Many small to medium-sized companies often dismiss marketing guideline documents. Tech entrepreneurs are not big on formal marketing documentation and process. However it’s a huge oversight not to have your rule book in place before you begin the marketing game.
Marketing, and especially advertising, can be a large part of your annual budget and expensive to design. Create a play book that defines your target audience, key messages, short company descriptions and logo usage will go a long way to avoid costly collateral rework and messaging errors.
Then be consistent. If you logo is purple in Canada and blue in the U.S. this does nothing to reinforce your brand. The presentation the CEO uses should have the same look at feel as the one the sales team has on its laptop. Everyone in the company should be able to describe in 30 seconds what value the company’s products or services bring to its customers.
One of my favorite books on this topic is Harry Beckwith’s Selling the Invisible. It now new, hip or trendy (it was first published in ’97), but it contains solid, easily digested advice on consistently positioning your company and what it sells.