A good and strong brand identity is one of the strongest weapons in the marketplace. Have you ever wondered how big corporations have created memorable brands?
The answer is simple: by creating a unique and impressive identity.
What is a Brand?
A brand is a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in the crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value.
The legal name for a brand is the trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name. You can register your trademark to protect your brand, for example – the name of your product or service. Click here to find out how to register a trademark in the UK.
What is Corporate Identity?
Corporate Identity represents a combination of colour schemes, designs, words, etc., that a firm employs to make a visual statement about itself and to communicate its business philosophy. It is an enduring symbol of how a firm views itself, how it wishes to be viewed by others, and how others recognize and remember it.
Corporate identity is ‘out there’ sensory-experience conveyed by things such as buildings, décor, logo, name, slogan, stationery, uniforms, and is largely unaffected by its financial performance and ups and downs in its fortunes.
Corporate-identity is either strong or weak (not positive, negative, or neutral like a corporate image) and is more or less permanent unless changed deliberately.
What corporate image really is?
A corporate image represents a mental picture that springs up at the mention of a firm’s name. It is a composite psychological impression that continually changes with the firm’s circumstances, media coverage, performance, pronouncements, etc. Similar to a firm’s reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. Unlike corporate identity, it is fluid and can change overnight from positive to negative to neutral. Large firms use various corporate advertising techniques to enhance their image in order to improve their desirability as a supplier, employer, customer, borrower, etc.
The image of Apple computer, for example, as a successful business has dimmed and brightened several times in the last 30 years. But its identity (conveyed by its name and multicoloured bitten-off-apple logo) as an innovative and pathbreaking firm has survived almost intact during the same period.
How Can You Build a Successful Brand?
Create a brand that is timeless, distinctive and powerful that will help your business or product stand out from your competitors.
The right brand identity design can be one of the company’s best marketing tools as it transforms the company’s vision and values into an image that customers become familiar with.
Build a memorable brand. The brand identity design is what often helps the customer to remember the company.
A company’s brand identity can be represented through a unique logo that is often incorporated on all the company’s materials such as stationery, business cards, packing and so on. Make sure it’s easy to read and memorable.
A Logo is the central, identifiable visual element that helps customers discover, share and remember a company’s brand. a good logo is distinctive, appropriate, practical, graphic and simple in form, and it conveys the owner’s intended message. You should follow Smashing Magazine‘s five principles to ensure that your design meets all of these criteria.
Use the same font character and colours on your marketing materials. Look at Virgin brands. All Virgin businesses have the word ‘Virgin’ no matter what services or products they provide, and the name is written using the same font and colours everywhere.
Create a Corporate Identity Manual to be followed by all departments within your company for any internal and external documents and activities.
A good corporate image is important for almost all businesses because this is what attracts many people who aren’t drawn in by words and numbers alone. The word apple associated with the Apple computers and iPhone is the best example.
Once you know what name you want to use and what colours identify your brand and business, make sure you use them everywhere – on your website, on your business cards, on social media, in any images or videos where your brand is mentioned, but also inside your offices or retail shops.
Five Questions to Help You Identify Your Brand Correctly
Before going into designing your brand, answer these five questions.
- How is your brand perceived against other competitors on the market?
- What is the positioning statement of your brand?
- Who is your audience?
- Whats values & believes should your brand have about your business?
- What benefits do you want your customers to associate with your brand?
Brand identity design is an artistic and practical approach that focuses on the needs of the companies in areas such as marketing, packaging, product branding, communications and website design. If you are a business owner wanting to create a good and lasting identity in the market, perhaps the professional help of brand identity designers can benefit you.
How to Design a Brand Identity?
Large organizations with layers of management require a thorough brand identity system that provides a unified vision and tools that help everyone build the brand.
This presentation from Creative Market will walk you through the major steps required to craft a professional brand identity.
Be Really Clear on What You Want Them to Know
Your customer is the king, so make sure your brand and your marketing messages reflect this – you provide a service or a product to solve your client’s needs, to empower him, to help him, or to honour him. It’s not about what you offer, it’s about what your customer receive from you and how your product or service help them.
As Steve Jobs said in the video below, you have to be really clear on what you want them to know about you.
Don’t focus on what products and services you offer, but think how you can help your audience.
Learn from Steve Jobs
I think one of the best definition of what a brand means was given by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO – “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.