How To Create A Relevant Brand Manual, And Why It Matters (Step-by-step guide)
Updated: Oct 17, 2022
Branding, when done with consistency and relevance, can build a stronger bond with your clients. Brands are, after all, made by people, and clients are more likely to be interested in, buy from and be loyal to a brand they relate with and trust. A brand manual or brand book ensures that your brand is as recognizable as it is consistent.
A well-done brand manual has guidelines that can direct anyone that represents the brand. It contains guidelines on the ideal font, tone, voice, colours, associated pallets and logo(s) that staff and contractors should follow. Basically, it directs everything from how a press release poster should look to how posts on social media should sound. We got all the basics needed to make an effective brand manual, and here goes:
The first step to creating a relevant brand manual is to define your target audience. This is usually done by creating a ‘persona’ that your product/service creates solutions. If you’re a start-up that is selling e-bikes, your target audience, and the subsequent messaging, will be people who are about that fit, active and ease-of-mobility life. Your persona will probably change if you offer financial solutions, where you need to portray an image of a professional, trustworthy brand that can secure and grow your client’s funds.
Next, are the logo and font choices, (although quite frankly, a lot of the things on this list, will be heavily influenced by the profile of your persona). A fun, playful logo works for a younger demographic and a more formal, professional one for an older demographic. This is usually the most complex, and time-consuming part of the exercise but the good news is that once you’re done with it, it’s also the most rewarding going forward. It makes working with designers, copywriters, marketers and other professionals a lot smoother and easier.
Colours and pallets are another important part of your brand manual. In branding, different colours have various meanings. Blue is synonymous with confidence, loyalty and success, and is popular with finance and government agencies, while yellow is associated with fun, openness and adventure in the entertainment and food industries.
A memorable, relevant tagline comes up next, and depending on the industry you’re in, you can get as creative as you can. A clever tagline does both marketing and brand equity magic, it allows you to tell new clients what you do while reminding existing clients of your services and products.
Finally, your tone and voice, the language you use to communicate, reflects your persona as a brand. Are you easygoing, playful and expressive, with lots of emojis and slang? Or are you more reserved and formal, and prefer to get straight to business? Do you take posed or spontaneous pictures? Do you want to post more indoor or outdoor photos? Your persona will inform you of these decisions.
At Lumaki, we had a fun challenge with our brand manual. Our brand name is a Filipino word for growth.
We chose blue and turquoise because they represent transparency and reliability, while undertones of peach highlight confidence and attention, which are important to us.
We hope your brand manual design comes out just like you imagined it, and if you need any help, we’re more than happy to help you create the simplest and most effective brand manual in the world.