Using Your Style Guide as a Branding & Marketing Tool #LX11- Licensing International Expo 2011


I found the seminar “Using Your Style Guide as a Branding & Marketing Tool” to be intriguing. What is a Style Guide? I think the simplest and straight forward way to explain it is, assume CBS Consumer Products and FremantleMedia Enterprises who represent America’s Next Top Model, decide to license her show to a Licensee in Korea. (This in fact happened last year) If CBS/FremantleMedia/Tyra provide no guidance and information about the ANTM brand, it would be very hard for the Korean Licensee to know how to replicate the same look, feel and consistency of the ANTM brand. Needless to say, this would hurt the reputation of the ANTM and could very well also dilute the brand’s Trademark, among other things.

The Style Guide essentially gives the Licensee directions on how the ANTM Korea ought to look and feel.

So, this seminar covered why Licensors should create a Style Guide for their Licensees, What Goes into the Style Guide and What it Should Look Like. It was taught by Stan Madaloni, President and Creative Director of Mada Design, Inc. Below is the gist of what Madaloni had to say:

Why A Style Guide?

  • Build Brand Equity: A successful style guide results in a successful licensing program, which in turn builds brand equity for the Licensor.
  • What are the Benefits of a Comprehensive Style Guide: Sales and marketing tool for licensing program
  • Protects and crafts property
  • Provides directions and expectations to licensees

How Do You Build a Successful Style Guide?

  • Define your target consumer
  • Define your target licensees
  • Allow for unexpected opportunities

Pre-Style Guide
– You need not go all the way with a full Style Guide. You can start with a “mini” Style Guide, loosely speaking, to guage and evaluate the direction the full Style Guide will or should go.

Develop the Overall Look of Your Style Guide

Make Sure Your Presentation and Distribution is on point because it reflects on how you value your license

Once completed Roll it Out!

What Should Be Included in a Style Guide?

  • Introduction
  • Logos and Trademarks
  • Fonts and Color Palettes
  • Character art (if applicable)
  • Graphic Elements
  • Graphic Treatments
  • Editorial
  • Photography
  • Packaging
  • Product Concepts
  • Marketing
  • Other Style Guide Essentials

For more information on Style Guides, visit Mada Design, Inc.
-Photo: Stan Madaloni