Style (Guides) and Substance

28
Mar
2014

Style (Guides) and Substance

Style (Guides) and Substance
We’re all thinkers at Rhubarb Fool. And one of the things that we regularly contemplate is identity. Specifically, brand identity – be it that of our own company, or that of our clients. Brand identity is something that should be fiercely protected. In a crowded market, it’s not always easy to stand out – not everyone has a unique product. The unique part is you and your company, and the only way to convey that is through how you present yourself. Brand identities and voices can mean the difference between success and failure. Too many companies resort to generic ‘business’ speak and jargon that completely fails to engage customers. Successful brands have unique voices – think about Apple in the tech world, or Bliss, which stands out amongst the huge crowd of health and beauty products. Your brand identity determines your brand voice, and your brand voice determines your interactions with customers – so it’s imperative that you get it right. But how to ensure consistency across all platforms and a really clear brand definition? With a style guide of course. Style Guides enable you to build an overall sense of your brand as well as providing the chance to set uniform guidelines for layout, styling, and logo usage. With both internal departments and external partners in mind, they work to create a consistent code of reference to your brand across a range of teams, projects and media. Think about it – greater knowledge of brand values and aims helps employees or colleagues to provide a better service, and that same knowledge ensures that external partners deal with your brand sensitively and do it justice – so that you can yield optimum results from said partnership. All of this results in your customers getting a better understanding of your brand and all it can offer – so that you can build a lasting relationship with them. Through the style guide you can detail your brand story, and by placing your brand in context, you explain its niche position in the market place and what makes it stand out. Additionally, you define exactly what your positioning and offerings are. A style guide will highlight keywords that really evoke your company’s image and voice, so that you can set the tone not only for the style guide itself, but for the way that the company’s collateral is presented – consistency is key. Essentially this builds a foundation for all content initiatives, as well as making the content development process about ten times more efficient. It saves you money in the long run. Content style guides also allow you to zero in on your target audience, enabling to better create content tailored to the specific clientele it’s meant for. By creating content that meets the needs of specific people, you will make more meaningful connections with your audience. We’re brimming with ideas to guide your brand and make it stand out here at Rhubarb Fool. Drop us a line and find out more about what we can do.
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