Why You Need Brand Guidelines for Effective Digital Marketing

Successful branding is why you can name the company in that Hulu advert long before their name or logo makes an appearance.

You see the colors. You feel the vibe. You know it’s Grammarly/Target/Maybelline/insert-brand-here.

The goal of recognition isn’t necessarily to become a household name: consistent branding affects your audience’s buying behavior and loyalty more than most businesses realize.

With so many digital marketing channels, how can you make sure your branding stays consistent? Well-structured, detailed, and explanatory brand guidelines.

What are Brand Guidelines?

Think of brand guidelines as your business’s digital marketing constitution.

They’re a set of rules for blog writers, SEO experts, designers, and social media marketers to follow and ensure that your brand looks (and sounds) the same in every corner of the internet.

Yes, these guidelines include things like fonts and colors. However, they also include factors like voice and tone – complete with detailed notes to explain how your brand voice differs across various platforms.

Nothing’s left open to interpretation.

3 Reasons Brand Guidelines are Essential for Successful Digital Marketing

Before launching a new digital marketing strategy, you need a set of brand guidelines to serve as the foundation.

They’re Meta-Level Marketing

Experts say 95% of purchase decisions happen subconsciously. Buying is an emotion-driven process. Consistent branding lets you plant the seeds of loyalty on a subconscious and emotional level.

Consistency Breeds Trust

When people become familiar with a brand, trust starts to develop subconsciously. Studies show that familiarity and trust are critical for influencing purchase decisions.

People like to interact with your brand across multiple channels. If someone jumps from Facebook to your blog and the voice doesn’t hold up, they’ll feel confused and your brand recognition will suffer.

They Make Hiring and Partnerships Easier

When you hire a company to write your blogs and emails, it’s much easier to send a detailed PDF file or interactive web page instead of subjecting them to a confusing phone call. Or worse: expecting them to guess how your brand should sound.

Guidelines are also useful for connecting with Influencers – they can look over your brand guide and know if they’re a good fit.

How to Build Your Brand Guidelines

When you bring someone on to help write your blog and emails, your digital marketing brand guidelines should answer all their questions.

Think of it this way: could you imagine pasting an article from Buzzfeed onto the Foreign Policy Magazine website? Buzzfeed’s super casual and friendly tone just wouldn’t sit right with the technical tone of FP’s content.

Nailing down the points below will ensure that your branding stays consistent.

  1. Brand Identity
  • What do you specialize in?
  • What emotions do you trigger?
  • What’s your mission?
  • What are your values?
  • What does your vision look like?
  • Why should a customer choose you over a competitor?
  1. Design
  • What’s your color palette?
  • What is your primary typeface? Secondary?
  • Do you have brand-specific images?

Spotify takes their logo and colors seriously:

spotify logo brand guideline


  1. Voice
  • What is your brand’s tone of voice? Warm, technical, friendly, witty, casual, formal, etc.?
  • How will you tweak your brand’s voice to fit the aesthetic of different platforms?

A look at Starbucks’s current voice:

starbucks voice brand tone


  1. Audience
  • Who is your targeted audience and how do they communicate?
  • Can you visualize an individual if you were to describe them? Get specific.

Details matter. Make sure to include “this NOT that” examples as well.

Keep Your Branding Consistent Across All Platforms

When well-executed, content marketing can generate 3x more leads for 62% less money than traditional marketing. JS-Interactive understands that brand consistency is the lynchpin of any successful content marketing strategy. As one of the most trusted digital marketing companies in Austin, we take the time to learn about your brand so we can deliver your message in the most impactful way.

Have a few questions first? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation and let’s talk it over!


Justin Staples

For 15 years, Justin has guided businesses on a transformative journey through strategic marketing and design to craft their unique online identity.