Brand Book: What is it, why and how to make it. Popular brand’s brand book
“Products are made in a factory, but brands are created in the mind.”
– Walter Landor
A brand book is considered to be an official document; it clearly shows and tells about the standards of all visual content of your company.
In general, there are no identical brand books, even for logical reasons, if we are talking about style, right?
One company presses in its book on principles and behavior with clients, on standards and codes of honor, while another organization talks more about the life of its corporate identity and how it should be treated.
In a primitive sense, a brand book is a set of pictures with a logo, a collection of a company’s color schemes. This also includes the font and corporate identity, how the sign looks on different surfaces, but this is not enough and oh, how cool we got to this!
This is not just paper and its sheets, it is a tool in the first place, and this concept contains the whole purpose of its creation. A wand with magic power that helps to magically build relationships with partners (especially cool for the B2B market segment), and advertising companies.
Frankly, we are talking about the base that gives rise to the positioning of the company in the market. After all, positioning is the creation of an image of a product and what will distinguish it among similar products.
Let’s go back to the relationship with the audience and the protagonist of the party.
No matter how much they talk about the concept of a brand book, everything converges to the fact that this is a set of rules and the company relies on them in its positioning.
But a lot in this world is geared towards buyers, and your company is no exception. No Buyers – No Money. Therefore, it is from the clients, our dear customers that the brand book should originate.
The purpose of the brand book
We understood that the brand book is a guide and all employees of the company should look through it, and not just marketers or advertising companies. It gives a clear idea of the brand’s mission, hence the coherence of the work of all departments of the organization.
There are certain conditions that the brand book lays down.
- First, having yourself.
- Secondly, building a brand religion and, finally, corporate culture.
The brand book allows you to optimize advertising, its costs, to achieve company recognition among buyers and partner companies.
Why does the company need a brand book
Somehow a customer comes to an advertising company and said, I want a brand book! Make it to me. But even more often it happens that he cannot answer why he needs and, what it is.
Further, a more sad picture follows – we meet with misunderstandings between the client and the performer, and the second of them will never fulfill the request of the first. After all, there is no essence of understanding one’s own wishes. Silly, but this is the most common problem.
Therefore, at the initial stages, you need to decide how relevant the need for a brand book is. After all, a brand book is a guide and you need to decide what issues you are going to cover in it.
If you step from the concept of a set of rules, then in some cases they may not appear for various reasons. This is a particularly difficult situation for marketers or designers who you hire to do some of the tasks. If there are no rules, then the hired guys will implement your tasks and goals from their own bell tower.
The concept of “brand book” and “unity” as brother and sister. No one is against diversity, but in this case, there is a risk of not building a strong brand with a specific mission and strong corporate religion.
Different design styles and different ways of interacting with people can get in the way and it will be twice to three times more difficult to convince potential customers that you are reliable and good in your market segment.
When a new employee comes to the company, it is especially important to introduce him to the guidelines for using the corporate identity. If this happens in advance, which should be, then you will simply help the person navigate the brand system. And then there will be no need for explanations, conversations about how they broke the rules. All these troubles are solved by the brand’s book. They will save time and a number of unpleasant situations.
Target audience and brand book
What happens in my head when I hear about breakfast cereals, what picture should appear at this mention. Or when they talk about Gucci, I have the image of a chic lady in expensive clothes, or I imagine a bag or a purse – this is how brand recognition works through an image.
What do you imagine when you hear “Lacoste”? Most remember the little crocodile and do it right, because this is a complex work of the brand for many years.
An incredible amount of time and effort must be spent by the company in order for the target audience to gain an impression of the company, be it positive or negative, but it takes even longer to change it and, as a rule, a lot of things go wrong.
But a coin always has two sides. Let’s remember: how many logos and corporate styles have you observed in companies when it is completely incomprehensible what it does?
The color, sign and shape remind us of something related to cosmetics or sweets, but in fact this is the field of plastic surgery, or it seems that it is about the protection of animals, and this is opposite a fur coat factory.
Such discrepancies tell us that the corporate identity should be recognizable in every area and work for the image we need, subsequently it affects trust.
But the main difference between a brand book and a corporate identity is the difference in the type of audience.
The brand book targets employees, partners and the company itself to bring the concept together. The corporate identity is designed for the target audience.
