As a business owner, you’re probably quite certain of how you want your brand to be presented. But when brand consistency is a crucial element of raising recognition and ultimately trust in your customers, can you afford to stray away from the identity of your brand?

This is where brand guidelines come in. Brand guidelines are a set of rules that explain and showcase exactly how your brand works – and your business can really benefit from them. Here are 4 tips to help you create professional quality brand guidelines.

1. Explain Who You Are

Make sure to include your brand’s history, personality and core values in your guidelines. Whether it be your staff or external suppliers, it’s important for them to understand what makes your business tick. Explain what your business is passionate about, how you conduct your business and what makes you unique.

2. Decide How You Speak

Tone of voice is a trait that your business should always keep consistent. It ensures that as a brand you are unified and speak as one voice, and it will help the world to recognise you.

Within the tone of voice section of your brand guidelines, discuss what personality you’d like to express. As a corporate B2B brand you may want to keep things professional, straightforward and detailed, whereas a cosmetics B2B brand would want to use an exciting, personable tone.

3. Decide How You Don’t Speak

It’s equally important that they understand exactly what not to say when adopting the voice of your brand. A new staff member might think it’s harmless to post a risqué joke on social media, but if it’s not in line with anything that’s been posted before, there’ll be a whole bunch of contacts who’ve read a post that sounds nothing like what they’re used to – and it’ll probably confuse them.

4. Discuss Your Logo

Just like your tone of voice, your logo must adhere to its own set of rules. You need to be sure of when and how your logo should be used. Is there a minimum and maximum size? Are there a specific set of colours that you would not wish any designer to stray from? Specify how your logo should be used in different settings to prevent brand confusion.

5. The Little Things Count

Colour palette is important; font is important; consistency is important. Using a limited choice of specifically chosen colours will help inspire further recognition from the people that you reach. The same goes for font – everything that you create needs to be recognised as coming from your brand.

Brand guidelines are a highly effective way of showing your staff, your suppliers and your customers exactly what your identity is as a business. You need to speak as one voice, and you need to be sure that everyone else uses that same voice. Without them, you could see things start to stray from the big picture, and people will stop seeing your business how you want them to. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

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