Brand Book vs. Graphic Standards Manuel


Tonight I will be engaged in a discussion on this topic as the next step in the brand development process for an organization that I have been working with for the past year. I look forward to conversations about how best to create standards that helps ensure consistence use of graphic standards and a guide for delivering the organization's brand promise, as well as developing a culture to support the mission and core values.

In the 20th century most companies approached this critical step by limiting their view and execution to a standards manual that contained ways to use or not use the company's visual identity. How best to implement a logo or tagline. While this is an important component, many stakeholders think this only applies to the graphics people, or that this becomes the "rule book." Most people don't like to think about rules.

Another approach, a 21st century approach is to design a brand book that captures the essence of the organization and helps develop a culture to support the organization's mission and core values. A great example is the Starbucks' Green Apron Book. Designed to look and feel like a company passport, this pocket-sized book includes the company's mission, core values and expected behavior for being a champion of the brand. There is usually a copy for sale on e-bay so take a look.

How does your organization approach brand standards to recruit and retain your brand champions?

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