In order to understand how to create a corporate identity and the audience correctly perceived its message, it is necessary to go through the control points that define it again. Let’s get back to identifying our target audience :
- What? We select an audience by product type. Shampoo, toothpaste, dental clinic equipment and so on. Then we dig deeper. If it is a toothpaste, then which one: therapeutic, against caries, whitening.
- Who! Here, the analysis goes according to the type of consumer. Men, women, children, men or women of advanced age.
- Why? Here we segment according to desire and motivation. Motivation to be healthy or beautiful and so on.
- What time? In this section, we consider the purchase situation. It is planned or weekly or spontaneous.
- Where? Sales channels. Supermarkets, kiosks, hypermarkets and the like.
Describe the portrait of the consumer on the questions above, answer the following questions:
- What channels does the audience use to receive information?
- What needs does your product satisfy for them?
- What associations does your product evoke, how does the region of residence affect the audience, and how can a product or service be related to it?
You also connect the brand and its corporate identity to segmenting the target audience.
- Color psychology and its influence
- Consumer stereotypes
- Consumer desires
When all the departments are spelled out and closely related to each other, only in this case, advertising and the entire corporate identity will start working for the consumer.
A little about the style of the brand book
When you start to step further, after analyzing the target audience, you gradually start thinking about the style of the brand book, or rather, what style the further direction will go. In most cases, the segment is determined by the style and the very target audience, the products that the company offers.
Sales become effective when we are already in the subconscious of the consumer, when we have penetrated the very heart, awakened loyalty and now we have a collection of perceptions about the whole brand in our thoughts.
And all because our message, the key message docked with the thoughts and perception of the client, his field of activity and philosophy, his views on life.
From here comes the style, different – extravagant, flashy, quiet and timid, and sometimes restrained and too serious. And for every niche with style, you know?
If there is a goal to convey to the buyer that you sell clothes, take a place in the fashion, tailoring and style niche, position yourself as an expensive brand, with high-quality tailoring, expensive materials and the highest category of care – this is a high class.
The audience will be appropriate, able to buy and form requests at the same high level. What kind of people are they? Occupying high positions, with certain preferences that are more in line with your brand policy and, of course, positioning.
Let’s draw a parallel between the corporate identity and the brand book again, since sometimes the line is blurred and people think that there is no difference.
The corporate identity is what the target audience sees, this is what everyone sees, that is, the external component of the brand. It builds further marketing communications. It is being developed for consumers.
A brand book is a document for employees, partners and designers, protected by the company from competitors, a guide to using the corporate identity. It is the document.
And you know that’s not all, after we talked about the logo, we have several components: logo, brand book, corporate identity. If we add all these parts, we get a complex model – identity, but more on it later.
Back to style. The ideal of corporate identity is when the consumer understands what your company is about at first glance.
If you were standing in an elevator, your friend would walk into it and ask what you are doing, what would you answer in a few seconds while the elevator is moving? All activities should be compressed as much as possible and told about yourself in a nutshell.
This is how corporate identity works. The audience should recognize your brand at a glance.
So, what can be included in the materials of the corporate identity, specifically considered in examples:
- Branded colors
- Business cards
- Folder for documents
- CD, DVD, flash drive
- Dishes (mug, glass, plate, cup and saucer)
- A pen
- Business card holder
- Clothing and uniforms (baseball cap, tie, overalls, suit, T-shirt)
- Logo sticker for mobile phone
- Sign in front of the entrance
- Street sign
- Pavement sign
- Light box
- Suspension under the ceiling of the sales area
- Promotional rack
- Interior and exterior of a retail outlet
- Vehicle registration
Outdoor advertising and POS materials:
- Sign in front of the entrance
- Street sign
- Pavement sign
- Light box
- Suspension under the ceiling of the sales area
- Promotional rack
- Interior and exterior of a retail outlet
- Vehicle registration
What a brand book consists of
A brand book is primarily information content, both visual and textual. Such a book should reflect:
- Brand concept
- Features and characteristics of your target audience
- Corporate identity of the company
- Corporate style of the company, communication within the company
- Characteristics of brand constants, namely: fonts, colors and their combinations, brand block, rules for their scaling and application to different media
- Principles of creating layouts for printing
- Principles for the layout of slogans and their arrangement with the logo
The following can act as corporate identity objects in the framework of interaction with target audiences:
- Product packaging;
- Business documentation;
- Various folders and directories;
- The interior of the company;
- Various souvenir products;
- Branded transport;
- Exhibition displays, trading rooms, shop windows;
- Attributes of corporate culture.
