The brand style guide. It’s that thing that lists out all of the do’s and don’ts of your brand’s logo—right?
The brand style guide is a well-articulated document that directs your brand to maintain a consistent look and cohesive message. And every brand that wants to be successful needs one.
You need a brand style guide established if you:
- Have a brand new logo
- Have a logo and loosely utilize a few colors
- Have 10 variations of your logo
- Specify your brand color as “blue” but utilize an array of different blue shades
- Are lacking a tagline, mission statement, or even an elevator pitch to describe what your company does
- Your communications do not have a consistent look or tone; employees use different versions of fonts, presentation templates, email signatures, etc.
- Are currently lacking and in need of cohesive branding from this point forward in all of your communications and projects both internal and external
A brand style guide is much more than an elaborate way to show off your logo.
It establishes a communications system for everyone in your company to utilize for all projects and campaigns that are client-facing.
A brand style guide reinforces your brand promise.
Clients can expect every communication or product to feel consistently like your brand, which in turn boosts trust. This can go from large-scale: literally, what your branding looks like on a billboard to small scale: emails received from different employees have the same email signature and format.
A brand style guide is a point of reference.
When in doubt, reference your brand style guide for cues on communication. It’s a great way to help a new team member learn your brand language.
Don’t. Brand style guides are not only for large corporate folks. They can be for smaller businesses too. They can be robust and include plenty of details, but they can be simpler—and just as effective.
A robust brand style guide might include:
- A brand story
- Mission statement
- Your logo and many variations (think: horizontal, vertical, with tagline lockup, 1-color, color variations)
- Color palette with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors
- Typefaces for headlines, subheadlines, body copy, etc., as well as digital communications variations
- Social media profile image logo
- Sample branded materials
- Sample vocabulary
A streamlined brand style guide may only include:
- Your logo and one variation
- Simple color palette
- Email signature
Concerned about implementing a brand style guide?
Naturally, there may be some bumps getting your internal team on board and introducing changes to your audience—but only at first. A strategy for implementation, clear communication with your team, and launch date are necessary. You’ll want all of your client-facing communications—think email signatures, e-newsletters, social media cover and profile images—to change over at the same time. A drips-and-drabs approach only hurts you, rocking the trust clients feel from a consistent brand. Show a commitment to your new style.
Not sure where to get started?
You can work with an agency (like GMLV) to develop your brand style guide—even if you already have a logo that you don’t want to change or you have your own in-house marketing department. Brand experts—who aren’t immersed in your company’s day-to-day operations—bring clarity and a fresh perspective in the creation of your style guide. This results in a system that works for your brand and resonates with your audience.
GMLV: A full-service integrated marketing agency that leverages our vast experience and collective expertise to enhance your brand, surpass your business objectives, and exceed all expectations. Email us to learn more firstname.lastname@example.org.