The Lowdown on Brand Identity Manuals

You may have heard the terms brand book, style guide, and so on describing a written manual that explains how a brand should be used internally and externally. These handy documents help business streamline their brand’s design, content, and other material that is distributed both within the company and in public spaces. When crafted and implemented properly, these manuals can serve as an invaluable resource for businesses that would like to take their content to the next level. 

What’s a brand identity manual?

A brand identity manual is the physical manifestation of the living, breathing entity that is your brand. Brand identity manuals can present as a printed book, a set of slides, or a PDF that can be viewed and distributed to others with ease. Regardless of their format, brand identity manuals should walk the reader through the values, elements and description of your brand. This allows them to understand the core of what your brand should represent in campaigns, marketing content, and in all forms of communication.

Why do companies need a brand identity manual?

Every brand that’s serious about publishing content, marketing, or sharing their company message needs a unique set of brand identity guidelines that make it possible for the brand to stay consistent and to stand out within its industry’s landscape. Conversely, if a company forgoes a brand identity manual, it risks the entire brand’s promise and story being compromised and/or misunderstood by others. This leads to brand confusion, which is detrimental to the success and growth of brands. Companies can make use of brand identity manuals both internally and externally, allowing relevant staff members or outsourced agencies to create content and designs according to the rules outlined in the brand’s manual.

Along with serving as a visual identity that aligns with your company’s vision and the target audience your company would like to work with, brand identity manuals lend a helping hand in accomplishing the following:

Showing your pride

Investing in a unique brand identity shows that you take pride in your business and are committed to success. Your brand identity manual helps your business stake out its own path and to come into its own.

Building loyalty and trust

Taking the time to create a brand identity manual for your potential customers shows them that you truly care about the way they view and interact with your brand. When your customers know what to expect from your business, it gives them a reason to view your brand as one that they can depend on.

Calling the shots

Manuals give you the opportunity to spell out style specifications, information related to your company’s logo and design, and placement details that might otherwise be implemented incorrectly or inconsistently. This allows multiple people to communicate your brand with consistency, reducing the chance of miscommunicating your brand’s message.

Becoming unforgettable

It’s crucial for your brand to disrupt the minds of your target audience members in a positive manner – this way, your brand becomes an unforgettable part of their lives.

When creating a successful brand identity manual, you essentially give your brand the strength it needs to take off and become something bigger and more tangible than a regular company alone. Next, we’ll take a look at what these manuals actually look like and walk through how you can develop your own for your brand.