Building a memorable brand style is more than a logo. It’s a powerful way to stand out from your competitors. A brand identity substantially influences your customers’ experience and how they view everything from your industry. Developing a strong brand identity requires consistency and a plan.
Sometimes some brands fail because they don’t have a clear style guide. Moreover, the marketing world becomes more and more visual. That’s why a brand style guide is a must for your overall marketing strategy, and if you want to avoid inconsistency and miscommunication in the workplace.
The importance of a branding style guide
We are creatures of habit. The consistency is key in brand messaging. Do you think why the same brands stick in people’s minds? Just because their presence is frequently determined through the repetition of the similar visual elements such as color palette, typography, logo, icons, etc.
When we hear or see the same brands, they become instantly recognizable and trustworthy in all aspects of communication. All we know how the brand Nike looks like. This brand is much more than just the clothing brand. It’s an experience.
A powerful branding style depends not only on the visual elements, but on the details like emotional appeal standing and general usage. It is also important to focus on how you are going to present your data and show branded reports to your clients. By the way, you can use this reporting tool to build powerful branded reports.
Thuswise, developing a strong brand style is significantly associated with consistency through different marketing channels.
Answer these 3 questions before creating a good brand style guide:
What are the essential components of your brand?
Sometimes it is hard to define what a brand is. The reason is that a brand includes a list of identifiers, promises and values delivered both visually and textually. Every brand should have its own identifying elements and components to help people recognize your brand. It can comprise certain brand elements like logo, brand colors, fonts, photography or typography. And these individual things form the core of your brand’s outward-facing.
What’s your brand story?
Human-to-human connections are a foundation of collaboration. And storytelling is a powerful way to build strong relationships with your brand. Good stories give people to imagine, keep engaged and build an emotional connection. That’s why many companies work hard to develop their brand stories and sketch their foundational elements in your brand style guide.
Who is your customer?
Identifying your customers is a very meaningful part of the brand-building process. If you know who your customers and why they need you, it will simplify the overall process and help your team create the branding message and effectively communicate with your customers. Take a look at the following things:
- Geographic segmentation: explore the customers’ location.
- Demographic segmentation: define customers’ age, religion, gender, ethnicity, education, race, marital status, etc.
- Psychographic segmentation: figure out customers interests, values, traits or lifestyles.
What you should include in your brand style guide
There are no hard-and-fast rules you should follow. Many companies have the ability to customize style guides for multiple marketing channels and departments. To all intents and purposes, focus on some essential areas.
Use visual components
One of the most significant and easiest ways to reach out your audience is using visual stimuli. Every day when strolling outside we view how many of visual elements in plain sight.
These elements are uncontrollable for our brains. They have much more influence on our emotions, memories and perception. That’s why it is essential to integrate these visual stimuli into your brand style. Make sure that each component needs to be coherent and tie together effortlessly. By the way, Lucidpress can help you create all types of visual content.
Here are the following visual elements you should use:
- Brand Logo
A logo or graphic symbol will reflect your brand identity and be identified with everything that you do. Try to make it unique, explicitly clear and memorable. Take a look at the example from Injury Trial Lawyers, APC where the brand logo perfectly goes with their law activity.
- Brand Color palette
Do you know that using color alone enhances brand awareness by 80%? Many well-known brands use consistent colors through their images, design and texts what help them be more recognizable. Usually, main colors are determined by the colors in a logo. You can choose two or three main colors and use them for everything you do. The main thing is that these colors should differentiate yourself from others and get good at mental imagery.
Font selection is also crucial if you want to look professional. They reflect the voice of your brand online and on paper. Each email, each CTA, each presentation should use a consistent way to write your text, URls and headlines if possible. For example, Citywide Law Group has a great combination of their target colors and style, even on CTA buttons.
All images should be natural and have a consistent look. They should go without any saying. The images should be close-ups or soft focus. It is not obligatory to use photos. Different charts, graphs and illustrations are fine too. Have fun with images, it is ok too. The key is to be adapted to your brand.
Once you pick the visual components, choosing the right copy elements is another important step to develop your brand style. Just like you use the same visual stimuli, you need to use the same copy elements. Whatever you use these components (social media, email, websites, etc.), they should harmonize with your overall brand style. When it comes to copy elements, you should focus more on your brand’s voice, grammar and tone. Here is a good example from SlideModel.
Every brand needs to provide the words that allow your customers better understand your company’s values and beliefs. This message tells who you are and what you do. Messaging forms the basis of developing your brand style.
The main thing is that all your brand messages should describe all aspects of your brand and should be relevant to your customers. Yes, it is difficult to define messaging requirements. Just put some creativity and freedom to build your brand.
Before developing your brand style guide, think over some questions:
- What customers’ problems do you solve?
- What makes you unique from others?
- What is your brand’s story?
- What are your values and beliefs?
- What is your company’s personality?
Once you’ve found the answers to these questions, you can concisely communicate your brand’s message. Whatever you are going to publish your content (social media, blog, email, radio or magazine), you should design a blueprint for content creating that will be recognizable across the different media.
Here is a great example from Lavent Law that tried to figure out customers’ problems and offer the solution to their problems.
There is an endless number of possibilities to reach customers both online and off. Brands have lots of communication mediums. But without a careful and planned strategy, your branding efforts will remain largely unmet. Designing a brand style guide helps your company establish a consistent communication across all channels and teams.