Every brand needs a corporate identity—regardless of the type of business, size, or mission. Your corporate identity is for the consuming public, your business partners and staff, and your clients. It is a visual representation for communicating your brand’s mission, vision, and values.
Grasping the purpose of a corporate identity is only part of your mission today. The other part is learning to create one for your brand—one that not only works to communicate all that’s stated above, but one that furthers brand awareness and builds your brand identity, beyond those of your competition, in your industry.
Let’s get started.
Steps for Creating your own Corporate Identity
Now that you know WHY your brand needs a corporate identity, here’s the HOW:
- Take an internal inventory and find your USP. In order to convey who you are and what your brand is, you must have a good grasp on these things. Take a long, hard, and introspective look at your business plan, mission statement, vision statement, values statement, and your brand strategy. Now, after making sure that they do 100 percent represent you and your brand, think about what makes you different from others, who may, on the surface, seem the same. Focus on those differences, those unique benefits, as you proceed with the shaping of your corporate identity.
- Study the competition. Dig as deep as any interested consumer might. Navigate through their websites, read positive and negative reviews, scroll through their social media pages, and take note of how their corporate identities represent them (well and not-so-well). Use what you learn to shape a corporate identity for your brand that fills needs that are not being met…or fill needs that are being met in a better way.
- Get honest feedback about your brand so-far. If your brand has been dealing with clients or has been marketing for any amount of time, talk to the people who have engaged with it. Get their honest opinions about the things your brand has been doing. Would they recommend your brand? Why or why not? Would they consider making a first-time purchase or purchasing again? Why or why not? Ensure that these people are part of your target audience. What you learn will tell you how your brand is perceived, and you can take this opportunity to make changes if perceptions aren’t as you’d hoped…before your corporate identity goes public on a bigger scale. Use this priceless feedback to shape your corporate identity and all its underpinnings.
- Name your vision for the future. Without a vision about where you’re going, it can be hard to get there. Write down where you’d like to be in five years. And then, in ten years. Knowing what you’re aiming for will help you to shape a corporate identity that not only represents what you are now, but what you will be in the future.
- Give your corporate identity a face. You may have personnel on your team who are qualified to create your corporate identity. If not, we highly suggest hiring a branding and brand design expert, who will take the time to absorb all the information you’ve gathered (step 1 through 4) and use colour, lines, shapes, logo and tagline possibilities to create a corporate identity that could accurately represent no other brand than yours.
- Put forth guidelines for you and your staff. When your logo and corporate identity (all visuals associated with your brand) are created, they should not be used willy-nilly. Instead, there should be written instructions for when and how to use them, so your brand is properly represented in all types of media. Share this with anyone who will speak on behalf of your brand.
- Design the modes through which your corporate identity will be published. This includes your website, social media pages, business cards, stationery, flyers, brochures, pamphlets, and packaging. A branding and brand design expert will be an invaluable player here, too.
- Revisit your corporate identity strategy yearly. Every year, set aside time for key players to talk to about how they’ve used the corporate identity, and what success and failures they’ve seen. Use this critical information to adjust your corporate identity strategy if necessary, track progress following those changes, and use what you learn to shape the future of your brand.
Every brand needs a corporate identity that explains who they are; what they do; what their mission, vision, and values are…and it needs to be memorable, easy to distinguish from others, consistent across all channels, highly visible, and indicative of everything a brand stands for. That’s a tall order, but with the help and advice of the brand design experts at How to Build a Brand, you can do it.
Interested in learning more about shaping a corporate identity, or general brand-building advice? If you’re ready for more brand visibility, then you’re ready for The B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp. Click here to register.