The power of consistency: why your B2B brand should have (and use) a style guide
B2B brands will rarely achieve consistency across marketing assets without a style guide.
Your brand is the face of your organisation – it tells customers who you are and what you can offer them. But to market your brand successfully, and to build brand recognition, credibility and trust among customers, all your assets should be consistent in tone and messaging, and visually.
And yet, many larger and more established B2B brands have not invested the time and resources to develop a style guide. A brand style guide – or writing style guide – is often the missing piece of the jigsaw when marketing assets fail on consistency.
Having a style guide that can be shared across the organisation and adhered to by anyone tasked with creating content was always important, but it is arguably more so now. As we emerge from the pandemic, more organisations will be looking to hire freelancers and contractors to see them through periods of faster growth and to provide the skillsets they need in the short-term. It will be easier for brands to use and get the most out of freelancers and contractors who create content for them if they have a brand style guide to work to.
Brand consistency – why is it so important?
If your branding is consistent, it encourages customer loyalty. Consistency means that your customers will know what to expect when they interact with your brand, and that sense of familiarity will drive customer loyalty. This, in turn, will build brand recognition, and help your organisation to engage with and convert new customers.
For marketers, consistency is the fuel that supercharges the customer experience as customers move through the sales funnel, from the engagement stage to the buying decision stage. If your branding is consistent, and you have taken a potential customer on a journey in which your messaging has been clear and cohesive throughout, you are more likely to be rewarded with a conversion.
So, a consistent brand experience can help you both attract and convert customers, supporting a steady flow of leads through your sales funnel.
Who should create and maintain your style guide?
If you have a style guide that’s been languishing in a folder somewhere and not being used, we suggest digging it out right away and updating it, so it is relevant for where your brand is today. To prevent it from once again falling into disuse, we recommend finding a ‘style guide champion’ who can take ownership of the document, keep it up to date, and enforce its use across the organisation. It makes sense for this to be someone within the marketing or content team, or someone who produces, or has produced, some of your marketing assets.
If you have yet to create or formally use a style guide, either find a style guide champion internally who can pull together the information and be responsible for updating and maintaining it or seek help from a freelancer who has created brand style guides before or an external marketing agency. You will still need someone inside your organisation to be the style guide champion and make sure the style guide is adhered to. After all, there is little point having a style guide if it is not used.
And if you’re not sure how to put a style guide together, stay tuned. We’ll be writing another blog that provides insight on how to get started with a style guide – what to consider, what to include, and how to display the information.