Promoting Your Consultancy Week: Stella SiWan Zimmerman on Branding Book: What can this book do for your business?

Hello! My name is Stella SiWan Zimmerman and I am the President and founder of ACET Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the evaluation of educational, health, and human services programs. ACET has been in business for close to 15 years and we rebrand our image every 5 years. A ‘brand’ is anything that differentiates one business or product from another. A brand is more than a logo and can incorporate colors, images, jingles, slogans, and even tastes and scents into a comprehensive package that represents a company, product, or service. We prioritize branding so that ACET’s products and services stay fresh and are recognizable to our clients, even without a logo.

Our most recent branding project began in early 2012 and included the development of a new logo, tagline, mission statement, website, and office templates (letterhead, business cards, fax coversheet, etc.). During the rebranding process we recognized a need for all our deliverables – reports, memos, agendas, etc. – to be consistent with the brand and visually complement one another. And we needed those deliverables to be consistent across all staff. So, we created a branding book.

ACET’s Branding Book is a compilation of brand-consistent guides, settings, and templates. It includes:

  • Default settings for computer software we use most often (e.g., margins, tabs, and font sizes);
  • Ready-to-use templates for a wide range of deliverables (e.g., reports, memos, meeting agendas, and email signature);
  • ACET’s logo in different sizes, resolutions, and colors; and
  • Primary and complementary color palettes for multimedia, reports, printing, and the website. (See also the “Rad Resource” below.)

Hot Tip: Look on the internet for examples of branding books (there are some out there!) then decide on what you need a branding book to do before creating your own.

Rad Resources: We used the online resource from Stylephreak to identify a palette of colors that complemented our logo. There are a number of similar, free resources available. In order to use most of them, you will need to know the RGB or hexadecimal value of the color you are interested in. But if you don’t know the RGB values, try using Instant Eyedropper (a free Windows utility) or DigitalColor Meter (preinstalled on most Mac OS X machines).

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Promoting Your Consultancy Week with information on marketing and branding. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our colleagues who own evaluation businesses. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


1 thought on “Promoting Your Consultancy Week: Stella SiWan Zimmerman on Branding Book: What can this book do for your business?”

  1. Stephanie Evergreen

    Great advice here! The presence of a branding guide, even one that is fairly flexible, is the sign of an evaluation shop that has thought carefully about how it communicates.

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