The Power of Brand Style Guides for Your Website
Discover the essential components of a brand style guide and how it can help establish a consistent and captivating online identity for your website. Learn the steps involved in creating a brand style guide that can elevate your website’s impact and enhance its overall success.
What is website branding?
The branding process for your website can be compared to building a house, which requires a lot of effort and attention to detail. Just as a house starts with a strong foundation, website branding begins with your business idea, goals, and place in the market. Like constructing a building, website branding happens step by step. It covers elements like your brand name, colors, fonts, and visuals, which create your brand’s look.
This also includes how users perceive your site. Factors like easy navigation, loading speed, and responsiveness influence what people think of your brand. But website branding is more than appearance and user experience. It extends to how your brand communicates and behaves. This includes customer care practices and your overall approach to business. It ensures your brand, from looks to actions, matches your desired image.
Why website branding matters?
You might be wondering if it’s worth it to put your time and money into building a brand for your website. Well, 57% of internet users won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile website.
Here’s how exactly website branding benefits your business:
It creates an impression. When users land on your website, it takes them just a few seconds to decide whether they want to stay or leave. During this brief window, your brand’s presentation is crucial. So poor UI/UX design, along with a lack of clarity about your products or services, is a recipe for failure.
It builds trust. Website design aims to simplify your customers’ lives and enhance their experience, so your commitment to a user-friendly interface and experience says a lot about how you value your customers. Websites that are transparent, easy to navigate, and visually appealing instantly establish a trust link between your brand and potential customers.
It ensures consistency. At the core of implementing a unified branding strategy on your website is the goal of maintaining a consistent and easily recognizable look and feel across all its pages. Elements such as brand colors, fonts, styles, and layouts play a crucial role in communicating your professionalism and, in the end, turning visitors into loyal customers.
It ranks you higher in search results. The success of your website design is tied to how you present your content, including texts, images, and various UI design elements. Optimizing your website for search engines is indeed a complex task that demands specific knowledge. However, with the right guidance and expertise in this area, you can effectively position your brand at the forefront of search engine results.
It makes you stand out from competitors. In a highly competitive market, neglecting website design can severely impact customer acquisition. By dedicating sufficient effort to establish a branded website, you can effectively highlight your business’s strengths, setting it apart from the competition.
Style guides, design systems, style sheets, and brand guidelines – what are they?
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you’re looking for guidance on creating a new website from scratch or rebranding an existing one. In either case, you’re likely to engage with one or more of the resources mentioned.
Let’s break down what they are and explore why each of them may be essential for your branding journey:
A style guide. This is a rulebook that provides clear instructions and advice to maintain a consistent look in design and content. It is commonly used by designers, writers, and marketers to ensure a cohesive look and feel.
A style guide focuses on design elements such as colors, typography, logo usage, and visual elements like icons and graphics. By having a comprehensive style guide, you can ensure that your branding is consistent across all platforms.
A design system. It’s a detailed blueprint that covers everything needed for a consistent and seamless design and functionality. It’s a valuable resource for designers, developers, and product teams, helping them work together effectively.
This system doesn’t just focus on how things look; it also includes interactive features, bits of code, and rules for user interface elements such as buttons, forms, and navigation.
Style sheet. Call it a web developer’s secret weapon. Style sheets are playing a crucial role in shaping the look and layout of a web page. It’s all about ensuring that your web content maintains a cohesive and eye-catching appearance.
These style sheets, often powered by CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), cover the nitty-gritty details – fonts, colors, spacing, and layout – to transform a basic webpage into a visually appealing one.
A brand guideline (or a brand style guide). This is an extensive reference that outlines how a brand should appear across all interactions. It’s the go-to resource used by many different players, including marketing, design teams, and external partners.
Brand style guides cover a broad spectrum of elements, like brand values, logo usage, color palettes, typography, and sometimes even advice on marketing and communication strategies. In essence, it’s the ultimate manual for keeping your brand’s image in sync across the board.
What elements to include in the website brand style guide?
The process of creating a style guide is quite adaptable. Depending on whether you plan to create your own photos or use stock images and whether you intend to promote your website on social media, you may want to include or omit certain elements.
In your website style guide, get ready to shine a spotlight on the following:
- Brand values and target audience
- Color and typography guidelines
- Layout and grid systems
- Brand voice for different channels
- Photography and iconography style
- Guidelines for specific platforms (e.g., website or mobile app)
How to create a website brand style guide?
When developing your brand guidelines, always prioritize simplicity and accessibility. It should be easily used by anyone in your organization or by external partners, such as third-party UI/UX designers, developers, or marketing professionals.
Here are the basic steps to create a brand style guide template for your website:
- Write a brand story
Starting from the beginning is a smart approach when it comes to creating your brand style guide. Begin with the essentials: outline what your company offers, its mission, and who your target audience is. Emphasize your company’s values and goals, and make it clear what sets you apart from others in your industry.
- Pick colors
Every brand boasts its unique color palette, and the colors you select serve as potent tools to evoke precise emotions in your audience. Whether you wish to create a sense of comfort, approachability, authority, or urgency, the choice is yours to make.
However, ensuring your chosen accent colors find their place in your brand guidelines is a must. This practice guarantees that you can maintain a consistent visual identity by using these colors across all your branded content, whether in a digital or physical format.
