A brand is the keystone of any design briefing, to make sure that the designer does not get off the track. Unfortunately, the document usually shared by the client is not what could be called a brand manual; in fact, it is a set of simple corporate identity guidelines.

The designers working in the top web designing companies in India, or anywhere around the world, seek an informative guide that gives them the direction. It becomes really frustrating when a brand manual is weak, without any insight into the visual brand, instead comprising of a number of pages about how to use the logo, and fails to provide any details about brand values.

One of the common reasons why clients are unable to define the brand is because they confuse brand and corporate identity.

Understanding corporate identity

Corporate identity is the visual symbol and rules used to present a brand. This manifests as:
•  A logo
•  Primary and secondary colors
•  Defined fonts
•  Set of rules about how a logo or typography can be used
•  Guidelines on what types of images can be used and how can they be used

To be precise, all this is not your brand; these are corporate identity guidelines.
Businesses that are aware of design aspects and the designers working in top web designing companies in India, and worldwide, are more likely to understand the difference between the two.

So what is a brand?

The brand is a name, design, symbol or any other feature that differentiates an organization, a product or services from its competitors, in the eyes of its customers.

Although brand statements or set of values can be added to corporate identity guidelines document, this does not mean that a corporate identity manual becomes a brand manual since the statements can:
•  Lack the rationale
•  Lack real-world examples in terms of execution
•  Include a list of bland brand statements

This leads to another question – what should a brand manual consist of?

Most top web designing companies in India, and across the globe, would recommend that a brand manual should include:
•  Key brand values and statements
•  Mission and vision statements
•  A defined set of target customers
•  A tone of voice
•  Set of visual guidelines, which could be a separate corporate identity manual

A good manual provides lot more than the final outputs. In fact, it helps a designer to understand a business, its requirements, its intended users and goals.

To sum up, a corporate identity manual consists of the visual components related to a brand, along with the rules around how these components are to be used. A brand manual, on the contrary, should focus more on the positioning, differentiation, persona, how people connect, what do they feel, and should guide on how to achieve this.

A combination of corporate identity manual and brand manual provides the designers with the tools to design the marketing and communications materials such as a business website, brochure, advert and more.

If you are a startup or an enterprise looking to build a website for your business, make sure you are well-aware of how a corporate identity manual is different from a brand manual so that you can share the right document with your website design and website development company in UK, or globally. Although the designers working in the top web designing companies in India, UK and other countries of the world are experienced and skilled to craft business-focused designs while understanding the requirements that you share, sharing the manuals with the right information will eliminate any chances of misinterpretation of your needs, thereby leading to desired results.