What to Include In A Brand Style Guide
This article will give you what to include in a brand style guide to ensure the success of your branding efforts.
A brand style guide or style guidelines is an accurate visualization of your dream brand.
Similarly, it is what you want your brand to look like or what theme you want to maintain.
This is done for your brand to stand out from the rest.
Consistency in your brand is tough to maintain.
However, making a brand style guide makes it easier for you to let people know the ideal theme of your brand.
A brand style guide is made up of your rules on how to deal with your brand style.
You would want to include the do’s and don’ts, how to’s, and other important stuff.
I will tell you the musts to include in your brand style guide so that you can maintain your ideal brand.
You would first want to add your brand heart.
A brand heart is a personality you want your brand to be associated with.
Moreover, it is the face of your brand.
Being such, you would want it to be as positive as possible.
In the brand heart, you will include your brand’s purpose, mission, values, and vision.
You can also add any additional info about your brand.
This includes your company’s history, milestones, or anything related to your brand.
In explaining your brand’s heart, it is essential to be clear.
This is where you need to reveal what you are, do and want to achieve with your brand.
Your Brand’s Purpose
In the section of your brand’s purpose, you would want to explain to your audience the primary use of your brand.
So, you would ask yourself, what is the use of my brand?
Is it for school?
For the audience to laugh or have fun with?
There are many interesting topics out there that you can choose from.
You would want to choose what best fits you and your company.
You want to explain, in detail, the purpose of your brand.
This is done to maintain the use of your brand, and the consistency of your purpose.
Your Brand’s Purpose
In the section of your brand’s mission, you will explain the things you need to do to achieve your goals and ambition.
You would want to explain here what you want to maintain and have inside your brand.
Also, you would want to ensure that you’ll say it clearly and make it easy to understand as much as you can.
This is in order for everyone to be able to understand it and, hopefully, be able to follow it.
Your Brand’s Values
In your values section, you would want to include the attitude, behavior, and personality that is allowed inside your brand.
You would also want to include the don’ts so that they would know what is explicitly not allowed inside your brand.
You should also make this clear for everyone because it is essential to have a peaceful and war-free place,.
It would be wonderful if that place is in your brand.
Your Brand’s Vision
In your vision section, you would want to include what you see or envision your brand is in the future.
You would want to make this clear as much as possible so that the people who are interested in joining your brand will know what you are trying to achieve.
You would want to make it as detailed as possible.
You want to make your people aware of the goals you want to reach so that they at least know what they are working towards.
You would always want to inform your people about these just to make them aware of what they are working for.
The next part you would want to include in your brand style guide is how you want your brand to communicate or message your customers.
Here you will explain how you ideally want your people to communicate with your customers.
Communication with customers is very crucial when it comes to your business.
People usually judge your business depending on how you treat them, so you would want to treat them well so that you can have good feedback from your clients.
And having good feedback from your customers is equivalent to having more customers.
People like businesses that they can trust, and the way they can judge you is by your rating and feedback from your past customers.
So, you should try to make it clear and detailed as possible when writing this part of your brand style guide.
This is because this is your perfect opportunity to inform your people the proper way to :
- Communicate with customers,
- Make deals and projects with other brands
- Many other more
You can include in this section about where and how you will interact with people.
Be specific in this part because you would want to avoid every misunderstanding.
You don’t want your people to be sending the wrong message or do it in the wrong way.
In the messaging part, you can also include where they can send an email to you directly or indirectly.
You could also add some marketing emails.
You can also explain in this section about product descriptions, how and what to write about them.
You can also give them some tips on how to properly communicate with your customers.
Furthermore, you can make suggestions on how to communicate on a specific topic.
You can also include the don’ts.
This is to avoid the things you don’t want your people to say or use with your customers..
You can give them a list of words you want them to avoid.
So that you can genuinely specify what you don’t want your people saying around in your company.
You will also explain in part how you properly communicate with your customers by telling your:
- Brand essence
- Messaging pillars
- Value proposition
In brand essence, you will include your voice, tone, and personality.
Make this part as detailed as you can because communication is very crucial.
You would want to maintain consistency in your brand even in the way you want your people to communicate.
So, it is essential to explain your ideal voice, tone, and personality.
So that your people will be able to follow it and maintain your brand consistency.
In the tagline, you will explain what:
- Kind of slogans you espouse
- Type of structure you want taglines to have in your brand
Taglines are very important for the growth of a company.
If you have a good and eye-catching tagline, the growth of your business will grow dramatically.
So, you should not ignore the importance of a tagline.
In your brand, you probably want taglines to be similar at some point.
So, you put it here in the taglines sections of what you want the structure to be, or the personality in the tagline.
In messaging pillars, you would want to include the words or topics you are searching for .
Alternatively, this could be the type of text you want to be included in any book for your company.
You could create a list for these words, the words or phrases you would love to see in any type of text written for your brand.
Words have significant impact and power for a reader.
So, it would be nice if you can have the power or the ability to control the words in your brand.
You are given a chance to explain to your people by explaining to them through these guidelines.
Again, you probably want to maintain consistency in your brand.
It would also be a great help if you have a guideline about the topics or main ideas that are supposed to be in your brand.
In value proposition, you would like to explain what a customer can expect from your brand’s product or service.
Specifically, why they should buy from you, and many other things.
You want to tell the people interested in joining your brand of what expectations they need to reach and accomplish.
You want your people to give great satisfaction to your customers, so they need to know these basics about your brand.
The next part you want to add to your brand style guide is the visual guidelines.
The look of your brand is critical since this is the first thing a customer sees.
The visuals of your product could either be your business’s success or the downfall of your business, so you want to make sure that your style is eye-catching.
It is also essential to maintain the theme of your brand in everything you put in your brand, so you should make a guideline about your ideal style.