- Select fonts
Choose up to three fonts that work well together, each with a specific job based on the text it will be used for. Make sure these fonts resonate with your product’s theme and target audience. For a formal B2B audience, you can opt for minimalistic and elegant fonts. However, if your brand aims for a more informal tone, consider using playful and lively fonts.
- Create a logo
Your logo, despite its modest size, bears great importance as a potent ambassador of your brand. It will be displayed all over your website, from the header to the footer, contact page, blogs, and more. In your brand style guide, include specific details regarding logo size limitations, and acceptable color variations to maintain brand consistency.
- Define imagery style
Images tend to catch the eye more than anything else. Determine the look of your images, whether they are stock photos or custom-made visuals that match your brand. This means describing their size, quality, any specific needs, and how you like them edited. Make sure the images on your website are top-notch, representing diversity and inclusivity.
- Develop your Tone of Voice
The words on your website are vital for getting people interested and excited about what you offer. To achieve this, make sure the tone of your writing matches your business identity, and use it across the website. This way, your brand’s personality shines through consistently, helping you connect with your audience more effectively.
What technologies are shaping the latest website brand styles?
Businesses are riding the wave of cutting-edge technologies to take their website brand style to the next level. This strategy empowers them to deliver dynamic, personalized, and captivating online experiences to their users.
Here are five exciting trends in website brand style that you can consider for your solution:
Personalization. This groundbreaking technology empowers websites to craft content and experiences that are as unique as each user. By considering individual behavior, preferences, and demographics, it creates a browsing adventure that feels tailor-made.
Amazon is an outstanding example of personalization technology in use. With the help of advanced algorithms that analyze your past purchases, Amazon offers product suggestions that are tailored to your interests and preferences.
Artificial intelligence (AI). AI is revolutionizing website style as we know it. Using machine learning, it looks at what users do, suggesting real-time ideas for brands to create content that feels just right. Plus, AI gives a boost to chatbots, making customer support and interaction a breeze.
For example, WordPress AI plugins make text creation tasks easier. While WordPress themes drive the site’s aesthetics, AI plugins focus on content, enhancing style and functionality. The result? Unique and engaging branded websites!
Virtual reality (VR). VR technology has gained momentum in website branding, especially for businesses involved in gaming, real estate, or tourism.
Have you tried Little Workshop’s interior visualization demo? They’ve used WebVR to create an immersive user experience. With VR headsets, users can engage with the demo, providing a high level of interaction. Additionally, the website offers customization options for each product, allowing you to tailor your experience according to your preferences.
The Internet of Things (IoT). IoT technology is like a bridge connecting physical devices to the internet, and it has some pretty cool tricks up its sleeve for website brand style. For instance, Samsung smart home appliances and TVs seamlessly integrate with phones, tablets, and computers, enabling effortless communication between devices.
This IoT integration not only improves convenience but also allows remote access through mobile devices. Users can conveniently schedule tasks, such as cleaning, and receive alerts, like fridge door notifications. Amazing user experience!
Generative design. Often used in architecture and product design, generative design is making its way into website brand style. It uses algorithms to create designs and layouts based on specific parameters. This technology helps businesses generate unique and visually striking website designs that match their brand identity.
Let’s look at General Motors. They used a generative design system from Autodesk and 3D printing to transform a seat belt bracket. The new design combined eight parts into one, making it 40% lighter and 20% stronger than the old one.
What are the benefits of having a strong website brand style?
A solid website brand style can offer a wide array of benefits that positively influence your success in the market. Here are just some of them:
Enhanced brand recognition. An effective website brand style is a ticket to better recognition. When users regularly come across your distinct visuals and messages, it helps them quickly identify and remember your brand.
Boosted conversion rates. A unified brand style has the power to increase conversion rates. When users feel a sense of trust and have positive experiences with your brand, they’re more likely to take desired actions, whether it’s making a purchase or signing up.
Increased customer loyalty. A powerful brand style is like the glue that bonds users to your solution. When people have positive interactions with your brand, it promotes a sense of loyalty. These loyal customers are more likely to come back and engage with your business on a regular basis.
Lower price sensitivity. When your brand is synonymous with quality, consistency, and trustworthiness, users tend to become less focused on price. They’re more open to paying a premium for products or services from a brand they have faith in.
TRIARE website as a brand style guide example
Here at TRIARE, we’re all about striking a balance between passion and pragmatism in everything we do. Our mission is to embody excellence and perfection through the commitment to our core values: Responsibility, Respect, Relationships, Proactivity, Education, and Teamwork.
These values guide us as we navigate our path toward greatness. Our brand is all about creating immersive, user-friendly experiences that leave a lasting impression. Our signature blue represents reliability and confidence, while our sleek gray symbolizes clarity and balance. We’ve chosen Proxima Nova as our typeface to reflect our approach – clear, concise, and simple.
We’ve taken great care in selecting a brand that embodies growth, empowerment, and strong partnerships. Our logo, colors, and patterns visually represent these ideals, emphasizing our dedication to delivering exceptional results while ensuring mutual success.
As a company that specializes in web and app development, as well as UI/UX design services, we understand the importance of website branding. We hope that this article has shed light on the many reasons why it’s so impactful, and how it can benefit your business.
Crafting a thorough brand style guide and maintaining a uniform web design can seem like a daunting task, requiring careful planning, extensive research, and industry expertise.
At TRIARE, we’re here to help you every step of the way, simplifying the process and ensuring your branding journey is a success. Let us guide you through the process, making it seamless and thriving for your brand.