Creating a Branding and Style Guide

Creating a Branding and Style Guide

Your brand is your bread and butter. It’s what makes your company, unique and different. Your brand is your business, so how do you organize the look and feel to share with others? Dive into our guide to get the inside scoop on branding your business and break down the inner workings of an effective style guide.

Why is it important to have a style guide? A style guide, also called branding guidelines, describes different aspects of your brand including the look and feel, design, and mission of a business. This comprehensive guide is typically an internal set of rules a company follows in order to build a cohesive message/voice on all marketing and advertisement materials. There are so many added benefits to having a style guide, but here are a few of the most useful: Cohesiveness For any company, it’s important that all teammembers are on the same page. Memorable Brand If the guide is followed, your company can develop a successful and memorable brand for years to come. (i.e. Coca-Cola, Doritos, Adidas, etc.) Recognizability & Reliability Clients can rely on your brand to maintain a consistent image and voice. (i.e. Like when you’re shopping for your favorite cereal or coffee at the grocery store, you want to be able to spot it from a mile away.) Source: HubSpot Small Changes, Over Time Like every brand, you will want to make changes to your brand as time goes on. With a style guide, you can go back and make smaller changes but maintain on track with your goals as a company.

Mission & Vision Statements What is a mission statement? First and foremost, the company needs to have a clear, action-oriented statement of its purpose and how it serves the community. A mission statement is a sentence or two describing the company, its function, and its objectives. Source: Hubspot When writing a mission statement, it’s important to keep in mind your product/service and your core values as a company. Start with two to three adjectives that describe your company. Then, combine them with how your product/service will better serve the community while abiding by those adjectives. What’s a vision statement? A vision statement is a broad statement describing the goals and future of the company. The vision statement can be a few sentences longer than the mission statement and can use some of the same verbiage, as long as it’s in the future tense. Mission Statement: To create and promote great-tasting, healthy, organic beverages. Let’s look at a few examples to get the creative juices flowing: Mission Statement: To create a better everyday life for the many people. Vision Statement: Become essential to our customers by providing differentiated products and services to help them achieve their aspirations. Vision Statement: We believe that buying glasses should be easy and fun. It should leave you happy and good-looking, with money in your pocket. We also believe that everyone has the right to see. Source: Shopify For more inspiration, head on over to your favorite company website and look for their about us tab. There you can find their mission and vision statement, as well as their corporate values. To serve our customers better, to always be relevant in their lives, and to form lifelong relationships. - Nordstrom Vision Statement

Creating a Buyer Persona So after you’ve reached a clear mission and vision for your company, now is the time to create a set of ideal (semi-fictional) buyers to represent your audience. A buyer persona is a research-based representation of your target customer. Source: Hubspot The buyer persona should include a list of characteristics that describe your clientele. This includes demographics, wants and needs, behaviors, and challenges they may face. In the promo industry, we typically have a large audience. Pick a frequent client that best represents your clientele and take down their characteristics. Start with the following questions to get a good idea of what your buyer persona looks like. • What is the typical size of their orders? • How frequently do they purchase from your company? • What type of products are they purchasing? • Are they local, national, or worldwide? With these questions, you can formulate a buyer that best represents your client base. This will not only help with your marketing efforts, but it will assist your team in being on the same page during sales.

Guidelines for Voice, Tone, and Formatting Company Voice When you think of a familiar brand, what is the one adjective to describe them? Are they funny, expressive, neutral, or serious? Your company voice is how you want to be perceived by your audience. Source: Hubspot Are your products described as fun and outgoing? Or are they innovative and cutting edge? Your company voice stays consistent over time, thus the reasoning behind its inclusion in a style guide. Brand Tone The brand tone is a little bit different. Tone can change in all messaging on a day-to-day basis. This applies to how a company responds on social media or even to a Google review. It’s important to be consistent with your voice and tone, as it represents your company as a whole. Formatting Your style guide should also include rules on how things are formatted. This includes headers, subheaders, how type is to be used when bolded, italicized, and so on. Formatting is especially important for any client-facing documents, such as articles, email newsletters, and presentations. With a defined format, your readers will be able to digest content and information easier.

