Brand book development

What is a brand book and why is it needed?

Let’s go without unnecessary words, if you came here from Google to find out how the development of a brand book begins and, in fact, what a brand book is, then please:

A brand book is an official document of your company that breaks down your brand into small components and dictates how to use them correctly.

Globally, the brand book should contain the brand platform (the company and its services, the essence of the brand, positioning, target audience, its needs, emotional and functional benefits of the brand, attributes, slogan, mission, vision, and possibly even a brand legend) and identity (logo, colors , fonts, pattern and other design elements), as well as the rules for its use. Brand book development implies all this.

Brand book development
Who needs a brand book and why is it needed?
PROBLEM                                  DECISION
You feel like you are out of date. Just look at your logo, but it is completely outdated, as if from the last millennium, it even looks like a retro look bad, and these colors (You need a rebranding. But so that you are not left with a beautiful picture that will repel customers from you, it is better to start development from the brand platform, and then put these meanings into the updated corporate identity. The brand book will help to implement the update quickly and efficiently, and then maintain the created concept and carry it through the years.
You are creating a new project, but you have nothing that describes the brand.In this case, the development of a brand book will be equal to the creation of a brand and the foundation of its future development. This is important because you do not appear 20 years ago, when it was possible to build a good client base without a logo, you launch a project in a most likely formed market and to be different, stand out, be relevant and noticeable –  is your key task.
Your designer constantly makes crooked layouts, not as you would like, and you naturally spend a lot of energy and nerves to explain what letters should be on this banner and how much the logo needs to be enlarged.You need a brand book that will fix the rules for using all the key elements of the identity (even the size and scope). It may even fix the standards of basic advertising layouts, so that the skeleton is always unchanged, and the creative is placed in a given field.
You are tired of explaining to each new employee what kind of company you are, why and for what you work, what kind of brand image you build, which folder contains the logo, and which folder contains the history of the company. After all, if you don’t explain, they will either screw up or torture you with questions and requests to approve on what they themselves can.The brand book in your case will describe the entire brand from cover to cover, and you just have to hand it over to a new employee (or drop it in a telegram), and he will understand everything without further ado.
You feel competitors coming on the heels and understand that you need to detach from them by what you say about yourself and how you present yourself. It may even be necessary to revise the identity.In this case, you need a rebranding, during which the brand platform will be developed and the corporate identity updated. The brand book here will be the final stage of development and will become your assistant in introducing it into the real world, so that all the higher ones do not have to gather dust in presentations in the mail.
Brand book development

Brand book, logo book, guideline and guidebook – are they synonyms?

So, you have a problem, and you need a solution.

The brand book, as it turned out, will definitely solve problem. At least it will help you start to decide. However, you have heard that there are also logbooks and guidelines.

Let’s figure out what all these words mean.
LOGOBOOKGUIDELINE (GUIDEBOOK)BRANDBOOK 
Logo and rules for its useLogo and rules for its useLogo and rules for its use
 ++
 Identity (colors, fonts, pattern, style-forming elements, standards of advertising layouts) and rules for its useCorporate identity (colors, fonts, pattern, style-forming elements, standards of advertising layouts) and rules for its use
  +
  Brand platform (the company and its services, the essence of the brand, positioning, target audience, its needs, emotional and functional benefits of the brand, attributes, slogan, mission, vision, brand legend)

1

Now you understand that a logo book is just a guard against misuse and distortion of the look of your logo for designers.

2

A guideline is the same logo book, only supplemented by a full-fledged identity. Yes, that’s why, without seeing the billboard yet, you can tell from afar what brand it is – it’s all the style and standards for its use.

3

The brand book, accordingly, is all of the above, but supplemented by the most important information about your company. The brand book is the foundation, the document that enshrines the standards of your brand and the direction of its development; this is what annual marketing plans are based on and what must be considered when developing any brand advertising communications. This is the essence of your brand on paper.

The order of development of elements in the brand book

Brand book development

In this article, we tell you about creating a brand book from scratch in case you have nothing. Or there is a vision, but it is somewhere in the head between the quarterly report to the tax and the distribution strategy, and it needs to be put as a basis, having built on all the necessary tools.

Of course, you may have a ready-made positioning, or you may not want to change the current logo, or it is important to keep the legend that you have been implementing for a couple of decades, but update its interpretation.

All these inputs are taken into account after the initial briefing (meeting to clarify the problem). And only on the basis of an understanding of the scope of work, an action plan is built, an agreement is drawn up and signed.

