The Brand Book: the guideline for your powerful and unique branding

Christa Ponce from Bonito Studio designing a brand book for Impact Marathon.
Good branding is the basis of a strong brand and ensures that your brand is recognisable. It is a best practice to put together all these guidelines in a brand book. This way you create a guideline for all your brand communication, both for yourself and your team.

What is a brand book?

Before we can explain what a brand book is, let's talk about branding in general. Branding is the style in which you bring out all the communication of your brand. From your flyers and brochures to your website and even your radio spot.

Good branding is the basis of a strong brand and ensures that your brand is recognisable. It is a best practice to put together all these guidelines in a brand book. This way you create a guideline for all your brand communication, both for yourself and your team.

Why do you need a brand book?

Do you want to create more brand awareness? Familiarity starts with recognition. Which makes strong branding indispensable if you want to grow as a brand. You group all the rules regarding your texts and visuals in a handy brand book. This way, all communication that your brand shares is consistent. By being recognisable, you strengthen the bond of trust between your brand and your target audience.

A brand book also saves you time, a lot of time. Every collaboration that you have with a new employee, designer, marketer, or copywriter will run much more smoothly. By giving them your brand book, they understand your house style at a glance and they can get started faster with the design of your website, social media messages, or writing your texts. That will save you a lot of feedback rounds.

When is a brand book useful?

A brand book is especially useful for slightly larger companies. Especially if several people are working on your communication. A brand book is also useful for efficient and effective collaborations with external parties such as freelancers.

What are the advantages of a brand book?

The biggest advantage of a brand book is consistency in your brand communication. Whoever brings out communication for your brand, they are aware of your branding  to the last detail.

Consistency inspires consumer confidence. Your target audience gets to know you better through your way of communicating and that strengthens the bond of trust between them and your brand.

Saving time is also a big advantage of your brand book. Are you opening a new branch? Are you hiring a new communications officer? By handing them your brand book, they know exactly how to get started.

What's in a brand book?

How extensive your brand book depends on the strictness of your guidelines. A complete brand book consists of:

  • The mission: what does your brand stand for?
  • The vision: what is your brand about?
  • A buyer persona: what does your ideal customer look like?
  • The brand identity and personality: the personification of your brand.
  • The tone of voice: the text style in which you communicate with your target group.
  • The fonts that your brand uses in your online and offline communication: there is often a distinction between headings, subheadings, and body text. The guidelines for your fonts are laid down in detail. Font size, font, the colour of your text, the distance between your letters
  • The colour palette: the colours for your website, images, backgrounds… every single colour is captured in this guide.
  • The logo: for social media use, online and offline marketing campaigns, corporate clothing printing.
  • The style of your images, icons, and photography: the layout of your images is fixed for both online and offline use. The colours, dimensions, effects, positioning of your models, placement of your logo.

Create your own brand book

If you want to make your brand book, you can certainly use the list above as a guideline. We give you a handy step-by-step plan:

1. Define your brand
  • What do you do?
  • Why do you do that?
  • What are your short-term goals?
  • What are your long-term goals?
2. Capture your ideal customer
  • What does your ideal customer look like (persona)?
  • How can your ideal customer reach out to you? (this will help you know which elements and channels you need focus)
  • What does the customer journey look like?
3. How does your brand want to look like?
  • Tone of voice
  • Colour palette
  • Guidelines around images, photography, and icons
  • Fonts

By grouping all these things in detail in a document, you create your brand book.

If you need support with any of these steps, you can always reach out for help to a branding studio.

The Brand Book Template

Download the Bonito Brand Book Template and make it yours.

The difference between a brand book and a style guide

To put it simply: a brand book is much more detailed than a style guide. In a style guide, you will find visual elements such as the design of your logo and your corporate identity. A brand book goes deeper into your brand. It tells your story, captures who your ideal customer is and what all your brand communication, both text, and visuals, should look like.

Brandbook image
Logo and colors inside brandbook
Visual style in brandbook
photo's in brandbook

What requirements should a good brand book meet?

A good brand book contains all information and guidelines about your brand communication. These aspects should be mentioned in your brand book:

Visual elements
  • The format of your text: font and font styles, the format of your headers, and the style of your bullet points.
  • Formatting your URLs, buttons, banners, and call to actions.
  • The style of your images: image dimensions, frames, placement of your logo.
  • Layout and use of your logo.
Textual elements
  • Your tone of voice.
  • Your form of address.
  • Types of headings that may be used in texts.
  • Maximum number of words in a sentence.
  • Rules about the use of abbreviations, symbols, and jargon.
  • The structure of your texts

How much does a brand book cost?

The price of a brand book is difficult to determine without knowing your brand. The price depends on some factors:

  • Whether or not to hire a branding studio.
  • The quality of the brand book.
  • How much information you can provide yourself.

The Bonito approach for your brand book

At Bonito, we go for a unique approach. We want to move away from the classic process of – bringing in a customer – finishing a project – next project. We want to get to know your brand through and through and share our values and passion with you. We go through 4 simple steps:

Step 1:

We listen to your story and discover what your brand needs.

Step 2:

We organise a strategy workshop, which will determine what your brand book should have.

Step 3:

We collect everything in a clear and unique brand book.

Step 4:

Your brand book is ready to be shared with you and your team.

About Bonito

We are a branding and design studio ready to help world changers like you make a difference. Our mission is to support brands that want to make a positive change in the world.

Do you want to make a positive impact on the future with your brand? Do you need a brand book to make your brand even stronger?

Bonito is ready for you. Let's create something powerful together. Book a virtual coffee with us here and discover what we can do for each other.