How to Develop a Corporate Identity
One common problem that all business owners must resolve is how to best stand out amongst the competition and increase customer loyalty and purchases. The solution is to develop a unique corporate identity that includes a branding strategy that expresses the essence and intent of one’s business. This identity must be powerful enough to cut through the noise and make a lasting impression upon potential customers. Ultimately, this strategy should translate into repeat purchases of products or services.
In order to effectively develop a corporate identity and effective brand there are a number of distinctions that need to be clearly understood.
What is a corporate identity and why is it important?
A corporate identity is the particular traits of personality and character that identify a business to the consumer. It is a sense of individuality and style that differentiates it from the rest and includes the business’s mission, message, ideals and essence that shape how it functions and is perceived.
Put simply, a corporate identity is a kind of persona and attitude that succinctly captures what the company is all about. When such an identity is successfully developed it is accurately perceived by ones customers.
Identity and personality
It is important because in a similar way that people respond to personality, charisma, honesty or integrity, they respond accordingly to the identity of a company. Very few people prefer to spend time with dull, boring, ineffectual and insipid companions.
When it comes to the world of business, customers align themselves to identities they resonate with and relate to. There is something reciprocal that is exchanged when a customer feels that a business understands their needs and is in harmony with their values.
If a business has a weak identity, customers will lack any strong motivation to interact with it. Powerful identities evoke equally powerful responses and in the realm of business this can translate into increased sales and greater customer loyalty.
How is branding different to a corporate identity?
- Branding is more like the image of the company, rather than the style.
- It is helpful to think of identity as essence and brand as the look, shape, form and substance.
- Identity is the WHY of the company (why it exists, why performs as it does and why it has value etc.)
- Branding is the tangible HOW (how it is identified, how it expresses itself and how it is packaged, produced and sold etc.).
Common elements of branding
A sign of good branding is having customers that are readily able to identify one business’s products and style from that of another. Elements may include a distinctive logo, colour scheme, tag line, unique selling proposition and packaging if there are physical products involved rather than services. Branding can include very specific elements such as fonts, typefaces, letterheads, style guides and a related product range that is in harmony with the corporate identity of the business.
There are many services that specialise in helping businesses develop brands but graphic and branding design certainly ranks amongst the best. It is clear that in order to market ones business effectively, the issues of corporate identity and branding need to be thoroughly considered, developed and consistently defined. Seeking the services of professionals experienced in guiding business through this process is highly recommended to ensure the job is done properly.