Consistency is the be-all and end-all of branding. Yet, ensuring brand consistency, especially when you have quite a few departments, partners, and agencies producing your branded collateral. It is a big challenge indeed. Articulating your brand requirements instantaneously, especially when growing your small business, is another challenge. That is where the relevance of the brand style guide is all the more pronounced!
Creating a style guide that spells out your brand asset guidelines and ensuring professionalism and consistency in all your messages are equally important. A brand style guide otherwise is a rule book that contains specifications on all aspects that play a role in your brand's look and feel. Everything should be in the brand guide, from typography and color to logos and imagery. The style guide highlights how to precisely present your brand to the target audience. Furthermore, it also guides the requisite design for all your content, be it your blog posts or presentations to office spaces and business cards.
If you observe the corporate world, a chunk of the top technology firms has rebranded over the last many years. These companies have dedicated some severe and solid time and effort to developing thorough brand style guides.
So, start your brand style guide with a 'Brand Story' that narrates the target audience and what your brand is all about. Also, you have to include your company's mission, vision, and core values, besides adding a dash of personality, if possible. You can always emulate big tech companies by looking at their brand style guide and incorporating those values. For instance, consider the digital conferencing site Skype. The company has a playful and down-to-earth tone.
To create a recognizable brand signature, you may use logo guidelines, where you can outline proper usage of your logo, thus making sure that it is recognizable instantaneously. Therefore, it is a prudent concept for you to include clear space rules, acceptable color variations, minimum logo sizes, and logo don'ts.
The next big step is to include your brand's core color palette. It will help make it easy for the designers to figure out your core brand colors by including color palettes with hex codes and RGB values. You can add shades and tints if they are used quite often. For example, the OTT platform major Netflix specifies color combinations they want their designers to stick with if you care to visit their website and see for yourself.
With that, you can outline your typography system by specifying the type of hierarchy your brand uses, including what styles, sizes, and weights are used for specific purposes. To give you a couple of examples, Twitter and Snapchat are transparent by choosing one font they use for everything.
Finding your brand voice is the next big step you need to follow, where you can outline your brand's voice to make sure that you create messaging that resonates with your target audience. Furthermore, give some examples of appropriate writing tone and compare those words you like with those you don't. For your comprehension, if you visit the website of Shopify, you can see the company offering the dos and don'ts for grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, naming, and tone.
With the above tips, hope you know now mastered how to communicate your brand appropriately and consistently to your target audience to make sure the brand is etched in the memory of the customers.