Brand Style Guides and Why Your Business Needs One.

Brand Style Guides and Why Your Business Needs One.

What is a Brand Style Guide?

Think about some of the most recognizable brands. What comes to mind? In all likelihood you recognize them because their logo, colors, and fonts are the same in all of their marketing platforms, and how they talk about themselves on their website is similar to how they represent themselves on social. Chances are, you can recognize their marketing efforts without even seeing their company name.

When it comes to building a strong brand, consistency is key. The objective of a Brand Style Guide (BSG) is just that: to help your organization maintain a consistent visual and verbal brand.

What’s in a Brand Style Guide?

The contents of a Brand Style Guide can vary, but here at Warp + Weft we include detailed information about both your visual and verbal brand, including:

  • Logo formats and their proper usage
  • Brand fonts and primary and secondary color palettes
  • Complete messaging platform including brand positioning statement, company descriptors, elevator pitch, differentiators, and more!

Be wary of style guides that only include visual information. Some designers or marketing companies develop guides that focus exclusively on your visual brand—logo, colors, font, etc. Your verbal brand is equally important. How do you position yourself in the market? How do you describe your business to those unfamiliar with it? What are your company differentiators? Mission? Vision? Values? Without this verbal information, your brand only has a small portion of the information you need to make your mark.

How do you use a Brand Style Guide?

Think of it as your branding toolkit. Share it with your team, your vendors, and reference it often.
Are you participating in a tradeshow and the organizer has requested information about your company for the program? Use the company descriptor from your BSG.

Ordering embroidered company swag and the vendor has requested PMS numbers and you have no idea what a PMS number is? Send them your BSG. It should have all the pertinent color specifications for your entire color palette.

Responding to a comment on your company’s Facebook page? Refer to your BSG to determine the tone and voice you should be using—and what to avoid—to stay on brand.

How do you get a Brand Style Guide?

If your company doesn’t have one, it’s time to talk to a branding agency. A good agency can help you develop a BSG from scratch or they can work with existing verbal and visual assets to help you develop one. Be forewarned though, it’s not a simple task. To do it right takes buy-in and participation from leadership and a commitment to the process.

Brand Style Guides are a comprehensive, easy-to-access document where everything about your brand can be found—from color to voice, logo guidelines to mission and vision statements. Without one, maintaining consistency in how your brand is presented is at risk—which means your brand is at risk. Build a strong brand and get everyone in your organization on the same page with your very own BSG. Not only will your brand benefit, but you’ll find staying “on brand” has never been easier.