What is a Brand Book and Why do You Need One?May 28, 2021
As a service-based fempreneur, do you ever feel overwhelmed having to be the person who always shows up as the face of your brand?
Do you wish someone else could create social media content, blog posts, video scripts, website copy or even course content for you ... BUT every time you've tried to hand these things over to a team member, you end up spending hours "fixing" what they created because it just didn't sound, or look like you?
If you want to build a 6 or 7 figure business that creates massive global impact ... and also have a personal life - you CANNOT spend all your time creating content.
At the same time, you can't afford to have your brand communicated incorrectly by team members because the external facing components of your brand are how you become known and remembered ... and ultimately what will lead someone to choose your program or service over their countless other options.
So what's a service-based fempreneur to do???
The answer: you need a Brand Book!
Your Brand Book is a comprehensive guide that pulls together every facet of your brand into one beautiful resource for you and your team to follow. It includes all aspects of your brand (not just the assets) – from your brand personality and archetypes, to your ideal clients, to your communication system, assets and collateral, offerings, marketing strategy, and more.
For service-based entrepreneurs, having a Brand Book is essential for not only ensuring that your brand identity is cohesive and representative of what you want it to be, but also for ensuring that the way you and your team are communicating your brand with your clients and the world is coherent and consistent. Essentially, your Brand Book is the heart and center of your brand, and it’s absolutely crucial that any service-based entrepreneur has one.
Brand Mood Boards and Style Guides (Are Not a Brand Book)
Your Brand Book is so much more than a compilation of fonts, colors, and a logo. It’s so much more comprehensive than a mood board or style guide.
Mood boards are created to determine the visual direction for your brand – these will often contain your color palette, brand font, images, and textures that are all pieces of your brand. A style guide will go more into depth on exactly how to use the various elements that make up your visual branding, including the logo, fonts, colors, textures, backgrounds, and images.
Although mood boards and style guides contain elements of your brand, a Brand Book is what guides the highest level of the presentation and perception of your brand.
What Does a Brand Book Include?
An outstanding Brand Book will include every aspect of your brand – it will go beyond visual presentation, beyond the general feeling of the brand, beyond how to use and how not to use the visual elements, and even beyond why you created the brand in the first place. Successful Brand Books should include the following elements…
You as the Face of Your Brand
As a service-based entrepreneur, you are the heart and center of your brand, and your brand is a direct reflection of who you are.
- Personality – Your brand personality is how you show up as the face of your brand, and is expressed through your presence, voice, and visuals. Your personality is what makes your clients and community feel a connection to you, and it’s a big part of how you stand out from the crowd.
- Point of View – Knowing and identifying where you stand on important topics is not only essential for creating your brand values, but is also going to heavily influence the type of community you create and how you create it. Being clear and firm on your point of view allows your audience to feel a strong connection to you, and allows them to get to know what’s truly the most important to you, which is essential for building an authentically engaged community.
- Values – Your clients and potential clients more than likely want to be in business with people who hold similar values to them, and brands that feel aligned with them. Brand values are the beliefs that you stand for, and what guides your actions and decisions.
- Mission – Why did you create your brand? What is it that you want to do? Why is it important? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate a mission that is aligned with you and your brand, and that shows your potential clients and community the actions you want to take.
- Vision – Your brand vision is one of the most important parts of creating a relatable, impactful brand. Your vision communicates the difference you want to make in the world, it shows where you want your clients, or the world, to be because of your brand. A great brand vision shows people why you’re in business, and allows them to feel connected to what you’re doing.
- Position – What sets you apart from everyone else? Also sometimes referred to as a “unique selling proposition,” your brand position is how you present your brand in a way that allows you to stand out from the crowd.
- Intolerances – As a service-based entrepreneur, your brand intolerances are likely going to be similar to your own personal intolerances. What are the things that your brand will absolutely not condone? Identifying and clearly communicating your intolerances will not only allow people to feel more connected to you, but it will also deter audiences that don’t fit your ideal client profile. Knowing what you do stand for is just as important as knowing what you won’t tolerate when you are running a business based on community and relationships.
- Tools – Now it’s time to go beyond what you do, why you do it, and why it matters in the world and move into the HOW of doing it. Communicating your tools allows you to show your audience what exactly you are doing and how you are going to help your clients achieve results.
- Your Archetype – Archetypes are at the core of how we understand the world. There are 12 primary archetypes, and while you probably have many at play within your personality, when you take my Brand Personality quiz, you’ll discover your top 3. Your quiz results will provide insight into how to infuse your archetypes into your brand personality, messaging, visuals and client experience so you can create trust that inspires action.
Your Ideal Client
Knowing yourself and how you tie into your brand is just as important as knowing who your brand is for, and who you’re trying to impact. Not only does knowing your clients allow you to pinpoint who they are and what they want to see from you, it also allows you to communicate in a way that resonates with them, and that opens the door for them to build trust with you and your brand.
- Who is Your Ideal Client – Beyond knowing what you do, it’s essential to know who you’re doing it for. Deciding and communicating who you want to serve will allow you to build an audience full of your ideal client, and communicate in a way that truly speaks to their hearts and resonates with their minds.
- What are Your Ideal Client's Challenges – What are the biggest challenges your ideal client is struggling with that you can help them solve? Knowing the problem they are facing and how they are feeling about it allows you to better understand exactly how you can help them and what they will need to hear.
- What are Your Ideal Clients Goals – Going beyond the challenges your clients are facing, what do they want to achieve to come out on the other side of these challenges? What goals are they working towards that they'll need your help with? Knowing this will help you position your messaging in a way that is both aspirational and inspirational.
