Why Organizations & Companies Have Branding Style Guides
Knowing your brand is crucial to knowing how to represent it. Branding style guides are useful in laying out how you want your identity to be used across various platforms. A brand’s message and presence can be felt through its selection of colors, the design of its logos, photography, typography, business cards, and more!
Just prior to me becoming Publications Manager & Multimedia Designer, Kappa Kappa Psi was moving toward finalizing its official Brand & Graphics Standards Guidelines.
The following can be found in the first section marked “BRAND FOUNDATION”:
A brand may be defined as all that is known, thought or experienced by the public about an organization. How we present ourselves and how we communicate to our audience is very important in the public’s perception.
Your presentation will factor into the public’s perception.
What do you want to communicate to your audience? Your members? Potential sponsors or donors? The world at large?
What are the values you want front and center?
Kappa Kappa Psi chose to express its brand with three words:
MUSICIANSHIP. LEADERSHIP. SERVICE.
Your values fuel (and focus) your brand’s marketing efforts. With a style guide, you can establish your values and educate your representatives on the best way to communicate them.
Informing Future Projects
With a style guide in place, established standards and traditions can help inspire future projects and inspire new promotional campaigns.
In 2014, I was charged with designing and overseeing the implementation of a new national website for Kappa Kappa Psi. With the branding & style guidelines already in place, I had a foundation to build upon. Equipped with materials from the guidelines, I was able to design a website that reflects the fraternity properly.
Future programs and initiatives can be categorized underneath MUSICIANSHIP, LEADERSHIP, or SERVICE, underneath the banner of brotherhood that is Kappa Kappa Psi. Guidelines put everyone on the same page with an established playbook. From the playbook come the tools to telling the story of the organization and its efforts.
Protection of Consistency
Your message must be consistent to have a lasting impact.
Your audience must trust in the image you portray. That trust must be earned. It is earned through consistency.
The guidelines protect that consistency through outlining how each element of your brand is to be used. The world will put you in a box. A style guide allows you to visualize the box you want the world to see you in.
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