To create a brand, it’s not enough to come up with a creative name, slogan and logo. A brand is a combination of emotions, associations, characteristics, ideas about a product or service in the mind of the consumer.
A brand cannot be imagined without a corporate identity – a visual reflection of the company, the task of which is to create a salable and memorable image. It, as a visual shell of the company, is included in the concept of a brand book, which, in turn, is somewhat wider.
Today we’ll talk about what a brand book is and whether a company should do it.
What is a brand book?
A brand book is a set of instructions for using the visual style of a company with examples and illustrations: what are the acceptable and unacceptable options for designing and placing a logo, what fonts, colors and patterns are needed, design options for the main media: business cards, website, souvenirs and others.
A brand book helps to preserve the corporate identity. If you follow the instructions, the design of all media and in all channels is uniform.
Let’s say a business has a website, social media accounts, a retail outlet with a sign and hall decoration, a uniform for employees, souvenirs, flyers to attract customers and presentations for partners. A brand book is needed so that all media and points of contact look uniform. Then it will be easier for the client to identify the company and distinguish it from competitors.
Which companies need a brand book?
Some companies simply have no need for design. For example, a small non-chain coffee shop doesn’t need a brand book by default: the basis of their marketing is a good location, good coffee, a loyalty program, and a charismatic barista.
A brand book is also not required if:
- The business has just been launched.
- Business doesn’t need any kind of design: images, websites or interfaces.
- Business is not advertised permanently.
If the company is large, its corporate identity is its calling card on the market, and it plans to distribute advertising on various media, then a brand book is indispensable.
It’s definitely time to start a brand book for those who:
- Want to hire a design contractor.
- Want to update the logo, website, or create an app.
- Want to start an advertising campaign online or offline.
- Want to open a new point or develop a business, for example, by franchising.
It is difficult to accept the fact that you need to spend time and money on a brand book (although you can cut costs using book mockup), since it will not bring visible benefits here and now. But a brand book is not created for the sake of a brand book. It should be treated as an investment: a good brand book will pay for itself dozens of times over since:
- Communication with customers will be simple and smooth
- Visual style will not be lost if the designer changes
- It’s easier to manage a team of multiple designers
- It’s easier to work with contractors: set a task, argue for changes
The times when it was enough for a company to have a crooked logo and a hastily invented slogan have already passed.
A self-respecting business takes the goals and strategies of the company seriously, develops its own philosophy and takes a very responsible attitude to the formation of a corporate style. A brand book is not only the face of your company, but also its internal content. If you haven’t created a brand book for your company yet, now is the time to do it.