- Emotional Impact – Communicating how your brand makes people feel is another aspect of attracting the type of community you want to create. Your ability to make your audience feel something is going to be directly correlated to how much you’re able to sell. So, think about how you want your brand to make people feel – is it empowered, creative, confident, rebellious, something else?
- Brand Promise – Your brand promise is where your words and your actions collide. This allows you to tell the client about the results they will achieve with you, highlights what makes you stand out from the crowd, and helps you build a community built on trust and integrity.
Now that you know who you’re talking to, the next step is to identify how you want to communicate with them. Your communication guidelines are the bridge between what you do, what you promise, and what your clients see and feel.
- Business Name – So many entrepreneurs get stuck on choosing a name before they’re even ready to build their brand, and while it’s important to know your business name, it’s also important to not get stuck on choosing the perfect name.
- Title – Your title communicates who you are and what you do, and it’s important that this is a clear and accurate representation of you and your brand. Your title is what you and others will refer to you as, are you a Brand Strategist, a Holistic Healer, a Health Coach, or something else?
- Tagline – I like to think of a tagline as a verbal logo. Your tagline should be simple, practical, memorable, and clearly communicate what you do and the impact you create for your clients. For example, my tagline is, “Boom Your Brand. Build Your Tribe.” This clearly communicates that I am a Brand Strategist who is focused on community-building.
- Words and Phrases – The words you use are going to shape how you make people feel. A great way to determine key words and phrases to use throughout your communications is to use your Power Profile results, which includes your brand archetype and color profiles. If you haven’t identified what those are yet, get started here.
- Bio – Your bio allows you to clearly and concisely communicate with your audience what you do, the problems you help your clients overcome, and the goals you help them achieve. Think of this like your “elevator pitch,” in that this is likely something you’re going to use to introduce yourself and your business to new audiences.
- Brandy Story – How did you get to where you are today? Why did you start your business? Your brand story is going to be completely unique to you, and is going to allow your clients to connect with you and your brand on a personal, meaningful level. A lot of times, this is what makes clients choose YOU over someone else.
- Story Themes – Story is a powerful tool to create connection with your audience and help land the learning for your clients. Ultimately, you’ll tell many stories across your brand in blog posts, newsletters, live streams, podcast interviews and more. It's important the the types of stories you tell are connected by common themes that help reinforce your brand personality, values and beliefs.
Brand Visuals and Collateral
This is likely what you think of when you think of branding. But, as you can see, this is only just a piece of the bigger picture. However, brand visuals are often what set the first impression of your brand, so it’s incredibly important to make sure they are cohesive with the rest of your brand, and that they resonate with your ideal client.
After defining your visual branding guidelines, your brand assets and collateral are the vehicle that is going to allow you to communicate your impact with your audience (and that are going to most likely be defining your first impression).
- Imagery – The images you use on social media, on your website, in all digital and print marketing, and anywhere else, should be reflective of who you are, what you stand for, and the feeling you want your brand to evoke.
- Logos and Icons – Of course these are important! Your logos and icons are going to go on everything you create throughout your business, and are often one of the first things that new potential clients and audiences will see.
- Color Palette – The best, most representative color palettes are chosen using Color Psychology and incorporating the more overarching themes of your brand.
- Fonts – This is going to be another visual branding aspect that helps communicate the feeling that you want your brand to evoke, and the themes of the story you’re telling.
- Brand Collateral – This is what’s going to allow you to promote your offerings to your audience. After identifying where and how you want to communicate with your audience, it’s important to put together brand collateral that clearly conveys your brand, stands out from the noise, and grabs your audience's attention so that you can get your message across. This section could include examples of business card mockups, table signs, or any other collateral that may be relevant to your brand.
As you can see, a good Brand Book goes far beyond your logo and color palette. A good Brand Book will include your personality, your purpose, your drive, your work, your story, and so much more. You’d be amazed at how many fempreneurs I meet who decide that they need a brand, so they go out and find a graphic designer to create a logo. The problem with this is… a logo is not a brand. If your logo isn’t created from a solid brand foundation, then it’s essentially meaningless. And, if your brand design (or logo) isn’t delivered in a complete brand identity package, then it does no good.
How Do You Use a Brand Book?
Now that you’ve gone through the work of designing a brand and creating a Brand Book… what are you supposed to do with it? Brand Books are best used as internal resource tools. The main purpose of the Brand Book is to have a beautifully-designed, on-brand resource that you and your team can follow when crafting marketing messaging, designing new collateral, creating content, or producing anything that will be a reflection of your brand. The Brand Book allows you to ensure that everyone involved is clear on what your brand is, what your brand is not, and how to communicate those things both verbally and visually.
Not only that, but your Brand Book includes important information on how to use all facets of your brand, such as logos, icons, fonts, colors, sub-marks, imagery, and everything else. This is also a great place to include examples of do's and don'ts regarding the usage of your brand assets.
When thinking about having your brand designed, instead of looking for someone to create a logo, you’ll want to look for someone who specializes in brand identity design. It’s essential to have someone on your team who knows exactly what they’re doing so that you can get started on the path to building the highly sought-after 6- or 7-figure business you deserve. Your brand should be so much more than just a logo and some color options. To learn more about everything to include and how to do it right, check out my Million Dollar Brand Makeover program at this link.
If you’re looking for some resources to help you figure it out on your own, check out the Impact Tribe. When you join the Impact Tribe, you’ll get immediate access to an entire library of biz-booming and brand-building courses, monthly coaching sessions, and access to an amazing community of heart-centered, purpose-driven fempreneurs who are walking a similar path as you.