Your brand’s style guide lays out the intricate details of your brand that keep you consistent and on message.
Much like a cocktail, there are many parts that must coexist to create the perfect balance. Shift one of these parts too much and you have a completely different drink and a completely different brand.
Ingredients of a Brand Guide
Your brand voice is the personality your organization takes on through its communication. It’s what pulls your audience to you and helps you stand out from the crowd. Your brand voice could be humorous, serious, sassy or any number of personality types.
A style guide is going to lay out what your voice is and the types of words you would and would not use when communicating with your audiences. It’s a great piece of information to refer to when writing press releases, ad copy or social media posts.
Your brand voice is what all your other brand elements fit into. On the rocks? Straight up? Highball?
Over time, your customers will become familiar with your brand voice and know what to expect from your communications. A strong and resonant brand voice can endear you and your product to your audience and inspire the same kind of brand loyalty your customer has to their ‘go-to’ beverage brand.
A logo is the visual mark that serves as a symbol for a brand. It tends to be the element of the brand guide people think of most often. Like the rum in a daiquiri or tequila in a margarita, a unique logo can become the heart of your overall brand.
Your logo should be distinct so you stand out from the crowd. People should be able to recognize your logo and immediately correlate it with you and your services.
Logos have many elements that tell a story about your brand from the colors included in it to the shape or visual elements involved. The brand guide will detail these elements and how to best use the logo for the sake of consistency, such as sizing, spacing and alternative uses.
Typography is a subtle part of your brand that makes a big difference when used correctly. Much like the lime sugar in a mojito, it’s subtle but drastically changes the taste without it. The typeface being used should reflect your brand, from a clean sans-serif to a formal serif.
Your brand guide will explain which typeface you should be using and what variations of that typeface are appropriate.
While your brand’s typography may not be what jumps to mind immediately when a customer thinks of your brand, standardizing your fonts can create cohesiveness across your marketing that adds the sophistication and charm.
The color palette in a brand guide is an important element that has much more thought put into it than it looks. A color palette sets a mood that speaks to your audience when they see it.
The clean look with hints of green limes of a Caipirihna can evoke refreshing summer feelings, just as the clean white used with the Apple logo can make people think of the future and new technology.
The kind of photography you use can say a lot about your brand, and your brand guide can explain what type of photography you should be using. From the types of expressions on people’s faces to the locations of the photos, your brand guide will keep your brand consistent.
When it comes to an Old Fashioned, presentation is important. It should be garnished with an orange peel and a cherry for that classic Old Fashioned look. Without those, it’s hardly an Old Fashioned. If your photos are visually all over the place or missing major elements, it’s going to be difficult for customers to recall having seen your brand. And I’m not going to remember an Old Fashioned with that orange peel scent hitting my nose.
Recipe for a good brand
Your brand guide is your reference for any time your need to make a decision regarding your brand’s communication. It tells you how you should say something and what it should look like. The consistency a brand guide provides allows you to create an experience for your customers that they’ll come to expect and appreciate.
Your brand guide lays out your brand’s exact ingredients so it doesn’t become something else over time, the way a Mojito becomes a Daiquiri becomes a Caipirinha becomes a Caipirissima.
If you’re looking to perfect your brand and stay consistent with your own brand guide, let us know. We’re always up for a discussion about branding and a cold drink.