Let’s get the awkwardness out of the way, and introduce the Brand Book. A Brand Book is a comprehensive guide on every aspect of your brand: everything from mission, vision, image, and core values, to more detailed oriented items like fonts, color scheme, and more. In other words, it is your brand’s DNA blueprint. Or, if you will, think of it in terms of profiling – an outline of who you are and how you interact with the world inside out.
So, of course, a Brand Book is a great tool for every brand regardless of its company size. But, when used correctly it is actually filled with superpowers. It can give instructions and directions without the need for another meeting, it searches for the best candidates, and onboards new employees. It even searches for new investors and helps write the pitch deck. Wow, indeed.
With a Great Brand comes a Great Brand Book
Your Brand Book’s biggest super power is knowing the brand’s core. This means it is the best at transmitting what your brand is all about, what you do it, and most importantly why you do it. Simply put, it helps maintain consistency, increases efficiency, and establishes credibility.
The Brand Book is not a document you’ll keep on a shelf, It is meant to be shared with everyone in the company – from juniors to partners, this will help maintain consistent delivery of the brand and how others perceive your brand – remember, lack of consistency can lead to the client’s mistrust, as they may feel confused and fearful – Plus, it protects your purpose and allow for your culture to thrive. A well established Brand Book will serve as a primary point of reference for all your employees, thereby creating a unified view on how your brand should be presented to the outside world at all times.
“It is a rather inspiring outcome of your brand. I think that its purpose is to transmit the feeling you want to create with your brand. Of course, there are different types of Brand Books. Classic Brand Books come in PDF format and with some disadvantages – easily outdated, not as engaging, and so on. Online Brand Books, or brand experience websites, focus on sharing the same information but through an interactive experience, a person gets when they visit the brand website. Personally, I think that is the way to go, at least for the brands that can afford so. You want people to feel and experience your brand.”
Sebastian, co-founder and Brand Strategist at Serious.Business
Put your Brand Book to work
Have it at meetings, make sure everyone can access it all the time, and revise it from time to time to keep it up to date. Think about this document as the protector of the brand, when something feels tricky or not on-brand, use it as a compass, run your new ideas through them and check if everything is pointing in the right direction.
Accessibility is key. There is nothing more valuable than knowing every member of your team knows your brand story, so don’t be shy, make copies and distribute them. Your Brand Book can also give direction to your team, let me empower themselves through the narrative and make it their own.
“Ideally, not just to focus on the text. Even if the Brand Book is in a form of PDF, implement more visuals and do your best to demonstrate how you are able to create that experience of your brand so that people can feel it. Brand books are multi purposeful. You can even use them for onboarding new employees, bringing new partners, or collaborating with them to find new investors, and more.”Sebastian, co-founder and Brand Strategist at Serious.Business
Serious.Tip : The brand book doesn’t have to be a dull document only used by the design team. On the contrary! Try rooting your brand representation in storytelling. Make a compelling tale that will leave a lasting impression.
Your Brand Book is that confident decision maker we all need at our company
It is important to see the brand and the narrative as the guiding star, or red thread for your brand, that you want to evolve. See it as a living document. Of course, the brand shouldn’t just change its course on a daily basis. Brands also evolve in the way you bring it to life, add new ideas, and the way in which you apply it.
We know every Serious Startup wants to grow, to take on new challenges and to solve new problems. But how to identify the next big step? That’s where your Brand Book comes in; it would force you and your team to think on-brand. It would make sure your essence, and your mission stay firm while you take on new risks.
New product? Is it bringing us closer to the impact we want to bring to the world? If yes, then go for it. New market? Is it helping us reach our audience and keep our promise? No…? Then let’s get creative and go back to the drawing board.
“If you apply the Brand Book well, it is a decision making tool. Meaning, that if you lose your way, or you might need to make some big decisions for the business, it is good to revisit the Brand Book. By doing so to make sure that whatever big decisions you make for your company, that they are in line with your brand. And sometimes, when you have two options, the Brand Book will actually give you the answer which is the right option to choose.”Sebastian, co-founder and Brand Strategist at Serious.Business
The Brand Book’s Super Vision
Finding the right culture fit for any role can be a big challenge for any company, regardless of the size. We all want the dream candidate to apply, that one that shares our values, that shares our vision, that has the perfect experience, and whose next step is aligned to ours. Nonetheless, more often than not, is not that easy.
Your Brand Book might have a few Aces up its sleeve. It will help you clarify who you are, so that candidates can truly get to know you – filtering a lot of not great matches for you –. Don’t be afraid to share your mission and vision statements, making them accessible to possible candidates means they can see themselves in the future of the company, creating a roadmap within the company that they can share with you.
Serious.Tip: Before posting a new open position, review the text with the Brand Book open next to it. Make sure they are aligned, core values, mission, vision, etc. You’ll be surprised with the applications.
The Brand Book is a Sweet Talker
A complete Brand Book will also include a description and general guidelines about your Tone of Voice. The Tone of Voice is the “personality” of your brand expressed through the written word. It governs what you say in writing, and how you say it – the content and style of all textual communications, in any setting and in any medium.
As anything else when it comes to branding, having a clearly defined Tone of Voice provides consistency and differentiation. A recognisable tonality can come a long way in giving your brand a distinctive personality that people can connect with. Nowadays, content creation is a must for most brands; your audience wants to be able to connect with you, to feel like communication between them and the brand is easy and smooth.
Serious.Tip: Knowing and recognising the brand’s tone of voice is not limited to the content creators in your team. Consistency is key, e-mails, manuals, everything should be aligned under the same voice.
What is Serious.Business’ secret to creating memorable brands?
Here at Serious.Business we specialise in creating brands that leave a lasting mark, becoming market leaders and building a serious relationship with your audience. We aim to empower the next generation of brands and leaders. Our secret?
“I’d say it is our overall approach. The way we see it as a collaborative process. A brand is something very human, so it is important to understand our clients and their customers on an emotional level and qualitative level. This helps us to have that collaboration and creative process where we really create empathy and understanding to develop a brand. But also, diversity of perspectives with different backgrounds, cultures. Most brands today don’t live in an isolated space, but in a global context, even if their focus is more on specific markets. So I think, this open mindedness and broad thinking, diversity or ideas and perspectives helps us to deliver an inclusive brand.”Sebastian, co-founder and Brand Strategist at Serious.Business
Want to know more about how to create an awesome Brand Book? Here is a guide on how to approach brand identity and Brand Books.