The Brand Book

Design book of reference in terms of branding,
communication and organizational philosophy.

To create social culture, a step above branding

One can say that a brand is more important than the company it represents. A brand is represented beyond the services and products it provides, beyond its own market capital. People buy Apple products for the experience they envision, even though they could choose other computing systems of performance, the choice is subjective, rather than objective.

Essentially, people choose more than the product or service of a brand – they choose an entire cultural universe of personal and social meaning. Free choice is everyone’s right .

From our perspective, a successful brand creates social culture for the good of the communities it represents and supports the culture of the communities it creates. In terms of responsible marketing, this free trade brand-customer, customer-brand cultural relationship dynamic is a win-win for all parties.

A brand is a cultural and social entity

Brand culture identity is expressed in all points of interaction with people, using messages and graphic design, mass-media and multimedia, to communicate within the organization, clients and communities that support the brand. A number of theoretical and practical elements of significance work at play in the development of a brand.

Brand elements work in synergy to shape the brand image and personality, business strategy, market positioning, sales proposition, advertising messages, the public and the communities a brand represents in a commercial, private or public sector.

The culture of a brand

  • Philosophy
  • Vision, mission, values
  • Brand attributes
  • Brand narrative and messages

Brand architecture

  • Graphic Identity Guide
  • Multimedia applications
  • Brand nomenclature

Brand anthropology

From an anthropological point of view, a brand may be associated with a person defined by motivations, attitudes, feelings, thoughts, actions, life story and manufactured goods.

In this analogy, a brand guides its actions according to a set of values and principles, takes calculated actions to fulfill its (commercial or non-profit) mission by virtue of a vision, with the help of a set of objective and subjective skills. Before we embark on a brand development project, we ask a fair question:

Imagine the brand was a person, how would it be like?

The personal, social and cultural consciousness of a brand

The core representations of a person are: identity, personality, also cognitive, actional and relational processes. Personality is shaped as a result of innate and acquired qualities gained during development. Identity is a conscious form of personal expression, consisting of principles, goals, life experience and philosophy within a socio-cultural space.

Applied to the construction of a brand, these anthropological features translate into Vision, Mission, Values, Attributes and Brand Narrative to form an interconnected relationship system.


Brand mission is an action plan for achieving organizational goals

The mission identifies the pragmatic means by which a company can create value for customers and society in general. A brand mission statement expresses 3 key concepts – the vision (to which the mission aims), the values that support the efforts to accomplish the mission and the objectives of the organization in the sector in which it operates.

The mission statement answers the following questions:

  • What is the activity of the organization?
  • Who are its customers?
  • How can it provide value with products and services?
  • What is the ideal performance benchmark of the company?
  • What is the ideal version of the company in the future?

Brand mission is a statement of identity, action and purpose in regards to procedures, services and products. It can be summed up in a single sentence, it can be detailed in a phrase, extended in a book, it’s motivational and aspirational.

Life is Good

Life is Good – A good life brand
that treasures optimism

Life is Good, as the name of a brand, is an inspirational mission statement in itself. The brand is a manufacturer of clothes with inspirational messages that stand out from the crowd.
Spread the power of optimism is a motivational message that inspires and capacitates people. Apart from the functional values described in a statement of mission, Spread the power of optimism defines an attitude and summarizes an entire philosophy of life, the philosophy of optimism. The Life is Good philosophy is shared in social campaigns, on t-shirt messages, in the quality of the fabrics, friendly communication and responsibility to the communities.

Vision is the ideal image of an organization as projected in the future

Having a vision is essential for developing a successful brand. Vision projects an ideal image of an organization into the future and generates an attitude of courage and confidence in the potential of an innovative idea.

The vision is shared by the members of the organization and is based on the organization’s ability to develop towards the ideal.

In the spirit of business vision, a company defines its organizational culture and the fundamentals of its business philosophy.


The vision identifies long-term objectives and exalts the motivation to reach them successfully.

