Regardless of the brand of bandages or soda you purchase at the store, you probably refer to them as band-aids and coke. Why? Both Band-Aid and Coca-Cola have used seamless and consistent branding to increase their brand visibility, earning them household-name status.
Here’s a secret… You can increase your own brand visibility and build a seamless brand that’s all your own. And it all starts by creating a brand style guide.
Why Should You Create a Brand Style Guide for Your Business?
Your voice and superpowers set your business apart from your competition. But your brand communicates what makes you unique in a clear and consistent way. Brands that are presented consistently are 3 to 4 times more likely to experience brand visibility.
How do you communicate your brand clearly in every marketing effort? By using a brand style guide as a roadmap. A brand style guide:
- Creates consistency online and throughout your marketing materials: A brand style guide serves as a constant reference point when creating marketing content, helping you remain consistent in your messaging.
- Guides employees, contractors and freelancers: Did you hire a new designer or copywriter? Share your brand style guide to ensure their work is consistent with your brand, saving you time and cash.
- Sets a brand usage standard across all channels: From online to in-person, a style guide sets the standard for how you communicate your brand everywhere.
- Enhances brand identity and perceived value: Perceived value refers to the value customers place on your service after evaluating how it meets their needs and expectations. The consistency made possible by your style guide enhances your brand identity and increases the perceived value of your service.
Your New Brand Style Guide: What to Include Inside
Your style guide should include the visual elements of your brand as well as your guidelines for content creation and design. When you’re not sure what to include, remember this: if it’s important to your brand, put it into your guide. Some of the most important elements include your:
- Mission, vision and values: What’s your business vision? What values drive your brand forward? What makes your brand unique? Answer these questions in your style guide to help keep your messaging consistent on everything you produce.
- Tone and personality: Describe the tone you wish to use for content creation. For example, are you conversational, or professional? Discuss what point of view you wish to use when referring to your customers and your business.
- Writing guidelines: To guide content creation, include your preferred formatting guidelines as well as the style you use such as AP.
- Logo: Include your main logo as well as any derivatives you’re comfortable using throughout your marketing materials. Also include ways you shouldn’t use your logo, if applicable.
- Color scheme: Include your brand color scheme as well as the hex, RGB and CMYK codes for each color. This will help designers pick your exact color when creating additional materials and content.
- Typography: Which fonts do you use on your website and blog? What font is your logo? Add these font names with sample text in your brand guide for future use.
- Digital and print guidelines: How should your logo look on your business cards?What about on websites other than your own? These guidelines help keep branding consistent, regardless of marketing channel.
Your Brand Style Guide Is Your Business’s Branding Roadmap
Your business depends on how you communicate what you do to the world. Your brand style guide is your business’s branding roadmap, guiding you as you grow. To learn more about creating a brand style guide or for help discovering your own unique brand voice, send us a message.