A style guide is one of the first necessary ingredients for launching an effective brand strategy. Basically, a style guide is an instruction manual on how to appropriately use your company’s branding materials. It also forces you to dive deep into your brand's identity, strengthening and clarifying it. With a style guide, you can ensure that the tone and message of your company are displayed correctly and consistently regardless of who is creating the promotion. Having brand consistency increases the impact of the message you are delivering to your customers – inconsistency can lead to confusion and ultimately a dissatisfied customer.
Depending on how your company operates, your style guide may be used by different audiences with different levels of familiarity with your brand. It can be used by internal design teams or new hires who aren’t completely familiar with your brand. Or perhaps you outsource your design work to an agency (like Conspire) in which case you can rest assured that the material designed will be perfectly on brand.
If you took the time to dive deep into your brand's identity through a style guide you are now prepared to take the next steps in developing your brand and marketing strategies. Keep your style guide somewhere close and update it where you see fit. The more you can build out your guide in depth the more success you will have in portraying the correct identity to your customers.
-Jack Elway III