What is a Brand Toolkit and Why You Definitely Need One
A Brand Toolkit is your communication playbook for your business. It includes principles and guidelines to ensure your brand is showing up holistically across all touchpoints. However, a Brand Toolkit is not meant to offer only one way of doing things. It’s not about rules and structures—it’s about thoughtful guiding components that allow your brand to extend naturally and progressively. We should also quickly mention that a Brand Toolkit is not to be mistaken for a Brand Book. A Brand Toolkit includes clearly defined executable tactics, whereas a Brand Book includes higher-level declarations such as your brand mission, purpose and values.
There is no one size fits all brand identity kit. So much is dependent on your individual needs. There are two main elements you will always want as a foundation to any brand kit design.
The first element we will be looking at is your brand identity. This can include your logo, typography and your color palette. From large signage to well worded social media posts, staying true to your brand identity across all touchpoints, no matter what the channel, will be imperative to you brand growth and brand recall.
One area of distinction worth mentioning is the difference between Brand Identity and Campaign Identity. You can have various campaign identities that live under your master brand identity.
The second element of a Brand Toolkit is your Brand Voice, usually outlined in a Brand Voice Guide. This essential tool outlines your key brand personality traits and shows them in practice, helping to define your brand’s distinct tone, vernacular and pacing. By defining your voice, you are creating a consistent experience that leads to familiarity, credibility and trust. Your voice, along with your brand identity, creates a cohesive image of who you are and what you represent.
There are two quick gut checks to help determine if your brand is in need of a new or refreshed Brand Toolkit:
Take a look at a selection of assets across your marketing channels and ask yourself: Are the fonts consistent? Is the logo treatment the same? Does the tone or vernacular change? Do they evoke the same feeling?
Reach out to a few team members or trusted customers and ask them the following: If [your brand] was a person, how would someone describe them after meeting them at a party?
If the results for either are confusing or inconsistent—then it’s time for an upgrade.
Whether you’re just getting your brand off the ground or are part of a well-established organization, having the right tools to ensure your brand shows up in a reliable way is imperative. A Brand Toolkit will not only allow your brand to flourish organically, it will give your team the confidence and autonomy to double down on your marketing efforts.