy, we will go through all of your current content, background, platforms and ideas. This will help to form what will soon become your brand identity. If you don’t already have a solid start on this, we will ambassador the defining of your current brand identity (including colors, logo, and historical messaging) to help us to better understand what legacy elements to include in the creation of a visual identity. Reach out to us today!


The Brand Guides We Offer

Brand Messaging

The core elements of your brand, gleaned from your comments and refined with our expertise.

People align with companies who have a clear sense of purpose and identity. We help refine and define your identity in a process that marries your insight and our expertise. We start by sending you a series of in-depth questionnaires to uncover key aspects of your brand identity and message. Our questions will prompt you to consider: Who are you in the world? Who are you not? What do you do and why do you do it? Who do you exist for? We’ll take your responses and use our branding expertise to clarify and define your brand in a multi-page document—your Brand Messaging. We may suggest some minor tweaks to your logo, slogan, or other messaging along the way. We’ll also detail the visuals of your brand in a Brand Reference Guide.

Brand Voice

A carefully curated view of your brand, brought into sharp focus by our discerning experts.

This option provides a handy snapshot of your current brand. We record key elements of your existing brand in a 4-page Brand Reference Guide. The guide documents your current logo, color palette (by RGB, CMYK and PMS if applicable), slogan, signature fonts, and image styles. This does not include new creative work.

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zo agency serves as the marketing department for small to midsize businesses that are typically too small to have their own internal marketing department and invariably too big to manage without one.

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