Creating a set of Verbal guidelines informs employees, contractors etc. on how to talk and write about your brand. These guidelines will provide a source of structure and the peace of mind to know your brand is represented correctly throughout your marketing.
Below we provide a list of guidelines you should be creating for your business…
1. Your Name
List correct and incorrect uses. For example, should your name always be written out and not abbreviated? Etc. List each way you can write the name and then some examples as to how it should not be written out.
Quick Tip: It is important that you remain consistent when talking about yourself. Not only does it build awareness and avoid confusion, but it encourages others to do the same.
2. Your Tagline
Your tagline should be a short summary statement that encourages your audience to learn more. Write out your tagline as it should always be shown and then give some examples of variations that should not be used.
Quick Tip: Your tagline should make people want to know more about how and why you do what you do. By creating a guideline for how this should always be written or spoken, you are again creating consistency.
3. Your Positioning
How do you talk about what you do? Who do you support? Make sure your guidelines specifically explain how your reference your audience and specific terms you want to use in that context and terms you should never use.
4. Your Solutions or Products
How do you talk about your products or services? What descriptive words do you want others to use when referencing you. List out some adjectives that best describe these items and adjectives that you do not want to be used.
Quick Tip: Your goal is to build brand equity so wherever you can promote brand value take advantage of it. Making sure that outside vendors use the correct language on your behalf is just as important as you doing it.
Always remember that, “A brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” (Marty Neumeir) Make sure they know how to talk about it.
This is part one of a series “Better Branding” and will include 3 posts all together
Part 1: Establishing Your Brand Story
Part 2: Creating a Visual System
Part 3: Developing Verbal Guidelines