A Brand Book is an important part of ongoing brand management – it is a lasting document intended to guide future decisions regarding the brand.
A Brand Book is not just a graphics standards manual, but provides a thorough description of the strategic intent and pillars of the brand. The more powerful examples use a visual vocabulary (i.e., pictures that reinforce the brand) and a message map (i.e., words that reinforce the brand) and organize content in a question-and-answer format.
Contents of a Brand Book typically answer the following questions:
A Brand Book also includes visual representations found on signage, in communications materials, and on uniforms. This ensures that your names, logos and location designations actually reinforce the brand.
All of these pieces must reinforce or roll up to the overarching brand promise. For example, if part of your brand promise is to provide seamless access, then this should be reflected in the branding conventions used by each program, center and institution. Furthermore, since many employees have high levels of emotional attachment to their respective divisional names, logos and location designations, they are often unwilling to initially embrace change. Overcoming these attachments is much easier if you solidify your brand management strategy and brand promise first. Doing this serves to build consensus around a common idea, from which implementation decisions are made.