Inspiration for creating your own brand guidelines
How do you keep everybody in your organization using your brand consistently? A Brand Book and a Brand Style Guide are similar documents that can both be key tools for brand management. What are some examples of great Brand Books and Style Guides that you can use for inspiration?
The brand of your organization is ideally built from the ground up from the Purpose or core idea of your organization, with the visual or tangible elements as a prime identifier for it. The brand of your organization can be thought of as making itself tangible through four vectors: Product, (Physical or Digital) Environment, Communication and Behavior.
A Brand Book inspires and helps keep people in your organization aligned with the Purpose or core idea of your organization, and helps them think, communicate and act from that Purpose as a starting point.
A Brand Style Guide helps the people inside and outside of your organization who use your visual brand assets, to use them consistently and correctly.
As you can see, a Brand Book is geared more to meaning and inspiration, while a Style Guide is geared mainly toward maintaining visual Brand Consistency. Both of these documents contain aspects of your Brand Guidelines.
Brand guidelines are considered to be the log book for a brand's identity. They are not just a document that collects information about your brand. Brand guidelines are key to brand alignment.Storing brand guidelines on a PDF document and sharing updated versions over and over again will lead to misalignment because so many versions exist. It becomes a hassle for your colleagues to find out which file is the correct one and who's hard drive it's on.
If all your stakeholders know how to find your brand guidelines, know what they are and how they apply to their specific role, you have achieved brand alignment, a critical measure when it comes to customer attraction and satisfaction.
Here is a selection of our favourite brand books and style guides:
1. Love to Ride
Love to Ride is an online bicycle community with a mission to encourage people to bike. Their brand book is colourful and doesn't contain much text.
2. Red Cross
Red Cross keeps it short and simple. This brand poster tells you everything you need to know about Red Cross brand guidelines in a PDF.
3. Cisco's Interactive Brand Book / Style Guide
Cisco has decided to create an interactive Band Book / Style Guide to really showcase their brand. There are multiple ways you could do this, if you would like to go that route and there are benefits of having an interactive brand book / style guide.
Creating your brand book in Lytho's Brand Center, also means that everyone is always accessing the latest version. You won't need to worry about people using an old version that they have downloaded years ago and isn't up to date anymore.
4. Coca Cola
Coca-Cola’s brand book beautifully displays what associations and emotions their brand should evoke in their consumers. You don't have to say a lot to emit a strong message. Coca Cola's Brand Book / Style guide is the go-to place for many partners.
Clean and clear. That's how Google presents their brand. Check out their brand style guide. You can imagine that larget brands like Google need to showcase in a simple way how their brand elements are allowed to be displayed. Google's Brand Book / Style guide is key to brand consistency.
The Bacardi brand book is one of our personal favorites. It breathes the Cuban vibe and has a nostalgic feel to it. See their brand book on Here Design.
10. Mailchimp's Brand Book
Mailchimp has a special link uniquely describing the tone of voice of the company. Mailchimp has recently redesigned their entire brand, going from a email marketing tool to a full stack marketing solution. Their Brand Book / Style guide, helps them to consistently tell their story after their redesign.
11. Spotifly's Brand Book
Spotify is not only known for their logo. They have been using other brand elements that are recognizable as well. In Spotify's Brand Book / Style guide, you can clearly understand how all elements that make the Spotify brand, may or may not be used.
Although *Santa* is not an actual brand, *Santa*’s brand book is a clever example of keeping things playful and very visual. If it suits your brand, why not? This brand book is an initiative by Quietroom.
14 Apple's Brand Book / Style Guide for Channel Affiliates
Having such a strong brand as Apple and thousands of re-seller, a brand book / style guide is a real must. In our opinion, they should invest in an interactive brand center. When conducting our research for this article, we came across multiple outdated versions of their affiliate brand book. These outdated versions can easily lead to inconsistency in Apple's brand efforts.
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