There is often a lot of marketing talk about corporate and brand identity. But what are the differences, and what are the advantages for businesses in having a strong corporate identity?
Corporate identity is the physical look of your business.
Most people often associate this with a logo as it is the most prominent and immediate interaction that we have with any company. Corporate identity also includes a company’s website, printed material and tone of voice. A company’s website is a very strong interactive point with the customer so it is essential that a good web designer is used to convey the corporate identity in the best way.
Corporate identity can relate to all touch points where the customer encounters your business, so this can also include things like P.R. or social media. It is important that corporate identity is uniform as it needs to give a cohesive message to customers. For that reason, there will usually be a rigorous set of guidelines relating to such things as colour, font size, font style, spacing, etc.
The main benefits in having a strong corporate identity are:
- It can give customers a strong awareness of who a company is and what it is about. It becomes recognisable and memorable.
- A company that is recognisable has the competitive edge.
- A strong corporate identity gives a sense of what the company’s objectives and goals are about to the customer.
- A strong corporate identity conveys to the customer that they mean business and are there to stay.
Brand identity is how the company wants the brand to be perceived.
Many companies work hard to try and improve the brand identity, but it may not necessarily be how the customer views the brand. The main benefits of having a strong brand identity are:
- A strong brand identity can command a premium price. Think Rolex.
- A premium price creates a perception of quality.
- Perceived quality can lead to customer loyalty.
- Perceived quality can also lead to a point of differentiation and give a competitive edge.
Having a strong corporate identity can help to reinforce the brand identity. If the physical make up of your company is seen as being strong and authoritative, this will naturally affect how customers then see your brand. An example would be the BBC. Just as corporate identity and brand identity are intrinsically linked, it makes sense for an organisation to have the marketing, design and web design agency work closely together to ensure a cohesive approach – or to use one that offers the full service.