You might have come across the term corporate identity and wondered exactly what it means and how it might relate to your business. When it comes to branding it’s important to have a basic grasp of some of the terminology and how it relates to your business. Here we’ll take a look at corporate brand identity, how it’s established, some of the potential pitfalls and how to make a success of it.
What is corporate identity?
Corporate identity is what makes up the physical look of your brand. It will include the logo, and other applications such as your website, business cards and print advertising. It’s the bigger picture when it comes to all the visual aspects of your company identity.
Your corporate identity is vital if you want to show your business in a professional light. It needs to be consistent if you want to communicate your brand in an optimal way. It needs to address all of the potential visual impressions that your company makes.
So, it’s important to consider all of the touch points that people have with your brand, including social media.
How is corporate identity different to brand identity?
Whereas corporate identity is about internal activities that shape perception, brand identity is how an organisation wants to be perceived by its audience. Ensuring that your corporate identity is not only consistent but grows out of your brand identity is key.
How important is corporate identity?
A consistent corporate identity plays a crucial part in business success. Strong corporate identities are instrumental in shaping the perception people have of your business, its products and services. In a competitive marketplace, it’s important for companies of all sizes, whatever its purpose and mission. The first impressions your brand makes will be through its corporate identity. Subsequent engagement with your brand will reinforce and support that initial impression.
Here are four key reasons why corporate identity is so crucial:
- Cohesiveness – a consistent corporate identity ensures that everyone in the company, and every touch point with a customer or potential customer, represents the company in the same way. This reinforces the overall brand identity and ensures that no aspect of your communication is undermining it.
- Expertise – a corporate identity can help project the image of your company as a trusted expert in your particular field.
- Reliability – a consistent corporate identity is reassuring to customers and helps them to build and sustain an emotional connection with your business. It creates a reliable visual representation of your business.
- Authority – a strong corporate identity gives your brand authority and credibility, helping to differentiate it from the competition.
How do you establish your corporate identity?
Brands that create, foster and maintain a strong, consistent corporate identity are generally rewarded with a positive effect on their company reputation and perception. A strong visual corporate identity adds real value to your brand identity and will, in fact, usually be its strongest aspect.
Establishing your corporate identity will usually be through the visual representation of your brand. Have a logo designed that reflects your brand identity, and ensure it’s used on every piece of visual marketing and communication that customers encounter. This might include:
- Social media
- Packaging and merchandise
- External corporate communication
- Office decor, uniforms and vehicles and everything else
Corporate identity is more than just good design, however. It should reflect the culture and personality of your business, your values and behaviour. When people see your logo, they should immediately begin to associate it with a certain level of service and quality.
Problems that could arise out of a lack of corporate identity
An inconsistent or non-existent corporate identity is a recipe for confusion and disengagement. Your brand may well be confused with competitors, or not understood at all. It will lead to a mismatch of sometimes conflicting visual representations of your business and could be counterproductive when it comes to customer engagement.
Why you should hire a professional branding agency to establish your corporate identity
A strong corporate identity is key to your brand identity, and ultimately the success of your business. Establishing a visual identity for your business can be costly, so it’s important to ensure that you get it right the first time. A professional branding agency can help you develop an effective corporate identity. They can ensure that your corporate identity grows out of your wider brand identity, and reflects the values, culture and mission of your business.
At Dawn Creative, we get to know your business before we create a brand identity that sparks the imagination of your target market.
Why not contact us to find out how we can help you develop a corporate identity you can be proud of?