10 Best Retail Company Brand Books & Style Guides
A brand book is like a blueprint into your brand’s core. Used right, it will be a useful tool to help your team increase brand awareness and become more recognizable and consistent.
Let’s take a look at some of the big retail companies: IKEA, Walmart and Decathlon – what do they all have in common? The have managed to create a strong brand identity that everyone recognizes immediately.
What Is Their Secret?
There are many steps in the process of creating a strong brand. One of the most important elements in this process is consistency.
Being consistent in your communication is the foundation of building a strong brand identity. If you stay consistent with your voice and tone as well as with all your visuals such as logos, fonts and colors, it gets easier for your audience to recognize you.
However, making sure that everyone in your company uses your assets correctly is not always an easy task. That’s why it can be helpful to create a brand book with guidelines on how to communicate your brand effectively.
What Does a Brand Book Consist of?
A brand book consists of guidelines that lay out the company’s voice, tone and messaging as well as a manual on how to use logos, fonts and colors correctly. It outlines your brand’s identity and core values and ensures that your brand image remains consistent.
Most brand books are divided into different parts which contain at least:
- The brand mission, vision and core values
- Logo guidelines
- Color palette
To give you some inspiration, we have collected some examples of our favorite brand books brand style guidelines that may help you with the creation of your own guidelines.
Let’s get started!
Our List of Brand Book & Style Guide Favorites
IKEA’s brand book is the perfect example on how to make the brand’s core values and guidelines clear to everyone. On every page in this brand book, IKEA gives a short and clear statement with a detailed description of each core value. It also uses inspirational images to reiterate the brand’s voice and theme.
Walmart keeps it short and simple. There is a brand center on the website that gives everyone access to its guidelines. You get a short impression about the brand’s purpose as well as the right usage of logos and colors.
Decathlon has created a detailed brand page. In it you will find detailed instructions about the do’s and don’ts of logo usage, colors, typography and a description of its core values.
4. REWE Group
To give everyone access to the brand’s core values and guidelines, the REWE Group company website features a page for its mission statement. There is also aÂ page about sustainability where the reader is provided with information about the REWE Group guidelines and core values.
If you look at the Kroger website, you will also notice that it places a focus on sustainability as part of its mission statement. There’s a sustainability report with detailed descriptions of the company goals and vision.
The Carrefour website includes a brand center that focuses on the correct usage of logos. It gives exact instructions and examples to ensure that the brand’s guidelines are clear to everyone. This ensures that the use of logos and colors remains consistent.
7. Walgreens Boots Alliance
Another great example of how to give an overview of a brand’s core values, is Walgreens Boots Alliance. The simple icons and clear statements make it easy for everyone to understand the vision, purpose and values.
8. Coop Group
The Coop Group website gives an overview of the company’s vision and mission statement. It also includes downloadable files with a summary of their core values.
To make sure that everyone has access to its guidelines, Amazon employees have created a website section where you can find links to all their advertising policies. One of these links brings you to a short overview of their logo guidelines. Amazon owns a separate website that gives an overview of the company’s vision and core values.
H&M has published a brand book with a focus on the brand’s core values, the H&M spirit, where you get a detailed description of the guidelines as well as the company’s history. The brand uses strong images that help it tell its story.
Create Your Own Brand Book & Style Guide
We hope that with these examples we could give you some inspiration for creating your own brand guidelines. As you can see, there is never just one right way to create a brand book. It always depends on your company and your values, that you want to bring across.
As a conclusion, here are some additional tips for you to consider for the design of your brand book:
- Start with a helpful introduction, where you can include your company’s story, the purpose of this brand book or a quick overview of the content.
- Focus on the message that you want to deliver and be clear about your companyâs voice and personality. Use short and simple statements to ensure that your core values are clear to everyone.
- Use meaningful images to make your brand book more compelling for your readers. Make sure you use the same color scheme throughout your whole brand book and stay consistent with your design.
- Give examples on how to use your logo correctly as well as on what is not allowed, to make your brand book more illustrative.
- Make sure that everyone has access to your brand book. In case you update your guidelines, ensure that everyone is up to date on the latest version to avoid the usage of outdated designs.