Are you an entrepreneur, small business owner or just someone who’s been thinking of starting a company? Then you know how important it is to have a strong brand identity. But have you ever thought about establishing a brand style guide? What’s that, you ask? Read on to find out.
Think about it: What conversations would you like to spark about what your brand represents? What’s your tone of voice? How do you want your customers to see and hear your brand? All of these (and more) go into defining your brand identity and creating a strong communication strategy to reach your target audience. But without a style guide, you run several risks.
The risks of not having a style guide
Not having a style guide can cause several problems. One, it’s impossible to convey everything about your brand identity to your team without a proper guide or handbook they can refer to. Two, if your team changes (it inevitably will as the old guard moves on and new hires join), the new personnel have nothing to refer to – meaning all your hard work goes to waste and everyone starts from scratch. Three, every time you need a brand refresh, you’ll have to sit down and manually figure out everything you did as part of building up your brand to where it is today.
Do you need more reasons that testify to the importance of creating a style guide? We didn’t think so.
Why you need a style guide
Here are four reasons why you should consider making a formal, physical document that outlines the guidelines you’d like your company and brand identity to follow:
1. It Defines Your Brand Identity in a Way Everyone Can Understand
A style guide is an essential tool in building and maintaining your brand identity as a business. Throughout the lifecycle of your brand, you will have several creators working on different aspects of your company. In each and every one of these areas, you need common elements: your brand’s iconic colours, a strong and consistent tone of voice – maybe even the same font! This is where a brand style guide helps you provide a consistent, cohesive face to your audience.
2. It Sets Your Brand’s Design Standards
Having a style guide gives your designers, writers and other creators a solid guideline to work with. It gives them an easy point of reference and a starting point for their work. This makes building all your brand assets infinitely easier, from designing a logo, to building a website, to making business cards, brochures, flyers and so on. A proper guide will also help your creative team coordinate with each other without confusion or arguments.
3. It Helps You Ace Any Marketing Campaign
Style guides support your marketing initiative by ensuring all the messaging is relevant and related to your vision and mission as a brand. Sticking to the guidelines in your campaigns also ensures your content stays original and distinguishes you from your competitors. Last but not least, every company that has created a successful series of ad campaigns has established its unique identity in the minds of its customers – something that’s impossible if you don’t have a style guide.
4. It’s Crucial for Brand Redesigns
As we mentioned before, you will, at some point in time, need a brand refresh. If and when you choose to redesign your brand, having a style guide that outlines everything your brand used to be can give you an idea of where you want your brand to pivot from, and where you are headed.
So now you know the four main reasons why you need a style guide for your brand. If you’re looking for some assistance, get in touch with our team today!