Design A branding guide is a necessity when it comes to marketing your business effectively. It helps users connect with the brand by giving a consistent image, logo, color scheme, and font. On their own, each of these elements can be identified separately; however together they give power to your brand. The Importance of Creating a Brand Identity As you build your brand identity, focus on building memorable moments for your current and future clientele, rather than the customer experience. The customer experience is a constant line, in real-time. But creating memorable memories for your clients means demonstrating a consistent brand message. All client-facing materials should provide a clear, positive message to embody the purpose of your brand. To stick to this consistent nature, assess all opportunities and aspects of your brand identity and combine them into one. Thus, the need for a company branding guide. Source: Venn Digital The importance of a branding guide begins with cohesiveness. By setting a standard for colors, typeface, logo, and placement, your teammembers will be on the saame page when designingmarketingmaterials.

Color Palettes Your company color palette is a group of colors that represent your brand’s personality and style. These 3-8 colors govern everything from your logo to your ad design, and everything in between. Source: Mark Brand Boutique The color combinations often are in HEX or RGB color codes, a technical set of numbers or letters to describe the exact position of your color on the color wheel. Your color palette represents your brand and is a way for you to stick out from the competition. Each company has a distinct set of colors. Creating a special set of CMYK colors can separate you from others. CMYK 24, 100, 84, 19 Pantone 187C Hex #A1192E CMYK 0, 56, 76, 0 Pantone 518C Hex #F68B4E CMYK 80, 13, 52, 0 Pantone 7473C Hex #16A290 CMYK 64, 87, 45, 45 Pantone 164C Hex #4B2643 If you want a quick and easy way to generate a color palette for your business, Canva and Coolors are great tools to create color palettes for free.

Importance of a Logo Logos are the most recognizable design of your brand. Logos are not only eye-catching designs, but they also do the following: Grab Your Attention A well-designed logo can make your company stand out. A logo is the first greeting to a potential client. By designing a well-thought-out logo, your business can stand out from competitors. Creates a Strong Impression Your logo is your way to communicate ownership of your products and services. When a potential client looks at your logo, what kind of perception do they receive? The Foundation of Your Brand Identity Your company logo is on every material presented to the public. This includes but is not limited to, brochures, advertisements, websites, emails, signage, sales documents, and more. As your brand continues to grow, your logo is on each material you produce. Unique and Memorable We all have a favorite logo, whether that be from a memorable soda company or sports team. When you see a logo and it evokes a positive feeling, you as the customer associate a memorable moment with that company. Source: Tailor Brandsa company When creating your logo, use your color palette as your guide. Whether you use a graphic or typography of your company name, ensure it is easy to spot from far away and is distinct to your company. By thinking about all aspects of your brand, you’ll have a better sense of direction when it comes to design. This will help you attract more clients, make more sales, and save money by not having to redesign every time you want to do something new.

Typography Typography isn’t the first thing you think about when designing your company’s branding guide. But, type is equally as powerful in showcasing the values and tone of your brand. There are different classifications in a typeface that have different connotations when used in branding. Source: Maker and Moxie Think about iconic typefaces used for popular brands such as Uber, Hulu, or the Harry Potter franchise. Those typefaces are unique to the brand and form that brand’s identity. The most important thing to do is make it very clear that the fonts and typefaces were created with the client’s best interests in mind. You are sharing information in a font that communicates, “Here is our brand, and here is how we convey information.” That simple statement of intent should go a long way in deciding your typeface and font for your brand. T Typography is essential in brand development and is one of themost important things to include in your branding guide.

A branding guide essentially becomes the “design bible” for your company. This helps maintain consistency within all your digital assets such as your website, social media, blogs, e-newsletters, and apps. While most people think of a branding guide in terms primarily of graphic design or print collateral, a branding guide can include many other mediums like social media, website design, etc. A branding guide is essentially your company’s voice through the design and written word. While products may be at the forefront of your business, how you communicate and convey information is key to maintaining current and future clients. Your words hold a lot of value as a business; ensure to use them wisely! Style guides are important to maintain consistency as a brand. With the right tools, you can guide your team to develop a stronger message for your target audience..

© 2022 Quick Technologies Inc. • 800.925.7243 •