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The One Tool You Need to Connect to Customers

The one thing that stops brands from connecting with their customers is lack of clarity about themselves. They aren’t sure exactly what to say, or how to look. As a result, they are either very quiet in an “under the radar” way, or they try a lot of things that are not necessarily consistent, in order to see what sticks.

Most of us love to stare at ourselves, like the omnipresent selfie. Wouldn’t it be great if our selfies helped us connect with exactly the people we want to connect with? Well, they can. Although staring at our image can be narcissistic, it can also help us to see who we are more clearly. That is as true of brands as it is of individuals. But how can brands get a clear selfie of themselves?

A ready-made brand style guide makes marketing easy and fun. It becomes a strong foundation for all marketing communication. Even better, it can be completed in one day, and accelerates all future marketing activity.

Sure, there are more detailed and complicated branding maps that are possible, but the one-page guide is more akin to the selfie. Brands of all sizes find themselves spread across countless media and platforms, from websites to social media, and from tradeshows to presentations. The farther the reach, the harder it can be to ensure a consistent, coherent image. The result becomes busy and confusing at times.

What A Good Style Guide Contains

The style guide is a clear representation of the “brand-at-a-glance,” complete with

  1. A color palette: the colors are designed to work together with clear dominant and accent colors, as well as colors for negative space, which gives a brand room to breathe.

  2. Font family: Headlines, accent and body copy are designed to work together, and ensure the feel is recognizable everywhere.

  3. Imagery that expresses the brand’s emotional appeal as well as reflects its colors.

  4. Common logo uses. Showing the logo on colors and black as well as on white gives a depth to the brand.

  5. A brand essence statement. Along with the emotionally appealing words that tell how a customer feels interacting with the brand, this statement is a promise about how the brand expresses itself. These words can be as important as a brand’s values and purpose statement.

Many brands either don’t know, or give little consideration to how they make their customers feel. Not only that, they have given no thought to how their customers want to feel when interacting with the brand. After spending roughly one hour with me on the phone, these two brands (and my personal brand as an author and coach for women leaders) have found enormous clarity about their brand affinity.

They are excited, and see themselves clearly – the way their customers see them and connect with them. It is that simple. Isn’t that what we all want?

Reach out to me if you want help with your brand style guide!

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