Creating the “look” for your business or product is considered your branding. Creating consistency across all channels is when you build your brand identity. Ultimately, the consistency of style and voice develops your brand equity. That’s where the good stuff is.
But how do we get there? How do we create a brand that people recognize and relate to?
It starts with your brand guide.
A brand guide is filled with a few different elements unique to your company. A one-page document is a good place to start, but the sky’s the limit. Be as specific as you’d like. Here are some of the must-haves we recommend.
Include an image of your logo to inform readers what it looks like. List instructions on how to use it—where to place it on a document, the appropriate size, etc. If you have multiple versions, display them all. It always helps to include an example of how to use it and how not to use it.
Include all brand fonts for headings, paragraphs, etc., and their uses.
List and provide visual representation of the colors your organization uses. Include RGB, CMYK and HEX color codes.
How does your brand “sound”? Are you quirky? Professional, friendly or playful? Give descriptions and examples of how your tone of voice might be right or wrong. If your brand voice is quirky, explain exactly what that means. This section should also include information on sentence structure. Do you want long complex sentence structures, a mix, or simplicity? Be sure to include examples.
Make your brand representation consistent every time by developing a brand guide. And, don’t forget to share it with anyone who needs it.