I’m not quite sure how I came across this hilarious post today from The Quietroom about their Santa brand book, but I’m glad I did — for several reasons. First (and most obviously) it’s hilarious! Having written some of these brand books myself, I have to say — this is the brand book I always wished I could write. One that doesn’t take itself too seriously while, at the same time, taking it all VERY, VERY seriously.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, it serves as an excellent example of how to create a brand book for your brand identity. — You just have to be willing to get past the goofy-ness of it all.
The reason a brand book is necessary (and funny all at the same time) is that it helps to keep a brand consistent as it is used by an ever-increasing number of people. As such, brand books try to define and quantify the brand in ways that would help those unfamiliar with the brand to understand it, use it correctly, and maintain “the integrity of the brand.” I know, it sounds like a really cool report that will sit on a bookshelf unused. But the act of creating a brand book will do two critical things for your brand identity.
A Brand Book Help to Create a Brand
First, a brand book will help you to flesh out what your brand identity stands for in a meaningful way. Just for fun, take one of the graphic images displayed in the brand book and try to do a similar analysis for your brand. I’d be willing to bet that you learn something important about your brand in the process. Pick another page and apply the analysis to your brand, and I bet you learn something else about your brand identity that you never considered. So the first benefit of doing a brand book is fully and comprehensively understanding your brand identity.
A Brand Book Helps Others Understand Your Brand
Second, since you’ve gone through the trouble of creating a brand book – you might as well share it with others in your company. True, they’ll look at you funny and swear they will NEVER use it – on the other hand what have you go to lose by sharing your brand book? The worst that will happen is someone in the company learns something they didn’t know before. Best case, they’ll take care when presenting the brand identity to the public.
Even if you don’t share the brand book with the staff (although you SHOULD), it’s an ideal way to communicate your brand to your new marketing agency, your radio representative, your web designer, and the guy who is making your signs. It’s extremely helpful to anyone who is involved in helping to position your company in the public eye to be able to review a brand book.
So if you don’t have a brand book yet for your brand, take this next week or so of relative downtime and create your own by studying Santa’s – it’ll put you in the holiday spirit and guide you down the chimney.