Everything has some intrinsic characteristics by which it’s known for. Just like you and me. We all have something special, something different, like an identity that makes us unique, makes us apart from the rest. This analogy is also the same for corporations. Your corporate identity is what makes you stand out from other X, Y, Z company on the town. These identities come with a set of multisensory elements with graphical contexts and are the main communicators that maintain the relationship with the customers.
By definition, corporate identity or corporate image is the manner which a firm employs to make a visual assertion about itself and to communicate its business philosophy.
Some people might confuse the term corporate identity with brand identity. For many of us, corporate identity is visualized by the way of branding and the use of trademarks but there is much more to that.
Brand identity houses the perception of a particular idea, product, services or idea that a company or an individual owner provides. The purpose behind creating a brand identity is to distinguish the goal of your service, idea or product from similar ideas, services or products.
Corporate identity, on the other hand, doesn’t refer to one particular idea, service or product rather it refers to the perception of the entire company. In a corporate identity, there might include more than one brand identity and all of them are wrapped up in one corporate identity.
Corporate identities are not very different from brand identities, however, a major difference between them is in the way they are implemented. A company may employ different marketing strategist to develop each idea, service, and product and they can work independently of each other to promote the idea, service, and product. When developing a corporate identity, however, an upper management executive must oversee the total development process to ensure everything is under the shade of company’s philosophies, goals, and visions.
Consumers may or may not relate to everything a company is offering as their identity. Study shows that certain customers develop their concept of a company identity based on the experience with just one or two ideas, services, and products. So it’s important to pay very close attention to each and every brand a company initiates.
Corporate identities are executed by tying together company values, logo, business cards, brochure, catalog, letterhead, Flyers which in effect directly communicate with the ideal customers. If done correctly, your corporate identities should resonate with the targeted customers and differentiate your company from the rest.
Most memorable businesses have unique identities, like, apple’s logo of a bitten apple is inseparably tied to its brand image and Nike with its swoosh. People remember the visuals what a business looks like and the message it conveys.
Every major business is focused on mainly three major elements of corporate identity design, which includes:
Culture and values: Identity of a company sorely depend on the culture and the values that it encompasses. A company should define its existence, why it exists in the first place. Who it serves and what service it provides. These are the values and culture that embodies corporate identity.
Market position: Next thing, your company has to have a position in the market. Who are its targeted audience, who you are trying to reach?
Visuals: This is the most striking aspect of a corporation and the most recognizable feature. The visuals are tangible like concrete, which hit the consumers first when they come in contact with your services. This includes logos, color pallet, font design, mascots, stickers, boxes, uniforms, mailers, letterhead, signage – everything.
In the next phase of this article, we will dive deep into the visual aspect of a corporate identity and what it needs to include and how important it is for your company.
A variety of different elements is included in a corporate identity. A professional graphic designing company can provide you with a host of services including logo designing, color scheme, and other prominent services. To make it recognizable immediately the entire product family is needed to be designed around the main theme. Generally, it’s the logo that acts as the cornerstone of a corporation and everything in the kit is designed around that logo. These are the elements that are included in a corporate identity package:
Logo: As mentioned before, logo is the cornerstone of a brand. Logo is used to aid and promote public identification and recognition. It can be anything, abstract or figurative design and may or may not include text of the name it represents. A corporation may or may not house one or more brands but to represent itself to the outer world, it needs a logo. This is the quintessential company property.
Business Card: For a lot of reasons a business card can play a very crucial role in the development of your business. No matter how small or big your business is, business card is essential to your company’s growth. First impression lasts longer. An attractive business card with relevant information can create a long lasting impression on your prospects mind well after the initial meeting. It’s portable, low cost but an effective marketing tool for your company. A well thought-out business card can help you establish your brand by including company/brand logo and slogan. Which in turn will help you reinforce your brand with everyone who views your card.
Brochure: Brochures, on the other hand, are more versatile and more direct marketing tool. Normally it includes a trifold layout with page insert or a booklet format. It contains brief information about the products and the services that your company provides. So it can be used as a promotional marketing kit. When used correctly, brochure gives a good overview of the company.
Catalog: Catalogues are wonderful tactile device to engage your customers. It is often underestimated but can truly engage and build loyalty. Catalog contains specific product information with detailed category descriptions, pricing and all the other information about the EMI or other plans. On top of that, it can help you attract the largest targeted audience. It promotes your company off-line, Improves brand identity and establishes credibility.
Letterhead: A letterhead is the heading at the top of a letter page. Companies build letterheads to show their rigidity, stiffness and overall credibility. It also helps a company to show its identity in which their slogan contrast the overall appearance. Letterhead consists of a name, address, logo or corporate design or sometimes background pattern. Letterhead refers to the whole sheet of paper and is the most important part of your company’s sales and marketing communication strategy. A well-designed letterhead can make your corporation more professionally appealing.
Flyer: Flyer is the most portable advertising tool among the bunch. This has so many names, “Flyers” is just one of them. It is also known as flier, circular, handbill, pamphlet, and poster. It is intended for wide distribution and typically posted or distributed in public place, handed out to individuals or sent through the mail. If you want to promote your business, service or new product then flyer can be an excellent choice.
Regardless of the size, every corporation needs its own identity. It’s not necessary for a company to exist but it’s necessary for a company to succeed. If you are –
Or any business whose brand identity lacks clarity or effectiveness then you are highly recommended to create your brand identity.
Here are some of the examples of famous companies who did it right. The purpose of this section is to demonstrate how prominent brands have achieved cohesion through identity design.
Remember the bitten apple? Turns out, it is one of the most valuable companies in the world. Let’ take a look, how it presents itself to the world.
This is apple’s website:
This is the presentation of their products:
And this is their slogan:
This is another hugely successful company in the world with an iconic swoosh logo. It has an estimated brand value of (according to Forbs) $15.9 billion. Let’s look at the inner workings of this company.
This is their website:
This is how they present their product in the market:
And this is their slogan:
Corporate identity design is one of the most valuable investments that you can do in your company. This investment in effect can result in creating the most valuable asset for the company, your “loyal customer base”, who trust your value and culture. Take the time to do brand identity design, and you’ll take your business to the next level.
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