Creating Your Corporate Identity
Businesses should be very careful when setting up a new business image or redesigning an existing one because they realize they’re creating an overall experience. That’s what happens when a business decides to form a corporate image or identity. The choice of everything including images, colors, words, patterns and more all become a part of that experience and one that they use to translate their business intentions to customers.
Creating a corporate identity focuses on several key areas the business uses to express the brand’s image. It is largely a multi-sensory experience that’s generally not affected by the business’ financial performance and can include areas like:
4 Key Areas To Express Company Brand Image:
- General branding: names, logos, mottos, slogans, images, colors.
- Physical communication methods: business cards, websites, corporate letters, brochures, logos.
- Marketing style: via website, blogs, advertising, forums.
- Physical branding: locations, uniforms, buildings, furniture, decor.
Taking all of these areas into account, it is possible to have a brand that accomplishes the business’ objectives. Everything the company portrays outwardly should work together in cohesion and match the company’s message. For instance, if the business is something trendy and upscale, the uniforms should reflect that as well and be something that appeals to that market. This would include things that are fashionably stylish and nothing “dated.” Also, the office furniture, the website and any marketing or advertising should reflect cutting edge, trendy colors, designs and logos that would appeal to that market. Yes, the task of building a corporate identity should be carefully considered in all areas because it will be the first and lasting impression that the company makes with the customer.
What to consider when creating a corporate identity
What’s the best determining method to brand a business and establish a solid corporate identity? Should the business go with methods that have already been tried and proven? Or, should it be completely creative and take a design or communication risk? Determining the best method to convey a brand depends on the message and the style that’s desired as an end result.
A business entity should focus on several key areas in order to build a professional, all-encompassing, firm corporate identity and can include:
Creating a positive reputation in that respective industry.
The consumer market is generally curious as to how/where corporations stand on certain issues, and portraying that early on sets the tone for how they’re viewed by others.
This is in direct line with the reputation but also includes being coherent with the brand’s message and marketing communications. Everything that the brand does, says, conveys and portrays establishes its credibility.
Becoming and staying relevant to the industry’s demands.
Launch processes that will survey the target market, ask questions and get a feel for what’s needed. When businesses are connected to their industry, they are better equipped to answer those demands because they know what the industry wants and desires.
Corporations need to ensure that what they’re doing and saying is different or at least unique from others like them in the same industry. Will the difference be a business move or one in politics? Can the corporation establish a unique branding identity by offering something that their competitors are not?
Business identity is more than just a logo or a picture. It’s an overall synopsis of how that corporate structure is viewed, what it represents with its products and services and ultimately how customers and clients interact with them.
Brand Messaging for New Businesses
It is important to have a cohesive brand message throughout all of your marketing, advertising and promotional materials.
In business branding, the name, the design, a symbol or a message that a company uses in all of its marketing collateral is what sets it apart and differentiates its product offerings from others in the industry. It is the core identity of the business; an all-inclusive, multi-faceted “picture” of everything the business represents. Business branding is crucial and a very important component to any new business starting out. It gives the business a significant edge among industry competitors.
Your business’ branding message should resonate throughout all of your marketing materials and articulate your business’ objective. It connects you to your target market and affects every component of your business, from customer service to sales. The message should be concise, cohesive and consistent and adequately reflect the business’ objective. It should highlight the business (both offline and online), its products and services and the staff. It should focus on communicating those benefits to the target market in relevant ways. Each and every nuance of the business and its core objective should factor into the branding message.
Effectively building a solid brand starts with your business’ marketing collateral, ensuring that it represents your business brand completely. A variety of sales support tools including brochures, print advertising, product catalogs, sell sheets, blogs or content marketing are all a part of your business’ marketing collateral. Each of these tools facilitates the sales funnel, making the process easier. In branding, your business will use each of its relevant tools to deliver pertinent information to your target market and customer base. You do this by telling a story, delivering information and building relationships, thereby creating your “brand.”
Each type of branding tool requires its own style of communications to make it effective. You must consider your audience and your desired end goal when launching a branding tool. The communication used should be informative but also relate-able to your potential customers. It should leave a lasting impression with the audience and inspire buyers to take action, whether it’s to motivate or persuade them. You want to leave them with compelling reasons to buy your products or services, be it immediately or at a later date.
Each of the branding tools should also complement one another. They should all work together so that there’s consistency in everything that represents your business. For instance, the brand’s trademark or logo should appear on each piece of printed material (brochures, business cards, etc.), but should also carry over into digital media (videos, television, etc.) as well, appearing within the promotion.
Although it’s impossible to convey detailed information about your business in some marketing tools (business cards, sell sheets), you can still implement your brand strategy everywhere your business exists.
Since one of the focal points of branding is to differentiate your product or service, you can achieve this by using content marketing tools (articles, blogs) to focus on areas where your product is different than other competitors.
Branding opportunities exist in every aspect of your business. Creating a complete branding image with applicable, relevant marketing tools assures that your message is delivered effectively. Analyze each component to assess how they all fit together to convey your message.