#BuildinginPublic Log №1: Setting up a Brand Guideline

August 1, 2023

Creating a brand guideline is an essential step in establishing a strong, consistent identity for our business. In this blog, I’ll walk you through the process we used to craft guidelines for Women are Building. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Defining Our Core Values

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of designing our brand, we needed to establish our core values. These are values that will guide every decision we make, from the visual elements of the brand to the messaging and content that we will share, specifically, what makes us unique compared to other similar communities out there.

In our case, these values include:

  • Empowerment: Inspiring women to take control of their careers and lives.

  • Community: Building connections and fostering a supportive environment.

  • Inclusivity: Ensuring the platform is accessible to all women, regardless of skill level, background or geography.

  • Innovation: Encouraging creative thinking and problem-solving.

Step 2: Defining Our Target Audience

Understanding our target audience is essential to create a brand that resonates with them. We had to consider the demographics, psychographics, and behaviours of the women that we aim to serve. We had to think about their pain points, aspirations, and what motivates them. This enables us to tailor our brand to their needs and preferences.

Our target audience would ideally include:

  • Women interested in technology but lacking coding skills.

  • Entrepreneurs looking to develop digital products or services.

  • Professionals seeking to expand their skill set and network.

In order to visualise the target audience, we created a brief set of persona.

Step 3: Developing Our Brand Story

A brand story is the narrative that connects one’s audience to one’s mission and values. It helps our audience understand why our business exists and why they should engage with our platform. We had to consider our origin story, our mission, and the impact that I would want to have on our target audience and the world.

For example, our brand story might go like this:

“Driven by the desire to break down barriers and create opportunities for women in the tech industry, our founder launched a platform that empowers women to build digital resources, products, and services without the need for coding. Through our courses, resources, and supportive community, we’re helping women take control of their careers and shape the future of technology.”

We will definitely iterate on this further, but for now, it’s a fair start!

Step 4: Creating a Consistent Visual Identity

A visual identity is the collection of visual elements that represent your brand. I’m such a stickler for consistency where it comes to creating a cohesive brand identity and experience and want all the tools we use to have a consistent feel and vibe. Here are some key aspects that we focused on:

A. Logo: It’s interesting that many IndieHackers say that a logo is the least important thing in a business, but in my mind, I need to visualise what our brand looks like because it makes it very real and tangible for me. Also, branding and visuals aremy favourite part of launching a new business. We needed to design a logo that captures the essence of Women are Building and is easily recognisable.

Colours play a significant role in shaping perceptions and emotions, and understanding the psychology of colours can help you create a logo that resonates with your target audience. I opted for a logo that incorporates elements of dark pink/magenta and bright green.

Pink is often associated with feelings of warmth, nurturing, and compassion. It is a colour that conveys a sense of softness and femininity. It is a bit cliche to pick pink for a women-focused brand, and I tried to lean slightly towards dark pink or magenta.

Green: Green is a versatile colour that is most commonly associated with nature, growth, and renewal. Green can also represent health, balance, and stability. In some contexts, it can be associated with wealth, prosperity, and financial success.

We felt that combining pink and green in a logo can create a sense of balance and harmony. The warm, nurturing qualities of pink can be complemented by the stability and success associated with green, making it an appealing choice for a brand aiming to evoke feelings of growth. We also felt that the two colours together could symbolise optimism.

The direction and orientation of elements within a logo can also impact how it is perceived. A logo that tilts upwards to the right suggests forward movement, progress, and growth. This upward trajectory can evoke feelings of optimism, aspiration, and ambition, which we felt was a meaningful choice for Women are Building to communicate a sense of momentum and continuous improvement.

B. Colour Palette:
We chose colours that reflect our brand values and could resonate with our target audience. For a community-focused initiative like ours, we used warm, inviting colours that evoke feelings of support and inclusivity.

C. Typography:
We selected fonts that are legible and align with our brand’s personality. For Women are Building, we chose modern, clean typefaces that speaks to the innovative and technology-oriented nature of our offering.

D. Imagery: We use images that reflect your brand story, values, and target audience. In our case, we will focus on visuals that showcase diverse women engaged in learning, collaborating, and creating. Our social media template is shaped like a browser, almost like a portal into the digital world.

Love our social media template!

Step 5: Developing Our Brand Voice

A brand voice is the tone and style in which you communicate with your audience. It should be consistent across all channels and touchpoints, from your website copy to our social media posts. To develop our brand voice, we considered the following:

A. Tone: We decided on a tone that reflects your brand values and resonates with our target audience and settled on a conversational tone that is casual, yet professional as well as warm, friendly and empathetic. We are all in this together and there are many different paths to growth and success, and we want this sense of mutual learning to be reflected in our tone.

B. Language: We will use language that is inclusive, relatable, and accessible. We will avoid jargon or overly technical terms, and instead, focus on language that is easily understood by our audience. We don’t ever want to gatekeep knowledge and we will work hard to make sure all our content is always accessible, not just in the ease of language, but also in different languages.

C. Messaging: We will craft messaging that communicates our brand story, values, and benefits clearly and effectively, especially ensuring our messaging is consistent across all channels to reinforce Women are Building’s brand identity.

Step 6: Establishing Content Guidelines

Content is a crucial aspect of any brand, as it helps you engage with your audience, educate them, and showcase your expertise. We are in the process of establishing guidelines for the types of content that we will create and share, as well as the tone, style, and language that we will use. Some of the things we are thinking about for our content guidelines include:

  • Focusing on topics related to technology, entrepreneurship, and personal growth.

  • Sharing success stories and case studies to inspire our audience.

  • Providing actionable tips and insights to help our audience develop new skills and achieve their goals.

  • Collaborating with industry experts and influencers to provide valuable insights and advice.

These are the main steps we’ve taken in creating our brand guideline!

Hope this is useful to you when creating yours. If you have any questions reach us on our socials on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook (where hopefully!) you will see our brand guidelines at work or visit our website at womenarebuilding.com