But so that you understand the correctness of the actions, let’s imagine that we are creating a brand from scratch and all stages are needed for it. So, in a nutshell, what is being developed and after which, and where is the development of the brand book here:

12345
strategic stagecreative stage design stage 
positioning and brand platformnaming (name) of the brandlogoidentitybrand book

Brand book development: the process

Now let’s go through each step.

We will try to summarize what we are doing to create each of the elements, so that you understand how the brand book will meet your needs and will be useful to you.

It is important to understand that this is our methodology, and, perhaps, in other sources you will see a different one, and this is normal.

Positioning and brand platform

Positioning is a functional and emotional niche in the mind of the consumer.

Different positioning divides brands according to their communication and the image built through all the contacts of the brand with the audience into certain groups.

Proper positioning allows you to occupy a less competitive niche in which you can show your advantages and at the same time will be as relevant to the audience as possible.

Brand book development

In other words, finding good positioning is to understand what problem we can rid the audience of with the uniqueness of the product so that someone else has not done it before us. It is even better that none of the competitors can ever repeat it.

But positioning is the final element of developing a brand pyramid, which consists of the following elements:

  • Target audience of the brand and its needs (emotional and functional), insight
  • Brand benefits that address these needs (emotional and functional)
  • RTB (reason to believe) or brand attributes – reasons to believe that brand benefits will cover the needs of the audience, facts and product characteristics
  • Brand values, brand personality, character, tonality – a set of human characteristics that determine the behavior and communication of the brand with the audience
  • The brand’s mission is a global goal that shows what exactly the brand wants to do better in the world
  • Positioning is a competitive advantage that is relevant to the brand and needed by the audience, which will ensure the growth of the brand
  • The essence is a short and concise description of the brand, what a brand is (simplification of positioning)

We analyze

  • Companies (structure, resources, growth opportunities, management, personnel, ongoing marketing, product, service)
  • Brand (communication, media publications, visual identity, image)
  • Market (best experience, trends)
  • Competitors (positioning, product, strengths and weaknesses)
  • Audiences (current consumers, potential target audience, employees)

We use tools

  • Interview
  • Observations
  • Focus groups
  • Desk analysis (audit, data analysis, free access research)

Naming (name) of the brand

When the brand pyramid is ready, elements are born from it, which are directly broadcast to the audience.

This is what she can literally see and read
  • Brand Legend – a story that the brand will tell about itself and its journey
  • Brand slogan – a capacious brand promise or statement
  • Brand name – the name that should become a brand

This process is the task of the creative department, but it also has its own methodology at each of the stages:

  • Creative assault
  • Filtering ideas
  • Check for protectability

Logo

The logo is the visual image of the company, it must certainly correspond to the essence of the brand, but it must also correspond to the market and its trends.

Solves the problem, matches the positioning and is visually relevant – this is the formula for a good logo. That is why we do not start drawing the logo right after the briefing (receiving the task from the client). We respect our customers, therefore, using a logo, we first of all solve their problem, but we do not implement “wishes from interest”.

We always start developing a logo with a design analysis, during which we determine how we should be in the category of the chosen positioning and differ from competitors.

We are working on 3 logo concepts, from which the client chooses the one that best suits his preferences. However, each of the logos solves the client’s problem.

Identity

Identity is all design attributes that will shape the image of your brand. You may be surprised, but your brand will be blue or green will already say a lot about the brand to your consumer.

Identity elements are always an individual list that is formed depending on the needs of the business.

Yes, everyone needs a business card, but not everyone has a sign. Of course, the more elements with which the client directly contacts create a visual concept (all in one style), the faster and more efficiently the client “learns” and forms a recognizable image of your brand in his mind.

Within the identity, corporate colors and fonts are always developed. However, other elements are always individually shaped. Below is a sample list from which you can choose which elements are relevant to your business:

Branded graphics

  • patterns
  • pictograms

Internal navigation

  • door signs
  • navigation bar
  • room map
  • pointers
  • badge
  • staff uniform

Elements of business documents

  • form
  • business card
  • the envelope
  • folder
  • building a personal signature
  • fashion products (notebook, pen, cup, etc.)

External identification

  • scheme of building a sign
  • working hours
  • pointers
  • flag
  • car branding

The identity logically follows from the chosen logo, developing its concept and scaling the idea inherent in the essence of the brand. Naturally, design analysis and strategic development (brand platform) will influence the corporate identity. But the scale of the branding will also have a big impact.

Brand book development

A brand book is a document, a book that contains all the developments that we wrote about above, but also gives the rules for their use.

