Having a strong corporate identity is important for businesses who hope to maintain and grow their company. Unfortunately, there are plenty of misconceptions about what it means to grow a strong corporate identity. Contrary to popular belief, an identity isn’t just about having a nice logo that’s recognizable. An identity is about your business values and personality. In such a competitive market where half of all businesses are failing within five years, it’s important for you to stand out. Here’s how you can work to enforce your identity:
Understand Corporate Identity vs. Branding
While a corporate identity and company branding are closely interlinked, there are some key differences to consider. A corporate identity is all about the complete big picture: your signage, graphics, website design, packaging, employee uniforms, and more. This identity touches on every potential impression that the company can make.
The brand image, on the other hand, encompasses the experience that each person has with your company—the public perception that your brand evokes. This encompasses the values and ethics. Simply put, corporate identity refers to the way your business looks and feels, while branding refers to the emotional relationship between a customer and business.
Reinforce Company Culture
Your corporate identity is also a reflection of your company culture, and your culture bridges the gap between corporate identity and branding. Company culture consists of the values and behaviors that contribute to the psychological and social environment of a business. Your employees are able to demonstrate and share that company culture on a daily basis. In layman’s terms, a strong corporate culture helps create a strong brand.
Your brand and culture should be driven with the same purpose, and the more effort you put into building your culture, the more likely your customers are to drive that image forward. Many corporations struggle to rebuild their company culture, and fear they won’t be able to create a culture as strong as some smaller startups and businesses have. In fact, there are many large companies with startup vibes and small-business culture.
Conduct a Brand Audit
As an established corporate company, it can be challenging to remain innovative in a fast-paced business world where flexible startups are popping up left and right and threatening to take over some of the more comfortable businesses that haven’t adapted to change. As the consumer mentality shifts (faster deliverables, higher levels of transparency, raising social customer service expectations, and more), you have to know how to accommodate them.
With a brand audit, you can determine how your brand is performing on the market and your goal. With a brand audit, you can learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, better align your strategy with customer expectations, and see where you stand among your competition.
There are internal and external brand messaging to consider. Your internal branding includes your brand voice, unique value proposition, product, culture, and position. On the other hand, your external branding includes your logo, website design, social media, and various other brand elements. There are many metrics you can measure to perform a brand audit of your own, but you might want to consider hiring a brand agency to conduct an audit for you and help create a data-driven strategy for building your up your corporate identity.
Today’s consumers are inundated with brand messages every day. With so much noise, it’s clear that remaining memorable in the minds of current and potential customers is more difficult to achieve. This is why clear and consistent messaging is so important. When you have a powerful identity, you’re able to resonate with more people. Think about how popular brands stimulate recognition and important in modern consumers.
For example, why do certain brands stick out to you? When you look at the iconic Apple symbol, you associate the product with high-end, minimalism, clean, and user-friendly. No matter where you go in the world, Apple stores remain consistent in their aesthetic—even without their powerful logo splashed across the door, you’ll likely recognize the store because they embody such a strong corporate identity.
When it comes to consistent identity, keep in mind your visual branding, brand elements, and core values. All your messaging should have the same tone and style. If you want to encourage customer loyalty, create positive emotions and experiences with imagery and carefully-crafted words.