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Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How

Lesson 3 of 11

Why Are Brands So Important?

Josh Silverman

Building a Brand Book: When, Why, & How

Josh Silverman

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Lesson Info

3. Why Are Brands So Important?


  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

Why Are Brands So Important?

Here's my systems and standards are important. Brands live online and offline across many touchpoints. A touch point is a point of interaction involving a person with a service in a specific time or place. Consistency within a system is key. You don't want to reinvent the wheel each time you need to communicate something. In a minute, we're gonna talk about the costs of inconsistency, So making sure that things were consistent is absolutely key. Um, if you have product marketing C suite engineering, everyone needs to be able to, um, work on the same thing, telling the same story, expressing the same values that's for in house and remote teams. Um, the language that is expressed both verbally and visually, help you focus on the content, not the style of the content. Um, we're gonna look at an example later from male chimp um, and they actually have a style guide for what words and words you can and cannot use. If you put the time into doing your standards first, it's gonna make it easie...

r for you to scale later. Even if it is just a working document in Google docks or something that's centralized, you need to have at least the minimum viable. Um uh, identity tagline. Whatever colors you're using. Um, so here's a quote from muscle moving Ellie, who's a really fantastic and famous designer. He passed away last year. He's designed American Airlines, Bloomingdale's, Noll, New York City Transit Authority. Um, he's he's one designer that I love because he used primarily two or three typefaces in his whole career. One of those was Helvetica he used. He gave himself a set of constraints that I think you're beautiful. So when you design an identity for a company, you're creating a language. It's a kind of ah special um, vernacular. The purpose of Emanuel is to teach people that language, so you have to make sure that you can communicate the value of the manual in words as well as pictures. This is a quote from Herbert Bayer, who was a graphic designer, painter, photographer, sculptor, art director, environmental and interior designer and architect who was widely recognized as the last living member of Bauhaus. Um, my favorite part about this quote is that coordinated use the last two words. Manuals are to be used. They can't just sit on a shelf. They absolutely need to be part of your daily work. Everything we say or do convey something about us good or bad. The identity manual is about increasing clarity and effectiveness of what we say and do through coordinated use. That's actually quote from Arco. One of the identities that he designed you definitely need to start with. Why? What's the purpose of what we're making? Why should anyone care? Um, this is where you'll have content such as your mission vision values, the origin of what you've been doing. What brought you to this place? Next is how How do we sell? The story was the tone of voice. What are the message messages? What content do we want to say? What are the actual words we use? What's our product or services name? Do we have a tagline? And then what? How will customers recognize us? Um, what is the logo? What is the color? The type, and what form does everything take? This is absolutely the minimum viable. I would I would recommend we'll get into more of that later on. But this is how to just get it started. Any questions from you guys? So far, I've been doing a lot of talking. I've got some comments coming in for a chat room and when people have been logging in, were curious to know what you're looking to get out of this course. Where are you with your branding? What kind of clients are you working with So great answers coming in right now and see the 1st 1 we have here is from Tony Bliss, who says he's hoping to learn to expand on developing brand identity and guidelines. And Aaron Jane says she's just finishing up a graphic design training. And she's interested in branding. She works in the pediatrics department at a university and would love to somehow incorporate branding into our research groups. So, yeah, just to give you a sense of the background that people are coming into, and a few people are wondering how a lot of this material relates to their personal brand. So this 1st 1 from Amina says, I'd like to learn how a lot of the sales relates to a person's own brand, especially as a solo preneurs. People think of me more than my company, and when they do business with me with me, they think about more than just me. It's about the brand in my company, So people are just learning. They're trying to get ah well rounded learning here and seeing how some of this can apply to a personal brand, it's not, you know, as we talked about, it's if you're a non preneurs. If you work in a small business or even on the corporate scale, a lot of this is gonna apply, right? Yeah, I think personal brands is an interesting anecdote. I mean, we're everything. We everything we do that tie you chose the shoes you're wearing, that scarf, you're hoody, your blue watch, like everything that we do. That's part of who we are. Expresses our personal brand every day. Whether whether we realize it or not, some of those traces air intentional. I absolutely intentionally wanted to wear a jacket today, but I also wanted to wear my chucks. So that's part of my personal bread. Um, so making sure that that we can be aware of those choices we make and then actually like, ascribing values to them What is that tie say about you? What does that tie say about your personality? Those glasses, like who? How does it reflect your How does the outward choice you make reflect your inner values like those are things we need to think about? Absolutely. Yes, I was actually thinking about that when we were talking about Comcast earlier, because it's not like the brand that they put out is were terrible, a customer service. It's the brand they've earned. So there's There's also that duality of What do you put out and what are you trying to achieve versus What are you? What's happening because of, you know, the way people react Teoh. And now, you know, with social media and everything being so instant that turned so quickly. You know, there's a lot of