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Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How

Lesson 5 of 11

What Makes a Great Brand

Josh Silverman

Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How

Josh Silverman

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Lesson Info

5. What Makes a Great Brand


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Introduction to Workshop Duration:07:56
2 What Makes Up a Brand? Duration:09:39
3 Why Are Brands So Important? Duration:13:06
5 What Makes a Great Brand Duration:07:34
8 No Brand Lives in a Vacuum Duration:34:47
9 Increase Brand Visibility Duration:33:24
11 Have the Right Conversations Duration:28:26

Lesson Info

What Makes a Great Brand

Let's briefly look at what makes a great brand. I would argue that great brands are absolutely about great timing. Either they hit the market first or they've hit the market second or third, but they hit the market. Most relevantly, um, their original, their memorable, their distinct on, most importantly, weaken recapitulate. What the brand is about, we can repeat it. We can love it. We can share it, weaken like it, we can talk to our friends about it. This is awesome for thinking about how different people across a brand organized around a brand. The CEO, the call center. If it's here, if it's offshore, if it's local or if it's international. From the Web site to the product, to the packaging, to the marketing to the messaging, it's all part of the same work. It needs to be all consistent and everyone speaking the same story visually, verbally, across all touchpoints. And most importantly, um, we derive value from it over time, and the exchange between what we make and what you need i...

s worth it to you and you. You keep enjoying that value over time. A couple quick things on here. I know that you use that term touchpoints, and it came up in the role play as well. For people who may not know what that is, explain a touch point. Sure, it's any point of interaction between a customer and a brand in any device in any form over time. So if I'm using that conference app and I have a touch point between the two confusing buttons or I have used the conference app and I have had a great experience with it because I closed a deal on it, that's another kind of a touch point. I have an emotional resonance with that product or service because I enjoyed it or I need to call it up on my phone or I need to send a link to a friend to dial into that conference like those are all different touchpoints different contexts for expressing the brand. One other thing that you mentioned here with the great timing and you said that hitting the market first optimally and then relevantly maybe you could explain what you mean by relevantly like when that comes up, Um, if you're not first to market, but you get there at a point where it just makes more sense. Is that what you mean? Uh or you've you've the first responder has done something to the market to prep the market for the second responder. Let's look at maybe uber and lift. Um, yeah, uber uber, I think hit the market first and lift Hit the market second, but maybe they're more relevant to a certain subset of consumers because they have a different personality. I know from my own experience taking a lift this morning, actually, um, the conversations I have with lift drivers the experience that I have with the lift drivers is more social. Uber is much more like a cab Uber's. More like I'm gonna get from my point A to point B. I'm not gonna have been direction. Most likely I'm not gonna pick someone up along the way. Even though both services both companies can do that with lift. It feels more social, and it feels more local. And, uh, lift doesn't exist in as many markets as uber does. But I think, um, lift is got a distinct personality, even from their Their pink mustache is which don't really exist as much anymore. Um uh, it's two different personalities. But I think Lift probably wouldn't exist without uber, right. Except all right. So in conclusion for this lesson, I would like to posit that all brands need standards like boats need rudders like bodies need spines. You absolutely need something to keep it working. Keep it functional. We don't want toe fall apart without a spine. We don't want to fall apart without brand guides. Cool. I got a quick question before we get to that. Yes, this one just came in from Diana Christine and I think this is a good way to sort of sum up what we've been learning in this lesson. And as you can gather from online, we do have a lot of people who are ill solo entrepreneurs. People are kind of working on their own. But But here's a question again, Some of this may be coming up later, So as we talked about what's coming up, you kind of foreshadow this. But Diane wants to know, she says, I just made the decision to start selling my art and design seriously, and because I'm also designer, the first thing I thought of was branding. Since I'm a solo preneurs and I want to be consistent from the beginning. Do you have a suggestion as toe when I should start branding myself? Is it too early? As I'm still finding my definitive style, I don't want to wait too long and then change everything later because I find, like I do that on many of the things that I work on. So so do you have any guidance as we wrap up this this first segment for people out there like Diane who are just getting started? If they are a solo entrepreneur, they should be thinking about this stuff now. Or is there a good sense of when? Okay, I've already designed this. I've already designed that. When do they start about building the brand and thinking about a brand book? Uh, hurting Mr Hand? Yeah, I would argue that charity has started. If she's got art, if she's got a website up, even if it's a rudimentary site, the decisions you make about what typeface? What color what even what host to put your side on? Is it Wicks? Visit squarespace. I mean, there's so many decisions that help you express your brand. If she's if she's selling her artwork. And I think the key word and all that for me was seriously like now it's gonna become a business. Oh, our income stream. Um uh, surety has made decisions about her brand. Now she just needs to articulate them to sort of step back from what decisions she has made and look at them and say, I went with say, Squarespace, because there they're better for artists or I went with etc. Because they're better for, um, art and designers who straddled both worlds. So it's different. It's a different part of your brain to do the work than it is to step back and look at the work and say, I made this decision because of that thing. So starting to aggregate those things that that may already exist is probably her next step. Yes, personal branding is kind of hard. It's got one of those things where you're too close to it. So I think you know, I'm I've been wanting to get up a personal website forever, and you just because it's represent to you. It's so you just get wrapped in this continuous cycle of. But what if that found his perfect and is that really what I want to say about myself and, you know, if you especially if you want to meet a bunch of different audiences thinking of all those different things as someone who is already in a design brain, you might you might never get actually done. So I think another really good thing is, you know, to use all these tools. But then to also go to friends and people who know you and colleagues and previous customers and have them help. You kind of step back and see what the brand might be. That's a great point. You absolutely need. Teoh, get the, uh, insight from people who are close to you, as well as maybe a total stranger who might be your customer in a networking capacity. Um and, uh, and it's much more difficult to do it for yourself. It's easier to do it for someone else.

