Every business owner, marketing employee, and graphic designer should understand that when it comes to brand recognition, consistency is key to generating loyalty in a customer. This means that following well-established brand identity, i.e. fonts, colors, imagery, tone, etc, could increase your revenue growth by up to 30% at a rate 3x faster than a company with inconsistent branding.
Seems worthwhile, right?
Well, surprisingly enough, less than a quarter of businesses have a formalized branding style guide or brand book that is enforced. If you’re one of these businesses lagging behind, don’t worry, we’re here to help you develop, design, print, and enforce your brand.
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First off, what is a brand style guide?
A brand style guide is a set of detailed guidelines on a business’s visual and communication identity. It explains the rules to be followed when it comes to brand colors, fonts, imagery, tone, and much more. Contrary to popular belief, brand guidelines for a company do not just apply to the marketing team. They apply to every email, phone call, comment on social media, and every single interaction with a customer. In turn, the brand identity is something that should be a part of the basic training for all incoming employees.
Why should your business create a brand book?
Brand consistency is a long game that never ends. Over time, consistent usage of brand identity across all platforms will build recognition and loyalty with your audience. Your customers are quietly/subconsciously making judgments about your company and whether or not you are worthy of their trust. Even minor deviations in consistency can throw off your target market’s impression of the business. In the example on your right, you can see the brand of the creative agency &Walsh successfully stay consistent across three platforms - web, social media, and print.
It’s not all about the customers, though. A well-executed style guide will also establish a uniform culture for your employees. Setting the expectation of the work environment from the very beginning will help ensure employee retention and happiness.
What are the key elements of a brand guide?
Click through the flipbook above for a full example of a brand style guide.
Brand Style Guide Examples
Creating a brand book can definitely be overwhelming, so it’s absolutely necessary to look at real-life examples to get you started. We have gathered some of our favorite real-world examples below to get you started.
This is an example of Walmart's "clear space" rule in their logo usage guidelines. It utilizes elements from within the logo so it can be applied at any scale.
When brainstorming and designing your book, we also recommend starting the actual design of the book from a template if you cannot afford to hire a designer. Template websites like Envato will surely get your project off on the right foot.
To Print or Not to Print - That is the Question
Yes, yes, 1,000 times YES. Many companies make the mistake of only publishing their brand guidelines digitally. This simply won’t cut it! For your employees to eat, breathe, and live by your brand, we highly recommend that you print physical copies. Designers and employees should be able to quickly refer to the book as if it were a standard operating procedure— because it is. Plus, let’s be real, it’s a lot harder to ignore a physical book than a link buried somewhere in your email that you forgot to bookmark.
Here’s what we recommend:
Set your business up for success by establishing a brand style manual! If you don't have the design software to do it, try out our photo book maker by clicking the link below.