How to build corporate identity? Tips and tricks.


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Think about an apple. What comes in your mind? A fruit or the latest version of the iPhone? As for many people, they associate an apple with the famous brand, created by Steve Jobs.

Apple company has an extremely strong corporate identity, which makes it successfully stand out from competitors. What’s the recipe of such a perfect branding? We can’t talk about a simple solution, because marketing is a field where strategy meets creativity. And Steve Jobs was a person who really could think out of the box.

How does it work?

All marketing and advertising efforts can be summarized in a short formula: “I know - I want - I pay”. The purchasing process is always the same:

Stage №1 “I know that someone solves problems this way”
Stage №2 “I want to be like he/she”
Stage №3 “I can pay for this”

Understanding this pattern, McKinsey company had developed one of the best marketing tools, AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action). It is used for creating any advertising content: texts, videos, images.
Original published at freshcodeit.comCorporate identity is essential for all business. If you want to monetize your idea, you need to show clients who you are. Business identity is the way which you present yourself to the audience. It defines your interaction with the consumers, the employees and the investors.

Reasons for creating corporate identity

Starting out a new company, you may think that the branding issues aren’t very important at this stage of business development. Of course, creating a cool product is of primary importance. But you should think of a corporate image, even if your team consists only on you and a co-founder.
The value of your product depends not only on its quality, but also on buyer’s feelings and perception. 94% of customers prefer and recommend companies they emotionally engaged with. People often behave irrationally, so a successful brand should be created simultaneously in 2 realities. You need to take into account both common-sense and emotions. The stronger brand you have, the more money customers will be ready to pay for your product. Business identity is a great part of branding. That’s why it’s so important. You shouldn’t confuse these 3 concepts:

  • Logo (symbols, colors, wordmarks, fonts and other elements)
  • Corporate identity (all the visual or sensual aspects of the company)
  • Brand (creation of an emotional connection with the consumers)

4 benefits of a strong corporate identity

1. Catchy image makes you recognizable
Wherever you go, you can find global companies that are memorable for customers throughout the world. Recognizing KFC or Starbucks in Europe and America, China and Japan, people are more likely to go there, than to a no-name cafe. Instead of spending time and efforts to compare different companies, customers choose something they already know. The same thing with goods and products. For example, 44% of US consumers plan to give presents purchased from brands they are loyal to.

2. You build trustful relations with the target audience
Developing a strong corporate identity, you not only set your business apart from competitors. Consistent and coherent communication shows that you know what to do, highlights your professionalism. A smartly designed website, appealing brochures and stylish packages prove you are credible. The online presence is quite important, because 32% of consumers learn about products from websites or social media accounts.

3. You engage with people who are interested in your product
Specific corporate values and a clear brand image attracts the right customers. Imagine, you offer high-quality chocolate and desserts. Your perfect buyer is Alice, who is passionate about prime sweets and is ready to pay for the finest products. And you don’t want to deal with Sam, who gladly eats any candy-bar or the cheapest snack. A thoughtfully developed brand makes you noticeable for your target audience, and simultaneously distracts bad leads.

4. Product launches became easier
It’s always stressful for business to create innovative solutions and provide the market with something new. The good news is 59% of global consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. Interaction with customers improves your understanding of their needs, makes them loyal and helps you to introduce beta products without great expense. That’s why you need to build a connection based on shared vision and values.

Elements and types of corporate image

As you can see, there are 2 types of corporate identity: weak and strong. The second one is known as “effective”, because it really helps to move business goals forward. In order to build a strong corporate identity, you have to develop its 2 main elements: corporate culture and design.

Culture and personality
Aiming to create a cool brand, you shouldn’t think only about how your business is seen by the outside. It’s essential to know who you are as a company. The core of corporate identity consists of:

  • your vision and purpose
  • your values, culture and behavior

Visual identity
Modern and appealing corporate style is crucial for a successful brand. It transmits the values, as well as makes a positive first impression. You should be mindful of:

  • logo, social media, website
  • merchandise and packaging
  • office, uniforms, vehicles, etc

Understanding the importance of corporate identity, you can create a clear business profile and set standards of service and working practices. Let’s see, how to cope with it.

Tips on creating corporate identity from scratch

Tell a story
When you are an early-stage entrepreneur, your brand narrative is an extraction of you and co-founders. So, to write an interesting and catchy brand narrative, you need to tell a story of your life. Who are you? When and why did you first think about starting out the business? What inspires you and your team? It’s a good idea to think about the company in the way you think about a person. It also has its own identity, voice, values, story, character, style, etc.

Combine strategy and creativity
Marketing isn’t only about planning and analytics. It’s also about concepts and solutions that differentiate you from others. The integration of business and creativity means that “strategy = idea”. It’s something that makes you unique and moves your goals forward. Accenture, one of the leading global business consulting companies, recently has bought Droga5, one of the main creative agencies in the world. This isn’t the first transaction that shows a tendency of mutual integration between business consulting and digital, design, creative industries.

