Did You Know A Brand Guide Is The Foundation Of Your Insurance Agency’s Marketing?
There are many areas where we can succeed and fail in our insurance marketing efforts. There are many good marketing ideas for insurance agencies. However, the best, easiest, and the most practical way to create an opportunity for success is by creating and consistently using a Brand Guide. A brand guide should be the foundation of your marketing and branding. Without one, you will find inconsistencies in your marketing efforts and you will end up being inefficient when generating marketing. With one, you will generate more brand awareness and direct leads easier and in an efficient manner.
The most obvious reason why people should (and do) create a brand guide is to create a consistent brand message. A good brand guide will determine fonts, colors, design elements and uses of photography and your logo. By utilizing these components in all your marketing efforts, you create a consistent brand message that is much more memorable, and you eliminate anyone from going off message and creating brand confusion. The second (and often overlooked) reason for creating and utilizing a brand guide is to make your marketing efforts more efficient. Instead of starting from scratch with every piece of marketing collateral and trying to determine what to create, the brand guide eliminates timely decision-making efforts as well as design effort.
Many people think of a brand guide solely from a perspective of the physical elements that help them build their marketing collateral. Before even getting to these items, a good brand guide will define the agency’s values and purpose. A brand guide should start with the mission statement of the agency, tell the brand story and position and define the agency voice and tone. These components are vital to ensure that the way that employees interact with our clients aligns with the message of our brand and marketing.
The final component of a good brand guide consists of guidelines on how to use the design elements. Using examples of photography, the logo, colors, and other design elements both in brand and out of brand. For example, if you are an agency in a rural community, you wouldn’t use photos of skyscrapers in your marketing. Instead, you would use photos that depict situations and places that are more reflective of your client’s lifestyle. In this example, farms, lakes, small towns would be more in brand. It is also important to make sure that the colors and presentation of the logo are in brand. If our colors are red and white, we want to make sure that we aren’t accenting our logo with a green element.
Building the website, social media posts, and ads, any other digital marketing as well as print items such as business cards and ads in the local paper in a consistent manner is certainly a major benefit of the brand guide. The brand guide should be further used in areas of marketing where it may not be as obvious. For example, if your colors are blue and white and you are sponsoring the local Little League, ask to sponsor the Royals or Blue Jays to help with your color consistency.
There are many uses of a good brand guide beyond the obvious use of having it as the basis for your marketing efforts. A good brand guide can be printed out as a coffee table book. Something that you’d be proud to show off to others. It can also be used to get your existing employees on the same page. In and of itself, the process of building the brand guide can help clarify your mission and message to your staff. In fact, at Agency Appeal, we engage with the entire staff through an online survey to identify what the employees understand about the agency mission and brand. While this helps us understand the agency, it also typically identifies that not all employees are on the same level of understanding of the agency’s values and purpose.
In addition to helping existing staff, the brand guide can be used in recruiting, hiring, and training new employees. It becomes a vital tool to help identify the right candidates before hiring and then helps with the onboarding of the new employee to ensure that they align their approach with the agency’s mission, vision, and values.
We have a few sample brand guides for insurance agents that we have created.
Take a peek and contact us if you’d like to learn more!