Brands are so much more than a logo or business name. They are the complete identity – personality even – of the company and when developed successfully they become a powerful focus of customer loyalty.
For this reason, a company must keep tight control over their brand image.
The best brands are instantly recognisable by their logo, colour palette, font, tone of voice or a combination of these.
Uniformity of style means not just familiarity for customers but represents consistent and reliable standards and ultimately the brand itself is the assurance to the consumer of their business values, whether perceived or real.
A business keeps this control by publishing brand style guides. These are the ‘rules’ that everyone in the company must adhere to when presenting any aspect of the business in any format.
Branding is so important to the success of any business – regardless of its size – that every company looking to maintain, or increase, its market share should have a style guide.
These are not just for internal use – media and other external sources all need direction on how to represent a brand.
To give you some inspiration, we list below 10 of the most successful brands (in no particular order), together with links to their brand style guides.
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Click on a company logo to view their brand style guide.
Apple has several style guides for each of their main product areas, as well as for the company itself. Apple itself is a company that is style-centric, not just in the company representations but in every individual product they make. The word ‘style’ is itself synonymous with the brand.
It is essential for Amazon to keep strict control of their brand image, as they are not just a brand themselves but are a platform for countless others. Strong branding identity works well for them – whatever product you are buying, from whichever company, you are always totally aware that you are on the Amazon website and which platform you are purchasing through.
Although Bacardi has rebranded several times though its long history, the core values have never changed; you can argue that as opposed to rebranding – what they have successfully done over the years are a number of clever brand refreshes. As a company, they have always been instantly identifiable and with a strong sense of history.
4. Channel 4
On the surface, the Channel 4 brand is a simple design – it is just their logo – but as their style guide shows, they have given considerable thought to how it is represented and used in all manner of situations. Add in the restrictions on fonts, layouts and colours and you realise that even the simplest creations need detailed definitions.
In some ways, Facebook appears to keep tighter control of their branding than almost any other company, but then it does play a huge part in the company’s public perception. As owners of several brands, Facebook is slowly bringing them all into closer harmony with one another. It will be interesting to watch this develop over the next few years.
6. Louis Vuitton
Fashion houses are all about appearance of course, but some, such as Louis Vuitton, have incorporated their brand image into the products themselves. And because the lines between brand and product blur and overlap, it is even more important that they maintain a consistent brand image across their public interactions at all times.
Like Channel 4, at first glance, Netflix appears to have a simple brand image. However, once you dig a little deeper, and start to understand the meaning behind the logo design and the other aspects of their branding, you realise (as with all these examples) how important their brand style guide is to the success of the business.
BMW is another business who’s branding stands unarguably for quality. Instantly recognisable worldwide, they have various brand style guide to cover their products and services alike. They even have a separate one which offers brand guidance to all the BMW clubs around the globe.
The Walmart brand guide received a complete makeover at the same time the company brand did! Even their brand style guide adheres to the rules of the style guide!
As an online company, Google’s brand guide covers all their products; as they push more into tangible products, then their branding will become even more vital to their business and company representations.
If you are thinking about whether a brand refresh may benefit your business, take a quick look now at 5 great recent examples of companies that have done just that – and learn how you can get a quick audit of your own brand gallery and marketing assets.
Alternatively, contact Splento direct for advice and help with creating your own brand style guide.