Branding: Style Guides

Grozina / Branding: Style Guides

Branding: Style Guides

Creating a content style guide is essential for businesses that want to maintain a consistent brand identity across all of their marketing channels. By providing a set of guidelines that govern the use of language, tone, and visual elements, companies can ensure that their message remains clear and easily recognized regardless of the medium used to communicate it.

A well-designed style guide can ensure that the language used in marketing materials aligns with the brand’s personality, mission, and values. This can create a powerful emotional connection with customers, making it more likely that they will trust and be loyal to the brand over time.

Another advantage of a content style guide is that it can streamline the content creation process by providing a framework for writers, editors, and designers to follow. By establishing clear guidelines for formatting, tone, and voice, it can help reduce the amount of time and resources spent on content creation, while ensuring that the end result meets the brand’s quality standards.

A well-defined voice in a style guide can do wonders for a company. It can differentiate the brand from competitors, establish credibility and trust, create emotional connections with customers, and increase brand recognition and recall.

An example: 

Take for instance Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan and brand voice. It’s a powerful statement that speaks to their mission and values, as well as the aspirations and motivations of their customers. This voice is evident in all of Nike’s communications, from their advertisements to their social media posts. It’s what makes them stand out from the rest and resonate with their target audience.

A company’s voice in a style guide is invaluable. It’s the cornerstone of their branding and communication efforts. It defines who they are, what they stand for, and how they want to be perceived. So, if you’re building a brand or revamping an existing one, make sure to define and document your voice in a style guide. It will help you speak directly to your audience and build a lasting relationship with them.

How do you create a brand style guide?

  • Define your brand voice and tone – Your brand’s voice and tone are the personality of your content. Consider what tone you want your content to have: professional, friendly, conversational, or informative? Write a few guiding adjectives to describe your brand voice.
  • Develop a style for headings and subheadings – Consistency in headings and subheadings creates a sense of organization in your content. Decide on a hierarchy for heading sizes and stick to it. This will help create a natural flow and structure for your content.
  • Establish a color palette – Colors can communicate different emotions and feelings. Create a palette that is on-brand and choose which colors you want to use for headings, text, and highlights. Keep your color choices consistent and cohesive.
  • Determine your font selection – Choose one or two fonts that you will consistently use across your content. This will ensure a uniform appearance and readability throughout your materials.
  • Establish grammar and spelling guidelines – Poor grammar and spelling errors can undermine your brand’s credibility. Develop guidelines for commonly misused words, grammar rules, and stylistic preferences.
  • Include visual guidelines – Consistency in visual elements, such as imagery, infographics, and charts, helps reinforce brand recognition. Define the types of visuals you want to use and the specific rules for them (e.g. image size, resolution and placement).
  • Make it easily accessible – Your style guide should be easy to reference for all team members creating content. Make sure it’s organized and accessible online, either through a shared document or the company website.

With a style guide in place, your team can create consistent, high-quality content that reflects your brand identity. Invest time and resources to create a thorough style guide, and you will see the benefits in the long run.