July 21, 2019

Best Practices

Best Practices in Integrated Marketing

Brand Style Guides

Every professional organization needs a document, or set of documents, to standardize their particular public persona called its “brand”. Your brand is what people are willing to pay for. Your brand distinguishes you from your competition. Your brand precedes your company in the minds of consumers. And that is important in our age of information overload.

Seth Godin, modern marketing guru, said in Quartz, November 2018:

“What’s your brand? Hint: it’s not your logo….A brand is a shorthand for the customer’s expectations. What promise do they think you’re making? What do they expect when they buy from you or meet with you or hire you? That promise is your brand. Nike doesn’t have a hotel. If it did, you would probably have some good guesses as to what it would be like. That’s Nike’s brand….That expectation isn’t specific; it’s emotional.”

Taking it one step further, and paraphrasing Godin, one of my branding north stars Chris Do said in a tweet:

You don’t have a brand unless someone is willing to pay a price premium over a comparable product. Nike can open a hotel and you’d know what to expect. If Hyatt made a shoe, you’d have no idea what to expect. One of these two has a brand.

So, how do we communicate this brand?

We conceptualize it. We articulate it. We reinforce it. We communicate our brand so by showing and telling others what it is – and what it is not – by embodying the brand in our messages and actions every day. What are our approved colors; typography; logo sizes, colors and uses; taglines and key messages, etc? What are our values? What is our content strategy? What are our talking points? The brand style guide reminds internal and external audiences of the decisions we have made and the ethical and aesthetic values we have committed to uphold.

We communicate our brand so by showing and telling others what it is – and what it is not – by embodying the brand in our messages and actions every day.

For examples, here’s a great article from September 2018.

Inception IM can create a brand style guide for you utilizing our “True Story” Brand method putting industry best practices to work. Reach out to us today at kyle@inceptionim.com for more information.

More Best Practices To Come:

  • Company Culture
  • Data Culture
  • People Culture
  • Content Marketing Planning
  • Social Media Calendars
  • Negative Online Reviews
  • Brochures – Digital or Print
  • Public Relations
  • Value Pricing
  • Profits and Sustainability
  • YOUR suggestions!