5 Steps to Create a Brand Style Guide
Branding is all about being consistent. And with the help of a simple process, that consistency can be maintained and ensured. Brand style guide and its importance is something you have been familiar with, you might not know its called a brand style guide but you have used the elements and the steps at the time of establishing your brand.
Many companies across industries have rebranded over the years and dedicated some crucial time and effort into creating a brand style guide for their companies. Through research and analysis we have listed 5 steps to create a brand style guide that is not only efficient but also effective.
Here are 5 effective steps you can take to create an interesting and efficient brand style guide:
#1 Step 1: Get Inspired
Prepare your brand style guide using reference points that you think defines you brand or give a feel of your brand. You can turn this into a great exercise by involving multiple people in the organization. This exercise also lets you choose out of various ideas and options.
To start off, think about what has helped your brand in the past, what has worked for the brand in the past and pick out examples from successful campaigns, ads, emails, etc. The thing you should think about is keeping a track of the feedback your brand has received over the years and which have been recurring. This is something that you do with the designers and writers, it might be something useful to add into your brand style guide. Knowing your industry and your competitors is a must. Knowing what other brands similar to yours do can prove to be really beneficial.
Thinking about these things will help you create an outline that defines the feel, sound, and the look of your brand. Making notes of what you like and what you don’t like could be used in the brand voice or the imagery section of your style guide.
#2 Step 2: Designer saves the day
Once inspired, it’s time to start designing! For this step, pick a designer that you’re comfortable with and who communicates well. Designing a brand is all about discovering, and your consociate for this process will be your designer. He or she might have ideas, inputs or thoughts, that you might have previously not considered.
While designing your brand style guide, the six elements of a brand style guide are as important as your designer. These elements should take priority with your designer and should be given enough time to ponder upon. Out of the six elements, some might have already been created, like your brand logo. As for the others, refer to your inspiration board and get going with the help of your designer. Your designer is that person that will help you combine those feelings, images, and moods and turn them into substantial and creative brand elements that will form the core of your brand style guide.
#3 Step 3: Going Beyond with Brand Collaterals
Almost every brand has to take into consideration the six elements that are essential in creating a brand style guide. But some of the organizations need to go beyond and deeper while creating their brand style guide.
To help understand this, make a list of all the additional elements that you might need to cover in your style guide. The purpose of a brand style guide is that it should reflect the organization as well as should fit the brand it belongs to. For example, knowing if your brand is primarily digital, whether your brand sells physical products, and or are you focusing on SMM (Social Media Marketing). All these areas should have guidelines of their own, like if your brand is primarily digital then you might need to codify how your designer and you are going to project the images on your website, or if your brand sells physical products then there should be a set of guidelines for packaging that will explain when to use the company name and when to use the product name, or if your brand is focusing on SMM, then a set of guidelines on what kind of imagery you use for posting, is a necessity.
#4 Step 4: Create the perfect Brand Silhouette
It’s time to create the perfect skeleton, that will be the backbone of your brand. Add your six elements with any business-specific wants and requirements, and blend well! This step helps you in not only defining the structure of your guide but also helps in determining it.
Once the layout is ready, choose whether you want your brand style guide to exist as a PDF, be printed, be available online, etc.. As soon as you and your designer connect on any specs like landscape, portrait layout, page size, etc. you’re ready to get going!
Tip: Always keep in mind that this is a working document, so you have to make sure that all the information that is required is easily accessible.
#5 Step 5: Evolving is the Key
This is the final step. Your brand style guide is not just a document, it is a breathing, working document that will help you realise what works and what doesn’t as you start using it. The best part about this document is that you can always add, adjust, and or subtract information as and when required. The vital reason for creating a brand style guide is to create a sturdy, solid foundation for your brand.
Tip: Keep a place where you and your team can store ideas and thoughts as they come up, so when the time comes for revamping, you can easily find them. Also, assign a time to revisit, refresh, and review your brand style guide.
A brand style guide is a way of showing that your brand is more than just the products and or services they sell and or provide. It is a way of telling the world why they should go for your brand than the other options on the market. A brand style guide is as much as for your team as it is for the world. It guides your team to stay true to your brand.
Go ahead and get going!