Brand Playbook

Introduction

A Brand Playbook defines the acceptable uses of your logo, colour palette, font choices, photography style, and tone of message across all online and offline mediums.

How your business will benefit from a brand guide

At its most basic, a brand is the consistency of experiences that people who come into contact with you have with your company.

This isn’t limited to experiences with the service or product that you’ve produced. It’s more expansive than that and captures all interactions – the stories that you tell, how you answer the phone, the key messages, images, colour and typography of everything you produce. In short, it is the visceral and deeply emotional connection that people make with all touchpoints of your business.

It’s this enduring memory people have with your business that ultimately defines your brand identity. The brand Playbook is a documented record of the principles such as messaging, tone of voice as well as the practical rules such as logo usage, key colours, photography and graphical treatment. In use, this provides the design and marketing team with the principles to keep customer experiences with your business consistent.

Message

We can all agree that words are powerful and so how they are used really matters. What your audience remembers about what you say and how you made them feel is crucial in the development of your relationship with them. If you struggle to define a consistent experience across all the interactions they may have with you, then how could your customer know what the experience is going to look like long-term. If your messaging is all over the place, how can they explain your business to their colleagues, friends and family? Crucially, when faced with choices, how will they be able to differentiate between your company and your competitors.

The brand Playbook can include the principle points of differentiation and key messaging to support this, and so allow you to control your messaging across all touchpoints with your audience.

Colour

Research tells us that colour helps improve brand recognition by up to 80%, which can considerably strengthen the impact, engagement and response to your communication assets such as website, literature and graphics. If the goal of these assets is to communicate, then colour not only helps to achieve this but can also trigger a flood of associations before the consumer has even fully absorbed the details.

While it might seem trivial to have a slightly different shade of colour throughout your communication, companies like Coca-Cola, BP, Apple or other major brands see this differently and invest deeply into the association of colour to their company. This is especially so when ensuring colour consistency across platforms such as between digital and print, or between product materials and finished surfaces. Technologies that affect colour vary hugely and it is the job of the brand Playbook to bring some order and structure to ensure colour consistency.

Your logo

Your logo is one of the most enduring and recognisable aspects of your brand.

Your brand Playbook will define the differentiating aspects of your logo, assign appropriate colour use and variants (e.g. horizontal and vertical). To establish size requirements on different materials, and more.

Without establishing acceptable use of your logo, you might find a conference host has changed the colour for their event materials. Or a packaging company adds the logo at a size too small.

Related case-studies