Given a pile of several visual ads from various companies, how quickly would you be able to distinguish an ad from Apple? What about Nike? Chances are you’d be able to pick them out from the crowd pretty swiftly.
Why are these brands so easily recognizable?
While incredible wealth of these companies certainly doesn’t hurt, a major reason why the average consumer can distinguish advertising material from certain companies so easily is the fact that, in this case, both of these companies employ a unique and consistent style guide. For these companies, their style guides are tailored so that their branding stands out from the crowd and is easily recognizable. Regroove can help put together a style guide for your business, so your branding can do this too!
What is a style guide?
The term ‘style guide’ is inherently broad and can mean slightly different things to different organizations. At its core though, a style guide is a plan to ensure your brand is consistent in image, tone, and message to any who may encounter it. The guide is a reference document to ensure consistency and unity in the company’s brand.
For the purposes of this article, I’ll be focusing on style guides for visual branding, however style guides can also include instructions for messaging, wording of social media posts, email and document structure – anything to do with the physical output of a company.
What should be in a style guide?
A style guide can include guidelines on how any visual branding put forth by the company should be presented. Style guides with this focus often include the brand’s colour guidelines, with both a visual representation of the colour and the HEX (Hexadecimal Colour Value) code of that colour. An example of which can be seen below:
Within the style guide for an app developed by Regroove called Navo (a managed link library for your organization), the precise colours of the brand are outlined here for use in digital promotional materials.
A style guide focusing on a brand’s visual properties can also include preferred variants of the company logo, as well as the preferred font and spacing format of documents
Because a style guide should be intended as a reference document, it should include as detailed information as possible to ensure that, for anyone within the company using it, there should be no guess work.
Why is this important?
Your style is your brand, and your brand is your style. Does it sound cliché? Probably, but it’s true. A visual style guide for your brand ensures that consumers have a consistent brand experience wherever your brand is concerned. While most brands won’t experience the same kind of universal recognizability that Apple and Nike have, a consistent brand experience can serve to provide legitimacy to a company among consumers. Legitimacy is a key characteristic for a company to possess in the marketing landscapes of today. It’s not hard for a consumer to create a link in their head between consistency of branding and consistency of service or products provided by that company. Of course, a good-looking, clean, consistent brand experience doesn’t automatically mean that a company’s products or services are superior, but it can certainly help visually separate a company from competition.
I’m sure I’ve said it once before, but if you could give your company the tools to succeed, wouldn’t you? Consistency is key for any brand, and a style guide is a great way to produce a consistent brand experience for consumers. It can help provide recognizability, legitimacy, and potentially separation in competitive markets.
At Regroove, we understand the impact a style guide can have on your business. We can help you create one so that you can eliminate the guess work of branding and focus on your product or service! Interested? Get in touch here!
We’ve just covered why your business needs a style guide – check out how your company can benefit from a cloud solutions coach or how to make migrating to a new, modern Intranet easy for your organization!