A brand system is the collection of visuals, messaging, and approaches that relate to the external interaction with your brand. Every element and word is essential in supporting your brand story, compelling audiences to understand and act in line with your goals. Branding communicates the brand promise through its brand system. The vision and goals of an organization help align the values of an audience with the brand through visuals and strategy.
Brands have the ability to scale, increase efficiency, and define parameters so that those who hold roles in internal and external communications can consistently define and refine the brand guidelines over time. Having a brand system is not only useful for large corporations with many departments, but also for smaller businesses as they look to create brand differentiators in the market.
Parts of a Brand System
A brand system is composed of distinct visual and verbal expressions of a brand’s promise. Some of the most foundational elements are:
- Logo – the brand mark and all the ways and places it should be used
- Colors – primary colors, secondary palettes and when to use which
- Typography – a system of fonts that work together and speak in sync with the words
- Tone + Messaging – brand tone, taglines, phrasing, key messages
- Imagery (illustrations + photos) – moodboards to define the style, color treatment, and any specific variables
- Icons – sets of symbols that help identify or illustrate key points
- Data visualization – examples of how basic and complex data are displayed
- Interaction – usage on digital experiences, as well as video and motion
Large Scale Brand System
Spotify is an excellent example of creating a brand system that lives on a large scale among various platforms. The distinct color combinations, photo treatments, and typeface are instantly recognizable as Spotify. A story of energy focused on the artists and their music. It’s a language that is not only told by how they speak, but by how they look. Successful brands put their best foot forward, with the brand system guiding that path.
The Birth of a Brand System
For small businesses and upcoming brands, investing in a strong brand at the beginning is essential in telling your best story right out of the gate. While various elements are parts of the whole brand system, it can begin with a few elements and then grow over time. Some organizations need bold and impactful design that gains traction in a saturated digital space. Others need a long-term brand solution that is more stable, and can evolve gracefully with time. (Don’t we all love the aging process). Developing the brand system will depend on the scale, reach, and goals of your company or organization.
We’ve been a part of the Also Organics journey from before it was born – helping to define the brand collaboratively with the partners, consulting as Peck Design Associates designed the brand and product packaging, to leading the product launch into market, developing the e-commerce platform, building the brand out across channels, defining the customer journey, driving the marketing strategy + efforts, nurturing the community and creating ongoing content. With a call to find your balance and reach your full potential, Also Organics is an active brand that stands out in a noisy category.
Ultimately, a brand system is a guide to accomplish goals. The implementation of the brand through its products and services will further strengthen the market position and give brands the voice to tell dynamic and effective stories.