In a nutshell, a brand book is an index or style guide that a business can reference at any time for marketing and advertising purposes. It’s most commonly used for website redesigns or other design projects. There are a number of advantages of a brand book – but biggest benefit has to be certainty. Taking the time to solidify everything on the front end is what PreFocus is all about.
A quality brand book and style guide offers an in-depth look at:
- Company History and Origin.
- Slogans and Taglines.
- Core Values and Promise(s).
- Achievements and Goals.
- Mission and Vision Statement.
- Differentiator Statements.
- Personality and Characters.
- Voice and Message Structure.
- Ideal Audience Analysis.
- Marketing Cycle Phases.
- Market Orientation and Outlook.
- Print Templates and Fonts.
- Online Design Standards.
- Typeface and Headings.
- Colors and Logo Variations.
- Image and Media Guidelines.
- Strategic Agendas.
- Ideal Partnerships.
Why a Brand Book is Advantageous.
As you can imagine, this is extremely valuable to a marketer or design team (internal and contracted). A quality brand book will help any business save money, establish immaculate cohesion, avoid conflict, prevent confusion, and (of course) work with certainty.
Here are some of the overlooked advantages of a brand book.
1. Avoid Lengthy Discovery Processes.
When you think about it, a company moves through a new discovery process every time a new campaign is established, something is designed, a promotion is created, or website is updated. It can be burdensome to go back and forth about value propositions or messaging when brand standards aren’t solidified on the front end.
Not only does a brand book save the business time and resources, but it keeps a marketer from racking up costs during the “development phase”. The more a style guide is utilized, the easier it’ll be to make confident decisions. So, one of the biggest advantages of a brand book is the ability to hit the ground running.
2. Improve Brand Equity and Morale.
In reality, many business owners struggle to differentiate themselves to external hires, vendors and even their internal culture. Knowing who you are, what you stand for, where you came from and where you’re going is attractive. It may be stressful but set boundaries, but it’s magical when everyone is heading in the same direction.
A brand book isn’t just meant to direct sales channels. Like I said in the video, it ought to be a true reference point for everything you need to know about the business. Paying a few grand to really get organized is always worth the investment. You’re literally able to hand out an answer guide for most things. People appreciate and respect this.
3. Structure, Purpose Marketing Efforts.
When you don’t have a vision or concrete foundation on paper, it’s easy to get bucketed by industry. This does you no good in the marketing space. A message that is written by an out-of-touch freelancer may be cost-friendly – but it’s going to based on commonalities in the marketplace. You can’t expect the business to stand out this way.
Leaving the first impression in the hands of someone that doesn’t understand your passion is risky. How can you communicate anything genuine? How is this any kind of strategy? You’re literally paying to be seen as an option.
Predesigned templates for emails, flyers and other formats can also eliminate your need to hire altogether. It costs a little more on the front end, but allows you to simply plug and play the new verbiage yourself.
4. Peace of Mind to Focus on Purpose.
One of the biggest advantages of a brand book is a decision makers ability to know exactly what’s needed, where it’s going, how it needs to be communicated, and when it can be done by. Implimenting a process (or multiple systems) that reference the style guide and brand standards is gamechanging.
When people that are hired don’t follow set standards or guidelines, it’s easier to redirect or move on. Uncertainty can really get in the way of progress. Setting expectations (for the customer experience) and holding people accountable is what really separates a brand.
Over time, this drastically improves trust and recognition – allowing the business to focus more on its “reason-for-being”. This improves brand equity. I see way too many companies lose sight of their vision because they’re constantly trying to get people to see the bigger picture.
Get Going on Your Brand Book!
Any way you can build upon your brand book, not just expand your reach, you’re going to do just fine. Don’t get too caught up chasing after “likes” and general engagement. Truly invest in a PreFocus and make sure every cent of your spend is going towards something fruitful.
There are tons of advantages of a brand book and style guide. So look into it if you want to take things to the next level. Be purposeful with everything you do, guys!
Want to Talk About Branding?
For almost a decade now, I’ve been helping businesses structure their brand and restructure their mindset. Staying true to who you are is important. Your first consultation is free!