When you start your business you want people to feel attracted to it and keep coming back in the future. For that, you need a strong, recognizable brand that your customers love. Because let’s be honest! You can have the best products in the world but it means nothing if people don’t notice it. And this is pretty difficult nowadays. We are exposed to a lot of information and it’s not easy to break through. Establishing consistent Corporate Identity will help you to stand out and win the trust of your target group. That’s how it works!
If you don’t feel like reading the whole article scroll to the bottom for summary.
What is Corporate Identity?
Let’s make it easy! CI is how your customers see you, how they feel about your brand and what message they get from you. The important thing to understand is that CI is not only how things look. Although the design is an important part of it, it is also a set of rules and values that founders of the company show to the world – how they present themselves, their partners and their investors.
Why it’s so important
We all want to stand out and attract more people who will buy our products. We want them to like us and come back when they need to. But it’s not easy. You can have a fantastic offer, but until people don’t see you clearly you’ll find it difficult to succeed.
When you take enough time to clarify your values and goals, along with good intentions and a strong belief in your product, you’ll be able to create a identity which will help you to draw more clients and build a special bond between them and your company. This unique connection will make them faithful ambassadors of your brand.
Good practice and common mistakes
Since we are the ones who create the brand obvious is that we want to feel comfortable with what it represents. But at the same time let’s not forget about recipients. A successful CI is intentional. There is no place for personal preferences and randomness.
Here is a quick TAKE AWAY: Creating a great CI is not about us, it’s about them. We should be able to put ourselves in their shoes and to know what they like.
Another common problem that many people focus only on one component, like… logo. They think this one element will make them successful. They are looking for something pretty, something that they like, not thinking about strategy and communication. But the fact is everything needs to be there for a reason. It should be based on logic and research.
I remember one commercial on TV a long time ago. Showing only simple orange text written in the very thin font on a black background. The text said one word: Hello. This was a popular mobile provider. The company was so confident about its brand, they believed the logo wasn’t needed.
This story is a good example that actions based on consistent CI and strategy help a brand speaks for itself. That also shows us that a logo doesn’t make a brand. It’s just one out of many elements that help your company be recognised.
Where to start?
First, do your research. Check your competitors. What do they do and how they communicate with their customers. Where does your company stand in this crowd? What are the similarities and differences? What makes your company special.
Don’t forget to think about your mission – what would you like to give to the people and what you want to get for yourself. Who is your audience and what do they like.
Try this exercise.
Imagine your brand is a person. Is it a man or a woman? What do they look like? Do they have a very formal way of speaking or are they friendly people with a great sense of humour? What do they do in their free time and what people like about them?
Thanks to this exercise, not only you’ll establish a tone of voice, character and a general feel of your business, but also you’ll develop a bond with your brand. Perfect start of building successful CI.
When you’re clear about values, you already know your competitors, target group and goals, you are on the right path. Having a clear vision helps you to see the real picture. Following these guidelines will help you to stand out in the crowd, will make your brand stronger, more recognizable and memorable.
Along the way, your company grows and develop but you make sure that your customers recognize it.
Out of sight, out of mind
But wait a minute! Haven’t we forgotten about the visual aspect of branding? Besides this whole business patter you just want your company to look neat, both, online and offline. Remember, when you establish your core values it’s easier to create graphics materials that will speak out to your audience.
How does it look like in real life? People think in schematic ways. They expect a luxury product to look up class – they want the best materials, detail oriented packaging and toned down colour palette. We’re all kind of trained to differentiate products we can effort from ones that are out of our league. It helps us to make fast decisions and avoid mistakes. Design aligned to your mission and plans is a tool to make it possible. Your strategy has to be visible in your communication. It has to clearly reflect the main principles of your business. Otherwise, you’ll make your audience confused.
Summary – for lazy readers
If you didn’t manage to go through the whole article here is a take away:
1) Corporate Identity is how people see your business and how it makes them feel
2) CI is not only a visual part of communication – it’s a tone of voice, vibe and values
3) Having a comprehensive, consistent CI helps you to stand out from the crowd and to be memorized by your audience
4) Corporate identity helps you to establish guidelines for your business and future actions
5) CI shouldn’t be based on personal preferences. It’s not about you it’s about your audience.