Why Brands Need a Style Guide
*This Brand Style Guide is a brief outline and if you would like more help with this, please feel free to contact me and I will guide you through it 🙂
Brand defines what the organisation is, who it is for and what it does. All of this is encapsulated in the brand.
There should be a strong link between brand and the organisations purpose as defined by whom they serve.
What is a style guide?
It is a set of rules or standards that define your company’s brand image. It includes logo, colours, typography, language, tone, photography.
Why do Brands need a Styleguide?
- Brand needs to be communicated in a cohesive way so that the target market isn’t confused.
- It also allows for instant recognition, even in the absence of all the cues. For example, even if the label has been removed, a Coke bottle is still readily identified as a Coca Cola product.
- It builds trust with your market. They can expect and rely upon consistency in your communications.
- It makes the content more enjoyable for the audience because it doesn’t ‘jar’ or not feel right—like something is off.
- Brand recognition, via consistency, is a key factor in a consumer’s decision to purchase.
- Branding efforts can fail without a style guide. The message may be lost as the audience fails to recognise it as coming from the organisation.
- Staff or media outlets know how to treat the brand, the rules, and how they should be applied.
- Increased awareness and brand recognition – the more touchpoints a consumer has with a brand, increased through consistent marketing efforts, the more brand awareness
- Authenticity is enhanced through consistency. Authenticity builds trust.
- A cohesive brand, created with the target market in mind will increase the likelihood that messages resonate with this audience.
- Communicates the organisations values – tells partners and other stakeholders how to treat your brand
- Increased efficacy and efficiency with producing marketing material, saves time trying to figure out design
Questions an Organisation Must Ask Themselves:
- What is your purpose?
- What are your values?
- Who is your Target Market (existing, but also if you believe there is an audience you don’t already serve, but to whom you could provide value) – be specific here, give them a name, a persona, describe them and what they do in detail?
- What do they need from you – make sure that this isn’t what you think they need?
- What does your brand need to communicate about your offering to your Target Market?
Components of a Style Guide:
- Primary Logo
- Secondary Mark/Symbol
- Size and Spacing
- Where and when the logo should and shouldn’t be used
- Primary Brand Colours
- Extended Colour Palette
- Colour Ratios
- Primary Font
- Secondary Fonts
- Type Scales
- Web Fonts
- Typography Principles
- Formatiing – eg, bullets, numbers, lists, hyphens, quotes
A mood board can be used to visually convey brand image
- Data visualisation, eg graphs, tables, diagrams
- Consider your audience
- Voice and tone – give examples and describe
- Sentence style