Brand: The Essence of Your Company
Picture this; you and four of your co-workers are sitting at a table. A friend walks up to you, passes out five sheets of paper, a box of crayons, and asks you all to draw a flower. There’s a good chance that five very different interpretations of what a “flower” looks like will materialize. A couple of the drawings probably look pretty nice (because, let’s be honest, a few of us have been practicing our Crayon skills since preschool), while others might look like they were drawn by a highly caffeinated, arthritic, spider monkey (we all have those days too – judgment free zone).
Here’s what this story illustrates:
Most successful companies spend time developing business principles, a mission statement, a logo, style, etc. While the employees might have access to these materials and have a general idea of what they mean (i.e. what a flower looks like), it would be difficult for all the employees to have a consistent concept of how all of these things work together to make up the overall “personality” of the company. And this becomes even more difficult over time as the company matures or adds more employees. This is why having a brand/style guide is a good idea for companies of all sizes.
What is a Brand/Style Guide?
A brand guide, or style guide, is a compilation of the fundamental standards of a company. It also describes the essence of the company and its personality.
Who is it for?
It should be an especially helpful guide to internal employees and interns, but it is also a great way to assist external marketing/design agencies with emulating your brand without much of a learning curve. As a designer myself, I can attest to the fact that it’s nice to have a box to work within, instead of unknown boundaries that aren’t revealed until after I have a bunch of hours into a project. It’s the most helpful to new employees. Instead of requiring a training session with a manager or designer, a Style Guide can be distributed to the new hire and used as a guide until the company standards become second nature.
Why is it Important?
First of all, your Brand is one of your most vital assets. However, it’s more than just a logo and color codes. At its most fundamental state, a Brand Guide tells a story about who you are as a company. Every single document that is mailed, email sent, or social media post published is representing your company to the outside world. It is essential that your company’s employees not only understand these company values, but also know how to utilize them in their communications. A consistent brand keeps the values of your company in the forefront and allows your employees to unite around a common mission. This uniformity displays strength, reliability, attention to detail, and dependability to your current and future clients.
Written By: Brad Kercheval, Project Coordinator & Designer, Fetch Multimedia