Skip to content
About > A Checklist for Building Your Style Guide: Establishing a Cohesive Brand Identity

A Checklist for Building Your Style Guide: Establishing a Cohesive Brand Identity

We offer a branding checklist that bundles up all the information and resources your internal and external teams need to represent your brand. With clear instructions on how to use all your brand assets, you can create and maintain brand consistency.

To establish and maintain brand consistency, it’s important to include all the relevant information in your brand style guide. This should encompass everything from brand design, style, essence elements, and how to use your brand assets. As there are numerous elements that affect your brand perception – from image quality to tone of voice – we suggest starting with a small number of elements from the checklist below and expanding from there. Whenever you receive multiple inquiries about a branding element, add the answer to your style guide.

Including a branding checklist in your style guide is an effective way to ensure that all necessary brand elements are incorporated into your customer experiences.

Your branding checklist

One way to prevent brand-damaging content mistakes is by implementing a clear internal approval process with established standards and guidelines. Adding a checklist to your brand style guide can help ensure consistency across all content.

1. Document your brand mission statement

A company’s mission statement serves as the guiding principle for its brand. It provides direction for teams and partners to bring the brand to life in all aspects of their work. By understanding the company’s purpose and reason for existence, everyone can work together towards a common goal. Moreover, the mission statement sets your company apart from other brands by emphasizing its unique value proposition.

2. Get to know your audience

When creating your brand’s mission statement, don’t forget to think about your audience. Once you’ve identified your target audience and purpose, do some research to understand their wants and needs. This will help guide the development of other brand elements, using language, visuals, and values that your customers can relate to. A mission statement crafted with your audience in mind helps build a strong connection between your brand and its customers.

3. Articulate your brand vision

How will you know if your brand is being communicated and embodied effectively? Your brand vision helps teams understand what your mission statement looks like when it’s activated. Knowing how your brand looks and feels in the world is a good way to understand if your work effectively contributes to the greater goal. 

4. Understand your brand values

Your brand values are like the DNA of your company’s culture and work ethic. Making sure your team knows and embodies these values every day is key to staying true to what makes your brand unique and meaningful.

5. Choose your brand logo

A logo is the face of your brand and should be instantly recognizable. It’s a visual representation of your brand’s mission, vision, and values. Take the time to design a logo that thoughtfully incorporates color, font choice, and design elements. While logos can evolve, updating too frequently can harm brand recognition and loyalty. It’s important to strike a balance between keeping your logo fresh and maintaining its established identity.

6. Select colors and fonts to represent your brand

Along with your logo, your brand should use approved colors and fonts consistently and correctly to present a unified brand experience. When selecting these (and any elements), ensure you have a clear understanding of why you’ve chosen them and how they tell the story of your brand. These hard-working visuals personify who you are as a brand — the personality of your people, products, and culture — so take care to get them right. 

7. Develop your brand tone and voice

Words are powerful and can greatly influence how your brand is perceived by your audience. Consider your brand tone and voice as a conversation. How do you want to engage with your audience and make them feel? Will your tone be playful, serious, informative, helpful, or a combination of these? It’s important to document your chosen tone and voice to ensure consistency in all written communication, regardless of who is writing on behalf of your brand. This will help create a unified brand identity that resonates with your audience.

8. Understand your brand’s visual and audio elements

Your music and voiceover choices for branded videos, the photography you select, and even the white space in your graphics, signal to your audience who you are as a brand. It’s important to document not only what brand elements will be used but how they’ll be used so you ensure they’re used consistently across all channels. Take your time to enunciate this clearly and thoughtfully.

Ready for the next level?

With a style guide and brand checklist in hand, you’ve started to practice the discipline of brand management. Brand management takes constant work, especially when multiple people and teams collaborate to create, manage, and distribute your content. This do-it-yourself checklist is a great place to start — but it doesn’t stop there. 

Once you have your brand defined and have started creating the elements and visuals to support it, you need to make sure your teams have easy, secure access to this content. To do so, many teams rely on a digital asset management (DAM) solution. DAM software is used to enhance the way entire organizations protect and manage their brand. 

Providing this level of access empowers their international organization to create a cohesive and consistent brand experience.

Contact our team to work on creating your unique branding strategy!