examples even recently in Silicon Valley, the way companies fluctuate. But yeah, that's a great point. Brands Air are aspirational. Comcast has a lot of catching up to do. Um, but who they are right now is probably not who they want to be. Maybe they should take a cue from Target and do some actual customer service, like in the community, its customer service. Such a funny thing. I was just I tweeted yesterday. Like, does anyone actually know what? Like your call is being recorded for quality assurance purposes. What is quality assurance Anyone want? Assure me that they know exactly what that is. Qualities later quality and probably quality is built over time, making a joke to me on social media another day like what is quality? Everything. The quality, terrible quality. Eso quality is a really tough word. We don't want to go there. We don't have enough time today to talk about unpacked quality. I want to read another comment that came in here from Amber and Amber says, I've known that I needed to make a brand book for a while, but I wasn't sure what to put in it. That's why they're joining today. Took to learn that, and then Amy ST Clair says, I work in house at a printing distributor company, and I need to make our company more consistent and appealing to current and future customers. But we are family business, so I want to communicate that, but still show that we mean business and can handle whatever they need for us to do for them. So I think that's that's something that people struggle with. If you're small, if your family business. How do you adapt these things that seem like they're meant for big companies? Big corporate things. But it'll it'll help somebody in a family business to stick around. We're going to talk about all that, right? All right, let's look at a case study from my work from in 2000 and eight, actually, in 2007. Um, uh, Northstar Destination Strategies is a destination marketing and branding firm that the city of Providence hired to rebrand the city. The idea that North Star had was to, um, to identify Providence is unique strengths And to tell the story of Providence in a way that would make tourists want to visit and businesses want to move there now. I had already been living in Providence for a few years. I moved down there from Boston, and it was to me my initial impressions of the city where it was friendly ish. It was accessible issue kind of needed somebody to like take you around on DNA, make it make sense to you. It wasn't very friendly on the surface, so it had a lot of work to dio and the very first visit that I had before I moved down there. The car that I was in was broken into Some stuff was stolen. I was like, OK, the welcoming committee is out. I don't like Providence Eso So this was the existing state of Providence is identity. When when I had moved there, I don't know why there's a polar bear in economic development guide Global warming Not gonna happen. Um, eso The Providence Tourism Commission hired North Star to help identify the strengths that were part of the creative capital already. Um, this was not it. This is that this is the stuff you got when you when you got to Providence as a new business, Northstar interviewed hundreds of local residents and analysed existing data from previous marketing studies conducted for the city. Even in the existing materials. As you've seen the last few slides, there wasn't any consistency or recognizability. So the after state North star developed north or actually developed the P icon. But I personally refined it to make the campaign local. Northstar suggested that a local firm do the execution and implementation. So in 2008 my firm show designed built upon it. We had 100 and 50 deliverables over a year and 1/2. A 1,000,000 1/2 dollar budget. 25 people in my firm team working on the project. It was pretty fantastic. We did print collateral advertising, physical environments, buttons, stickers, Chachi keys. We had takeaways. We had Identity Systems, a Web based asset management tool which you can't see here. Science installation, street banners, photo shoots, entrepreneur trading cards, which were fun on. And that's my recycling bin. We did a lot, and in order to make sure everything was consistent, we had naturally and I did any standards manual, enabling both in house creative partners at the city level to further implemented my favorite part about this whole campaign. Besides the fact that the P is still part of Providence, is that it? United City departments? It actually made the work for city departments easier because they had something they didn't have toe create stuff all the time. They had something that they could Hugh, too. So this is a quote from our main point of contact. The former director of the Department of Arts, Culture and Tourism, Lynn McCormick, who was a fantastic collaborator. Just really let us go to town on uniting the different departments. She had been at the city 10 years, and she had not seen this level of collaboration. We all started a website that reached 50 countries and US states about all the different, wonderful creative stuff that was happening in the city. That was a major success. Pretty happy about that one. Just again. How long did that entire process take for you? It was a year and 1/2. Um, we did over 150 different things. Um and ah, a lot of it is persistent. A lot of it is still within the city. Let's look at another case study. On a smaller level, this is a local school in Providence. As CBS Highlander funders, you can see the CBS there funders didn't want to support in the school because they already had a perception that because CBS was attached to the name, the school didn't need to raise any money. There was no content management system. There wasn't a lot of content. It still says. Under construction, the site was not functioning as a portal for a student teacher interaction or even teacher teacher interaction. Highlander was a great school. But when they merged with the Done Institute, there needed to be consistency between the two organizations. This afforded an opportunity to create visuals for both organizations that were coordinated so culturally and socio economically, it was a pretty diverse context. Pretty diverse school eso the system. We came up with United both, uh, entities under one name and one brand. Um, we really brought a lot of clarity of purpose, roles and titles, too. Both organizations, as you can see in the system, um, and I like that the H shows that diversity

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.