Marketing strategies look different based on a variety of factors– the size of a company, its goals, target audience, whether it’s B2B or B2C… the list goes on. However, one thing that should stay the same no matter what kind of business is being run is the presence of a brand style guide.
A brand style guide is a tool that provides consistency throughout the brand identity and ensures that on each platform, the same message and tone is conveyed. It’s a document outlining the guidelines for the way your brand should be presented, from design to terminology to style. It’s a key part of helping content creators do their job to the best of their ability and helping the company as a whole understand what’s ‘on-brand.’
Below we’ll go through the specifics of what goes inside of a brand style guide as well as the reasons why they are so important.
As are the marketing efforts– each brand’s style guide will be unique to their business. It will differ in details, but most style guides include these components:
Introduction - Start by telling the conceptual story of your brand, with a mission statement and an overview of what your brand looks like. Make sure to include the ‘whys’ of your choices; this helps partners develop a connection with your brand.
Typography - This will set the mood for your brand. Explicitly state which fonts, styles, and sizes are to be used. Define the hierarchy of fonts and various weights and styles.
Color Palette - Which brand colors represent best? Demonstrate your main colors, hues, and tones and add some neutral tones that can be included as well.
Iconography - Define the look and feel of your visual assets. The visual system across your website, advertisements, and blog posts will likely use icons. Lay out which icons should be used for what, where they are sourced from, and how to use them.
Photography - The same goes for photography. What is the look and feel for the kinds of images you brand uses?
Tone - Lastly, and very importantly – tone! Define your brand’s personality and voice. This will help writers create relevant and accurate copy for everything from social media, to blog posts, to advertising.
A major benefit of having a brand style guide is efficiency when working with others. Whether its designers or content creators, there is a lot less back and forth when you have a brand guide to go off of. It answers a lot of questions and eliminates subjectivity when analyzing creative work. Often when creating content or designing signage and advertisements, everyone’s emotions and reactions can be very different; having a brand style guide is something you can frequently turn to for clarification.
Collaborate with Consistency
With the major goal to create a recognizable brand– you will want your audience to perceive your brand the same across all platforms. A brand style guide can help you get the same results time and time again. When multiple contributors use it, the brand style guide ensures that each person can create consistent content.
While a brand style guide is something you can always turn to, it’s a living breathing document that should evolve as your business and brand do. If you consider a rebrand, update everything and get everyone on the same page. Resend it out and define your new communication and visual strategy.
Brand style guides will help level up your business and make you stand out. The benefits of sitting down and clearly defining your brand are undeniable across all many different aspects of your business.
Looking to amp up your branding? Contact StellaPop today to build a better brand for you.