Behind The Brand Guide
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
– Simon Sinek
People often recognize a logo, different typefaces, and colors that brands use to differentiate themselves. What they don’t realize as easily, is why these brands decided to use the different elements to create their identity in the first place. They are left to evaluate “do I like this or not” without the context.
At JaxonLabs, we’ve been working with brands to align their purpose to action and one of the ways we have been successful is by creating a brand guide for them.
In this article, we are going to explore why brand guides are valuable, our process for creating them, and the different assets that can be included in a brand guide.
BEHIND THE BRAND GUIDE: WHY ARE THEY VALUABLE?
This speaks to the core of creating an identity, Why did Nike choose to invest their brand identity in what we all know to be the swoosh, and the Just Do It tagline?
We believe that documenting the process of creation is equally important as creating the assets that make up an identity. It provides a lens for employees, customers, and other key stakeholders to look through and gain a full understanding of the thinking that went into the creation of the identity.
In addition to explaining the fundamental why, it outlines the different elements that need to be factored into creating any new content.
These guides will continuously evolve – similar to a business plan – although they will probably maintain some fundamental truths over time.
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BEHIND THE BRAND GUIDE: OUR PROCESS FOR CREATING THEM
When starting any new project, we like to ensure that enough time is set aside to understand a vision for the brand. What is motivating them, what they want to achieve and why their stakeholders would care about this brand.
Within an hour or two of deep diving conversation, the core of a brand will start to surface. Next, we like to create a mood board that ties some of these basic concepts together for all the different assets that we will be creating, at which point gather again to dive into them. This is where we start to really narrow in on the identity.
As clients start to open up about that design styles call their name and how they make sense to the core concept behind the brand we begin to understand how this story fits together.
At this point, we create the first version of a brand guide, taking all the information that we have gathered about the vision, what elements they are attracted to and begin to create their story
Once we have completed the first revision, we meet again to discuss how it makes them feel and even present it to a few small focus groups to gather their input.
After this process is complete we have a document that has meaning to everyone who will come in contact with the brand.