How to Create Your Own Brand Guidelines


What is a style guide?

A style guide or a brand manual is a set of guidelines that differentiates a brand from others. A guide holds the brand's identity and presents the format used by all departments to create content and maintain consistency. It includes every detail from the brand colours to the brand's voice and communicates how it looks, sounds and feels to the world even when different people are working on different aspects. The top digital marketing agencies provide the SEO service while ensuring to abide by the brand guidelines.

Some fundamental components of a brand style guide!

We know that a style guide is a 'know all' kind of help book for the people who represent the brand to the world. Thus, the style guide is prepared with utmost care and knowledge. Knowing and understanding the brand's core is vital before preparing the style guide. The following are the five main components of a style guide.

Mission: Brands have a mission to solve a problem or to bring a change in people's lives. It should be mentioned clearly and precisely in the guidelines, and the mission statement should specify the reason for the company's existence.

Vision: All entrepreneurs have a vision for their organizations and work towards achieving the goal. The vision defines where you envision your brand after a certain period which must be in sync with the mission.

Target audience: Target audience is a group of people who would want your product or service. The target audience is determined based on age, geographical location, occupation and interest areas. Understanding the psychology of the target audience is essential to produce appealing content. Without knowledge about the target audience, it would become impossible to deliver persuasive content.

Personality: Defining a brand's personality means deciding how the audience will perceive it. It means selecting a few adjectives that define the brand and set a bar for the writing and designing teams. For instance, is your brand formal or quirky, chic or elegant, etc. It helps the teams produce content in sync that is perceived well by the audience.

Values: Decide what values the brand caters to. A value system helps brand associates maintain their reputation and abide by all of the above.

Why do we need brand manuals?

The overall consistency of a brand needs to be at par. It's only possible when a shared style guide can be referred to and work accordingly. It is especially essential in large organizations where the employee count is more. Additionally, it helps communicate clearly with the audience with defined typography, fonts, colors, format, etc. It eliminates the need for constant supervision while creating content, saves time, keeps content effective and becomes an assistant to the creators. Moreover, it provides recognition to the brand and makes it possible for the viewers to identify its content even without the brand name. This establishment of trust becomes the basis of a strong relationship and makes a brand successful.

Eight simple steps to create your brand guidelines!

1. To create style guidelines, you initially need to gather all the information about the brand (the parts mentioned in the section above) from the management, owners and the past experiences/statistics of the organization.

Once you have gathered all the information, the next step is to create a structure and brand strategy. While developing a strategy, it is essential to keep in mind the target audience, the platforms and the products/services you are providing. Some things relevant to you might not apply to others and visa-versa. Therefore include the points pertinent to your brand and be mindful of all the guidelines each team will require to work effortlessly.

2. In the beginning, answer: 1) Who you are? 2) What do you do? 3) And Why do you do it? (the purpose), about your brand. The brand's mission, vision, and core values will become answers to these questions.

3. Next, list down the practical aspects that will become the face and the voice of your brand. It will include verbal characteristics such as the specific words that will be used or the words that won't be used, the tagline, the tone of the content, the message the brand will communicate, and the personality these will showcase. The visual characteristics that you can include are the specific brand colours (the colour palette that will become the visual identity), typography, fonts, iconography and the logo.

4. After defining the main identity factors, next is the set of instructions for the teams. It could be a consolidated list of do's and don'ts, tips for execution, logo dimensions, what stationery to use (for the printed content), the image quality, and the tools and resources to use. Also, it is advisable to list out some examples and references to make them clearer and easier to understand.

5. Once all of the above is done, it is essential to get feedback on the style from various people and team managers to ensure everything is in place and the instructions are clear and error-free.

6. Based on the feedback, work on polishing the style guide. Add the missing points or eliminate the unnecessary attributes. Moreover, make it easy for everyone to understand by using simple language.

7. After finalizing the style guide, the next step is to make it accessible for the people to reach it. The purpose of the style guide will fail if the employees can't quickly assess it when needed.

8. Lastly, ALWAYS ensure to keep your style guide updated. Your style guide will become a reference for every team, and the teams will create all the content accordingly. So, any delayed update could result in havoc.

A style guide is a toolkit for the people working in any organization, and it can have a significant impact on the working environment and the consistency of the work. The top digital marketing companies take special care of the guidelines in the style manual while creating content. The digital marketing and SEO teams curate the marketing strategy that syncs with the content and the brand reputation and tone.

If you want to connect with the best digital marketing agency, Uniworld Studios could be your best choice.