Skip to main content

I Need FIVE Brand Style Guides?!? Yes. And Why Your Business Can’t Survive Without Them

Imagine for a moment a house that seems off-putting, even if you can’t pinpoint exactly why.

SOURCE: Selling America’s Ugliest House https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/lifestyle/selling-americas-ugliest-house/
SOURCE: Selling America’s Ugliest House https://www.indianapolismonthly.com/lifestyle/selling-americas-ugliest-house/

There’s something about its structure, the way it stands, or its color scheme that just doesn’t sit right. This house stirs a sense of unease, a primal instinct that tells you to steer clear.

This is the power of consistency, or the lack thereof, and it’s at the heart of branding.

The entire purpose of branding is to establish and maintain this consistency. Why? Because as humans, we are hardwired to seek familiarity and safety. It’s in our DNA to be drawn to things we can predict and understand.

That’s what makes a well-branded product or service so appealing. It feels familiar, reliable, trustworthy. It’s like a beacon of safety in the chaotic sea of the market.

Now, back to that house. Just as you might instinctually avoid a house that looks scary or unattractive, consumers instinctively shy away from a brand that lacks consistency.

It’s not just about aesthetics; it’s about trust. An inconsistent brand is like that unsettling house – it signals danger, uncertainty, and unreliability.

This is why a strong, cohesive brand style guide is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. It ensures that every aspect of your brand – from its logo to its language – resonates with familiarity and reliability, attracting and retaining customers by catering to their innate need for safety and consistency.

What is a Brand Style Guide?

What exactly is a Brand Style Guide? Imagine it as the blueprint for your brand’s appearance and voice. In today’s world, where ad costs are skyrocketing, and customer loyalty is gold, a Brand Style Guide is your secret weapon. It’s not just about attracting people; it’s about keeping them.

That’s where Lifetime Customer Value and retention come into play. A strong, consistent brand is like a lighthouse in a sea of competition, guiding customers back to you, time and time again.

5 Types of Style Guides

I created this list of five style guides that you need if you’re serious about branding and consistency. Most of it was pulled from a London-based branding agency called Poppins, who has worked with classic brands like Meyers Manx (https://meyersmanx.com/).

I combined their framework with my own experience creating over 300 brands for small and large businesses, as well as my education in human resources (hence the “Community Styling” addition).

Finally, I pulled in elements of BrandScience™ that I learned from my friend Stæven Frey of Quantum Branding Agency (Click Here to see my DigitalMarketer Podcast interview with him).

I believe that these five components of style are essential for long-term branding. They incorporate both essential/classic branding elements with the need for multi-media styling that can accommodate future technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and advanced AI generative design.

Interactive Styling

This is all about how your brand plays in the digital sandbox. It’s the cool techy stuff – from the way your website interacts with visitors to the swag you hand out.

We’re talking about UI styles, those nifty animations, even how your brand looks on apparel. It’s like outfitting your digital persona in the best gear.

Definition: Encompasses user-focused elements such as digital interfaces, interactive technology, and user engagement features that facilitate direct interaction with the brand.

Elements: Packaging, Icons, UI Style, Animation, Motion, Apparel

Visual Styling

This is your brand’s look. The face it shows to the world. From your logo to the colors and fonts you use, it’s all about making a visual impact.

It’s the difference between a forgettable brand and one that’s etched in memory. Think striking graphics, captivating imagery, and a style that screams “you.”

Definition: Comprises all visual aspects of branding, including logos, color palettes, typography, and imagery, forming the visual identity and aesthetic appeal of the brand.

Elements: Graphics, Imagery Generation (photography, videography, and stock imagery selection), Color, Type, Logo, AI-Imagery

Written/Verbal Styling

Here’s where your brand finds its voice. How does it speak? What’s its language and tone? It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

From naming your products to the style of your copy, it’s all about communicating in a way that resonates with your audience.

Definition: Involves the use of language, tone, and messaging in brand communication, encompassing everything from the brand’s name to its style of verbal expression.

Elements: Name, Sub-Naming, Verbal, Language, Tone of Voice, Voice UI

Experiential Styling

This is about creating experiences. Think about the vibe your events give off, the feel of your materials, even the lighting in your spaces. It’s about engaging all senses to create a memorable encounter with your brand.

Definition: Focuses on creating immersive and sensory experiences through events, environmental design, and physical interactions, offering memorable brand encounters.

Elements: Sonic (Jingle, Music, Sound Effects), Events, Material, Lighting

Community Styling

This one’s all about people – your team. How they act, dress, and interact with customers reflects on your brand. It’s about ensuring that every team member embodies what your brand stands for, from the slogans they use to the way they dress.

Definition: This style guide focuses on the conduct and presentation of employees both within the company and in public-facing roles. It emphasizes the importance of consistent, positive interactions and the representation of the brand’s values in all employee actions and choices.

Elements: Employee Conduct, Customer Interaction, Public Representation, Common Language and Slogans, Dress Code, Selection of Brand Representatives, Training and Development

Create Your First Style Guide in Minutes

Now, let’s get practical. You’re probably thinking, “This sounds great, but where do I start?”

Here’s the deal: You can kickstart your visual and written/verbal style guides using my free Logo-CRAFT framework.

And guess what? It’s not some high-flying, complex thing. It’s a super easy process with a few free AI prompts and Canva templates. It’s like having a branding expert in your pocket.

Just dive in, and you’ll be crafting a style guide that’s as unique as your brand in no time. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s turn that branding house into a home!


Logo-CRAFT AI-driven style guide creation system