My last post discussed the foundation for branding (or rebranding) your nonprofit, which goes much deeper than just a logo and some pretty colors. This post will take it to the opposite end of the spectrum and dive into the end result of your branding exercise. For the sake of this article, we’ll call it a brand book, though it may also be referred to as a style guide, brand guide, or some other variation. In essence, this is a living document that displays the standards for your brand, including appropriate and inappropriate use, colors, logos, fonts, and more.
Why a Brand Book is Important
If your nonprofit does not already have a brand book, now is the time to create one. A brand book is important because it serves as a guide for internal stakeholders to follow that has anything to do with messaging your brand internally or externally. Without standards, employees can take leisure with how your logo is used, what fonts are utilized, and what style of photography or tone is used in marketing materials. This leads to disjointed brand perception, the opposite of what a brand book’s goal is to accomplish: brand continuity. How your brand is communicated is extremely important because it sets an impression in the mind of your audience that creates an emotional, and sometimes physical, reaction. The repetition of your brand’s continuity reinforces this psychological imprint on your audience.
Examples of Nonprofit Brand Books
What should be included in a brand book? I’ll actually cover that in my next post. However, I would like to share great examples from eight different organizations. You’ll get the gist of what’s possible when it comes to brand books. You’ll also be able to see some common items that are included in brand books along with some differences between them. So with no further ado, here are the examples:
1. Boy Scouts Brand Book: https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/310-0231.pdf
3. The Salvation Army: http://usawest.us/ad-board-downloads/11-graphic-standards.pdf
6. American Heart Association: https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@adv/documents/image/ucm_454255.pdf
8. charity:water: https://d11sa1anfvm2xk.cloudfront.net/media/downloads/brandbook-2016.pdf
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