Brand book vs brand guidelines: how to foster a comprehensive brand experience

Navigating the vast terrain of brand guidelines can seem a rather daunting endeavour for the average employee. Enter the utility of a brand book.

Navigating the vast terrain of brand guidelines can seem a rather daunting endeavour for the average employee. There’s an abundance of different elements to consider; logos, colour palettes, typefaces - the list goes on.

These components, often delineated in somewhat rigid brand guidelines, are crucial to maintaining consistency. However, they can often come across as... well, dry. And let's face it, they're not always the most user-friendly for anyone outside the marketing department.  

This is where the disconnect between the technical aspects and the underlying brand ethos begin to drift apart. Enter the utility of a brand book.

Guidelines and brand books play two play different roles. A brand book acts, if you will, as the engaging, charismatic spokesperson of your brand. Guidelines act as the enforcer, the box ticker making sure all is in order. Both have important jobs and are utilised by different business functions within an organisation.

A brand book delves deeper than the nuts and bolts of brand identity, painting a vivid picture of who your brand is, what it stands for, and how it interacts with the world. It weaves an engaging narrative that doesn't just inform but deeply resonates with your entire team and external audience, instilling a sense of unity and shared purpose.

See this example from our recent client Plexus. We firmed up the corporate narrative to better articulate its purpose and support the new growth strategy. When putting the brand book together, we were clear and concise on why the vision, values and visuals were being created so it was straightforward for employees outside the comms department to adopt.

Consider this analogy: you're given a list of puzzle pieces, with the somewhat daunting task to assemble them into a coherent whole. Sounds quite challenging, right? But suppose instead you were provided with an image of the completed puzzle to guide you. Suddenly, the task becomes less of an insurmountable challenge and more of an engaging journey.

That's the magic of a brand book. It's your complete, compelling picture that provides a clear pathway, guiding every stakeholder through the nuances of your brand's journey.

And that's the key – your brand book isn't just for your design team. It's an inclusive tool designed for everyone in the company. It functions as a vital touchpoint, ensuring that everyone involved with your brand, directly or indirectly, understands, connects with, and can represent your brand authentically.

Brand books take the complexity of guidelines and simplify it, transforming it from a task reserved for your marketing team into an engaging, relatable narrative that your entire organisation can easily use.

It's the key to unlocking the full potential of your brand, shaping it into a vibrant personality and creating a cohesive brand experience for all.

If your company is ready to transition from a technical, exclusive approach to a more inclusive, engaging one, let's talk about creating your unique brand book over at

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