Every beauty professional is unique, and your brand identity should reflect that. It tells potential clients who you are. It sets you apart from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. While catchy slogans and beautiful logos are great attention-grabbers, there is so much more to branding. Brand styles have other elements that all work together to tell your brand story.
Let Your Style Guide Run Your Business
Just like your tools and tints come with directions, you should have instructions for your branding to make sure it gets used correctly. Your style guide or brand book are the instructions explaining the “Who, What, Where, When, and How” of your look, from your logo and color scheme down to the font style and size on your social media page.
Once created, it will serve as a reminder of your business goals and can be easily shared with any partner you bring on board as you grow. Your style guide will steer everyone to the same goals, from your marketing agency to your web designer. Read on to start creating your own.
Elements of a Style Guide
Your style guide can be as simple or as detailed as you like. You may find including examples is helpful. It can highlight any “dos” or “don’ts” surrounding your brand logo, color, word choice or formatting preferences. Best of all, it is flexible and can change with your business as it grows and you get to know your target audience better. Here are the six elements to include in your style guide:
★ Brand Story
★ Logo Design
★ Font Choice
★ Color Palette
1. Brand Story–Your brand story is everything you value and want to achieve with your business. It is your “why” behind what you do and showcases your passion for your art. In it are your vision, mission statement, and core values. Your active involvement in your brand story puts you in the driver’s seat of your success.
Not sure where to start? There are tons of real-world examples on the internet (from playful to direct) to get you started writing your story. Below are just a few examples from other businesses.
The mission of TED (producer of TED Talks and TEDx). You can see that it’s short, sweet, and to the point, but also a bit funny and attention-grabbing :
Mission: “Spread Ideas”
Here’s an early example of a Microsoft vision statement:
Vision: “A computer on every desk and in every home.”
Your values can be elaborate or straightforward. Here’s an example from MeUndies in which they kept it simple:
Values: “Stay Balanced
2. Logo Design–As recognizable as Larry the Twitter bird or the Nike swish, your logo is a symbol of your brand. It should be as unique as you. Use art and color to build a brand theme that makes you instantly recognizable. Do you want to convey luxury? Appear trendy? Be feminine? Think about what you want your brand to communicate. Seek help from your knowledgeable beauty marketing agency for ideas.
3. Font Choice–Play around with a few styles that look good on your website, Instagram, and Facebook. You might decide that you like a few styles, sizes and colors for different things like titles, headings and subheadings for website content. Your font will distinguish your brand and make you more recognizable.
4. Color Palette–No logo is complete without color, and as a PMU artist, you are no stranger to a color palette. Choose your main brand colors and use them in all of your marketing, so that potential clients start to recognize you. You may even decide to add secondary colors or approved color combinations.
Be as specific as possible with your color codes in your guide so that your team never has to guess, and you don’t risk sporting contrasting looks. You want your salon windows to match your website and social media pages, right?
Your logo design, font and colors will be one of the first things potential clients see on your website or business cards, so carefully think about how you want yours to look and consult your PMU marketing partner for help.
5. Voice/Tone Recognition–Communication with your clients, whether written or in person, is about making connections. Give your brand a personality that goes with your story and is attention-grabbing. From Old Spice’s humorous commercials to Dove’s empowering messages, you have a lot of choices in what your brand voice sounds like. Adding your chosen “voice” to your style guide will keep you and your team sounding the same in your social media posts, responses and your advertising campaigns.
6. Visual Cues–Art, photos, stock images and data are examples of attention-grabbing visuals for your website or social media account. Your style guide should explain how you would like to use images.
What kinds of illustrations do you approve of? For example, would you want photos with bold colors, very neutral colors or black and white? Do you prefer before and after photos only?
With the addition of a style guide, your brand will radiate the same confidence and beauty as your unique PMU artistry. To help, try describing your business with a few words (i.e., dark/edgy, bright/cutting-edge, subtle/natural or fun/feminine).
Post your style guide where you can see it every day to keep you focused on your brand goals. Let your employees and partners read it and have a copy (print-out or email), so everyone can be on the same page.
Like your PMU tools, consider your style guide to be a tool you can’t live without. With your style guide in place, you can ensure consistent branding and messaging to your customers and set yourself apart from the competition.