How Important Are Brand Guidelines? 8 Expert Quotes

by Sarah Hayes on June 08, 2016


Why do you need a brand style guide? We could spend a whole article talking about the reasons, but why not let some other experts talk about why brand guidelines are important? Here are professionals, world-renowned brands, and business experts talking about why branding consistency is so, so important:

Dan Pallotta, Harvard Business Review

"Brand is the whole array of your communication tools…brand is your people. Brand is your people and the way they represent you. Having a good team starts with good hiring and continues with strong and consistent training and development. No matter how well your employees adhere to your new brand style guide, if they couldn't care less about the job they're doing, that's your brand.

Harriet Cummings, Finding Your Brand's Voice

"Why is tone of voice important? It's an expression of the people behind the brand…it's not just what a company does, but who it is that makes it a brand. A tone of voice both embodies and expresses the brand's personality and set of values. It's about the people that make up the brand – the things that drive them, their loves and hates, and what they want to share with the world."

Design Council, The Power of Branding

"It's not easy to communicate values: Over-marketing may seem disingenuous, while not communicating your values in any way may result in people not seeing what you stand for…any values you portray have to be genuine and upheld in the way your organization operates."

Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

"Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from everything the company does."

Coca-Cola Zero Brand Identity and Design Standard

"System-wide identity and design standards are a longstanding part of our heritage and essential to building strong global brands. They empower markets to build from universal rules and conventions so that the brand identity is experienced consistently worldwide on a daily basis and protected across every touchpoint."

Kendra Gaines, Web Designer Depot (with a very cool look at top-notch style guideline books)

"Think of a world where the Target bullseye is purple: You'd be very confused. What if McDonald's Golden Arches were even just a pale yellow? Brand style guides help to maintain a consistent look so that consumers and employees understand the brands. These guides help create uniformity and take a business from being just a company, to becoming a brand."

Jose de Cabo, "Owning It is No Longer Enough – Brands Have to Earn It," The Warc Blog

"Consumers are also painfully aware that the perfect family of four frolicking happily in a professional ad campaign bears little resemblance to their own lives. It might be beautiful and aspirational, but the consumer is brought back to earth…validation they are seeking more authenticity from user-generated content in the social space."

Shayna Markes, 

"If you don't take a step back and think about your business as a whole when it comes to creating content, your content will be a lost cause from the get go…who you are, what you do, and what you're like to deal with is your tone. The very culture of your business is your tone – it is the voice that becomes your brand ambassadors to the outside world."

At 21 Handshake, we consider remarkable branding an integral part of your marketing strategy.  

”Great brands don’t interrupt people, they become ingrained in their lives.” -

21 Handshake Owner, Isaac Oswalt

About Us 21 Handshake

Sarah Hayes

Project Manager at 21 Handshake, a strategic marketing company, driven to grow relationship-driven businesses. A self described life long learner that thrives on detail, I love bringing these skills to the table to help others succeed.

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