The main elements of the corporate identity will be:
- Corporate slogan
- Company block
- Corporate color
- Corporate set of fonts
- Proprietary constants
We will go through the variety of brand’s brand book content and the fact that each company has its own.
This happens because the company prescribes its own rules in the book, which correspond precisely to its values, principles and goals. But still there is a pattern of sections that can be distinguished.
Here as you can see, the logo is placed, it is prescribed in what variations it can be placed, examples of its effective use and vice versa. This also includes parameters for its size, proportions and, most importantly, colors!
In this section, the logo is placed, it is prescribed in what variations it can be placed, examples of its effective use and vice versa. This also includes parameters for its size, proportions and, most importantly, colors!
After the logo, trademarks, slogan and where it can be placed must be included. Fonts are an important part. After all, they greatly affect the readability of content. A list of them is indicated, for heading, plain text and list.
Minor things include various icons, patterns and textures that can be used as well.
“When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable.”
Brand book for business packaging
It is no secret that now we live in a time of tough competition and every company strives to sell its product more successfully and at a higher price. A lot depends on the ideological content of the business.
In order to truly build a brand and turn it into a single whole, you need to create a certain image in the eyes of your current and potential customers, you need to start with the corporate identity. You increase the percentage of choosing your company over others. The corporate identity applies to any product that a company can have.
The very first thing is language. Are you an international company? Or is your activity carried out on a federal scale? The language in which your company is able to communicate with the world must be indicated.
After the language there are various abbreviations, what numbers are, names and dates.
Another important component is readability, style and manner of communication. Whether it’s complex and succinct formulations or light sentences. Is there a lot of official language, technical language or slang. Much depends on the manner of communication, whether it is formal or friendly, neutral or humorous.
The age of mass mailings and letters has not yet outlived its usefulness, but on the contrary is in demand. There is also a separate section for emails, the basic structure of the letter and an example of an electronic signature are indicated.
Requirements for blog posts, their design, skeleton and themes are increasingly common. And here is a section for social networks, which prescribes goals, posting times and post types for each platform.
There is too much information, rules and requirements. All this must be beautifully packaged, because the document is representative. Still, a business card that includes the life of the company.
Design development is done by professionals and before entrusting him with the work, make sure that your and his views coincide, or at least have a middle.
Each designer has his own style, technique and style of design. Therefore, it takes place to ask to show his favorite developments. Thus, you can understand what the master prefers, small print or large and how the informative blocks will be arranged in the book.
As a result, let’s say that the brand book contains the ideological part (the company’s mission, philosophy, etc.), the legal part (copyright) and the passport of standards, in other words, the guideline.
What is the connection between a brand book and a logo
They look at a high-quality logo, for a designer it is sometimes like a separate art form. All because they invest in it, there is a whole technique for creating a logo.
Various types and characteristics of the brand name. Sometimes it seems that soon the logo will become a whole science, since strict rules are applied to it and where to draw energy and inspiration from when developing a sign.
Nevertheless, the logo can be considered an independent corporate particle. Imagine that a brand book is a whole world, a huge family that has collected in itself a family of fonts, colors, achromatic and chromatic palettes, signs and rules.
It’s just that a brand book is a set of rules for a corporate identity. And the logo is just a part of a huge family, like a leaf from a tree, but quite autonomous. It is for this reason that many companies order a logo first. Because a lot starts with him.
The logo is cheaper, it is enough to position itself in the market, to promote individuality, to give independence to the company and instill recognition. Many people stop at it, but if the company expands and even goes beyond the usual scale, it still resorts to creating an integrated corporate identity.
In this case, the firm simply lays out all the rules and visual concepts on the shelves. This is the similarity and difference between the logo and the brand book.
How to use the brand book
It would seem, why create a document if no one looks into it and, as a result, does not adhere to it?
Therefore, after creating and implementing a brand book in all working systems, you should inform employees about its existence, you can get confused and present this information beautifully, and then only on business.
We send out the document by mailing and ask all departments to familiarize themselves with the proper book.
Next, try to find an ambassador for your brand, it can be any employee. He may be responsible for enforcing the proper rules. If this is a person who accompanied the entire process of creating a brand book, this will be ideal.
