A few years ago, companies had the opportunity to develop, test, and iterate their product, service, or brand in a secure environment. Today, for almost every idea there are 100 other competitors who are either already further ahead or learn faster from your mistakes.

The point of these exercises is to make the abstract idea of “my brand” into something concrete. After doing the exercises, you get a common language to describe what the company is about — all decisions about visuals, voice, and identity become way easier.

<aside> 💡 I did not invent these ideas or exercises. Instead, It is borrowed from great thinkers on branding: Emily Heyward author of the book, Obsessed, and partner at the ad agency Red Antler, Steve Jobs’s 1997 internal meeting at Apple, Stewart Butterfield’s essay We Don’t Sell Saddles Here, The Three-Hour BrandSprint from Google Ventures, and the work of the excellent identity agencies Design Studio, Pentagram, and Collins. Tinloof


The Brand Guide consists of six exercises.

In the end, you'll have a set of simple brand values that you can use to make decisions.


Most people focus on what they’re doing now. But if your company is successful, your brand will last a long time. Nobody will expect you to stick to the 15-Year Roadmap—that’s not the point. The point of the 15-Year Roadmap is to get your team thinking about the lifetime of your brand. A great brand will last until the year 2031 — and beyond.