Spread Your Message for Social Profitability
Create Consistency With a Brand Style Guide
Congratulations! You’ve worked hard with your agency and creative team to craft a brand identity that represents your cause or organization. Now you’re ready to spread your message to make the most impact for Social Profitability.
Your internal team is excited by the possibilities and is geared to getting the word out to your network of supporters and beyond.
Now the work really begins. Staff and volunteers alike need to be on the same page when it comes to what you say and how you say it. You want to ensure that you are sending out a clear and consistent message that is unique to your brand.
This is equally true for a new brand identity as it is for an existing brand. Take a look at all your forms of marketing and communication… from your internal and external printed and direct mail pieces, to your website and social media posts.
It may be time to review all your current communications and audit what’s been produced to reel in any differences in messaging and branding. This step is as important for a local organization as it is for a national not-for-profit.
The most effective method of ensuring consistency is through a Brand Guideline or Style Guide.
The Guide acts as the gold standard that anyone authorized to work on your branding can have at their fingertips to answer any questions related to your brand’s editorial copy and visual design specifications.
Create a concise, visually appealing document and include these key points:
- Your company or organization’s philosophy or brand positioning. A brief description of the brand pillars will aid in better understanding for all.
- The brand logo. Explain what it represents and stands for. Show examples of usage and correct and acceptable applications including sizing and positioning on a page.
- The approved brand colours. Provide the details for applications and usage in all mediums.
- An outline of typography and secondary typography. Show examples of typefaces for headline and copy treatments for both print and digital media.
- Approved images, photography or illustration, and usage guidelines.
- Concise brand messaging, tone of voice and examples of tagline, headlines, subhead and editorial copy to be featured.
- An editorial guideline that outlines proper spelling, punctuation, preferences and style of copywriting, including the organization’s proper name, and any abbreviations and acronyms that can be used.
- Identify how contact information and address, URLs and social media handles are to be written.
- Show practical examples of branded elements and collateral materials.
- Provide branded templates for EVERY possible application.
- Add a contact person who is able to answer questions and can trouble shoot any situation that may arise.
Let everyone in your organization know that there is a Brand Guideline in place.
By creating a Brand Guidelines/Style Guide for your organization, you’re safeguarding the integrity of your brand identity. In the long run it will be – So Worth It!