Understanding Brand Guides
Every financial advisory firm needs a brand guide in order to successfully promote their business. Here are 3 things that should be on every brand guide:
Logo & Color Palette
Visual brand consistency is super important in our fast-paced world of digital marketing, so the more consistent you can be with your brand the more attention you will get. That's why every brand guide should contain the proper usage of your logo and your color palette. You'd be surprised how many companies don't even think about this! Your logo visually represents your brand and you need to be consistent about how you use it.
First, remind people not to stretch out the logo or use low resolution files. Your logo should be crisp and clear and remain in its original shape or form. If someone needs to fit it in larger spaces get your graphic designer to adjust it to the proper size. Also clearly state what your tagline is and give options to add your tagline with and without your logo.
Make sure to include which backgrounds are appropriate to place behind your logo. For example if you have a black and white version of it, or lighter and darker versions of it, make sure to suggest lighter backgrounds for a darker shaded logo and darker backgrounds for lighter shaded logos. Like this:
Your color palette is equally as important as your logo. When designing sales and marketing material or website images, emails and posts on social you sometimes have many creators taking care of this stuff.
You need to guide them in which exact colors are appropriate for usage when making creative with your logo. You must include the RGB, HSB and CMYK for each acceptable color. This ensures consistency with printing and other colored branded material. When you tell a printer "I want yellow," that could mean 130 different shades! So be precise about which colors to use. Remember consistency is key and when making creative material for your company you don't want "personal touches" added to your brand. A color palette on your brand guide will solve for this. This is what a color palette should look like:
Company Description, Vision & Values
Every brand guide should contain a company description that resembles a short elevator pitch. It should cover who your target audience is, what your value proposition is and what your differentiators are. You can add your HQ location, what geographies you serve and how long you have been in business if this matters to your prospects. Give them a description that makes them want to call you! Don't be afraid to let your personality come out in your company description. People like doing business with other people, not with a generic business. So personality matters in these types of things. This can later be used for many prospect-facing uses like your website, social media pages, boilerplates, emails, proposals, sales material and more. And no matter who is responsible for adding the company description to these channels, it will all be consistent because you had it in your brand guide!
Your vision and the reason why you get up every day as a wealth and financial advisor should also be on your brand guide. You want the world to know why because part of that is your differentiator. Your passion for what you do should come out in your vision and values. If you haven't done this exercise with your team yet, please do so and write them all down. These items should be in your brand guide. Here is an example of Clairant's Values:
It is imperative that your brand guide contains an in depth description of your target audience. This goes beyond your basic age and gender that most of us are used to when we think about our target audience. Go deeper. Ask yourself about their behavior, what they do every day, where they hang out, are they married? Are they parents? All of these simple questions give you answers that dig deeper into who they are. When you get these answers ask yourself why? If they golf, for example? Why? Because they want to network with their peers and get more business.
The deeper you can dig into who your target audience is the more effective your marketing will be because you will understand their goals their dreams, their aspirations, pain points and what keeps them up at night. Once you know this you will craft the perfect message that will pull at their heart strings and convince them that they need YOU to help get them where they want to be.
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