Starbucks – The short story of a successful vision

During a trip to Italy, Howard Schultz, one of Starbucks’ founding members, noticed how coffee as a social drink defines coffee culture – Italians enjoy coffee in relaxed cafés and enjoy the company of friends or reading a newspaper.

The vision of bringing the coffee drinking culture to America has proven to be motivating enough to turn Starbucks from a coffee boutique into an international network of social and cultural café restaurants. That also serves free Wi-Fi for people working on their laptops.


Brand values are core branding elements and define the brand’s appearance in design, communication messages and procedural customer relationship. A brand values the strong points of its human resources that sustain organizational efforts to accomplish the mission.

If a cleaning company promises an Exigent service, the cleaning team activities will be very rigorous in sanitation procedures. If a pizza delivery company promises Fast pizza delivery, couriers will try to deliver pizza as soon as possible.

Brand values can be focused on keywords, often adjectives of professional specialization – integrity, responsibility, respect for the client – also in non-descriptive sentences or words like: “Passion for technology”.

The values of a company can be extended upon all organisational activities –
in client relations, product manufacture, service offers, advertising messages, organisational culture.

“Apple is not about making boxes for people to get their jobs done, although we do that well. Apple is about something more. Its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better.” Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, 1997
Steve Jobs

Brand attributes

The identity of a brand is expressed in values and attributes. Values are guiding principles of good practice in the field of business, attributes are the projected qualities designed by the brand to communicate its presence and activity on the market. To create an organic link between the brand and the public, the attributes have human qualities, so the relationship dynamic is natural.

    • Responsible
    • Persevering
    • Friendly
    • Upright
    • Playful
    • Original
    • Romantic
    • Serious
    • Curious
    • Prestigious
    • Hospitable
    • Devoted
    • Adventurous
    • Accessible
    • Innovative

Brand values and attributes represent brand image capital.

What do we want people to feel?

The answer to this question is essential to the public’s relationship with the brand. People do not always remember what a brand communicates or what it does exactly, they remember the feeling they have in relation to it. Before we can determine how we can make people feel something, we need to identify what would be the best feelings everyone would love.

The style a brand communicates – in textual and graphic language – extends an experiential and sensorial level of perception to support the intention of branding – to communicate (commercial and non-commercial) information and the relevant truth to the public.

  • Trust
  • Accessibility
  • Seriousness
  • Original
  • Innovation

How does a brand communicate
and what does it say?

To engage people in direct dialogue is a winning strategy. Textually speaking, a brand communicates in words to convey ideas and messages to the public. Semantics, syntax, rhythm, the musicality of words add resonance and authority to messages and write the narrative of a brand.

To create human relationships, grander than commercial affairs, is one of the main missions in writing brand communication.

Brand language
and narrative

The narrative of a brand is a textual story of organizational activities. The narrative is composed of various types of description, presentation and promotional texts – articles, messages, argumentations, information, taxonomy and technical literature.

The development of this textual construction is updated during communication campaigns writing text for promotional, informational or human dialogue with the public. Public feedback can be considered part of the narrative story of a brand. Even though it appears the text is holding a speech, you are here so we can have a dialogue.

We respect brand language by the letter, yet we also know how to freestyle. The narrative of a brand can be written by multiple authors, can be published organically on free media, owned or paid media, it is conducive to dialogue and action, and it’s predicated on the feedback relationship between messages and the public.

Organizational culture

A good part of branding theory and practice is the effort to make practical identity elements that mediate social dynamics within an organization.

It is important for human interactions to support brand values and lead to actions that support a brand’s mission.

To earn respect for organizational culture is perhaps one of the most challenging dimensions of brand development, also one of the most rewarding. To achieve success in the market, we need to consolidate the brand from within.

Developing Brand Equity –
Brand capital on the market

Fortin Agency provides consulting, research and working tools to formulate a strategy for building a multimedia brand. We have the experience and the skills to develop or update the image and communication of brands to perform at capacity on the markets.