When commissioning a video product, you might know what you want it to achieve, who you want it to impress, and how it fits into an overarching marketing campaign. What you won’t necessarily know is what style it should take – and that’s why brand guidelines are so important.
It’s entirely possible for a video style to be unique, aesthetically pleasing, and engaging to a potential audience while also being completely wrong for your company. Sharing brand guidelines with your video agency is the difference between a production that works and a production that doesn’t.
What are brand guidelines, and why do we have them?
If you haven’t established your own guidelines yet, here’s a quick primer. Brand guidelines are internal documents companies keep to ensure that their company is represented consistently and correctly. They also protect trademarks.
Essentially, they define a company’s visual and verbal aesthetic. Brand guidelines might insist that a logo is rendered only in specific colours, or that certain phrases be used exactly – and without variation. They define various internal and external materials such as training guides, marketing collateral, and in-house activities, amongst other applications.
How brand guidelines apply to video
Sharing brand guidelines with your video production agency will give your partners a clear idea of the parameters within which they are allowed to work.
It’s sometimes assumed that it’s okay to avoid following these guidelines in the name of maximising creative license. But if an agency ignores your guidelines, it’s frankly not worth your time or money. These rules define the style and tone of your live-action or animated content, and in doing so, they shape the overall message.
These guidelines are therefore not negotiable: it doesn’t matter how brilliant your video partner’s ideas are if they don’t strictly conform to them (should that be the route you’ve chosen)
Many agencies, of course, will intend to do just that – but guidelines alone aren’t always straightforward. Where there is ambiguity, there is room for confusion, and the right video agency will ask you many questions and request clarity on any potential points of contention. As the client, it’s your job to get answers and provide this clarity: asking your design team for all information related to the brand’s guidelines.
If you don’t have formal guidelines, then look at your company’s colours, language, typeface, logo, and above all, culture. Sometimes an idea or a style will be fine, but it just won’t feel like it suits your company. Communicating this, and providing examples of videos that are more along the lines of what you’re looking for, can go a long way.
A good video agency will request your brand guidelines, adhere to them, and keep them front of mind during every aspect of the pre-production, production, and post-production process.
If you’re looking for a video company that will help you inspire your viewers and achieve your business’s ambitions, take a look at our video production agency page.