I speak with so many business people who have no idea why they need a style guide for their business, however they share their frustration with me about why team members can’t get their business branding right. Some common problems are:
- Font size and type
- Logo placement
- Colour usage
The above are all vital to your business branding, get them wrong and even you don’t know who you are anymore. It’s easy to see why your customers and clients can get confused. You want the world to see you and your business in the best possible light at all times. An earlier blog post I wrote on branding would help you get these messages right.
So what is a Style Guide?’ Well, it’s a guide to reflect how you want your business style represented at all times. You then share this guide with your team, with anyone who is representing your business. It should cover off the following mediums at bare minimum:
- Business Cards
Your next steps
1. Review all your current branding and communication materials, don’t forget to use all of your social media, review photographs, logos, banners, newsletters and all other communication tools you utilise.
2. Spread them out in front of you, what do you like, what works and what does not? Also look at punctuation you have used previously, do you like it … is it effective … is it necessary … do you need to have your motto in quotes all the time? Does this serve any purpose for you? What is your message?
3. Once you decide on what works for you and what doesn’t, start to draft your guide, what you like, when is your full logo to be used, how, why and in what scenario. How is your logo to appear on video, print and your business cards? What font should be used, size and colour.
4. Always consult with members of your team, another pair of eyes can mean the difference between workable or ignored. Never implement anything you have not involved your end user in, their perspective will be an invaluable insight for you.
5. Don’t create War and Peace, it needs to be to the point, relevant and readable. It also needs to be something you can implement, review and update easily.
6. You will need a gatekeeper, a member of your team, a Virtual Assistant that will be responsible for maintaining and ensuring your image is consistent in the market place and kept up to date.
If you need help putting your style guide together click here.
What would you include in your style guide? Leave a comment below.