As a business owner, you know that your brand is more than just your logo. Your brand is the combination of your company’s values, mission, visual identity, and voice. And while you may have a handle on all of these elements yourself, as your business grows, it becomes more and more important to document your brand guidelines in a brand book. A brand book is an essential tool for maintaining brand consistency across all touch points, both internally and externally. Here’s everything you need to know about brand books and why you need one for your business.
What is a Brand Book?
A brand book is a living document that outlines your company’s branding guidelines. This includes everything from your logo usage to your color palette to the tone of your website copy. Think of it as the bible for your brand. It’s a reference point for anyone and everyone who works with or on behalf of your company, from employees to freelance designers to ad agencies. Having all of your branding information in one place ensures that everyone is on the same page when it comes to presenting your company to the world. Not only does this create a more cohesive overall look and feel for your brand, but it also protects the equity you’ve built up in your visual identity.
What to Include in Your Brand Book
A successful brand book should have the following:
- Brand name – This is what you call your company, product, or service and it sets boundaries on everything related to this particular terminology. For example “Nike” means all things Nike in terms of sports apparel.
- Logo – Your logo is one of the most important elements of your brand identity. Include variations of your logo (such as horizontal and vertical) as well as color palette and clear space requirements.
- Tagline – If you have a tagline, make sure to include it in your brand book.
- Color Palette – Your color palette should be consistent across all channels and touchpoints. Include the Hex values for each color in your palette so that it can be easily replicated.
- Typography – Like your color palette, your typography should be consistent across all channels. Be sure to include font family, sizes, and weights.
- Imagery – Include a few examples of the types of imagery that represent your brand. This will help ensure that all future visual content is on-brand.
- Brand Voice – Your brand voice should be consistent across all channels, from your website to your social media to your customer service interactions. Be sure to include a few examples of your brand voice in action.
- Tone – The tone of your content should be aligned with your brand voice. Include a few examples of each type of tone (such as serious, playful, etc.) so that everyone is clear on how to communicate with your audience.
- Message – What is the main message you want to communicate with your audience? Be sure to include this in your brand book.
- Target Audience – Who is your target audience? Include as much detail as possible so that everyone who works with your brand knows who they’re talking to.
Why You Need a Brand Book
As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of having a brand book is that it creates consistency across all touch points, both internally and externally. Consistency is key when it comes to building trust and credibility with your target audience. After all, if potential customers can’t tell that they’re looking at an ad for your company or reading an article written by one of your employees, they’re not going to be very likely to do business with you. A well-crafted brand book will help ensure that doesn’t happen.
Another reason to invest in a brand book is that it allows you to control the way people interact with your company online and offline. By setting clear guidelines for how and when certain elements should be used, you can avoid any awkward or embarrassing missteps (think using the wrong logo on social media or sending out direct mailers with incorrect contact information).
Onboarding Made Easy
Finally, having a brand book in place makes it easy to onboard new team members or externally hire someone to work on behalf of your company. No matter who you’re working with, they’ll be able to refer back to the brand book to get a clear understanding of what they should be doing in order to maintain consistent branding across all channels.
A brand book may seem like something only big businesses need to worry about—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, having a brand book is essential for maintaining consistent branding across all touch points, both internally and externally. Not only does this create trust and credibility with potential customers, but it also allows you to control the way people interact with your company online and offline.
If you’re interested in learning more about how ViviScape can help you create a consistent branding strategy for your business, contact our marketing team. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started.