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Corporate Identity Guide

Corporate Identity Guide

Identity vs. Image

The terms corporate identity and corporate image may seem like the same thing, and in fact, they are often interchanged, however, there is an important distinction between the two. Simply put:

  • Corporate Identity is how a company wants to be perceived
  • Corporate Image is the public perception of a company

The ultimate goal is, of course, the alignment of corporate identity with corporate image. Ideally, the public will view the company exactly as the company wants to be seen. However, this doesn’t just happen by chance. A successful company will cultivate both their identity and image

Why does it matter?

A well managed corporate identity and subsequently a positive corporate image can have many benefits for your company. A positive identity fosters reliability and recognition. If you consistently meet the expectations of the public, your dependability leads to loyalty to your brand as well as positive word of mouth advertising. Furthermore, effort spent presenting a uniform corporate identity will establish your company as professional and can eliminate brand confusion.

On the flip side when a company's look and feel doesn't reflect how they act, it creates a rift between corporate identity and how you are perceived. An audience that is confused will be distrustful, which will further weaken your corporate image. It is essential that you do the work to shape your corporate identity in order to foster a positive corporate image.

Corporate Identity

Develop your corporate identity – elevate your corporate image.

As mentioned above your identity is how you want to be perceived. It is the outward-facing elements of a company. Your image is inward-facing. It is the overall associations and beliefs your customers, potential customers and others have about your brand/product/service.

There are two general areas that a company can focus on to improve their corporate identity and subsequently their corporate image.

Design

Design represents the visual aspects of your company. These are how you stand out from the competition. When it comes to identity, the major components of this category are your company name, slogan and logo. These facets are then filtered into the rest of your company – from your website to the stationary, both paper and electronic, to the signage used in your place of work. Even things that seem insignificant, such as pens or mugs or other swag produced by your company, should fit into the identity that you have developed. A successful company will use consistency throughout all of these elements in order to answer the question, ‘who are we?’. 

This is best achieved by having a brand identity kit developed. In the past small company’s could get away with not putting too much thought into these components and even developing them as required but in today’s competitive marketplace it is absolutely imperative that each company have its own distinctive identity. A thorough brand identity kit is just as important for small companies as it is for multinational corporate giants. Check back in the next few weeks for some tips on how to develop your own brand identity kit or contact us to create one for you.

Once you have a brand identity kit is helpful to have some corporate guidelines which will allow for successful and consistent implementation providing reliable results. In the next few weeks we will be sharing some tips on how to create an inclusive brand guideline document, including what goes in it and other considerations. 

Corporate Branding

Behaviour

How do you share the essence of your company? What are your core values and philosophies? How do you present your brand? All of these questions are answered by the behaviour your company exhibits. Your image is affected by every action your company takes.

Communication is a huge component of your image. Simply put, communication is any way your company shares information. This includes all interactions with employees, investors, external stakeholders, customers and the general public. Both public relations and internal communication can affect the perception of your company. It is important to put thought into every interaction – your goal is to be recognized and remembered but for the right reasons. 

👔 Corporate Identity Guide 📝

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A huge, but sometimes overlooked, facet of corporate communication in today’s digital world is responding to online reviews and feedback. We recommend staying on top of your social media presence and responding to reviews; both negative and positive. If someone has taken the time and effort to communicate with your company it is important to acknowledge that. With so much decided in the court of public opinion these days, a thorough and prompt response will certainly elevate your image.

In addition to communication, it is important that a company puts thought into every action they take. In the digital world we currently exist in, it is more important than ever that a company constantly conducts itself as if someone is watching.

How you communicate and the actions your company takes are the cornerstones of your reputation, which in turn, directly affects your image. A positive reputation is one of the greatest assets a company can hold in this day and age.

Roy McClean
Nov 20, 2020
By Roy McClean

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