“Understanding your identity is the origin of marketing your company correctly.”
— Coleen Sterns Leith
President of Marketing Matters
Imagine if McDonald’s swapped their golden arches for something else every few years. If Facebook changed their iconic blue for whatever color the designers were feeling that day. Or if Coca-Cola traded in the cursive letters for anything else (They actually did for a year in 1890 – but thankfully we weren’t around for that swirly makeover!).
We could go on and on with examples of why consistent branding is crucial. While we’re not going to dwell on about why timeless branding works, we are going to lay out the roadmap on how to create a corporate identity that will work for your brand for a very long time.
Creating an Effective Corporate Identity
An effective corporate identity communicates your style, your values and is appropriate for the industry you serve. Sounds easy enough, right? In practice, developing a consistent corporate identity is one of the most monumental and time-consuming tasks any marketing professional or business owner will face.
Why? Because you and your customers have to love it – for a very long time. Here’s what Sterns Leith says about the benefits of consistent corporate identity in her book Ultra Hi Def Marketing: 5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry:
“A good brand is a powerful asset. It distinguishes you from competitors. It helps you carve out a ’share of mind.’ Your brand makes it possible for you to compete on factors other than price. And when you’re the ’first call’ solution for the product or service you sell, well, that’s branding at work.”
Before you even think about hiring a designer or agency to develop a logo and business cards, make sure that you have your identity basics in place. These are a few of the elements you should have defined – and in writing:
- Your story
- Your strengths
- What problems you provide solutions to
- Why your product/service is needed
- Why customers should buy your products instead of a competitor’s products
Your branding is your identity materialized. It will represent you way beyond your logo, spilling over unto everything your customer sees: your website, your catalog, your brochure, your
business card, your digital marketing assets, even your invoices. So treat the project with the care it deserves.
On a final note, please remember that branding doesn’t happen overnight. Just because you launched a new color palette doesn’t mean that your customers will identify with it right off the bat.
I love how our president states this point in her book “Branding is the sum total of every interaction your company has with your market.” This means that what creates that bond with your audience are the motors that drive your marketing efforts: Advertising, public relations campaigns, a website that tells your story. Without every marketing effort marching to the beat of your brand, your corporate identity will never receive the recognition you crave.
For more recommendations on creating a consistent corporate identity and everything you need to know to win at the marketing game, give us a call or check out Ultra Hi Def Marketing: 5-Step Guide to World Domination in the Tech Industry.