What is a Messaging Style Guide and Do You Need One?

Posted by Leisa Redmon | November 12, 2021

messaging style guide

Branding is more than slapping a logo and color palette together, and messaging exceeds the bounds of having an eagle eye for grammar and syntax.  

In fact, branding is logo, color, grammar, syntax, and more. It’s the sum total of your business’s colors, words, and designs which are used to identify how you want to talk about your brand along with what makes you different from your competitors.

When you think of your brand, would you consider yourself relational, edgy, or professional? Something else on the outskirts of descriptions, or maybe in between?

If your brand is edgy, you might find your messaging on trend but shorter in length and not always grammatically correct.

If your brand is relational then your messaging will probably use warmer words and phrases that exude empathy while also inviting the audience to get to know the brand story. There will also be more touch points sprinkled throughout this type of messaging to reinforce the relational voice pillar.

If your brand has a professional voice that booms over any other, then your messaging will bathe in precise terminology and scholarly-backed content. 

Regardless of whether or not your brand finds itself underneath the umbrella of one of the above voice pillars or not, the benefits of a central messaging style guide are vast, and the objective of a messaging style guide remains the same – get everyone on the same page so you don’t have to do it all yourself. 

Benefits of a Style Guide

Even though loosening the reins on your brand and its content sounds overwhelming, it shouldn’t be, especially when you’ve partnered with an agency you can trust.

When you combine forces with a team of talented craftsmen to nail down your brand’s voice and tone, you not only gain a valuable tool that helps your entire current and future teams dictate how you ebb, flow, and go full steam ahead, but you also gain massive benefits that aid in your company’s ability to scale and succeed at a sustainable rate.

What kind of brand benefits do we mean?

Recognition 

Unless you’re selling something that no one else has or does, like an anti-gravity machine, there’s a brand already out there that does something similar to you. However, even with heaps of similarities between brands mounting, it’s your brand’s specific messaging and style that sets itself apart from the rest of the competition. 

Your choice of brand messaging allows your audience to immediately recognize you whether in a TV spot, a commercial, in the middle of a bustling cityscape, or even in the split second it takes to recognize someone, or some brand, when scrolling through social media. 

Trust

Even if someone has never purchased a product or service from you, consistency in your brand’s presence builds trust with the audience. On average, it takes five to seven impressions  for people to remember your brand. That means that building trust is not a short game. It’s a practice in patience so when the time comes to purchase, a customer will be confident in the type of experience they’ll receive and what they’ll expect when they interact with your brand.

Value 

Having a central, agreed upon list of rules and boundaries with which your brand can live within takes a lot of guesswork out of the content equation. And also helps your brand save money. 

body-messaging-style-guide

Having a good style guide on hand helps when handing off tasks to employees and contractors. Upfront expectations + fewer rewrites = More time and less money.

Furthermore, although we think of messaging as the fonts, visuals, and copy that flow from webpage to social platform to email and beyond, it’s also the words that find themselves dancing between the customer and your customer service team. For that reason alone it’s important to mention how your brand’s messaging style guide aids in increasing the lifetime value of a customer. 

The customer service department needs training on a brand’s specific tone and identity (voice pillars) along with tangible examples on how to respond on brand to customers regardless of a positive or negative situation. By having a messaging style guide on hand to reference, a customer service team can easily identify the most appropriate language and scenarios to use that will both increase the value of the brand as well as the value of the customer’s trust.

Who Needs One?

If your brand has a look, style, and distinct attitude that differs from your competitors, then your brand can absolutely benefit from a messaging style guide. 

Even if you happen to be a business completely saturated with industry-specific, technical jargon, you’re still a business with the aim of reducing as much friction as possible in the journey from lead to conversion. 

Primitive’s branding services have us excited to partner with companies from all over to refine and refresh their brand’s style guide. 

Are you ready to take your business to the next level?

Schedule your obligation-free meeting with one of our craftsmen today!

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