Design Inspiration

7 Essential Steps to Applying Your Brand Style Guide Across Different Asset Types

Samantha Pratt Lile
June 17, 2021
 min read
7 Essential Steps to Applying Your Brand Style Guide Across Different Asset Types7 Essential Steps to Applying Your Brand Style Guide Across Different Asset Types
Table of Contents

It takes the average person between five and seven brand impressions to form a lasting memory, according to author, podcast host and marketing guru Pam Moore. The importance of building a powerful brand, therefore, cannot be underestimated. What would happen if a potential customer saw a different style presentation for each of those five to seven impressions? Do you think the brand will be as memorable as when a consistent message is presented?

Of course, establishing a brand identity is far easier said than done. An effective brand tells a company’s story and makes it stand apart from the competition. It encompasses so much more than logos and letters—but those can make a good start. Create a brand style guide to present a strong and consistent visual design, including a unique and memorable logo, coordinating and meaningful typeface and a consistent color scheme.

Even with an established style guide, applying those guidelines across different brand assets remains a challenge. How do you consistently brand your company with different departments, representatives, social media profiles, products, reports, media, channels and all of the other ways a brand can be presented to both internal and external customers? Even more so, how do you stand out in the market while protecting a digital brand against third-party messages that can harm a company or hinder its success?

Online brand management helps to control a company’s presentation and its customers’ experiences across various digital platforms, including social media, web-based publications, the online marketplace, video and broadcast. 

A digital brand manager helps ensure a brand’s style guide is applied consistently across all digital assets, but they don’t stop with its visual design. The important role is also responsible for positioning a brand for digital success, which can include moderating voice and message, enabling customer experiences and even monitoring a brand’s entire online presence.

Want to ensure your brand presents a strong and consistent digital identity? Start with the following seven essential steps to apply your brand style guide strategically and effectively across different asset types: 

1. Keep it consistent

Consistency is just as— if not more— important for online brand management as it is for traditional marketing efforts. At one time, a style guide might have been applied to physical elements such as signage, stationery, uniforms, products and advertisements. But a modern brand identity consists of pretty much anything that can impact a company’s message or its customers’ habits and opinions. That can include online interactions, media reports, reviews and so much more. 

Consistency is vital, and therefore an effective digital brand style guide should incorporate more than visual elements. Beyond establishing style guidelines, companies can invest in templates that can be applied across various channels and media, as well as in training employees and ambassadors to accurately represent the brand.

2. Convey a message

What does your company stand for? What does your brand represent? Brand messaging not only presents value to prospective customers, but also sets the tone of a company’s personality and the overall market impression of a brand. 

A company’s voice can set it apart from the competition and establish value in the minds of consumers— or it can do the opposite. Be sure whatever message is established by the brand style guide can be consistently applied through any channel.

3. Know your customers

Marketers have more data about consumers than ever before, and they are using it to cater customer experiences to perfectly align with their clients. In fact, the modern consumer often expects a custom experience. Social analytics provide valuable information about who is engaging with a brand and what interactions are successfully converted into sales. 

Online tracking tools like Google Alerts can notify digital brand managers when specific queries are made, while social media trackers like Social Mention and Hootsuite monitor brand mentions and analyze social media traffic.

4. Promote engagement

The modern consumer seeks positive interactions and personal experiences with the brands they patronize. Most successful brands now digitally interact with their customers, whether through social media channels, email, chat sessions and other digital forums. It’s not enough to simply respond to complaints in a timely manner— although doing so is certainly crucial. 

Promote further customer engagement by joining online conversations that mention the brand and leaving a positive impression. Brands also can encourage online reviews, which can provide opportunities to emphasize the brand’s positive message and effectively address any negative experiences.

5. Adapt to change

Little changes as rapidly as the digital landscape. Therefore, adaptability is crucial to online brand management. Just when marketing teams master Twitter and hashtags, it’s time to learn how to better use GIFs or vlog on YouTube. A successful digital brand manager must remain up-to-date on new technologies and tools that can impact and enhance a digital identity.

6. Monitor online presences

What could be worse than meticulously crafting a brand’s digital identity only to become the recipient of poor press or misinformation? How does an online brand manager repair a company’s reputation? 

Knowing is almost always half the battle, so it’s vital to regularly monitor a brand’s online mentions, whether that’s in articles, videos, social media or some other channel. Once identified, poor experiences can be addressed and misinformation can be clarified. More importantly, negative headlines can be dealt with before they go viral.

7. Utilize tech resources

Fortunately, a variety of tech resources are available to help apply a brand’s style guide across multiple assets. In addition to social media and search monitoring tools, brands can take advantage of online tools like Bynder, which helps ensure consistency across digital channels by allowing for the speedy distribution of digital files. 

Meanwhile, users can use the PowerPoint alternative presentation software to create branded presentations. Users can create their presentation themes complete with logos, color palettes and branded typeface, which not only saves them time designing individual slides, but it promises a consistent and memorable message throughout training, sales and other business presentations.

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha Pratt Lile

Samantha is an independent journalist, editor, blogger and content manager. Examples of her published work can be found at sites including the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, and Buzzfeed.