Style Guides: One Key for Revamping the Marketing of a Brand

Even when I’m not at work, I can’t stop thinking about marketing and branding. I guess it’s getting in my blood. My son is a senior and has entered into the college application process. So we’ve spent quite a bit of time on various colleges and university websites.

As a branding professional, I see tremendous branding opportunities in the way many of the college websites are handled. Poor navigation. Clutter. Conflicting information. Some sites feel like they’ve been added to and tacked on and grown organically without any rhyme or reason. It is easy to criticize what is obviously wrong. It’s harder to find good examples of what to do right.

As an example of what I consider good work in branding a university, here is BrandLogic’s case study from St. Johns University. They did a nice job of cleaning up the clutter and focusing on brand. Visually it is clean, focused, good use of color.

But, like any good branding campaign, it didn’t begin with the visual, it began with the strategy. A focus on the customer… the target… the who. In the case of new admissions: it’s a primary target market of three: the parents, students, and high school guidance offices.

Also like most branding campaigns, the visual graphics are the most noticeable, but I believe it’s the strategy behind the clean visuals that really drives the impact home:

  • editorial guidelines
  • key positioning messages for specific audiences
  • attribute words
  • as well as the photo style guides

Brandlogic did a great job of showing what they did for the university, including an outstanding style guide… and after I dug deeper on their site, I found a very sophisticated, well developed process for developing brands and implementation across all areas of marketing: Lots of tools, repeatable processes and logical system for developing a brand and implementing the strategy.

Well done!

Related Post:
Too many stakeholders: Rebranding a University

Tags: Marketing Branding University Branding Rebranding Style Guide