A style guide is a set of standards for your company’s written and design documents. It ensures that you and your employees are representing your brand in the best way possible, and all your marketing materials are consistent. (If you don’t have a style guide, read our tips on creating one.)
A style guide can be very time consuming to create, so it is important to make sure that you implement and manage it correctly. This is something that often times get thrown on the back burner (and then forgotten) because you have so many other important projects going on. Here are a few tips:
1. Manage your style guide.
It is important to keep your style guide updated and have direct access to it. You should know all elements of it well and be able to oversee all edits, making sure that they are acceptable.
2. Make sure you print and distribute it to all employees.
All employees should have easy access to the style guide. Both printed off and filed, as well as online—either on your company server or through a drive like Google Docs. This will ensure that if there are any questions, your employees will easily be able to find and answer them.
3. Update it regularly.
Make sure that your style guide is always up-to-date. They can and will change depending on the changes of your company. When updating, make sure that you state on each new version the date it was updated so that your employees know that they are looking at the most current version.
4. Don’t be too restrictive.
Be specific so that employees know what they can and cannot do, but make sure that you do not restrict their creativity. If there are too many limitations it will inhibit creativity, which will ultimately be bad for your company.
Taking the time to regularly update and manage your style guide will make it much easier for new employees to interact with customers using the brand’s voice, and present your business the way you envisioned. Ensure everyone is on the same page, and turn your employees into brand ambassadors. You always want to make sure that you and your employees are representing your business in the best way possible.