According to marketing studies, thoughtful branding can increase a company’s profits by more than 20% per year. Therefore, work on the brand concept should begin at the stage of its creation. But so far not many companies are engaged in the development of official “rules” of their own style and do not pay enough attention to the design of a brand book.
A brand book is the physical embodiment of your brand concept and mission. Its main task is to establish specific principles for maintaining the identity of the business in all of its internal and external communications.
At first glance, the process of creating a brand book may seem long and complicated, because you have to work and take into account many details that create a coherent image of the company. However, in the long run, such a document will bring many benefits.
To understand what you need a brand book for and where to start, let’s look at its main components and compare it with other documents that describe the brand concept.
Brand book or a guideline?
Substitution of concepts is a common mistake when creating a brand book. And although the above terms are quite close in content, there are still several significant differences between them:
- Brand book is the broadest term in terms of content. It contains complete information about the essence of the brand, its mission, philosophy, values. Conditionally it can be called a “brand passport”. This document is the basis for creating a corporate identity and a guide for marketers, advertisers and other company representatives, how to work on the brand promotion and popularization.
- Guideline is a narrower concept that covers the description of external attributes and visual presentation of the brand. It contains general rules for using corporate identity elements, applying a logo, designing advertising media, etc.
- An even more detailed document can be a logo book – a detailed description of the logo and its use on various types of media. The logo book can be part of the guideline.
So, a brand book is a document that describes clear recommendations for brand identity in all aspects of doing business. The guideline, logo book and other documents can be a part of it or act as separate detailed descriptions based on the brand book data.
What does a brand book consist of?
The general structure of the brand book consists of three sections:
- Defining the mission and values of the organization
- Description of corporate identity
- Rules of communication
Mission and values
Before creating a brand book, the company must determine its unique character and form a common vision. This is the basis on which the entire visual component and “voice” of the brand will be formed in the future. In this section you need to define your mission, describe the philosophy, target audience and general logic on which the brand style is based.
Mission and values are the basis for all future business decisions, they set the development vector and in the long run work to increase brand awareness and audience loyalty. They must be clear and do not contain vague wording.
How to define the values and general vision of the company? Answer the following questions:
- Why (for what purpose) does your company work, what benefits does it bring to the client?
- What should your business leave behind?
- What can change your brand in this market situation?
- Do you have plans for expansion (production, range, new services, etc.)?
Based on the answers, you will be able to clearly define the “character” of the brand, which in turn is very important for the tone of voice formation. Because the right tone of communication is the starting point for successful promotion.
Imagine your brand as a character or as a person. What will he/her be like? Slightly cheeky or maybe, on the contrary, caring? Identify a set of traits that will be important in communication and in the future will become a kind of identifier for customers and partners. Consistency in communication is very important for building trust from your target audience.
By the way, the definition of TA is also an important component of the brand book, as it will allow you to adapt your message to the specifics of a particular market, region, demographic group, and so on.
Corporate identity instructions
As a rule, this is the largest section of those included in the brand book. It describes in detail all the elements of corporate identity, visual and other components aimed at positioning the brand among the audience.
Here you can describe in detail:
- recommendations on style, size and use of certain colors and fonts in printed or online formats;
- images and other design components.
In addition, this section should define the tone of communication and the main messages. For example:
- develop several slogans;
- describe the musical accompaniment for advertising;
- if necessary, invent a character that will symbolize the brand (for example, Ronald MacDonald or Dino in Rastishka products).
Don’t be afraid to make this part of the brand book too big: the more you describe all the scenarios and examples of using branded items, the less problems there will be in promotion.
Rules of communication
The main document on the brand style should contain clear instructions on what to do and what not to use during external communications. These rules will be followed in their work by marketers, designers, salespeople, partners, advertisers and everyone involved in brand positioning.
Leave no room for free interpretation of your ideas. The style of the brand should be the same, and all the details are spelled out very clearly.
- language of communication;
- tone of messages (serious, playful, instructive, etc.);
- rules of publications on social networks;
- structure and format of outgoing correspondence (including e-mail);
- style of text messages, etc.
A balanced and thoughtful brand book gives the brand the opportunity to be consistent in communications, and thus forms an individual company style and high trust of the audience.
Brand books examples
One of the coolest modern brand books was created by Uber. The company even set aside a separate domain to host a virtual book on the basics of the brand. You can read it in detail at this link.
How to use the brand correctly, how to choose the background for the logo and place the elements on the banner, how to create the right call to action. All these and much more are described in the Amazon brand book. Take a look at it.
The brand book of this company is created both for internal communications, and for other companies promoting a brand around the world. The purpose of the document, according to Apple: “to take advantage of Apple’s unique style and contribute to increasing the strength of the brand.”
The Apple’s brand book shows in details how the logo should be used, inscriptions and colors and many other important points.
Brand book: worthy or not?
As you can see, creating a brand book is a difficult process that takes a lot of time and requires attention to the smallest details. However, if you aim to grow your business, you should have a unique style and identity.
A well-thought-out brand book is not just a document that will help achieve a single standard and guide employees on how to represent the company. It is first and foremost a tool for growing the trust and loyalty of your target audience. Thanks to the consistent promotion of the business, you will be able to stand out from the competition and stay in the minds of the customer for a long time as a reliable and loyal brand.
Advertising agency Delta Design will help you to create a brand book from scratch. We know how important uniqueness is and how to emphasize it. Choose experienced professionals for professional solutions and create an image of your brand that will be remembered for a long time!