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www.thebrandmanual.com Š Brand Manual Ltd, 2010 All rights reserved.


RTFM stands for “read the fucking manual”. It is a widely used expletive among help desk workers to express their frustration at people having problems with their new technology purchases: people do not read manuals! People want to use things. They prefer not to know how and why things work.

If you’re in business then you also engage in branding. If this doesn’t make sense, then read this manual. 3


Repeat success by repeating motivation


Have you read the book “How to become a millionaire�? Are you a millionaire now? One cannot describe the art of becoming rich in a single book, unless the author is describing how he got rich, (which he may have done by writing the book). You have to read hundreds of books to learn how to become rich. And still no book can teach you how to become rich without understanding your particular situation.

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If you know why you should win, you will win.


If things are working then nobody wants to ďŹ nd out why. People start getting excited when things are no longer working. This same unfortunate rule applies to business. Very few businesses know why they are successful and put effort into maintaining their competitive advantage. Others just do their stuff until they run out of it.

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A brand is not a logo


Every company is engaged in branding. Why every company is not a brand, is because it is unclear what “branding� means. For many years even branding specialists agreed that the main idea of a brand is to stand out. But things have gotten more complicated since then. People are now taking charge of what they are listening to or who they are following. So it's not longer about talking at people, it's about saying something that they care to listen to.

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Truth sells


Branding is not a decorative discipline. Branding helps define why and how a product or service is sold. In some cases the reason may be a specific market niche, the charisma of the owner or the uniqueness of the product. Such businesses can operate without having a brand made, because they already are a brand. Unfortunately, most companies are not as special as their manager’s like to think they are.

We can help change that. 11


your need to sell


won’t make them buy

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Determining and reinforcing competitive advantage is the core of brand building


Define your business idea. Do all aspects of your business, from logistics to marketing talk the same talk? Is your day spent working on your business problems or client problems? Are these in conflict or are they complementary? The work we do is not about finding out what people want, but what makes your product special for them. We help to define the potential of your product in relation to the market and bring this to the attention of your target group.

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Thoughts made visible


Many companies have great products without having the ability to sell them. Often problems are self-inflicted by having a compartmentalized business structure, where different departments do not talk with each other. They might not even be aware of each other’s motivation. If different parts of the company communicate to the outside world in different ways, how will this affect the company’s brand image? We help clarify your company’s core motivation (call it brand essence), communicate it to the market (brand strategy) and to the company itself (corporate identity).

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Package it right


Companies need their product or service to look and feel adequate. This does not mean “stylish”. It means having customers feel comfortable with the product in the right context. Things can look and feel posh, affordable, intelligent, cheap, unusual or stunning. The right perception of the product is as important as having the right product in the first place.

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DifďŹ cult means complex not impossible


By taking a holistic view of business, not focusing on departments or sections, but instead on the interaction of consumption, brand, departments, logistics, production and marketing, we bring clarity to a complex picture. By evaluating consumer needs and wants in relation to the company’s product or service we can describe and amplify the strengths of the offer while identifying weaknesses that need to be dealt with. Branding (the process) can change your product, workflow, company and finally make it a brand (what you are famous for).

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We make them talk about you


Brand Manual isn’t a book. It is a company of four professionals, with the knowledge and experience to understand your situation and answer your questions. In case you are not interested in becoming a branding professional, then this is the manual you should invest in.

You are a user. We are your branding tool. 23


thinking.


branding. design.

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And now for something tangible


On the following pages are some branding stories that we’ve had the privilege to tell over the past year.

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The bottle is the story An Estonian beer that is not for sale in Estonia. The Viru trademark is owned by Baltic Beer Co (London) Ltd and is positioned to the wealthy consumer segment across the globe. Our task was to anchor the brand firmly in an Estonian story that is believable abroad, while still being true to the domestic public. In creating the Viru legend we stuck to the facts, as well as preconceptions. Viru is on sale in luxury hotels, top restaurants and bars in the UK and Weste rn Europe. Since the autumn of 2009, it is also available in the US. Viru is a globalizing beer brand and we’re proud to have been able influence its growth. 29


Responsible gaming Eesti Loto (Estonian State Lottery) has the ambition of being around at the end of the 21st century too. The games are on the internet and on the mobile phone. Playing is easy and fast. And playing is addictive. The identity changes, which we began in August of 2009, will bring the company from the paper lottery ticket to be screen in front of you. The larger challenge is to refocus the company to take more responsibility of its product. Tracking consumer behaviour, Eesti Loto can help those for whom playing the lottery has become more than a game. Our task is to convey this sentiment to the Estonian people. 31


Warsaw Business Garden IKEA’s owners are building a new business park on the site of a former cherry orchard in Warsaw. Close to the airport, the park will offer hotel, retail and ofďŹ ce space to companies that appreciate environmentally responsible architecture and attitude. Our job was to map the business park’s strengths and to create a visual identity and idelogical platform is now used to promote and identify the park.

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Prisma: it’s not about the logo


"We apologise for the convenience!"

We didn’t create a new name or new identity nor any cool new packages for Prisma. Instead we toiled on the communication strategy and concept, which was tailored for both internal and external use. In fact, most of our work has been focused on the Prisma’s people – because they are what makes Prisma unique, along with the retail concept. 35


TaxiPal Stranger in a strange land? You don’t know where to go and you’ve no idea where you are? How do you get a taxi? No worries, help is on the way with TaxiPal. This location based service (LBS) will help you get where you want to go. TaxiPal was last year’s NAVTEQ LBS Challenge Grand Prix winner. The service is now available across Europe. We helped find a name for the service, developed the identity and the UI design, and gave a input on the software’s usability. Together with the client we put together the winning presentation.

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It’s not where you advertise, but to whom Clear Channel challenged us to raise the effectiveness of the their large format outdoor space. The need was to raise the recognition of Clear Channel space among the target group.


The resulting colorful packages, for which we developed both name and identity, content and form, are thematic sales materials for use by Clear Channel staff in their pitch to advertisers, media and advertising agencies. The cherry on top is that the intensly colorful ďŹ ller-posters are impossible to miss.

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1 349 341 greetings A christmas card. Not any christmas card but the christmas card. Estonia’s visiting card that our president sends to heads of state, heads of government and prominent people throughout the world. For years the idea behind this christmas card has been that for many people this is their only contact with Estonia. Therefore it must do more than wish “merry christmas”. Last year’s card carried the best wishes of all Estonians to the world.

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This book is about branding. About what it is, why it matters and how it is done.

thinking. branding. design.


RTFM!