Class Description

The brand guide is the roadmap for employees and ensures consistency across the company. Josh will help you create a brand book that is comprehensive, actionable, and easy to use in Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How. 

Josh is a veteran branding professional and in this class he’ll show how to create complete brand guidelines and adhere to them. 

You’ll learn: 

  • What a brand guide is and how to use it 
  • Components of a brand guide and how to create your own 
  • How large and small businesses apply brand guidelines 

Whether you are a designer working with clients, a solopreneur, a small business owner, or working on branding in-house, Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How with Josh Silverman will help you develop a better understanding of branding and how to develop guidelines everyone can use.


Yi Ji

WOW, really worth the money, information is real, up to date, the quality of audient also good, they ask really real question, not those kind of 'performance' course. Thanks!


This class has potential, but misses the mark for me. The first thing that I noticed was the fact that the video and the sound do not sync with each other. It feels like you are watching a foreign move with English dubbed over the lip movements of another language. It is often hard to hear the audience questions as they do not hand around the usual 'creative live wireless audience microphone' and I think that was a mistake. The topic is a good one and the speaker is appears to understand his craft but a lot of the 'talk' in the first few videos could be removed by a clear definition of terms in the very very beginning of the class. If feels like it is flowing on an off the cuff manner and is lacking the structure that Creative Live known for. Instead of spending so much time asking the students about their understanding of what brand identity is and way to many quotes... I would like to see some practical how to advice early on in the class. I would love to see more classes covering this topic from people like Sean Adams or Alina Wheeler :) I am sure this class will get better the further I get into it and I normally do not write a review before I have listened to the entire class. Also I purchased it at a deeply discounted rate so even with those issues factored it is is still work what I payed for it. :)


Absolutely relevant and interesting content, made through example classes. The way the material is exposed is very good. One single critic, since the headline is really precise on the topic I expected more on the "how" but the course doesn't really teach a "system" to create a brandbook, like choosing wich documents are to be included and how to make and expose them depending with the client needs. The course is all about the why explained through case studies, which is good but partly neglect the headline promise. Anyway this is still an excellent course but I thought it would be useful to point out this aspect.