Corporate Identity Standards Aren’t Just for Big Corporations

The latest issue of Creative Tips, going live tomorrow, details more about what a style book is and how to make one. Very few small to medium size businesses have a style book, far less use one, because nobody teaches business owners (or dentists, or consultants… name your field) that the marketplace does, 100 percent, judge a book by its cover. (If that’s not so, why do publishers put such enormous amounts of money and effort into designing terrific covers for their books?)

I once saw a major sales appointment saved by a professionally designed brochure that arrived the morning the prospect was going to cancel. (A competitor had told him the company was unprofessional.) I’ve seen a sales force in a constant uphill battle against poorly-presented sales materials. And I’ve seen a great company that was all but invisible in its market because it had no consistent image that would build recognition.

A style book is as much a part of a company’s marketing effort as its ad budget or its sales literature. In fact, it’s what ties the company’s written communications together so that they speak with one voice, amplify one another and help build the right brand awareness. Given good word of mouth and a great product, how and how consistently a business communicates to its public creates the perception of it as stable, fun, growing, conservative, or whatever the brand message is.

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