Whether you’re in the process of developing your brand or corporate identity (CI), you already know how easy it is to get it wrong. Possibly because you’ve not researched the audience you’re crafting an identity to serve, or because your brand is not consistently living up to the corporate identity its meant to have been built around.
So, the question is – since so many brands manage to make mistakes when it comes to their corporate identities, how do you make sure you’re not one of them?
Corporate Identity Is About More Than Just “Look And Feel”
When most business decision-makers think about corporate branding services, they mostly find themselves thinking about logo development, colour palette selection, and maybe website design.
The problem is that most companies are not aware of how integral their identity is to the their products or services. Identity is not just what your brand looks like (although, consistent representation is important!) it’s about who your brand is, what sort of treatment your audience can expect from it, how your standards of professionalism and quality show themselves through your interactions with your market, at every touchpoint.
And so, delivery, customer service, language use, store layout, omnichannel presence, and more should all be impacted and informed by your corporate identity. That is to say, who your brand is should always be a consideration when developing the systems, services and back-end structures that determine how your brand meets its market’s needs.
Think about Disney as an example. They’re not just an entertainment company. Their corporate identity is that of a wholesome and family-friendly entertainment company. That is who their brand is, and that’s why you’ll often find them very hesitant to create products that don’t fit under the umbrella of “family friendly”. We see this in how the company handled Fox Studios’ distinctly R-rated Deadpool when they added the character to their creative properties.
If one of the most successful companies to have ever existed gives their corporate identity with that much consideration, even when handling one of the most successful entertainment contemporary entertainment franchises, then is there really any question as to how important your CI is?
Involving A Brand Identity Custodian
You may have heard of a brand custodian or a culture custodian before. If you have, the concept of a CI custodian should be an easy one to imagine. In fact, keeping the corporate identity consistent, and ensuring its presence at every level of operation – both internally and public-facing, is one of the responsibilities of a brand custodian.
The brand custodian is often responsible for both crafting a brand and maintaining it – whether directly, or through ongoing interaction across departments.
This is a position that can be filled internally or externally. But in our experience, the best option is a combination of in-house and third-party expertise, whereby internal stakeholders who understand the company and its objectives work with an external consultancy who brings expertise that are often difficult to find within existing departments (extensive market research and brand experience skills, for example).
Taking Control Of Your Identity
The more you invest in your corporate identity, the more you can expect it to help you attract new customers. However, if your company is not properly structured to implement an optimised corporate branding strategy, then it will be very difficult to build up a strong brand image amongst your customers.
When it comes to your CI, the best path to success is to have a plan and maintain control over your identity from day one. This means setting up the digital and physical infrastructure necessary, alongside the establishment of your company operations.
In many cases, this is an unreasonable expectation. The birth of a business is often a chaotic endeavour with constantly changing priorities, an abundance of emergencies demanding attention, and a shoestring budget.
But, however many urgent matters need immediate attention, the long-term importance of corporate identity should not be forgotten – or you might find your market forgetting you.
Identity And Brand-building With Interact RDT
As experts in the fields of Brand Experience, User Experience, Customer Experience and Employee Experience, with powerful and established Market Research methodologies, we at Interact RDT understand not only the important building blocks of brands, but also how various touchpoints, platforms, processes and channels interact to create and maintain a brand identity in the eyes of its customers.
We understand how to find market insights that will inform the ongoing development of a corporate identity, to keep it current and engaged with the contemporary needs and wants (both spoken and unspoken) of the market it serves.
Contact us today, and let’s discuss your corporate identity; what it was, what it is, and what it could be!