Brand Guidelines Template
Identify and communicate your brand’s unique visual style and personality.
About the Brand Guidelines Template
What are brand guidelines?
When you think of your favorite companies, what do they have in common? For most of us, our favorite companies are defined by winning brands. The best brands are unique and instantly recognizable. They have a clear voice that informs the look and feel of their website, products and services, marketing copy, and even how problems are solved.
But brands don’t appear out of thin air. Every great brand starts with documenting your unique brand guidelines to ensure consistency across the entire organization. These guidelines help flesh out the components that give your business its unique character. Brand guidelines should be flexible so your designers can have room to play but rigid enough to make your brand easily recognizable.
When to use Brand Guidelines
There’s never a wrong time to figure out your brand guidelines. For new businesses, brand guidelines are crucial to ensure consistency, establish trust, and foster brand recognition.
But not only new businesses can benefit from established brand guidelines. Treat them like a living document, and revisit your brand guidelines any time your brand needs refreshing: when you’re pushing into a new market, rebranding the organization, growing your business, or pivoting your product offerings.
Create your own brand guidelines
Making your own brand guidelines is easy using our simple template. Miro’s whiteboard tool is the perfect canvas to create and share it. Get started by selecting the Brand Guidelines Template, then take the following steps to make one of your own.
Articulate your brand story and positioning statements.
Your brand story is the narrative stream that runs through all of your marketing materials. It helps your customers connect with your brand by taking them through a journey: how you got here, what problem your brand is solving, what motivates you, and what you hope to achieve.
Connect with your customers.
Customers respond to brands on an emotional level. What emotions do you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand? Does your brand inspire loyalty? Creativity? Excitement?
Study your competitors.
What do their brands look like? Dig into their voice and tone; how they present their brand; and what their products, services, websites, and marketing materials look like. Your goal here isn’t to copy competitors but to keep in mind that potential customers will be consistently comparing you to similar businesses and seeing how you measure up.
Define your brand personality.
Think of your brand as a person. What are they like? How would you describe them to your friends? This brand personality will permeate everything you create. Once you nail it down, you can choose colors, fonts, photos, or other visual elements that align with your personality. Miro makes it easy to collaborate on your brand’s visual characteristics. Share graphics, talk through ideas, and iterate as a team.
While storyboard is typically associated with planning out scenes for a movie or TV show, it’s been widely adopted throughout the business world. A storyboard is a sequence of illustrations that are used to develop a story. You can use the Storyboarding template anytime you’d like to really put yourself in a customer or user’s position and understand how they think, feel, and act. This tactic can be especially useful when you know there’s a problem or inefficiency with an existing process. You can storyboard existing processes or workflows and plan how you would like them to look in the future.
The Target Audience template helps you to understand your potential customers. Who is interested in your company or service? What types of people might buy your product? How can you market to them effectively? Target audience analysis involves describing your audience in terms of a variety of demographics, including age and gender, as well as income, education, and location, or psychographics like interests and opinions. Analyzing your target audience provides valuable insights for most business functions.
How do your individual or team goals relate to an organization’s overall strategy? A Strategy Map is a stylized picture of your organization’s strategy and objectives. It’s powerful because it provides a clear visual guide to how these various elements work together. Strategy Maps can help align various different team goals with the overall strategy and mission. With the Strategy Map in place, teams can create set actionable, relevant KPIs. Strategy mapping is often considered part of the balanced scorecard (BSC) methodology, which is a strategic planning tool for setting overall team goals.
First coined by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, the value chain analysis helps your team evaluate your business activities so you can find ways to improve your competitive advantage. A value chain is a set of activities that a company performs in order to deliver a valuable product from start to finish. The analysis itself allows your team to visualize all the business activities involved in creating the product—and helps you identify inefficiencies, bottlenecks, and miscommunication within the process.
3 Horizons of Growth
Featured in The Alchemy of Growth, this model gives ambitious companies a way to balance the present and the future—in other words, what’s working in the existing business and what emerging, possibly-profitable growth opportunities lie ahead. Then teams across the organization can make sure that their projects map to and support the organization’s goals. The 3 Horizons of Growth model is also a powerful way to foster a culture of innovation—one that values and depends on experimentation and iteration—and to identify opportunities for new business.
Wardley Mapping Canvas
A Wardley Map represents the landscape in which a business operates. It's made up of a value chain (the activities required to fulfill user needs) graphed against the evolution of individual activities over time. You place components with value on the y-axis and commodity on the x-axis. Use a Wardley Map to understand shared assumptions about your environment and discover what strategic options are available. Easily communicate your understanding of the landscape to your team, new hires, and stakeholders.