How to build online, interactive brand guidelines in one simple step
The swoosh of the Nike logo. The shiny red of a Coca-Cola can. Promoting and sustaining iconic brands and brand experiences like these requires adherence to clear and precise brand guidelines. And communicating those guidelines effectively involves much more than sending company logo files to new employees or creating a branded PowerPoint template.
Brand guidelines (aka brand style guides) are a set of instructions and rules for communicating your brand to the outside world. They define all the visual aspects of your brand, like your company logo and color palette, as well as other attributes that contribute to your brand’s character. They provide instruction for how to use these elements in different contexts.
Traditional brand guidelines take a few common forms: webpages, a PDF posted on your company website, or a glossy, printed guide. But these traditional formats can be problematic because they are:
- Hard to find in a moment of need. During crunch time, no one remembers to search for the latest brand guidelines—even if they’re aware they exist—because they are buried several pages deep on your company website.
- Costly to maintain. If your organization has been struggling to keep brand guidelines up to date, it’s probably because of the cost and hassle to design, produce, and distribute them.
- Not interactive. How can people understand how brand guidelines for interactive web content are applied if they can’t see and feel those experiences for themselves?
Given these issues, it’s no wonder brand guidelines are often ignored.
A better approach is to make brand guidelines easier to access and update, so people can reference them whenever the need arises and know that they have the latest information in hand. Today’s brand guidelines need to be online, but in a format that’s easily searchable, inviting to use, mobile-friendly, and simple to update.
Creating online brand guidelines should help you lower maintenance and production costs and ease distribution headaches. And if you choose the right platform, you’ll have more visibility into how people engage with your guidelines.
So, let’s delve into how anyone can quickly and easily create online brand guidelines—no technical skills required. Even better, we’ll show you how to build brand guidelines that are so engaging and helpful that people will actually enjoy using them.
Building online brand guidelines
While you could pay a programmer to create a beautiful, interactive webpage for your brand guidelines, it probably wouldn’t be cost-effective or quick and easy to do. Also, the guidelines would still be challenging to maintain.
That’s where you need a smarter solution like Rise, an all-in-one training system that anyone can use to create gorgeous, interactive online content. Rise is web-based, so there’s no software to download and install. It’s also intuitive, which means you can get up and running in minutes—not days or weeks.
But why use an online training system to create brand guidelines? Rise is ideal for developing online guides and training materials. It’s flexible enough to create and share almost any kind of online content—like online job aids, quick-start guides, interactive sales playbooks, and brand guidelines.
Rise even includes an assortment of prebuilt content, including professionally designed, carefully researched lessons on a wide array of common business topics, fully built samples, and templates you can customize quickly and easily.
In fact, one of the available templates in Rise is an online brand guideline.
This template has everything you need … except for your company’s branding information and messaging. Just swap out the placeholder text and images with your company’s and customize it to your heart’s content.
Not only does Rise make online content easy to create, but it also simplifies the process of sharing it with people. With a few clicks, you can put your brand guidelines into everyone’s hands.
An added benefit of using Rise for your brand guidelines is the ability to see who’s accessing and using them. Easy-to-understand Rise reports allow you to dive into the data and gain new insights into how people engage with the content you’re sharing. You can even assign your content to individuals or entire groups of people, like your sales, marketing, and design teams, and check to make sure they’ve reviewed it.
While using Rise for your online branding guidelines makes a lot of sense, you may wonder what the secret is to getting people to actually use your guidelines. Keep reading for a few pointers on how to create brand guidelines that are so compelling, people will enjoy using them.
Making your brand guidelines interactive
One surefire way to get people to use any critical resource is to make that information more enticing. That’s why the Rise brand guidelines template isn’t just a big timesaver; it’s also a smart way to make your branding guidelines stick with people.
Designed for engagement, our brand guidelines template is gorgeous to look at. And, just like everything you can create with Rise, it’s mobile-friendly and interactive, too.
Why is it important for your brand guidelines to be interactive? To answer that, let’s look at a few examples of the kinds of problems you can solve by inviting users to interact with your content—instead of giving them just another static PDF to read:
- Using the right brand colors. Scouring a document or a static webpage for color values is tedious. But using Rise to present information like colors and color values can be easily done with clickable flashcards that are eye-catching and fun.
Flashcards make information easier to spot and recall, but they’re just one of the many types of interactive content you can add to Rise projects. For instance, why not give your users a little color quiz to test their recall? It’s fun and easy to add a sorting block to your project and challenge users to do things like match each brand color with its correct use.
- Selecting images that are on-brand. Without a guide or an expert at their side, it can be challenging for the average person to find the kinds of images that evoke your brand’s tone and messaging. That’s why the image carousel block in Rise is so helpful. With it, you can give people plenty of concrete examples to explore—and even share audio or video pointers for finding the best images for projects.
- Making content easy for users to absorb and recall. Don’t shove all that important “do and don’t” information about how to use your brand into an intimidating block of text in a PDF. With Rise, you can use an accordion block to group together related information. An accordion block is a smart way to present related content and make it more inviting—and memorable—than a PDF that’s text-heavy and boring to read.
- Ensuring fonts and logos are current and correct. When people don’t know where to find the latest version of a file, they’re not likely to go digging around for it. Make it easy for them to find the latest versions of fonts and logos by including the download files right in your branding guidelines. Rise makes this easy to do with an attachment block. Simply click to add an attachment block to your project and select the files you want users to download. Problem solved!
As you’ve just learned, making your brand guidelines interactive can help solve a lot of problems. But those are only a few ideas. The great thing about Rise is that everything is customizable, and there are countless ways you can get creative with your online content.
For instance, if clickable flashcards or accordions aren’t your thing, then swap them out for another interactive block type like a labeled graphic with clickable markers or a button stack with links. The possibilities are endless.
With Rise, keeping your interactive brand guidelines up to date is another huge productivity and budget win, too. You don’t need to hire a designer or a programmer every time you need to change your guidelines. Anyone on the team can help keep brand guidelines current and share the newest version with others in minutes.
Your brand is a representation of your company and a vital asset. But communicating your brand identity to people in a clear and compelling way can be challenging.
By using Rise to create brand guidelines that are beautiful, interactive, and mobile-friendly, you’ll make it easier for people to know how best to represent your brand and what your brand experience is all about.