If the purpose of branding is to build a sustainable competitive advantage, then the main function of a brand style guide is to help ensure visual and verbal consistency across all brand communications. The best examples can accomplish much more, though, by motivating team members and inspiring that other magical marketing component: creativity.

Why is a style guide so important?

Creating a strong brand identity system helps to convince and assure people that you are the right choice for so many customers in a crowded marketplace. When documented and organized in a well-designed style guide, it helps stakeholders, employees, and collaborators tell a consistent brand story, improves recognizability and, most importantly, keeps your organization's brand top-of-mind. In this way, your brand style guide helps to instill trust and create loyalty both internally and with your intended audience. 

What type of style guide does my business need?

The level of brand detail and creative direction that your organization requires depends on different factors. Number of stakeholders, internal awareness, brand recognition, and brand equity are just a few of the things that help decide what type of style guide is most appropriate. The style guides we develop with our clients at Map Agency range from simple brand standards to comprehensive toolkits. In the latest print edition of Topographic, we outline three approaches to help decide what type of style guide would be most helpful for your organization.