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Smart brands know they need to differentiate themselves from their competitors. To do this, they need to create a well-constructed band identity.

Your brand’s identity is more than your logo. It’s your mission and what sparks you to do what you do. These set you apart in your industry.

To maintain a consistent brand identity throughout all your marketing, many businesses create a brand style guide. This style guide can become a valuable resource for your business as you grow.

What is a brand style guide?

A brand style guide defines each element of your brand’s character from your mission statement to your colors to the images you use.

When you create a brand style guide, you’re creating a system of rules that will assist you in staying true to your brand in all your marketing endeavors. Your brand style guide can be especially helpful when using a marketing agency to help market your business.

How to create a brand style guide

Creating your style guide does require you to spend some time thinking about your brand, your market, and your business.

First, you must define your brand identity. What are your brand’s goals, mission, value, and target market? Once you know these things, you can determine the personality of your brand. Is it professional or fun and friendly? Whatever your personality, each component of your design should reflect your brand’s character.

What are your competitors doing? What do you like and not like about each of their brands? Use this to inspire you.

You’ll see what’s working and what isn’t working for your competitors. Because you want to stand out, your brand should be very different from your competitors. You don’t want people confusing your brand with your competitors’.

Fundamental of a brand style guide

Each business’s style guide is unique to them and will contain different elements. When creating yours, make sure your guide is well thought out, and includes the following:

- An introduction – your ‘why’ about your brand. This can include your mission statement.

- Logo – your logo is what people will first see so make sure you make a great first impression. Include all formats of your logo.

- Fonts – what fonts do you use in your business name, on your website, in your literature

- Colors – what colors are you using in your logo, on your website, and in marketing materials. Make sure you include the RGB and/or Pantone numbers

- Images – these are the visual system that carries your brand message to your target audience. These can be images you purchased or created yourself. Identify the qualities your brand’s imagery should include and how they should look and feel (vintage, colorful, natural, bright)

- Tone of voice – establish your brand as a unique personality by developing a strong and consistent voice. This will assist writers in using the right language when crafting any kind of copy for your brand – from ads to blog articles.

- Collateral - Think about your collateral objectives. Will your marketing materials be printed or digital or both? Do you have product packaging? Make a list of all the marketing collateral you will need. Remember, this guide can change as your business changes and grows. Add new collateral ideas to this section.

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