And in the end, we assess the effectiveness.
You can organize a meeting in a month and check how effectively the corporate identity rules are being followed. Do not forget to reflect and ask colleagues and employees about the difficulties they may have encountered, in some cases this will help to adjust work processes.
And if there is no brand book, the world will collapse. Not. But!
Let’s talk about a large company right away, because we are talking about a brand book. If there is no document, then the designers can make a critical mistake that can slap the trade – they adapt advertising signs and brochures to a different target audience.
There will also be other shoals related to the visual part. For example, the incorrect use of the logo, but its incorrect stretching and positioning. It can be narrower than it should be, or vice versa.
This also applies to flowers. It can suddenly become a different shade or color, which is extremely unacceptable. Your ad runs the risk of becoming similar to competitors’ ads. There is a big price tag here. Therefore, the answer to the question of whether to make a brand book or not becomes obvious.
“Be your own best customer. Live your customer’s lifestyle.”
Who is better to order a brand book from?
It is risky, stupid and impossible to create a brand book on your own without the help of professional agencies. Of course, there is an option to live in the market without a brand book and branding – but this is not for long, but there is a place to be.
Usually, turnkey brand creation organizations are involved in creation. The price ranges from 40,000 rubles to 100 and more. Much depends on the reputation of the company, its experience, the quality of the work done, the complexity of the market and leadership among similar competing companies.
Let’s say that, for example, branding is a whole strategy and a set of measures for building everything that a company has, including a brand book:
1. Marketing research. Market and competitor analysis. Interviews with representatives of the target audience, conducting focus groups.1. Marketing research . Market and competitor analysis. Interviews with representatives of the target audience, conducting focus groups.
2. Positioning (development and creation of a key brand idea). Identifying or developing brand characteristics from scratch (main differences, strengths, functional advantages and emotional aspects of perception), which are subsequently used to increase value (value) and attract potential consumers.
3. Naming . Just buying a successful name is not an option. It is best to create a brand name in conjunction with graphic elements, guided by an overall concept. The name must be tested.
4. Brand registration with Rospatent.
5. Creation of a logo.
6. Work on the corporate identity. Corporate style is used as key elements of business documents (on business cards / folders / envelopes / letterheads).
7. Creation of a corporate character.
8. Development of packaging design for products, testing.
9. Creation of a brandbook (brand book ).
10. Formation of a strategic plan for brand promotion. The development of a strategy includes a list of channels and means of communication through which it is planned to convey the benefits of a particular brand to the consumer.
11. Formation of an advertising concept. Mission. Branding – to create a brand, making it recognizable, successful, maximize its price, providing good conditions for business development.
If you touch only the brand book, then the following base will be included in it:
- Brand block,
- Layout system,
- The name of the company or product – the so-called constants, they must be present on all elements that are somehow related to the company.
Errors when creating a brand book
You should be familiar with the situation when the bosses supposedly themselves know how to do it best and the executing specialists do not order them. It is fundamentally wrong to rely only on your own preferences. The corporate color should correspond to the style of the organization, focused on the target audience and the scope of the firm.
Let’s talk about the simple. If your company is focused on a noble audience, for 40-50 years, then obviously you shouldn’t use “pluck out your eyes” colors, we are talking about acid colors now. And if a company is engaged in insurance and works closely with finances, then it will not take yellow, pink or red and will work with the colors of trust and reliability. Think of Sberbank or any insurance company.
Although there are exceptions with red, these are only a few who are competently trying to carry out PR campaigns and create the image they need and this is a solution to additional problems. Do you need it? Help yourself and choose colors that really suit your occupation.
But besides the perception of color, think about how it will look on different surfaces and media: business cards, flyers, website.
Another pain is the font.
The abundance of type is legibility and this is a strict rule. Do not create unnecessary obstacles to yourself. A font can be a thousand times cool and beautiful, ornate, but what good is it if you can’t just pick it up and read it in a couple of seconds. The audience becomes spoiled every year, quickly gets used to the amenities, life becomes more complicated and in general a nightmare! And she is not ready to spend even a few seconds parsing what kind of decorative quirks are now in your font.
And again about the obvious. The typeface should correspond to the field of activity of the firm. You don’t need to use vintage fonts in advertising for young people, for example.
And again, this can be a headache, so contact the professionals, they will select the necessary palettes and will rely on trends and target audience.