Corporate identity or brand identity refers to the face of your business. This concept is easier to understand from a human perspective – when you meet someone, the first thing you see is their face (unfortunately for some of us). This is the same with your business, the business, being the body, and the corporate identity being the face. I can break it down further by saying the eyes, would then be your logo.
Your corporate identity gives you the opportunity to personalise your brand however you would like it to be perceived. Just one thing to always bear in mind, keep it simple.
Your Corporate identity consists of many elements, specific to your brand. Generally, this includes:
– Company logo
– Stationary set (business cards, letterheads, and notebooks)
– Products /Packaging
– Marketing Initiatives (websites, blogs, social media and advertising)
– Communication outlets (email signatures).
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s go through a checklist. If you say yes to the below 5 points, then guess what? You are on the right track. If not… use this as guidance to revamp your identity.
1. Identification and Differentiation
Identification and differentiation are like Tom and Jerry, dependant on one another. Your corporate identity is your introduction. It helps differentiate yourself from your competitors. Ask yourself this, does your logo look similar to an existing one? If the answer is yes, then you might want to make it a little bit more unique. Why? You want people to identify your logo, and be able to differentiate it from other logo’s.
Good communication strengthens your brand, this is in the top 3 most important things. Is your corporate identity a reflection of your brand? Does the colour use communicate a message that is in line with the company’s vision? If you answered no, don’t be too alarmed. Communicating a relevant message through your corporate identity is not necessarily easy. Mainly because anything “visual” is justifiable. I used navy blue because I want to come across as sophisticated is correct. I used navy blue because I want to be perceived as calm, quite frankly, is also correct. Do research on colour/font theory so you can address the majority.
3. Professional and credible
An awareness of corporate identity shows that you are mindful of the message. It may) communicate that you care enough about your customers to invest in company resources.Immediately this increases your company’s level of professionalism. Once your corporate identity has achieved its goal, it helps the customer start to align themselves with the brand.The customer is able to relate to the company through the visual cues of corporate identity. Is your Corporate identity clean and minimal? Please say yes. If not, I haven’t lost hope, but I can’t say I’m impressed.
Have a memorable element in your corporate identity. This could be a colour, an odd shape, a letter of the alphabet used differently, whatever. Just make sure there’s something the audience can store in their visual memory about your brand. This immediately has impact, and makes it easy to communicate your brand to other people. The question to ask, does your corporate identity have at least one striking element?
I hope I don’t need to tell you why you want your CI, to be legible, but let me not assume. Legibility increases strong communication. Strong communication increases brand awareness. Brand awareness increases potential clients. Potential clients increase, actual clients. Actual clients increase sales. Is your corporate Identity legible to the majority?
If you have answered “No” to 2 or more of the above points, I am sad to advise that you might want to revamp the identity of your company. Presentation is “superficial” thus it does not necessarily reflect the ethics of the company. Unfortunately, it’s important. Brand Identity is crucial in business and should never be overlooked.