What does “strong corporate identity” mean and how can it improve your business?

Marketing is a game of attention: companies spend millions of euros and hundreds of hours designing strategies to get your attention and keep it for the longest possible period.

But in a world where companies are at war to get your attention, a company needs to stand out, make sure it’s different than the rest, and for this, it has several tools at its disposal: one of the most powerful ones is corporate identity.

In simple words, corporate identity is everything that contributes to the image of your brand (logo, colors, typography, images, claim, slogan, music, etc.): if your brand was a person, the corporate identity will be its physical looks; everything that helps people recognize it and remember it.

Let’s illustrate this using a visual example:

Guess these brands

These two brands have been respectively ranked 2nd and 6th by Forbes in its “World’s Most Valuable Brands” ranking for 2019, and it is safe to assume that you only needed few seconds to recognize these two brands.

But why is that?

A strong corporate identity.

No matter the context in which you interact with Google or Coca-Cola, chances are these colors will always be visible to you which gives your brain a sense of comfort because it puts you in a familiar environment: you know who you are dealing with and what to expect.

But more than just giving you comfort; these are 3 things that corporate identity can bring to your business:

1. Simplifies interactions with customers

As we said before, brands are at war, multiplying emails, calls, promotional campaigns, social media ads, etc, to get your attention:  in this context, customers might have a hard time navigating through all the noise and figure out what should they pay attention to for solving their problems.

This is when corporate identity can give you an edge over your competitors: having a clear message, with an easy-to-understand value proposition, and a design that stands out can simplify the decision process of your potential customer by providing clarity.

2. Give you more control over your brand image

Your company is launching a new product/service: in order to promote it, you partner with a communication agency to design a visual for your out-of-home campaign. When you receive their first proposal, you notice that the artwork you are looking at is far from what you had imagined in the first place: the colors they used are inconsistent with your brand and the images they used are not in line with the ones you used for your previous campaigns.

This situation happens unfortunately more often than you can imagine, and while miscommunication between you and your agency can be one of the reasons that led to this result, the lack of a strong corporate identity is most probably the main reason this situation occurred.

Having a clear corporate identity means having a Brand Book which is a corporate document that compels all the elements of your brand identity (colors, typography, logo, scales, tone of voice, photos, tagline, etc.) and acts as a reference for any promotional material that gets out.

In the short term, having a brand book will help you gain time and save money by giving crystal clear indications to your agency on what identity to give to your promotional material. In the long term, it will allow your brand to stay consistent with the identity for which your customers choose you in the first place.

3. Improves employee’s commitment

Here is where it gets interesting: until now, we have considered corporate identity mainly in a marketing context, as a marketing tool that will help your brand get noticed and remembered.

But what if we told you that it can also be a managerial tool that can boost your companies productivity?

According to a survey conducted by Strategy&, the success of a company is mainly driven by “a truly distinctive way to provide value, powerful capabilities, and coherence between the two”. In other words, a company should know its strengths, and based on that try to deliver value in a way that is different from its competitors: a strong corporate identity is exactly what can help you achieve that and be unique.

Now you are probably wondering “but how will that improve my employees’ productivity?”

A study conducted in January 2020 by three fellow researchers at the University of Zaragoza points out the correlation between corporate brand identity and employees’ attitude and behavior: according to the study, a strong corporate identity creates stronger bonds between employees which increases their commitment and thus, improve their performance and their satisfaction at work.

If we apply common sense to this affirmation, we realize that it actually makes sense that if an employee has a clear vision of the value its company is trying to deliver, as well as a good understanding of the identity of the brand he is working on, it gives purpose to his work and gives him a clear objective to work for.

To sum up, corporate identity is how people will remember your brand: so same as you won’t leave your house without making sure you look good, don’t put your brand in the market without making sure it has the image you want it to have.

Still not sure about whether or not you need help with your corporate identity?

Get in touch with us and let’s discuss!

About the author: Bertrand Massanes | Managing Partner at Little Buddha
• Ex Managing Director at MPG art (Media Planning - HAVAS Media)

• Ex Marketing manager at Danone & Reckitt Benckiser Spain

• Ex Export Manager at Danone Paris & London
March 10th, 2020 | Corporate Identity
Little Buddha Brand Design Agency

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