Why Should You Care About Branding and Corporate Identity?
You hear the terms bandied about, and you may have some idea what they mean, but what does it mean for your business and why should you care?
Merriam-Webster defines branding as “the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand.”
Picture ranchers branding their cattle with their ranch’s mark. Cattle from multiple ranches may graze together on the same plain, but anyone looking can identify each animal’s owner, and if the cattle from one ranch all appear in better or worse health than the others, that reflects on that ranch. That’s branding.
Adapted from image by StockUnlimited
Wikipedia defines corporate identity:
“A corporate identity or corporate image is the manner in which a corporation, firm or business enterprise presents itself to the public (such as customers and investors as well as employees). The corporate identity is typically visualized by branding and with the use of trademarks, but it can also include things like product design, advertising, public relations etc. Corporate identity is a primary goal of the corporate communications, in order to maintain and build the identity to accord with and facilitate the corporate business objectives.
In general, this amounts to a corporate title, logo (logotype and/or logogram) and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of corporate guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and usually include approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts, fonts, and others.”
Corporate identity is expanding on your brand, ensuring that the, say, healthy-looking cattle ranch brand follows through with practices to keep their animals in good health throughout their life cycle and for all resulting products to be of high quality.
A better example may be Coca-Cola. You just pictured their logo, did you not? On a red can, or maybe a tall bottle? Their corporate identity defined that logo many years ago. A bottling company can’t typeset the words “Coca-Cola” in a script font and declare it good enough to brand Coke bottles with. That violates the brand as well as the trademark. The bottling company also can’t decide that a blue label is what they’d like to use on this batch of Coke. Blue?! The horror! The logo and the color are very specifically defined, and the company is thorough in following their corporate identity. Go to a country where you do not speak the language and walk into a store that sells bottled soft drinks. Despite the different language on the packaging, you will have no trouble immediately identifying the Coke products. And while we are aware that different countries may use a different formula for the beverage, we also assume a consistent quality level regardless of country of origin. Coca-Cola is not putting their name on an inferior product; it just won’t happen. Their brand is strong, their identity indisputable. All items related to the beverage—products, promotional materials, online presence, advertising, print literature—are visually, immediately, recognizable as Coca-Cola.
Adapted from image by StockUnlimited
You want your brand to be like Coke: that instant recognition of the visual and the understanding of the quality that it represents. Defining and following through with your corporate identity are crucial steps in achieving that recognition goal.
I can help you create or follow your corporate identity. Your marketing materials, your social media posts, your signage, your giveaway items, everything your company puts out should consistently reflect your brand and your quality. Tell me what you’d like help branding; my contact information is at the top of the page!