Why Every Company Needs a Brand Style Guide

Imagine a world where every piece of content you create radiates a consistent and unmistakable voice, where your logo and visual elements seamlessly blend together, and where customers can effortlessly connect with the essence of your brand. 

Branding is the beacon that guides customers to your unique value proposition.

Brand identity and branding are closely related concepts, but they have distinct meanings.

Branding, on the other hand, is the strategic and holistic process of creating and managing a brand. It involves all the activities and efforts undertaken to build and shape the brand’s identity, perception, and reputation in the marketplace.

Branding encompasses the development of a brand’s identity, positioning, messaging, visual elements, and overall brand strategy. It includes activities such as market research, brand strategy formulation, brand messaging and communication, brand experiences and touchpoints, and ongoing brand management and maintenance.

Branding aims to create a strong, positive, and consistent brand image that resonates with the target audience and establishes long-term relationships.

Brand Identity:
Brand identity refers to the visual, verbal, and experiential elements that make up the unique and recognizable characteristics of a brand. It is the outward expression of a brand, including its name, logo, color palette, typography, imagery, messaging, tone of voice, and overall personality.

A strong brand identity helps foster brand recognition, differentiation, and loyalty, ultimately influencing consumer behavior and purchase decisions.

This is where a branding style guide comes into play – a powerful tool that empowers companies to create a cohesive and impactful brand identity.

During my research for this article I came across these two additional resources you might find useful.

The Branding Guidelines Archives is a comprehensive directory of Brand Style Guidelines of top brands!

And I came across an article about the importance of creating a Writing Style Guide and thought you might like it too. The author, Ashley Coolman of Qordoba shares a boatload of tips and also writing style guide examples to emulate including a few organizations that have shared their style guides for everyone to learn from.

The Importance of a Branding Style Guide:

1. Consistency: A branding style guide ensures consistency across all brand touchpoints, including visual elements, tone of voice, and messaging. By defining specific guidelines, you can establish a uniform brand experience, regardless of the platform or medium.

2. Recognition: A well-crafted style guide helps your brand become instantly recognizable. Consistent use of logos, typography, color palettes, and imagery creates a visual identity that consumers can associate with your brand at a glance.

3. Cohesion: With a comprehensive style guide, you can align different teams, departments, and external partners in delivering a unified brand experience. It serves as a reference point, ensuring everyone involved in brand communication understands and adheres to the defined guidelines.

4. Differentiation: A unique brand identity sets you apart from competitors. Through a style guide, you can develop distinctive visual and verbal elements that reflect your brand’s personality, values, and positioning.

5. Efficiency: A well-documented style guide saves time and effort by providing ready-to-use templates, design assets, and guidelines. This streamlines the creative process and ensures consistency, even when multiple individuals or agencies are involved in creating brand materials.

Tips to Improve Your Branding Style Guide:

1. Define your brand’s core values and personality: Clearly articulate what your brand stands for, its mission, vision, and values. This will help shape the overall tone and voice of your brand.

2. Develop visual guidelines: Include detailed specifications for logo usage, color palettes, typography, imagery, and any other visual elements that are unique to your brand. Provide examples and clear instructions to ensure consistent implementation.

3. Establish the tone of voice guidelines: Define the appropriate language, writing style, and tone that align with your brand’s personality. This will help create a consistent voice across all communication channels.

4. Showcase practical examples: Demonstrate how the style guide is applied in different marketing materials, such as social media posts, website content, and advertisements. This will help users understand how to implement the guidelines effectively.

5. Update regularly: As your brand evolves, so should your style guide. Regularly review and update the guidelines to reflect any changes in your brand’s positioning, visual identity, or messaging.

Examples of Successful Brand Style Guides:

Here are 11 inspiring brand style guides from renowned organizations across various industries. These examples can serve as a source of inspiration and provide valuable insights into building a successful brand identity. 

Are you ready to take your brand to new heights?

Discover how a branding style guide can become your secret weapon in achieving brand consistency, recognition, and ultimately, success in the ever-evolving marketplace. Join us as we dive into the world of effective brand identity and unlock the true potential of your brand.

I Love New York

The iconic branding for the I Love New York logo was designed by Milton Glaser in 1977. The original campaign to market New York City was imaginated by Charlie Moss and Stan Dragoti, and directed by Jane Maas.

I Love NY Brand Guide: https://issuu.com/lukaszkulakowski/docs/8278452-i-love-new-york-brand-guide

Netflix Brand Assets

Netflix Brand Assets: https://brand.netflix.com/en/assets/

Quickbooks Design System

🔖The Design System for QuickBooks: https://designsystem.quickbooks.com

Shopify, Polaris Brand Guide

🔖Shopify, Polaris https://polaris.shopify.com/

Mail Chimp Content Style Guide

🔖MailChimp, Content Style Guide: https://styleguide.mailchimp.com

50 Examples from Canva.com

🔖And of course, Canva collected a helpful (and fascinating) list of 50 style guide examples 

Spotify Brand Style Guide

View Spotify’s brand guide: https://developer.spotify.com/branding-guidelines/

Jamie Oliver Brand Guidelines

View Jamie Oliver’s brand guide: https://issuu.com/joaodiogo/docs/frv-brand-guidelines-_final_

Venngage Brand Kit


Dyno Studio Brand Guide

Get this template: https://venngage.com/templates/presentations/red-design-style-guide-1763ecd1-609d-4011-af8d-0b222bfd31c9

Hubspot Guide + Templates

Download this handy resource: https://offers.hubspot.com/create-brand-style-guide

If you already have a brand style guide, share yours in the comments 👇 👇