The brand book is the bible of your brand. Everyone who works to create a strong brand for your company will live on it for many years.

We will give an example of the content of a brand book for all those elements that we talked about above.

Content:

Brand:

  • company and product
  • name
  • legend
  • tagline

Brand pyramid:

  • target audience of the brand
  • target audience needs (emotional and functional)
  • CA insight
  • brand benefits (emotional and functional)
  • RTB (reason to believe) or brand attributes
  • brand values, brand personality, character, tonality
  • brand mission
  • positioning and brand essence

Logo:

  • general description
  • construction scheme
  • basic options
  • monochrome logo image
  • black and white and inverted logo image
  • logo colors
  • background for logo
  • invalid use cases
  • acceptable combinations with other signs – priority place on the layout
  • logo size calculations, scaling and minimum size
  • protective field and proportions of the logo
  • placement of the logo on layouts

Color:

  • primary color table
  • complementary color table

Typography:

  • corporate font
  • terms of use for advertising message
  • use in the background
  • illegal use

Branded graphics:

  • patterns and use cases
  • pictograms
  • recommendations for building
  • prohibited options
  • use in text

Elements of business documentation:

  • form
  • business card
  • the envelope
  • folder
  • building a personal signature
  • fashion products (notebook, pen, cup, etc.)

Internal navigation:

  • door signs
  • navigation bar
  • room map
  • pointers
  • badge
  • staff uniform

External identification:

  • scheme of building a sign
  • working hours
  • pointers
  • flag
  • car branding

We use the best practices for structuring and presenting information so that the brand book does not become a dusty book on the CMO’s shelf, but becomes a working tool for every employee of the company. Stylish and laconic layout, text minimization and maximum visual presentation of the rules – these tasks are solved by the development of a brand book – good and correct.

What is required from a client to make a brand book work

You have read and thought that, perhaps, the development of a brand book is what you need. And have you even imagined how we arrive with the final presentation and smartly tell the creative creative?

It is not so simple.

We want to draw your attention to a very important point, which is important to consider before you decide to start making a brand book.

We will work together!

Yes, it didn’t seem to you. We will really interact with you and your team throughout the project.

Interviews, observations, analytics, excursions, test drives, mystery shoppers, focus groups with clients and a lot of questions.

Brand book development

You probably thought, why can’t we just hear the problem and go to our office to solve it?

No one knows your company, your market, product or customer better than you!

If you have already prepared the answer: “Well, you are professionals, you have to tell me everything,” then let’s say goodbye right here, in this article and on this line.

It is important for us to understand everything about the company and its structure, about the product and its unique selling proposition, about your strengths and weaknesses both at the product level and at the brand level, about your competitors and how you compete with them, about your audience and how you love her. Of course, it’s also interesting how it all started and where you want to come to.

Let’s give an analogy for understanding. If your business is a ship, then we do not take the helm, we want to give the ship more tools to sail faster. And if we do not understand the ship, if you say: “Well, that one is at the pier, that is our ship,” we will never make a good accelerator.

This is a team effort and we are in the same boat.

Is the brand book already a brand?

EVEN THE COOLEST BRAND BOOK WILL NOT MAKE A COMPANY A BRAND!

Yes it’s true. In reality, the brand book will set the direction; it will tell you what to talk about and how to look. This means that we still need to speak and show.

All this is not an easy, but very exciting process of building a brand, where with the help of integrated communications you convey your positioning to the audience through creative ideas. This is building a relationship between you and the audience, where at the stage of the brand book you decided what you want to be in this relationship.

Brand book development

If your brand has been on the market for a long time, then positioning will be built according to who you already are, what resources you have, and what you are ready to change in the brand and what not.

If you are just entering the market, positioning will be developed taking into account your capabilities, among which the optimal for the market and with the development perspective will be selected.

If it’s simpler, you can leave even the old packaging design, if it is impossible to replace it, or you can give us the opportunity to create a completely new concept for selling your product, where packaging may not even be needed.

Brand book development: these brand books we admire

Most companies hide their brand book and show it only under NDA.

This is due, first of all, to information about the plans of the company, which may be contained in the document.

We will show you those open brand books that delight us and inspire us to do great work:

Brand book development in Creative Design Agency MOLOKO

Now we want to show what cool brand books we made inside MOLOKO.

Do not worry, all publications of brand books in the open access are agreed with clients (the inconsistent ones remained unpublished).
Proud Clinic
Brand book development
Brand book development
WTL
Brand book development
Brand book development
Alpha-Pharmacy
Brand book development

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