Branding, logo creating, coining of slogans took time and effort. Those sessions paid handsome dividends, because today the company has an expression all its own - so unique that people will make the "connect." The physical hallmarks of your brand and company mirror excellence, commitment and service.
You register and copyright the brand, logo and all the accompanying trademarks and symbols.

But it doesn't end there.
You need to protect them, and the only way to do that is to create a brand manual.

There are many ways of branding a product or service. Sometimes they're used the wrong way. This is why a brand manual is indispensable.

The Brand Manual: Is it Really Necessary?

This question is like asking if it's possible to engage in e-commerce without a web site.

Top reasons why you need a brand manual:

1. To enhance marketing and sales efforts so that effective use of the brand logo, design and expression generate a positive impact,
2. To avoid physical distortions and deviations from the true design and character of your brand,
3. To remind people that behind the brand is a company that invites trust and confidence.

Companies hire third parties to help convey a message. A network of advertisers, design agencies, photographers and printers are put to the task for executing the company's image, its message and its core competencies. But there's a strong chance that they do not fully understand the brand.

What happens? A glaring lack of respect for what the brand stands for - and sheer ignorance of the company's vision.

Product branding goes beyond the product. It also communicates what your company is all about.

Amateurish branding has no place. Avoid the mistakes that some companies often commit.

Because you DON'T have a brand manual, are you prepared to deal with:

  • * - inappropriate or indiscriminate use of your brand, its logo and its tag lines?
  • * - wrong colors, different characters and improper positioning of the logo and slogan on promotional material?
  • * - careless handling of the brand causing confusion and "cheapness"?
  • * - discrepancies in brand elements - no cohesion or harmony in presenting the various elements into a unifying whole?
  • * - inconsistent messages that result in poor sales?

Your Brand Manual Should Contain

1. A full brand description and what it stands for. The brand's description should run parallel with the values of the company,
2. A list of situations that the brand and its symbols can be used and cannot be used,
3. Tone and use of words relating to the brand,
4. Specific colors, dimensions, lines, accents, inclusion of trademark, brand signature, image styles
5. Typographical elements
6. Reproduction guidelines (for advertising agencies and printers)

Some of the best Brand Manuals:

1. GOOD Technology Brand Identity Guide
2. Easy Group Brand Manual
3. Cambridge University Brand Manual
4. Daimler Chrysler Identity Style Guide
5. Heineken Brand Manual

When you buy a house, you build equity over time. It's the same with your product. Branding and positioning it the right way will build value. Your brand manual will ensure that your brand earns the value it deserves.