If you’re working for or with a brand, you probably know about your brand’s colors, logo, fonts, and voice. It’s often something that everyone who works with the brand just knows, and if you don’t, you ask someone. But do you have an actual document that lays out the concrete details about how your branding is used? Many companies don’t think they need a brand style guide, but we don’t know how anyone can comfortably operate without one. Below, we’ve listed ten reasons why having a brand style guide will make things easier, faster, and genuinely better for you.
This is arguably the most important reason to have a brand style guide. Without a consistent logo, tone, typeface, and branding colors, your customers are going to fail to recognize you in the sea of brands out there. Keeping your voice and appearance consistent will build recognition for your brand, which will build trust in your services and, thus, repeat customers.
Having a guide for how to use brand elements like colors, fonts, and logos will ensure that your design team knows how to put out a consistent message. Even with a team of one, it’s great as a reference for how to clearly communicate with the world.
A strong identity and a clear knowledge of your brand gives the impression that you’re established and confident. Nothing hurts brand loyalty like wavering between logos and names and voices. Beat the skepticism by being sure of who you really are.
Fewer decisions about how to use your brand elements means faster work. If your designers and marketers have a clear picture of what fonts, colors, and styles to use in projects, they’re not going to have to stop to ask questions.
Stay unique. Stay you. This one is sort of stating the obvious, but if you don’t know who you are as a brand, how will others? Your style guide is a shorthand for who you are and how you present yourself.
Just because you’ve made a decision doesn’t mean you can’t grow as your brand finds its footing or enters a new marketplace. A style guide allows you to easily look at what got you to where you are, assess what no longer serves you, and strategically change elements of your brand to evolve into a new role. Who said change was bad? With a clear style guide, you got this!
Working with a partner on a project? Slip them your style guide so they know exactly what you’re all about. Maybe you share some branding elements! If not, at least they now have a guideline for how you express yourself and can abide by it during your collaboration.
Customers like what they know. If every time they interact with you they get a different personality, not only will they run screaming from the room, but they’ll tell all their friends to avoid you. Using the same face, voice, and tone will help your audience feel comfortable when interacting with you.
Here’s another biggie. You might not think your style guide can protect you, but make it thick enough and it can stop bullets. No, we’re talking about legal protection. A consistent style guide can offer legal protection for your brand’s trademarks and copyrights. It establishes your ownership of specific brand elements and how they should be used, which can go a long way to keeping you out of court.
Consistent branding plus time can equal big returns on brand equity, the sort of intangible value that’s as hard to describe as it is to achieve. With brand equity, customers trust and value your brand more and will pay accordingly for your services.
And that’s just the ten best reasons we could come up with. Now, if you don’t know a style guide from a takeout menu, check out our own brand style guide here. If you realize it’s time to create or update your guide, we’d be happy to talk with you. You probably have the guidelines in place. Take the next step!