Branding is the essence of your organization, it is the one thing that gives identity to it, and makes it memorable for the audience. Branding is important if you want to reach a wider market and influence your customer and the process of branding is never-ending. Branding ensures that your customers will always remember you. Marketing brings you, customers, branding converts them into loyal ones. Therefore, branding is one aspect no business can afford to miss out on this customer driven era.
But many times this process goes wrong, and the reason behind is not having a comprehensive set of branding style guide. This guide is basically a set of rules that govern how the elements will work to establish a brand. A branding style guide is a document that states how the organization will communicate with the outer world through visuals, tone, and grammar with visual elements being the main. It functions as a tool that sees that there is a uniformity in every element and is also known as a brand bible.
Check out below to know what elements are defined in a branding style guide:
1. The brand story
A brand story is the company’s core message, its mission, vision, and long-term goals. You need a good and clear brand story so that it is delivered across various medium with ease. The important thing here is to set the foundation of the company in the story and pair it with visual channels to get the core ideology of the business across all channels.
2. The brand’s color palette
Colors evoke emotions from the audience so it is imperative to select the color palette very carefully. Every color has a different meaning and the way it impacts the viewer’s mind. So choose your color palette wisely. But again, your website is not your drawing book to show your art. The colors you choose must evoke a feeling in the users’ mind. The important thing to note while selecting your palette is describing the primary and secondary color clearly. The primary palette should always consist of 2-3 colors, and the second one must have 8-12 colors that complement the primary palette.
Moreover, specify in the guide that color scheme should be uniform throughout all brand elements.
3. The brand’s logo
The logo is the most crucial element of the branding process, and the guide needs to be specific about it. Give the details in the guide about how you want the logo to look and what message must it deliver. Specify that it should be simple yet unique, and not complex because complex logo doesn’t make any impression. Also, it should be clearly mentioned about using vector images and making the logo such that it can be used on a variety of platform.
If you are not so comfortable with designing, you can use Canva logo maker tool to get your logo designed for free within minutes. Also, if you are looking for something expert level, you can always hire a professional designer to get things done.
4. The brand’s typography scheme
Typography refers to the font family you will be using in your marketing strategy on different elements. The guide should specify the family of a font you want your designers and employees to use in all the visual elements like a logo and business card. Also, mention the size and modification to it for making it more visible. Moreover, mention that a different font family can be used as a secondary font which balances the primary one; you can even mention that second typography.
Also, specify the alignment and spacing you want in your text.
5. The brand’s audience
The ultimate thing that will decide your success and failure is your audience. If your consumer doesn’t like your products or are not satisfied, your business will not work. A brand identity can help because it means that you will research your audience before you launch your product. It includes knowing about the buyer persona so that you can connect with them through various channels. Here are some things to research about:
- Knowing the demographics of the consumers, check out the target market to know which type of product will better suit it.
- Dislikes and likes of product.
- Competition is also something you need to check out.
6. The brand’s graphics
The branding process has many elements that will need images, illustrations, and iconography etc. which you need to talk about in the guide. Let the designer/employers know what type of images they should use like stock images or original and also specify that only vector images must be used.
Similarly, give specification about every graphic used in the elements so that there are no confusions.
7. The brand’s tone
Every brand has some words which set the tone of the business. So specify that words/ vocabulary that you want your business to use and what not to use. Give 5-6 adjectives that must find their way in every element and are specific to your company and which makes the brand familiar to the consumers.
These are the basic things that any owner needs to put in their branding style guide. It doesn’t matter if you have a big business or a startup, this guide is imperative for all. Also, you add other things like layout, designs of website and buttons to this guide for future use.