Brand governance: Nobody reads brand guidelines do they?

I had an interesting exchange with a client recently.

We are in the process of launching their new brand, which will be a high profile consumer brand.

Unsurprisingly, they don’t want to put a foot wrong with the launch… you never get a second chance to make a first impression and all that!

So, despite appointing an advertising agency and already having an in-house design and online marketing team, they have asked us, their branding agency, to review and if necessary, amend every piece of design or marketing collateral that is produced for the brand launch.

Why? Well, in the words of the client “Nobody reads brand guidelines, do they?”.

When I replied that we do. The client’s response was, “well, that’s because you’re a brand agency”.

Branding agencies in Dubai and as far as I am aware, the rest of the world, are still producing detailed brand guidelines either as a paper-based document or a pdf, ostensibly designed to be printed. And I’d rather naively assumed that the first thing any high quality marketing agency, design agency or web agency would do when entrusted with a brand, would be to immerse themselves in the brand guidelines.

According to my client’s experience, that’s not the case.

It would seem that there are two problems with conventional guidelines. Firstly, with guidelines expanding to cover all things brand related: brand strategy, brand positioning, corporate identity design, tone of voice, brand collateral, print specifications, web design principles and even social media strategy, they are becoming a mammoth read and are putting end users off using them.

Secondly, today’s time-pressured marketers are finding it difficult to stay on top of updating the guidelines every time there is a change to the brand. And calling your brand agency every time a new piece of marketing collateral is designed, or a new advertising template is created can be a costly business.

Now here’s my shameless plug… Omnia has an online solution. Our creative and digital teams have put their heads together and built an online brand guideline and asset management system that has been designed for branders, by branders.

Our system, BrandBox, is easy to use and easy to maintain, allowing you to easily publish updates to your brand, share your guidelines with your team and your agencies, and importantly, house all of your brand collateral, from artwork files to photography and video in one online hub.

Not only that, BrandBox is secure, allowing different levels of access depending on the needs of the user. It also has smart features like automated alerts to tell users when a brand asset that they have used has expired. So once implemented, there should be no excuses for two colleagues to turn up to a meeting with different looking business cards!

Are you in the same position as my client? Is your agency ignoring your brand guidelines? If so, get in touch at and we can show you how BrandBox can become a living, breathing brand guideline and asset management tool that your agency will use and hopefully thank you for.

Plan your project with us.