The Anatomy of a Good Brand Book
We preach about the importance of consistency in branding frequently, so we thought it would make a whole lot of sense to talk about branding guidelines, or a brand book. The brand book should be your company’s go-to document or file for all things “your brand.”
We work almost exclusively with organizations who need a streamlined, effective process for keeping their brand consistent across multiple locations. That’s what we do, and we do it well, but it’s a lot easier to enforce brand standards when everyone knows what they are. Pretty common sense, right? Below are the standard items that should be included in your brand book.
That .pdf that someone forwarded you five years ago is not going to cut it. You need your logo in several variations and several file types. Visible Logic released a couple of fantastic resources that we have shared with several clients who needed help defining their logo needs.
What is the Best Shape for Your Logo?
Get the Right Logo Files from Your Graphic Designer
Your color palette says a lot about your brand. WebPageFX compiled research about this very topic and revealed that the majority of customers base their assessment of a product on color alone. Furthermore, almost 85% of consumers reported that color is the primary reason they buy a particular product and 80% of consumers believe color increases brand recognition.
Experts suggest keeping your brand color palette to a minimum. Most major brands have one to three colors in their palette. Be sure to have all types of codes for your colors including Hex, RGB, and HSL.
Like the color palette, fonts are best kept to a minimum. The more fonts the eye sees on a page, the more cluttered the page will appear. Fewer fonts make a page look polished and professional. Be sure to identify where and when each font is to be used. For instance, the font used for a tagline or promotion will likely not be the same font you use on your blog or email campaigns. Here is a fontastic resource from Hubspot on the topic.
Mission, Vision, Values
When these are all in a centralized location that everyone has access to, they will actually get used! Your mission, vision, and values can’t craft or impact your culture or brand when no one knows what they are or where they live. Dust them off and get them in your brand book! Don’t forget the tagline, so everyone is using the same one.
If you don’t want employees using cheesy, out of date stock photos, you have to give them guidelines and resources for good, quality, brand abiding imagery. Even a small pool of approved images is better than poor quality imagery. You also have to be careful of employees or outsourced teams using images they don’t have the rights to. It’s always better to offer them resources.
There can be a lot more to a brand book, but this is a solid foundation to successfully foster brand consistency throughout a team or teams. Refining this one resource can make a world of difference in your in-store and online presence. Strong branding creates strong brand awareness. We would love to talk about how Action Card can help build and maintain that with you.