What’s the smart role for a brand manual in the modern age?

Can an old-school manual go from being an idea crusher that stymies decision-making and creativity to a powerhouse tool that energizes communicators and builds an army of brand loyalists? (Yup.)

Here’s our advice.

Let’s be honest: All brands need rules to keep them from falling apart.

But rules are not what keeps a brand fresh and alive. Brands — like the people who tend them — are creative, dynamic and soulful. Brand keepers need inspiration and connection to nurture a brand and keep it in top form. They need more than rules to do their best work.

They need context. 

A brand manual should share the big-picture thinking behind those rules so that designers, writers and others (we’ll get to them in a sec) can embrace the creative restrictions and make solid, on-brand decisions — even when a situation comes up for which there is no rule. (It happens!)

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