Why You Need A Brand Style Guide
To grow your blog, business and startup
Some of our customers don’t think they need a brand style guide because they wish to be flexible with ideas. It also takes them some time and effort to decide what to put in the guide, without any direct or immediate Return On Investment (ROI). Hence, most people rather skip this and work on other seemingly more important tasks for the day.
I guess we all can get by without one, but we wouldn’t know what we can get from it until we had one isn’t it? Meanwhile, based on my experience, here are some reasons why you need a brand style guide whether you are growing a blog, business or startup:
Expedite predictable workflow
We have many customers who come to us without one and the resulting communication process takes longer than it should and designs don’t turn out what they wanted.
That’s because our designers had to assume what the customers want without boundaries and create something out of what they think would work.
When delivered, the customers also don’t have any rule to follow. They too base their feedback on their own personal gut feeling and taste. Nobody’s ideas are right or wrong but the differences lead to many back-and-forth exchanges between customers and designers and that can go on and on between them.
Until finally, the deadline looms closer when both have to desperately end the project even if they had to make do with something they are not that satisfied with. This sometimes leads to customers and designers hating each other.
Rather than basing designs on everybody’s emotions and subjective ideas that can be vastly different, with a brand style guide, there’s a rule for everyone to follow. This saves everyone’s time and sanity with a quicker, smoother and predictable workflow.
Communicate with consistency
You want your audience to perceive you in the same way in every platform your content appears today, tomorrow and every day. A brand style guide thus acts like a person who gives you the direction you need to take to achieve that same result over and over again.
Let’s put it this way: I’m sure you’ll only trust advisers if they guide you in the same way as they guide someone else every time. Similar to your business, a brand style guide sets the stage for how your story is spoken and designed in a coherent manner wherever you are.
For example, your latte in Starbucks along Sixth Avenue will taste exactly the same in the Starbucks along Sesame Street.
Why? Because although different baristas are preparing the lattes at different times, they are using the exact same shot glass with a guide or measuring ruler on it that tells them how much espresso to put into your cup.
Imagine without the guide, the measurements will be random. One may prefer thinner coffee and give you 10 ml of espresso, while the other may prefer more caffeine and give you 20 ml on another day, that inconsistency leads to different coffee tastes on different days. That’s not what you want for your daily cuppa.
Same for your brand. A brand style guide will help your brand speak the same language everywhere, this allows people to identify you and this consistency tells them that they can trust you and be willing to work with you.
Work with people of the right fit
Let’s face it, we can’t work with everyone and not everyone wants to work with us. That’s cool because that’s just natural. You have your own set of values and principles and I have mine. The next thing we need to do is to find people with a similar set of beliefs to work with each other.
There are many ways to promote yourself and find people to work with. One way is via your brand style guide. This guide is not just for designers. It is also a tool to help you tell the world that you have a stand and what that is in a clear and visual manner.
Not everyone is willing to know more about you and even if they do, not everyone likes what you have to say. The good thing about this brand style guide is, you can and should include everything one needs to know about your story and where you are heading.
Anyone who isn’t aligned with your brand guidelines may be “filtered” or not included as someone you need to spend time and effort trying to work together. This will benefit both you and them in the long run rather than trying to tolerate each other’s differences without knowing what the issue is.
Stand out with a brand style guide
The core importance of a brand style guide is to help you effectively communicate your brand, message and business personality to your team members, freelancers, contractors, partners and audience.
For your team, this allows them to help you create something to communicate your brand as accurately as possible to the world.
For your audience, if your message stays coherent wherever they are in contact with your brand, the people who share the same sentiments will resonate and gravitate towards you. While those who don’t agree stay away.
In this way, you start to stand out and it helps you differentiate yourself from your competition in a quiet way. It’s well worth the investment.
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