Corporate identity is the "persona" of your organization. As part of your brand, your business identity helps answer questions like “Who are we, what do we do, who do we sell to, and why do they buy from us?”
Elements of your brand that are often referred to as corporate identity are: corporate title, logo, mascot, etc. Often these elements are governed by approved standards or style guidelines such as color palettes, typefaces, page (print and/or web) layouts and other methods that establish continuity in your visual communications. Guidelines are usually documented in brand, styles, or business identity manual(s).
Here are some of the myths concerning business identity. Often these are not just myths but “bad” practices.
Color selection is not important
It is the belief that color is not important. Any color can be used depending on the occasion. Unless your logo is extremely visually recognized, this is not true. Yes, the Nike “swish” can be in different colors but even that, if over done, can distract from the brand and weaken Nike’s business identity.
Buyers buy based on emotional decisions. Some studies show that 65% of an emotion is created by color. Thus color is a strong bridge that connects brand, business identity, marketing, and sales within an organization.
Corporate Identity colors, is one of the most recognizable elements of your business identity and creating a strong emotional response on your organization's behalf. Some well know examples are:
- Red for Coca-Cola
- Teal for Tiffany
- Blue for IBM, nicknamed "Big Blue"
- Brown for UPS, "What can Brown do for you"
- Pink for Victoria Secret
I do not need business identity
This is so wrong. You do not need to spend “big” money on business identity vehicles but they must look professional. In today’s business environment, cash is king. This is especially true for small businesses and “start-ups”. Let us look at the simple but basic corporate identity element – the business card. Good business practice is always keeping costs down but nothing screams more “mom and pop” than an unprofessional business card.
To make matters worst, your web site in may ways has become your business card. It is often the first (and maybe the last) introduction to your company and its brand. Today’s buyers expect an certain look. Make sure your website does not say “and I built this myself”.
Having a controlled corporate identity will make my business impersonal.
Actually the opposite is true. Having a managed business identity makes your organization appear more personal. People build a sense of trust, recognition, and customer loyalty when they see an established “look”.
Just as it is important for you to know your targeted buyers’ persona, buyers know the persona of the company, product, or service (hopefully yours) they recognize and trust.
Especially for small companies and start-ups, a strong business identity will make your business appear more progressive, help bring you up front in the market, make your company look cleaner, organized and professional.
Corporate Identity should constantly change to match the changes in the market.
Yes, but mostly no. Organizations and their environments are changing continuously. Many business owners and management try to adapt to these changes by changing their strategies and restructure their organization. Their change of strategy often goes hand-in-hand with an attempt to improve/change their corporate image. They believe that changing circumstances requires a different kind of company with different identity attributes. A favorable business identity is one of your organization's most important assets. A changing or multiple corporate identity can create instability; negatively affecting your corporate image, and endangering the realization of strategic strategies.
This does not mean not upgrading or refreshing your look, especially your visual material and/or website.
In order to assist your organization in establishing corporate identity and style guidelines, we are providing a free download on our eBook “Brand and Styles Manual – How to Create One".