Style Guide: Tips to Manage Your Unique Brand
What’s the first think that comes to mind when you think of branding…a logo. Logos are the genesis of brand recognition. A style guide, while not as sexy as a logo, is also an important element.
Corporate America has long known the benefits of a style guide but the average consumers are oblivious to the minutia details that set brands apart from each other. And not every company is a big business that requires big dollars being spent. Small companies can reap the benefits of style guide, without breaking the bank.
What is a style guide? A style guide is something created for a business as a resource for employees. It sets the tone for the look and feel of your website, marketing collateral, business reports and other documents by standardizing things like dates and word usage. You don’t need to pad your work day creating a document you’ll never use. We can help. All you need to do is answer a few questions, and we’ll develop and design your style guide for you. How does it work? There’s so much we love about style guides that it’s hard to pinpoint one thing specifically but if we absolutely had to it would be this: customization. A style guide can include as much or as little information as you want. We’ve seen style guides include everything from formatting for business letters, internal memos, white papers, social media profiles, marketing collateral, presentations and websites to a color palette, font style and size for quarterly newsletters to word abbreviations and a list of call to action words.
It’s important to remember a style guide is a living, breathing document. Changes can be made; should be made to reflect new technology and your expanding clients. The Benefits:
Consistency: In the same manner you want your messaging to be consistent across all platforms, you want the aesthetics to remain consistent. This will help clients and business associates identify your documents rapidly. Think about how you hold onto a mailer from your stack of junk mail, for a later perusal. Without being aware, you’ve set this piece of mail aside from the junk based on its branding.
Efficiency: From blogs to website content to marketing collateral and business letters, formatting is time consuming. When you’re spending time preparing content and formatting, you’ve taken time away from other aspects of your business. A style guide can easily cut the work load in half.
Cost: Quite often, businesses measure cost savings through money expended by calculating how effectively and efficiently your employees are producing work (this calculation is inclusive of the business owner). Taking into consideration the increased productivity caused by using a style guide, this enables a business to get more for the money.
Final Thought: Simplifying the editorial process boosts productivity and shortens the review process, creating a more effective workflow allowing you and your employees to focus on customer service and growing your business.