Brand Style Guide: Matching Your Print and Digital Marketing Assets

By Julie Chomiak

As your small business evolves, so does your myriad of marketing materials. From business cards to websites and everything in between, you’ll quickly find that your small business is swimming in marketing collateral. Before you get to this point, it’s wise to take a step back and create a brand style guide to ensure your print and digital marketing assets are coordinated and represent your business accurately and professionally.

What is a brand style guide?

First things first: what is a brand style guide? A brand style guide is a catalog of the elements in your visual identity as well as a list of dos and don’ts for your small business (how and where to use a logo, tone of voice, etc.). This document typically includes your logo, fonts, colors, brand voice, and use case examples for each. It’s meant to give a quick overview of acceptable ways to present your brand in any medium available.

This may sound very advanced, but it’s easier than you think. As a functioning small business, you likely have 95% of the materials you need to put the guide together; you just need to do it! This upfront effort is worth the time as a brand style guide acts a small business’s North Star and makes marketing and branding decisions simple in the future.

A brand style guide also comes in handy if you work with freelancers or third-party vendors. From this document, your partners know where, when, and how to use your brand assets in the right way.

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty so you can put your brand style guide together.

What does your brand style guide need?

Great question! To create a guide that is useful and actionable for your small business, you’ll need the following five items at the ready.

Brand mission

When you started your business, you likely created a mission or vision statement to articulate what your business is about and how it differs from the competition. It’s only logical to include your mission statement in your brand style guide because it sets the tone for how your brand presents itself, what kind of customer you’re trying to reach, and your business’s underlying ideals. Each of these components is an integral piece of your brand identity.

When writing your mission statement, you may have identified your unique selling proposition (USP). This is another piece of the brand puzzle that needs a place in your brand style guide. Your unique differentiator is the crux of your success. Thus, honing your marketing materials, both print and digital, to include your USP in a consistent way means you’re building credibility and ingraining in your brand in your audience’s mind. Branding is all about recognition and your USP plays a big part in establishing recognition.

We realize that your brand mission, values, and USP are not necessarily tangible marketing assets, but they are at the core of every marketing material. They direct the tone, aesthetic, channel, and platform, so they are necessary for Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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