Create meaningful visual image
Design is the most obvious aspect of a corporate identity. Make sure it isn’t just fashionable and pretty, but also transmits your ideas. A strong logo supports and reinforces the brand’s core. A cool creative design requires brainstorming and thinking out of the box. But it worths your time and efforts. Don’t forget about different nuances. How will the logo look at your website? In a printed version? In promotional souvenirs or office interior?

Set standards of behavior and communication
Corporate identity influences all kinds of company activities. It determines the language used in customer communications, as well as the leadership style of the management team. The efficiency of using integrated marketing communications (IMC) also depends on the corporate identity strategy. It affects loyal and potential customers, the media, and the public. Press releases, advertising slogans, videos and brochures should support each other.

Features of corporate identity that matters

Let’s look at the best corporate identity examples and find out what makes them so significant.

Exclusivity: Apple asks to think different

The key element of Apple’s corporate identity is exclusivity. The highly competitive market requires companies to show their clear differentiation or reason for being. From the extremely simple and recognizable logo, to the famous slogan, Apple emphasizes its uniqueness and separation. The company successfully uses the formula “I know - I want - I pay”. Its customers want to be like Apple. Be unique.

Apple ensures its products are based on seeing the world a little differently. And it inspires the customers to do the same.

Relevance: Starbucks understands customers’ aspirations

People around the world want to drink high-quality, tasty coffee in a nice atmosphere. Starbucks satisfies this need, creating the concept of the third place between home and work where everyone can relax and enjoy a cup of a favorite drink. The round tables were created specifically to make people feel less alone and the creative logo to represent the seductive power of coffee.

Its intended audience looks for perfect service, excellent drinks and comfort. Starbucks tries to be as relevant as possible, taking into account the public’s demand and providing some seasonal offers depending on location.

Coherence: Nike delivers clear message

Thanks to the well-established connections and professional marketing, Nike has a powerful presence in the sports industry. The company’s message is clear and motivational: “Just do it!”. Nike promises to create products that help everyone, who wants to achieve more. It talks to customers in an inspirational tone, and all its promotional content is following this way.

The stylish logo represents motivation, speed and freedom from 1971. Nowadays Nike advertising supports the idea of equality, sports achievements and fights against stereotypes.

Esteem: Chanel cares about perfect reputation

With its trademark suits, timeless designs and legendary black dresses, Chanel has conquered the market of luxury fashion brands. Upholding exclusivity and spotless reputation helps it to stay in the leading position among strong competitors.

Chanel is the most influential luxury brand, which is valued by both its internal and external audiences. The high esteem is reached thanks to the balance of the expected and delivered quality.

7 common mistakes

1. Vague image of the intended audience
Without a clear understanding of your customer, you don’t know who are you talking to. The intended audience is a starting point of creating logo, corporate identity, brand and the whole marketing strategy. Don’t skip it.

2. Think new business doesn’t need corporate identity
The better you will explain your idea at the start of business development, the easier it will be to gain success. Corporate identity is interesting for everyone, who deals with your company. It creates an atmosphere in your team, as well as the relations with your customers or stakeholders.

3. Confuse terms and skip the essence
Branding isn’t limited to the company’s name, logo and slogan. It’s not just about colors, fonts and décor. Think of values, preferences, lifestyle you will share with your customers and show these to them.

4. Don’t think globally
The modern era of digitalization, e-commerce and online marketing requires you to think wider. Don’t focus just on the local area, make your business relevant around the world. Nowadays it’s easier to make something significant.

5. Ignore business peculiarities
Companies have various priorities at different stages of development. If you are just testing your idea, it isn’t necessary to invest thousands of dollars in branding. But when you already know the target market, it’s time to hire a professional designer, marketer, etc.

6. Neglect effective marketing channels
Make sure your online presence, physical location and promotional content are created at the same corporate style. Use maximum channels to reach your intended audience. It can be e-mail marketing, SMM or traditional advertising.

7. Blindly following up-to-date trends
Before using popular tricks, check whether they match your corporate identity. Maybe, the trendy color looks ugly with your logotype, or your customers have unpleasant associations with a mainstream joke. Be careful with trends. Creating corporate guidance will help you to avoid such mistakes. It contains: tone of voice, fonts, typography, colors, and icons, logo variants and taglines.

Now you know how to convince the public and prove your project makes the difference. Both new and established companies can boost their profits by implementing an appropriately planned business identity.

The article was originally published at

Viktoria Klochkova
Tech writer and marketer at IT company FreshCode. I create meaningful content together with top experts from our team (CMO, CSO, PMs, Senior Developers).


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