Developing a Corporate Identity & Style: What’s Important?
02 Aug 2014
Besides supporting marketing activities, the development of a solid corporate identity will aid the reinforcement of a positive brand image, especially where presentation is consistent. The value of a corporate identity increases and decreases in accordance with how well it has been presented, so care must be taken to ensure every application is carefully thought out.
Corporate identity refers to the way a brand appears and is perceived by its publics. It includes the website, logo and all supporting literature, such as business cards, email sign-offs and letterheads. Set guidelines should be laid out and used to approve design, colour palettes, page layouts, typefaces and any other application necessary to ensure continuity and the maintenance of brand recognition.
Establishing and upholding certain standards is a necessity in the competitive marketplace of today. This will ensure that all stakeholders – from employees to branch offices – convey the same corporate image.
What Are the Benefits of Corporate Identity?
There is a range of ways businesses can benefit from developing a corporate identity, not least the message that they ‘mean business’. A strong corporate identity delivers the message that the organisation is going to be around for the long term. This indication of reliable leadership is desirable for customers and investors.
A good corporate identity will reflect the organisation’s objectives as well as their motives and ideals. Communicating the business’ passions also adds a greater level of trust and longevity to the business’ image. It is this that will enable the organisation to stand out from others and make sure it is recognised, respected and remembered.
The aims and objectives of corporate identity are to deliver a clear, consistent and standardised visual image of the company, whilst communicating that the company is reliable, professional and contemporary.
A logo is positioned at the very centre of corporate identity and should be at the heart of all business activity. It needs to be the first image the customer sees and one of the main things they visualise and remember afterwards. It should appear on all cross media.
Corporate identity, brand identity and brand image are closely linked. As discussed earlier, the physical look of the company is its corporate identity. Brand identity refers to the promises an organisation makes to stakeholders about their product and services, which might include benefits, values, features, service support and performance standards. If done properly, the brand identity should reflect how the organisation wants to be seen.
Finally, brand image is the way the brand is interpreted by the consumer and other stakeholders, and where they position the brand. Of course, this may not match the brand identity — an area most companies need to work on. A solid corporate identity will go some way towards ensuring that all three tie in together.