Dennis KosterMonday, May 20, 2019

The people in your organisation communicate. Every day, through different channels. So it is best to ensure that every expression reinforces your brand in a constructive way. Increasing brand recognition: that is what you strive for. Especially in highly saturated markets, this is invaluable. A digital corporate identity manual, also called a Brand Book, helps you with this in different ways.


We are all used to being bombarded with expressions every day. I will spare you the story about the amount of stimuli we have to process daily, because it is clear: we are constantly confronted with brands. Messages find their way to our retina or eardrums via smartphones, computers, billboards and car radios. Consciously and unconsciously. With all of that noise, you have to find a way to stand out. To achieve this, you will need to be recognisable and adhere to the corporate identity in an unambiguous way.

But clarity is so much more than just visual identity. Of course, it is important that certain visual brand elements are reflected to help with brand recognition, but above all, expressions and interactions with the brand should feel familiar. This is what we call brand coherence. There must he a logical and recognisable coherence between communication expressions. This requires a clear brand positioning, as well as support and knowledge within the organisation.

Technology in the form of a Brand Portal is an excellent way to load employees with the right brand story and increase their knowledge of the brand and its application. By formulating a clear brand story with brand values, you bring strategy and operation closer together. By offering writing guides and describing work processes, you guarantee a desired way of working and communicating. You can do this with text and image, but also with video and audio. By describing why corporate identity guidelines are so important to the organisation, you develop understanding and increase the chance they will be complied with.

Have you designed the brand section of your Brand Portal in a smart and thoughtful way? Then you can also use it to better onboard new employees. After all: winning externally is starting internally.

“Are you wondering what needs to be in a corporate identity manual? You will soon read it here”


By recording the corporate identity guidelines, you not only ensure that employees know what to expect, but that it is easier for designers to create expressions for your brand. Briefing takes less time, because you can focus more on the content and less on the form. By including clear do’s and don’ts in the manual, you also avoid unnecessary iterations, which not only saves costs, but also works better for you and the designer. 


Fortunately, the overly thick corporate identity manuals have gone into paper recycling some time ago and are now serving as newspapers and egg cartons. Corporate identity guidelines are now mostly distributed digitally. After designing the corporate style, you neatly receive a pdf from your designer which you can distribute internally.

An important advantage of working with a digital corporate identity manual, or Brand Book as we call it, on a brand platform, relative to the use of PDFs, is the manageability. Visual identity is a dynamic concept. It is alive and must be able to move with new developments. For instance, when the strategy of the brand changes, the corporate identity may no longer fit with the visual presentation of the company. In that case, a rebranding project will need to be initiated, after which everyone should know how to apply the new corporate identity rules.

Or think of more reactive situations when, due to external factors such as legislation, changes need to be made to the corporate style or the application of these new rules needs to be explained to the people within the organisation. An example of this is the mandatory ‘Geld lenen kost geld’ (Borrowing money costs money) disclaimer of the AFM (The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets).

Geld lenen kost geld op communicatie-uitingen
Ensure content is in accordance with regulations and legislation

Suppose that due to one of the reasons above, you are required to distribute a new version of the pdf amongst colleagues. Not impossible, but the chance of someone accidentally using the old version on their laptop disk is great. You can avoid this problem with a digital corporate identity manual that is published on a brand platform, your ‘single source of truth’. This way, you only have to implement changes in one place, and better yet: you can ask the design agency to also describe the new application of the corporate style in the digital corporate identity manual. This means you no longer have to worry about version management and different PDFs floating around on colleagues’ laptops.


Fair is fair: the application of all those corporate identity rules is not always easy. Do you want to further promote the correct application of the corporate identity guidelines? Then Dynamic Templates offer the solution. These convenient templates have all corporate style rules neatly built in. You can compare this to a CMS for a website: you add text and it automatically appears in the right font, the right colour and the right size. Do you want to try this for yourself? Request a demo account here.