Your brand is everything. It's not a logo. It's your story.
It's the personality of who you are and what you stand for.
I've contributed to the development and creative roll-out of several brand identities and visual guidelines. I've worked with some very well-known brands to deliver projects that reinforce their brand positioning and vision.
I enjoy digging deep into personas and fleshing out brand archetypes and themes.
Rather than finding visual guidelines restrictive, they create a framework within which to be creative and strategic while honouring a masterbrand and its unique position in the market. More importantly, by paying homage to your brand story via a clever use of visual design, you can create consistency and a personality that resonates with your chosen target audience if done well.
A snapshot of two brand guidelines that I managed and maintained:
Great articles online:
Books on the topic of branding:
The Engaging Brand
Design Matters with Debbie Millman