Is your brand in need of a bible?

Good brands don’t just happen; they grow from great ideas. It takes significant thought and hard work for a branding agency to transform a great idea into a great brand. One of the most valuable tools you can use to guide this process is a brand book.


What are brand books, anyway? Regardless of the name, these books contain formal guidelines & helpful directions on how a brand should look, feel and behave. A brand book defines that foundation, and the way you’ll articulate your identity to the world.


Here are three tips for making brand books shine:


1. Make them accessible to a broad internal audience.

The best branding agencies know brand books need to connect with a range of internal stakeholders. It’s critical to get buy in from a variety of people: from the creative teams who will use the guide every day to the senior team responsible for overall strategic decisions. You should be able to give a good brand book to anybody—from CMOs, to trained designers, to neophyte brand managers—and they’ll instantly understand how to articulate that brand and its specific voice. The best branding agencies will ensure a diverse team collaborates on the project both on the agency side and client side alike.


2. Less is More.

A brand strategy is pointless if no one will use it. So your brand book needs to be accessible to anyone who might need it. Keep it simple. Define where your brand has the most emotional resonance and why people should care. Define your brand’s personality. Articulate the brand’s value proposition. Set clear, clean rules for the visual expression of your brand identity, including logo usage, color, typography, photography and other elements. Then go back and make the whole thing shorter. By a lot. 


3. Take a Stand.

There is no room for watered down brands in today’s marketplace. “Rounding the edges” of your brand strategy in an effort to make your company appeal to everyone invariably results in a brand that resonates with no one. Invest some time considering & articulating what your brand is NOT about; who it’s NOT for. Work with a good brand agency to instill clarity into your brand strategy via a thorough exploration of the dos and the don’ts.


Illuminator has helped dozens of marketers tightly define their brand strategy and identity. Whether you’re looking for a new logo or visual system, or a complete overhaul of your brand strategy, we’d love to help. 

Illuminator is a digital-first advertising agency designed to show brands the way forward in an ever-shifting media landscape. We believe every brand has a compelling story to tell. We’ll help you tell yours.

We’re the agency you’d create if you were creating an agency today.