Why Does Your Business Need a Corporate Identity?
When you enter a room full of people, what is the first thing you do? We bet you introduce yourself and make a statement with both your voice and appearance. When entering a market with a new product or service you as a business owner do exactly the same: you demonstrate your brand and share your business message. Corporate identity is what helps you to do it in the best possible way. Let’s take a closer look at what is corporate identity, what main elements it has, and how to create it for your business.
Corporate identity and its elements
According to Wikipedia, corporate identity is the manner in which a business presents itself to the public. It is a group of brand attributes that helps you differ from your competitors and define your uniqueness. Corporate identity includes certain elements, such as logo, brand name, slogan, color palette, typography, but it also has something that is hard to visualize – the impression that your business makes and how your clients feel when interacting with your company.
So what are the main corporate identity elements?
- Brand name – creating a brand name seems to be simple but nor for people who have already faced this challenge. What word or two express your brand?
- Logo – it is your business symbol, the main visual association with your company. Every time when clients interact with your business, they communicate with your logo.
- Color scheme – do not underestimate the power of colors. Some of them may attract, while others will scare your customers away. Make the right decision.
- Typography – fonts that you use on business cards, signboards, corporate websites are more important than you think.
- Marketing materials – customers are not the only people that deal with your company. Your team, investors, and business partners are also your corporate identity consumers.
- Corporate website – it is not only your powerful promotion tool but also one of the corporate identity elements you should pay special attention to as it includes all the mentioned above components.
- Corporate identity includes but is not limited to the mentioned visual elements. Its main details are your brand message, vision, and purpose. All these are much more than just visual aspects and require your time and effort investment.
Why corporate identity is important
As a business owner, you know everything about your market and its level of competition. When you are the only player, then probably corporate identity is not for you as you are already the winner. But when there are at least several contenders to your customers, you should make yourself known to win the niche.
Corporate identity would not only help you stand out from competitors but also share your business message in a way customers will hear and understand it. Moreover, once you specify your brand vision, it will be much easier for you to grow your business in an appropriate way, the one that will lead you to success, not to confusing mix of products and services within one brand name.
How do you want your business to look like in 10 years? Probably you are dreaming to grow into a strong enterprise millions of people know about. If it is your purpose as a business owner, then corporate identity is what you should create now as it will help you to win clients’ hearts.
How to develop a corporate identity
Once you understand the importance of the corporate identity for the business, let’s dive into several steps to follow to create one.
Start with market research
At this stage, you should figure out, what are your product (or service) benefits, what are your unique selling points, who are your customers, and why they should choose you instead of your competitors. Answers to all these questions will be a strong foundation for your future brand identity.
Visual elements development
Help your clients recognize your brand from the first sight (and fall in love with it as a result). A noticeable, catchy, beautiful, and elegant logo that shares your brand philosophy is a must. Keep it clear and simple and remember that you will use it everywhere, from business cards to packaging so it should be easily scaled and adapted.
Create your brand voice
The language you use will also help your clients identify who you are. So the key to a successful and fruitful collaboration with your customers is speaking the same language. This rule is applied to your communication with business partners as well.
There is always room for improvement
Business is all about flexibility. And that is how you should treat your corporate identity. Regularly analyze if it still fits your brand and if not, don’t be afraid to review it and develop the new version.
There are plenty of businesses on the market and your brand story is what makes you unique. Highlight your company’s benefits and help your clients get to know you better.
Photos courtesy of istockphoto.com