Every brand has a personality, a set of characteristics that shape the way it interacts with its audience. BMW, for example, is defined by its exclusivity; the knowledge that it offers something many people want, but few can afford. Its tone is confident, mature and let’s face it, snobby. Toyota, on the other hand, wants you to be a part of its club. Its non-discriminatory, warm and friendly; the kind who makes friends easily and keeps them, too.
It’s not a bad thing to mix up your brand messaging every now and again, which most car companies do as they release different models targeted at different demographics of people, but what is important is ensuring that what you decide to say is consistent and identifiable. With so many channels of communication now to be monitored, from the television and print ads to social media and websites, ensuring that messaging stays on point is harder than ever, which is why the Brand Bible is such as important concept. When personality changes, consumers notice, like when your usually chatty neighbor doesn’t stop to say hello. It plays on us, and we wonder what’s changed: us, or them?
What does your Brand Bible say about you?
The Brand Bible doesn’t have to be, like the original version, thousands of pages long and full of anomalies or contradictions. Its job is to make your communications more simple, to ensure that anyone, from your CEO to your newest employee, can represent your brand in the right way. It is a clear and simple guide to the personality of your business that should sit at the centre of your content and marketing strategy. Your Brand Bible should not only help you to decide what kind of content is associated with your product, but how this content is represented. Developing a Brand Bible should get you and your company thinking about:
What kind of imagery do we use?
Is it positive imagery? Is it people-based, or product-based? What kind of colours do we use? Are we vibrant, or artistic? Pulling together a grid of sample pictures that represent your brand will help to decide the way imagery is used in the future.
What kind of language and words do we like?
What words do we associate with our brand? Are we a company, a start-up, a business, or an agency? How do we describe our products? Creating a list of buzz words like ‘family’, ‘equal’ or ‘future’ will help guide content, and how to represent your product.
What types of content do we share?
What things in the world inspire us? Is it innovation, small business, technology, or social movements? Knowing what matters to your brand helps consumers to resonate with your product, because you care about the same things.
How do we describe ourselves in 20, 50 or 100 words?
Most companies have a mission statement, but what about at a glance, or in five sentences? Different summaries will challenge you to think about what the most important elements of your business are. Your Brand Bible should also contain practical elements, like your company colours, your logo and your Favicon. It should be a tool for external (such as for a designer mocking up your new business card) and internal (your newest employee) people alike. If used properly, the Brand Bible should be at the centre of your marketing and communications, the rationale behind the content. It doesn’t have to be static, but it should always be up-to-date and at the centre of how your represent yourself. Get it right, and your digital communications will be an integrated, consistent and effective suite of messaging that your audience will come to recognize, and hopefully, love. If you’re interested in developing a Brand Bible for your business, head to our Contact Us page and get in touch.