Brand Guidelines: What are they and why does your business need them?

Oct 18, 2020

Why does your business need brand guidelines?

You may have been in  a woman in business for a while or you may just be starting out, no matter where you are in your business, brand guidelines are one of the key documents you will use over and over again in your business.

Brand guidelines are also known as a brand’s style guide. They hold all the necessary design information about your business for example your logo, design elements, fonts, colour codes and any other brand-relevant information would be found in your brand guidelines. 

You may think that brand guidelines are only relevant for big brands and successful women entrepreneurs, but as your business grows and you start to outsource any work to web developers, designers or hire a virtual assistant the first question they will ask is – do you have brand guidelines? 

The last thing you want to do is look like an amateur entrepreneur who has no clue what they mean. What you do want to say is – ‘Oh Yes, I have a whole Brand File for you ready to use!’ – Boom! Your credibility and professionalism shine through.

So what goes into brand guidelines?

  • Your tagline or brand promise – the quick snippet of what your brand is all about 
  • Brand values – you may want to include the few key words that your brand stands for 
  • Colour palette – it should contain approx. 4 colours, primary and secondary tone, as well as colours used for your text. 
  • Typestyle – showing which font is usually used in your branding 
  • Images / style  or photography – showing the overall look and feel / inspiration for the brand that is represented visually 
  • Your tone and voice ensuring the way your brand uses language and emotion is consistent and resonates with your audience.

Why are brand guidelines important?

Consistency – Every time someone visits your website, sees your business card or receives marketing material from you, you create a brand touchpoint that shapes the perception of your brand.

By following the set brand guidelines every time, your content becomes consistent showing off your brand identity, making it recognizable and reliable.

brand guidelines
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Brand Guidelines: What are they and why does your business need them? 1
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Setting Standards and Rules

Your brand guidelines are a set of rules on how to use your brand’s visual elements. These rules will include when to use a logo versus a wordmark, how to space the logo, and the hierarchy of color and typography. 

You probably know your brand’s identity inside and out, but new team members may not. Brand guidelines are a valuable tool for your employees to keep your brand cohesive and make outsourcing tasks easier. 

Recognizable

Keeping your brand consistent allows it to be more immediately recognizable within your industry and with your target audience. Brand guidelines are an important part of a successful business strategy.

Building a recognizable brand can take a lot of time, but your brand can quickly be distinguishable by adhering to your brand guidelines. Take a look at Google’s brand guidelines.

What brands can you think of that are instantly recognisable just by their logo, their font or colour combination? Remember, when building a memorable brand, consistency is everything!

Value

When a brand’s identity is cohesive, it increases the brand’s perceived value. Consistency allows your brand to appear more professional and reliable. By implementing brand guidelines, you make it easier to maintain the quality and integrity of your brand’s image.

So why not take the time to sit down and create your own brand guidelines? Doing so may help you to really think about your brand in terms of what it represents and the brand identify you want to create. Who are your ideal audience and what kind of brands appeal to them? 

To help you get started you can access some amazing Brand Guidelines Presentation Templates for free on Canva by clicking here. 

This blog was written by our Marketing and Team Coordinator at Women in Business Club, Rachel West. 

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