A brand style guide is a crucial document that dictates how a business presents itself to the world. This reference tool promotes consistency in an organization’s social media, offline and online presence by demonstrating what the brand should look and sound like. The brand style guide is the essence of the brand’s reputation.

A brand style guide gives structure to your company’s brand voice and presentation. As you continue to grow online and in your chosen industry, your style guide will determine how you want people to identify you and what you can do to maintain a cohesive presence.

Components of a brand style guide

The brand style guide is the foundation of a consistent brand. This set of rules helps marketers, designers and social media marketers to stay on the same page when representing a unified vision of a company to the public. Here are some of the guidelines commonly found in brand style guides:

  • Mission statement: A mission statement is a compass for a brand style guide, ensuring that every piece of content created works towards the right end goal.
  • Buyer Personas: The representations of your ideal customers in your style guide will help to ensure that you’re speaking the right language to resonate with your audience.
  • Color palette: Your color palette dictates what colors you use and when to use them in everything from your marketing materials to your logo and website.
  • Editorial guide: An editorial style guide determines the tone of voice a business uses in their promotional strategies and the kind of content they share.
  • Typography: Many businesses use a specific set of fonts in their marketing and branding campaigns. The kind of font you use affects the way your brand is perceived and even have an emotional impact on your audience.

Other points in a brand style guide might include rules for employee advocacy, social media posting guidelines, schedules for content creation and anything else that impacts your brand identity online.

Benefits of a brand style guide

A brand style guide takes time to create and it often evolves with the business. As you learn more about your target audience and the goals of your company develop, your brand style guide will begin to change. As a dynamic compass for your organization, your style guide has a lot of benefits to offer, including:

  • Consistency: Consistency is crucial for building familiarity with your target audience. The more you approach your target audience with a cohesive brand voice, the more credible you become.
  • Reputation management: Your brand style guide ensures that everyone’s presenting the same view of your company, so you’re less likely to face issues with out-of-character comments on social media.
  • Brand recognition and awareness: Maintaining consistency with your brand style guide makes it easier for your audience to immediately recognize you online or offline. For instance, Google’s brand guidelines have helped them to become one of the most well-known companies in the world.
  • Focus: Your brand guidelines will stop you and your employees from going “off track” when building a social media presence and online identity.