Originally published on November 19th, 2019. Updated for January 12th, 2021.
A strong brand is critical to business growth. Consumers build trust and buy from brands they recognize. A brand style guide empowers your team to create on-brand content to help build that valuable recognition.
Why a brand style guide matters
A brand style guide spells out your design expectations and visual style to your team. It offers a framework for what various materials will look like. It’s a starting point for all marketing efforts. It sets the limits that boost marketing creativity. Using strong style guidelines builds a consistent message across platforms. It avoids a mismatch between what you want to say, and how it appears to your customers.
Consistency builds brand awareness which builds trust. You want your audience to recognize you and feel like they know you. Why? Consistent brand messaging across channels increases revenue by 23%.
Your brand is everywhere
Sit down and start to consider how many platforms will need branding guidelines:
- In emails
- On your website
- On social media channels
- Internet/Online ads
- Print advertising
- Business cards
So how do you build a consistent identity with so many people talking across so many platforms?
What’s in a winning brand style guide?
A brand guide includes information on:
- Logos — what color variations and backgrounds are ok, how to use light and dark versions, and where to place your logo
- Typography — so what you write looks like something you wrote
- Colors — yes that specific shade of red/blue/purple does matter
- Voice — how you want to sound
- Photography — how your company uses images and what kinds to use
- Editorial style — what tense and point-of-view to write in
- Web style — so all the buttons and headings on your site match
- And more
You can add explanations of advanced web and social media components. Data visualization and interactive elements are two such components. A brief descriptor of each element gives your team the tools to impact your audience.
Successful branding guidelines give your team details to create a consistent identity. Begin with your mission statement and buyer persona. These descriptions lay out the direction of your marketing efforts. They offer the freedom to build your brand.
Drop these from your style guide
Here are a few things unnecessary for your style guide:
- Complicated text. A quick skim of the document should paint a clear picture. A brand style guide is not a contract or a dissertation.
- Specifics. Avoid micromanagement by keeping guidelines general. Let the creativity flow.
- Dust. Organize the document well and put it where your teams can find it.
Collaboration Leads to Brand Success
Only 25% of organizations stick to their brand guidelines. With the clear benefits of a brand guide, don’t get left out. For creative collaboration and problem-solving, contact us! We at Technology Aloha love to provide purpose-driven web design & internet marketing.
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