A brand style guide is a set of principles or rules that govern what your brand looks, sounds, and feels like. If your brand were a person, the style guide would describe its personality. Your logo, fonts, colors, writing voice, and photography style all work together to define your brand.
If you don’t have a style guide for your brand, here’s why you should get one.
Build brand recognition
When your newspaper ads, direct mail postcards, and website all look similar, people will begin to recognize you. Well-established national brands do this well, and you can easily identify a brand when you drive by their stores. Everything these big brands do follows a pattern, and that’s why you know the brand when you see it.
If you create a wildly different newspaper ad every month, no one will be able to tell right away that it’s your ad. Readers will have to work harder than necessary to figure out what the ad is for, and they might tune out before they connect the dots. When you use a style guide, everything you create is consistent and easily recognizable, so people will know your brand when they see it.
It’s easier to produce new materials
Following a brand style guide also makes it easier to make new ads, business cards, or brochures. When you or your designers know which colors, fonts, and photos to use, assembling marketing pieces is much more streamlined. You don’t have to start from scratch every time you begin a new project. This will save you time (and money, if you pay designers by the hour), and you’ll be more likely to get a product that looks good the first time.
More efficient and effective advertising
This goes back to brand recognition. You can create a billboard, TV commercial, and print ad that all follow your style guide. When people see two or more of those similar ads, they will feel like they’re seeing the ad all over the place. This leads to better results and helps stretch marketing dollars.
A style guide can save you money
Stock photos, images, and other design elements have to be purchased or created, and the costs can add up quickly. Using a different theme and designing new ads every time you change your message will really eat into your budget. But if you have a folder of brand-appropriate images and design elements, your designers can easily update ad layouts with new messages. You get quicker turnaround on new ads, lower costs, and a consistent look all at once.
Keep in mind that sometimes a new campaign will require a photo shoot. So don’t limit yourself to just a handful of photos over the lifetime of your business.
Field Group is experienced at creating and implementing brand style guides. Give us a call if your brand needs a style makeover!