7 November 2016
Every company and organisation has their own brand. Whether your business is a small to medium sized, or a large well known not-for-profit how your brand looks, feels and talks to your customer matters.
What is a style guide?
Your brand style guide is your bible on brand, for every situation and every season. It takes all the thinking out of what your brand should wear when it gets up in the morning. Everything to do with style and personality, including colour palette, text fonts, iconography, templates for documents and the language used contributes to the look and feel of your brand. A comprehensive style guide is so well considered that it documents something like spacing used between letters on web and in print.
Its purpose is such that anyone across your organisation can pick up (at any time), and instantly understand exactly how a piece of copy, work or material should look and feel. Your style guide is easy to follow and tells the truth, the truth of your brand.
Does my business need a style guide?
Needless to say, YES we believe that a style guide is very beneficial to your business. Here are 4 BIG reasons why:
1. Time and money
A good style guide does not come cheap, but the benefits for the longevity of your brand life cycle are real. With clear parameters for your brand, at any and every touch point, your staff will suffer no confusion on how to prepare internal or external documents or promotional materials. It’s all in there; logos, colours, image options, application examples – everything. Additionally, should you engage with an external agency on marketing campaigns, you will significantly reduce the need for team members to spend meticulous hours back and forth explaining the brand, and editing until it’s right.
Your brand like every other facet of business is there to help you achieve your business goals. In this way, effective brand guidelines links in directly to your mission statement. So what impression does the tone of voice, and images used across your websites give your customers? Does the publicly visible you reinforce the real you?
Don’t underestimate the power of consistency across all of your brand assets. Ever the ‘poster child’ for all things business and marketing, Apple represents brand consistency so well. There’s a sense of fluidity across all touch-points. Customers know what to expect. Minimalist language and sleek aesthetics and a simplistic digital experience, give the brand a recognisable and real value. Keep this in mind when you take a look at communications both written and visual that are used across your business. What is the overall effect? What ‘voice’, personality or impression do you want your brand to have in comparison to others’ in the marketplace?
See also: Brand Identity: Do we know who you are?
We’ve seen some pretty interesting DIY’s over the years, and that’s understandable. What you don’t want are some thrown together slides, or an out of alignment professional promotion or proposal that may make your prospect think twice about signing on the dotted line! You do want to create brand guidelines in such a way that your internal teams are empowered to be able to create their own ‘on-brand’ and great looking documents without too much marketing intervention.
To discuss what brand guidelines might look like for your business then give the MIH team a call on 02 8076 9090 or email firstname.lastname@example.org