What Is a Brand Book and Why You Need It
Over the years, we've had lots of conversations with clients about the value of producing a brand book for them. It's often seen as a bit of a dispensable item and we get it. Half the problem is there's a lot of confusion about what it is. Is it a brand guideline, an application guidelines, or a brand book, and what's the difference, and why should anyone care?
At its best, a brand book is an everyday tool for your team. It's part of your recruitment brand and employee induction training. It's a great resource for anyone who is communicating about the organization, from an annual report to a tweet, and yes, it's indispensable for any designer working on your brand. It should tell your story and values, explain your positioning, and gives people the tools they need to communicate powerfully and consistently.
The trouble is, on its own, it's just a book gathering dust on a shelf or hidden away on a shared drive. The trick is it needs to be thought of as an essential tool and part of a bigger effort to bring the brand to life for every employee. We work with clients to not only involve the organization in the brand creation but to train everyone on what the brand is for and how it's there to make their lives easier and help them be better at their jobs every day. So that involves, yes, explaining the brand for sure, demonstrating that it's authentic and powerful and simple to get, but also teaching everyone how to pitch what they do and why it matters. How do you write in the new brand voice without sacrificing your own writing style, and how can you be consistent in the experience and visual design of every brand touchpoint that your customers experience?
And that is still only part of bringing the brand to life. Your leadership team needs to demonstrate the brand every day and lead by example. So every presentation they give, every internal memo, and every post on social, need to do their job. That way, over time, everyone will see great practical examples of what it means every day, for every communication for every employee, no matter who they are or what their role is.
And that all takes time, and it's hard to change those behaviors, but without the right communication tools and a brand book, it's practically impossible. Finally, you need to keep it up to date. Your brand doesn't stop evolving the day you launch it, that's just the start. But without a great brand book and a team who buy into it, you'll struggle to be consistent over time.
So, I guess the answer to that first question, is in reality, it's a lot more than just a book! If you want to chat all things brand, from creation to adoption and brand books, we'd love to hear from you.