Why corporate branding is more than just a logo.
Author Polly Buckland
Tues 10th April 2018
Why corporate branding is more than just a logo.
Corporate branding, in its most basic sense, is an icon or a logo that can visually differentiate a business or a product from others in the market. But what about brand identity, brand strategy and messaging?
TIME FOR A BREAKDOWN
Embarking on a corporate branding exercise as a start-up can be incredibly exciting. However, considering a brand refresh as an established business can be terrifying – and for good reason. As soon as you put your corporate branding out there, it will start to gain equity – whether that’s good, bad or ugly. So, getting it right from the start is incredibly important as changing it down the line, and potentially upsetting your hard-earned brand equity, needs to be justified.
CORPORATE BRANDING – YOUR IDENTITY
Design is the foundation of any brand identity. A simple and handy brand identity document will lay out how your logo element should be used across digital and print media. It defines typography use, imagery guidance and colour palettes. As a designer, you can also spot when a business that hasn’t invested in corporate branding from a mile off.
Lots of third parties may touch your brand – your marketing agency, packaging designer, signage company, social media manager, an expo stand designer or even a virtual PA creating presentations. Corporate branding guidelines will mean you have a synergy between all of your output – the stronger the synergy then the more brand equity you will acquire.
The whole idea behind developing and creating corporate brand synergy involves adopting a common vision or goal that drives your competitive advantage. Brand synergy is the consistent meeting of common design elements that, when used across multiple media and platforms, create a greater impact.
So, in short, decide what you want to look like, sound like and say and then be consistent in the way you present yourself all the time and everywhere.
We have met with countless established businesses that have simply lost their way who are looking to refocus their messaging and galvanise internal direction. Likewise, we speak with ambitious startups looking for that initial focus to help them launch with confidence and clarity.
Having a handle on your corporate branding will help you to align your communications with your business objectives.
Message houses are a simple but effective tool for helping your teams, and any outsourced marketing agencies, to stay on message in their marketing communications across different channels. They can be used not just for general company marketing but for purposeful brand positioning as well. A message house is a very powerful starting point and definitely worth the time and investment. But, it is important to allow it to move and evolve with the business over time.
A message house should consist of:
- A powerful umbrella statement which outlines what you do as clearly as possible in one or two sentences.
- Core values or pillars which are aligned with your objectives.
- Each core value should then have a list of phrases and statements which offer further explanation. They should all be written in your company’s tone of voice and house style with maximum impact in mind.
GET MORE BANG FOR YOUR BRAND
It’s quite possible that your business already has all of the above – in which case, bravo. But, are your internal teams, contractors and outsourced marketing partners all singing from the same hymn sheet? When it comes to your corporate branding, creating a identity document or brand bible is an incredibly valuable exercise. As a bare minimum, documenting your thoughts and getting them down on paper alone can improve focus exponentially.
To talk corporate branding, brand messaging and brand identity documents...
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