A Brand is integrated by MANY components, and just what those components are is always changing as the world of Marketing evolves.
Originally, a Brand Kit/Book/Package would consist of basically what is called Stationery. But Brand representation and especially official communication channels have changed a lot since the first time a printing press was used to create the original business card.
Now, it has broadened to the Digital World. Social Media, for instance, is today’s letterhead/envelope mailing platform. Even mass marketing emails are being sent to the backseat (most of all because of mailbox spam filters) to the public presence Companies/Individuals can have over such Social Media Platforms, as they offer a DIRECT contact with consumers. So a Brand Identity has to contemplate such media as part of it’s whole Brand Development.
There is also the fact, that a lot of companies are going the “paperless” route and emails started the process more than a decade ago. So the old letterhead and envelope, are sadly a thing of the past (I won’t miss coupons and other junk postal mail though). There is nothing like getting mailed something personal through the post (I guess only old school farts like me can miss that, since Millenials really have rarely ever handwritten a letter or received one through the mail, most probably don’t even use a mailbox except for some legal paperwork). I remember sometimes you had to wait weeks to get news from someone overseas, and it was an exciting interlude, today, the only thing that comes close, is waiting for a cherished purchase from Amazon, specially if it doesn’t have Prime and is coming from somewhere like China.
Nevertheless, there are some Clients that will still want an official letterhead, business cards and maybe some other printed company stationery. Like any project, it all depends on what the customer wants/needs.
The most important thing to remember when creating this Brand Book/Package/Kit, is CONSISTENCY. Part of what you have to add, and especially be clear about for anyone who has access to things like the Company Logo, and other official Brand representations, are RULES, RESTRICTIONS, etc. What you can and can’t do with all that material. Official colors (CMYK, RGB and HEX), allowed versions (it’s good to always have variations of a logo for different media and aspect ratio canvases), etc, etc. It’s even more important than including applications, like a T-shirt, a cap, a mug, poster, etc. Since those are honestly SEPERATE projects and should be approached as such.
PRECISION is the name of the game.
This is, after all, a TOOL for our Client, to use with other vendors in the future. It should guarantee consistency across the board for their Brand.
Can you imagine if Coca-Cola for instance, did not specify their RED color for EVERY application? (in fact, there was a whole deal about them wanting to prohibit the exact PANTONE® color from anyone else! Owning a color, now THAT‘s something hehe). The result would be, that you would always see a different red color on posters, delivery trucks, cans. Sometimes a darker shade, sometimes lighter, sometimes more orange, sometimes a colder shade. And this is a worldwide brand, so each country would have its own variations!
A lot of customers don’t realize the importance of having a Brand Book/Package/Kit, as they believe that all is needed is a basic logo (and what their only willing to pay for, and to the lowest bidder). I believe that it doesn’t matter how small your business is, you always have to approach, especially how you present your company to the world, with the importance and dignity it requires. It will speak as to how seriously you take it, and will certainly gain consumer trust.
And as designers, it’s our duty to talk to each and every one of our Clients, about the importance of having a professional and complete Brand Identity.
P.S. If you ever wonder HOW MUCH you can charge for a FREELANCE project like this, make sure you check out my “Project Budget Calculator“, it might give you at least, a reference as to how to best calculate the value of your work.