July 13, 2022
Before getting into all of the nitty-gritty details of why your business needs brand guidelines and all of its various elements, we need to understand, what are business branding packages? A branding package is the set of elements that are “what your business looks like”. And if you have one specific predetermined way that your brand looks, it will be easy to create a unified experience for the user - all of the business infrastructures such as the website, social media, presentations, and even the emails you send will have their “signature” brand style.
Here are just a few reasons why your business needs a branding package (also called a brand guide)
Brand/product recognition. Imagine this: you are browsing the aisles of a local grocery store on a hot summer day in search of a cold beverage when you see the familiar red-white color combination and Coca-Cola written in the signature font. You quickly spot the product and immediately go to pay for it. The reason is - that branding is so familiar that it helps us quickly identify the product and find it when we need it, making the purchase almost automatic.
Is the brand and the branding package the same? What are the key elements of a brand?
Despite what many people might think, a brand is more than the components in its branding package. Each brand and company is rooted in so much more - the business story, the value the business brings, the personality of the business, the people in it the core values and principles of the brand too. A good designer will try to understand all of these things before working with the visual components of the branding package and try to bring it all together in the form of a brand identity package.
So, what is included in a branding package/brand identity package? Here are the core elements that come in a branding package:
Every business has one and it's an integral part of the branding package, it even has its own name - the branding logo package. The logo is a combination of images and symbols that represents the company. The logo should always be in alignment with the brand colors and guidelines.
Before the brand guide is even made, it is important to identify the color palette of the business. Each brand has a few brand colors that all complement each other, and they essentially become the brand colors and are therefore used in all business infrastructure. These colors are agreed upon at the beginning of making anything, and they do not change at the whim of a manager.
The typography, also called the fonts, are all of the ways your texts will look - on your website, blog, and email signatures. These have to take into account how the text will be displayed on the website, text on images or ads, text in the name of the company, as well as how these texts will look in bold or cursive.
This is done in collaboration with the decision-makers/marketing department of the business, and the image guidelines are either/or image examples of what the imagery on the company infrastructure should look like, or a text explaining what images should be used.
Additionally, some businesses prefer to add elements to their brand guidelines which are in essence a transposition of the key assets (colors/typography/logo etc) onto other formats where the business wants to have a presence. These elements are not part of the traditional brand guidelines, but rather extras that some businesses choose to include. We recommend each business to take a close look at these and determine which would be beneficial for them and which are simply irrelevant.
Businesses with a strong inclination towards an online business: so having a social media presence, e-commerce stores or online-based businesses oftentimes request the following:
These are self-explanatory and are especially important for businesses that do a lot of email outreach and marketing. Having all of your emails look similar helps create a better first impression and stand out positively amongst the spam emails.
Social media and graphics.
Businesses that are interested in having a strong social media presence often request a sample feed (or as few as 3 images) to have a feel of how they want their social media to look. Graphics are also often used for social media, so brands want to have them made. This is referred to as the social media branding package
Businesses with a strong inclination towards an offline business: having a physical store or shelf in a supermarket, having their products physically displayed oftentimes request the following:
Packaging and company merch.
Though this could be bought as a separate design service, sometimes businesses specifically request to have packaging ideas and guidelines be included in the brand guide, to be used to package their products in the future. Similarly, if the brand wants to sell their merchandise, they might want to have digital images of how this will look with their branding and colors.
Brochures and business cards
Again, though this product can be sold separately, some businesses choose to have a few versions of brochures and business cards in the brand guidelines, to have an idea of how the brand assets will look when physically printed and handed out to customers/potential customers.
Is there a difference between a brand package for a small business, a corporate identity design package and a branding package for a new business or startup? The simple answer is - no, these don’t differ dramatically. Each business needs the same set of elements to showcase their brand. The main thing that differentiates different branding packages r are the additional elements that businesses choose to add on the packages - such as the email templates, company merchandise etc.
These packages are so similar, that most agencies even have a brand package template, and they simply put in additional elements to a pre-existing template
Complete branding package cost:
So, so, what is the cost of a brand package? And how much can you, as a business, estimate to spend on design for branding and a branding package?
Most businesses have their own brand identity pricing packages, and price these accordingly. According to some sources, the price range for a branding package (also called the branding kit package), depending on the complexity (oftentimes, if your business only needs one part of the package, such as the social media branding package, it will be cheaper than purchasing the full branding package), amount of elements and professionals vary between $2,000-$75,000, but the sky's the limit when it comes to design, as some prestigious agencies might charge even more than that.
Are brand packages still relevant in 2022?
If you are asking yourself - is design for branding still relevant in 2022, the answer is… Yes, yes yes and yes! No matter what size your business is, whether it's small or big, just a startup or has been established for a long time, your business needs a brand package in 2022. A brand package helps people remember who you are, as well as makes all of your business infrastructure have the same “feel” and be the same experience for your customers.
A summary: this article aimed to discuss all of the elements that are part of the brand guide, as well as to discuss the importance of having one for your business, but at the end of the day, you as a business decision-maker need to decide which elements need to be included in the brand guideline to best suit your business needs. The core elements such as the logo, typography, colors and image suggestions are crucial and the core of how your brand looks, but pretty much everything else is up for the business to pick and choose.