Why You Need A Brand Guide for Your Business (a.k.a How To Make Your Life Easier)
It's simply a document that describes and defines what and how your brand's visual communications should be used and applied on print, online and broadcast mediums. A brand guide should be the primary and unifying source of such information.
Without a brand guide, you'll probably experience incorrect and inconsistent versions of your logo being used, or a lack of clarity of what fonts, colours or tone of voice to use. This results in mixed marketing and advertising messages to your audience and may undermine your professionalism. You really don't want your brand to be diluted in any way. Having a brand guide will keep everything on point and consistent.
A brand guide also helps you to be efficient in on-boarding a new team member, strategic partner or a supplier/vendor. By providing them with a brand guide, you won't need to keep explaining or briefing them again and again. This helps you to get projects and tasks done quickly.
Get the brand guide done once and done right to make your day-to-day work life easier.
It doesn't need to be complicated. As a rule of thumb, these are the must-haves:
A brand guide may change as your business blossoms and grows. Needs may expand, or certain improvements need to be made. Whilst the guide is the North Star for your visual communications, it doesn't mean it is set in concrete. The main point here is that strong and intentional decisions should be made and catalogued into the guide, so you don't apply elements based on a whim.
Brand guides come in different extents and could be delivered as a PDF or a webpage. It really depends on your needs.