It could be about :
- Fonts and typography
- Data visualization
- Interactive elements
- Video and motion
- Web design, etc.
I know there is a lot to get through, but as I told you, having an attractive visual can drastically improve your business, so it is worth it.
Your guideline must go through all of these so that your brand’s ideal visual can happen accurately.
You must describe every detail as possible.
Furthermore, show an actual visualization example of your ideal style.
This is to achieve accuracy in your excellent visual brand and maintain consistency in your brand’s style.
When you happen to achieve visual consistency in your brand, your brand will also be iconic.
That would be good for your business since when they see a specific thing.
It is somehow related to your brand, they will instantly remember your business.
There will be a possibility, if you have done an excellent service or product, they might recommend your brand to his/her brand.
Let’s have more on what to include in a brand style guide.
Now, I will explain individually what you need to go through when creating your visual guidelines.
Creating Visual Guidelines
In colors, you would want to specify the colors you want your brand to have.
It is very pleasing for the eyes to see similar colors in a brand, and it would be nice if you achieve this.
It gives the brand a more organized feeling.
If you achieved to maintain that color when a person sees that color, it would remind them of your brand.
You can do any type of style when showing your brand’s color, and it could be in a color wheel, boxed colors, and many other more.
You would also want to explain where to use it or the perfect time to use a specific color.
You would want to be specific in colors because there are like thousands of available colors out there.
So, you would want to include the RGB or hex to be sure that you are showing them the exact color you want.
In logos, you would want to show all logo variations available for your brand.
This is used to show your people what you can use when choosing a logo for some specific reason.
You will show them the different variations of logos you have for your brand.
You would want to explain to them about the proper use of your brand’s different logos.
You can also include a color palette for your logo.
So that your people can have many more choices when choosing a logo for your brand.
Fonts and Typography
Fonts and typography is not limited to the font in brand’s logo.
This encompasses all the font or typography of all your printed material.
These include materials such as blog posts, product details, tag lines and many more.
It is also very pleasing for the eyes to see similar fonts rather than different fonts in a single place.
It gives your brand a more organized look, and it makes it easier to understand or read.
Some people have pet peeves with some fonts.
You can do some research about the pet peeves of some people so that you can be at least aware of some pet peeves.
I will give you an example; writers are not a fan of the font ‘Arial’ and ‘Calibri’.
When they see fonts like that, they don’t continue reading anymore.
They want fonts like what I am using.
If your business is somehow related to writing, you would want to avoid some fonts.
Go for the fonts that your audience is interested in.
In photography, you would want to keep a theme going on in every picture in your brand.
It could be a theme of the oceanic view, sky view, trees view, and many other exciting themes.
It will give the brand an iconic look, and it would be easier for a person to remember your brand.
It would also be nice if you could think of something unique and different from the others.
The illustration is almost similar to photography; you would want to keep the same theme throughout your entire brand.
You would also want to choose a related theme so that people will think that your brand is well done and organized.
In iconography, you want to show all the available icons in your brand.
You can also include in the iconography of how to use it.
Explain icons as much as you can of how to properly use it and what its meaning is.
In data visualization, you would want to explain the interactive elements.
This is if you have some premium features, you would want to translate it very clearly.
So that your people will be able to use it the right way and use and benefit from it as much as they can.
You would want to avoid all misunderstandings in your brand, so you would want to explain it clearly to avoid problems as much as you can.
In video and motion, you would want to explain the do’s and don’ts if you are going to make anything in video form.
You would also want to keep a theme for your videos to show the organization or not to show a messy brand.
It is not appealing for the eyes if a brand has multiple genres in one place.
Is it appealing?
Think about all the successful companies or businesses.
They all have one theme.
I know it is nice to have multiple choices in your business to ensure that someone will eventually buy or use it.
But it just doesn’t make you any memorable.
Avoid having multiple genres in your single brand.
The next part is the different branding elements.
The Different Branding Elements
You would want to include other important stuff that needs to be maintained in your brand.
It could be anything.
You would also want to include in your brand style guide is your buyer persona.
A buyer persona is a representation of your ideal customers.
It could be for kids, for adults, for teenagers, for grandma and grandpa, or if you want to be specific, you can say for people who are interested in writing, in art, or if you go to school.
Your buyer persona should reflect the use of your brand.
Your ideal customers should be related to the use of your brand.
It is also essential for them to know your buyer persona because it will give them an idea of what they can benefit from your brand.
We want our business to be successful and known.
I will be giving you some tips on how to make your guidelines useful.
Don’t use complicated words.
Most of us don’t understand deep and complicated words.
Do you want a lot of people to be interested in your brand.
You would first want them to follow you clearly when you are explaining yourself about your style and brand.
People have a short attention span.
So you want to make your style guide exciting and easy to understand.
They would generally skim through the guidelines before they start reading it.
You can make it enjoyable by adding beautiful designs to your guidelines.
You can also specify the essentials.
You can bold, italicize, underline, capitalize, and even use bullet lists, numbered lists and many other more.
You want your people to know these guidelines by heart so you can keep your brand consistent.
The next one is web design.
Explaining and showing the proper design for your brand is crucial.
The design of the web is the first thing you see.
So the design must attract people’s attention.
You would also want your guidelines to be easily found by people.
Again people don’t have that long attention span.
So when they don’t instantly find the guidelines, they would most likely give up.
So you would want to put your guidelines in a place where people can easily find them.
It would also be nice if they can also be very legible.
This is for them to be able to follow them to the letter.
We hope that we have answered you question on what to include in a brand style guide.
Do tell us about your branding experience or your thoughts about this article in the comments section.
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Reference Links: https://www.columnfivemedia.com/how-to-create-a-brand-style-guide