How to create a unique brand book such as The Life Negroni
A little while ago Spinach Branding published a book that doesn’t quite conform to any one genre. The Life Negroni isn’t strictly speaking a cocktail book. Nor is it a historical account of a drink or even a straightforward lifestyle publication. The book’s refusal to belong to a tribe is perhaps what spoke to readers, for The Life Negroni was a great success critically and commercially, and previewed what was to become a trend beyond Italy, in Europe and the US, for bitter cocktails and in particular the Negroni.
We approached The Life Negroni much like a brand book project with the Negroni as the protagonist. This meant fully understanding the subject through extensive primary research, and meeting and visiting the critical sources. We conducted internal workshops to map out our narrative and visual direction. We gauged with select consumers to see if there is a market for such a product. The Life Negroni needed to engage the reader. As a printed hard-back book, it had to also be timeless. This meant composing an original narrative – no one likes a copycat – supported by a strong visual direction which, through graphic design and type, photography and illustration takes the reader on a provocative journey. It involved designing a captivating book cover and a memorable name. And we learned a great deal from the project.
Spinach has a strong portfolio of creating unique brand books, and we genuinely believe every company should have its own unique publication. It may seem like a bit of an investment, but the message the brand book delivers cannot be overestimated. A professional book will tell the story of a company through a compelling narrative and beautiful imagery. It distils the values of a brand – packaged and delivered under a single cover.
‘What a brand book does is to enable a company to tell its unique story,’ says Leigh Banks, Spinach partner and director of branding. ‘It is a means to capture the essence of a brand; present their origins and aspirations, their beliefs, and motivations.’ He says a successful book will demonstrate the brand’s purpose and help form a solid tone-of-voice for all parties involved. ‘It helps the company emotionally engage not only with customers and suppliers, but also those responsible for representing the brand.’
It is also an exciting journey for the company staff involved and for our team. When created through thorough research and workshops, as is the Spinach practice, brand books will unravel fascinating stories, some real gems that can be utilised within other communication avenues. Professionally executed brand books such as La Vita Campari, Cowshed, Corney & Barrow, and Sacred by Nature are unrivalled positive tools for any company. They perform in multiple ways to personalise the brands and humanise a commercial business. They communicate the values, beliefs, and philosophies that make each business venture so unique. Essentially, they breathe life into a brand.
A word of warning from Spinach partner and creative director Adam Thomas though: ‘A brand book shouldn’t solely be driven by corporate identity. The key is to remember these are “brand books” rather than a “branded book”, which are quite different.’ He adds that successfully designed books are an essential vehicle for reflecting the soul of a brand.
Spinach Branding is a specialist branding agency based in London. We work with established businesses and start-ups around the world to build and refine their brands. See how we work and get in touch to discuss your brand.< Back