CORPORATE IDENTITY: WHAT IS IT AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
By• January 14, 2015
Without always realizing it, we are confronted with a myriad of corporate identities on a daily basis. Regardless of where you may be right now, you’re probably seeing a few at this very moment. It could be a logo on your Apple laptop, bright red and white elements on your Coke can or the sleek interface of your iPhone. Virtually every man-made object carries its maker’s visual signature, which could be an original logo, a unique color palette, a particular typography or some other appropriate graphic element. The combination of these elements conveys a message to you as a consumer. All these messages often leave an important imprint in your sub-conscience, greatly influencing your purchasing decisions in the future.
Although offering a great product and service is a number one priority for any business, being able to present your brand in a unique and coherent way is also very important. Consistent visual clues that are strategically placed in your marketing collateral play fundamental roles in your current and future customer’s buying decisions. All of your marketing efforts should not only present your products and services from the best angle but also be easily recognizable as part of your brand. The idea is to create a solid branding concept based on your company’s products, services and values, while keeping it interesting and consistent throughout all of your communication projects, no matter how big or small.
So how do we achieve this visual recognition for your brand? How do we create that unique image that underlines your values and focuses on your products and services, all while remaining fresh and relevant to your target clientele?
Over the years, Studio Azura developed an entirely customized approach to helping every one of our customers create and define their brands. Far beyond a simple logo creation, the branding process to us is a result of substantial research in local and international trends in your industry, combined with brainstorming on what sets your company apart. We will leverage these differences to distinguish you from your competition. Also, what’s trendy in your field right now will keep your marketing messages interesting to your target clientele. On a side note, identifying and emphasizing your company’s distinguishing characteristics is probably the most important aspect of our pre-branding research and is also the one that requires the most input from you. All too often we hear companies list cliché generalizations like “leadership” and “uniqueness” as their primary differences. At Studio Azura, however, we look for more than this. What distinguishes you may be a particular quality of your products or services that your competitors don’t have. Being able to clearly identify this lies at the core of our branding research.
Next, we will utilize this research and create a logo that reflects the information gathered during the research phase. Your logo is your brand’s signature, your imprint on every product that your company produces. It’s your chance to claim ownership of your hard work and to tell your brand’s story to the world. As such, it is the focal point of your branding initiatives. When you consider that in a simple symbol, your logo has to summarize your brand in a consumer’s eye, it is easy to understand how it is the most difficult part of the branding process.
When we develop logos, we have to keep in mind that that same logo needs to appear equally well and consistent on a variety of media types and production techniques. It must be clear and recognizable on a mobile device screen that is no bigger than a deck of cards or be reproduced on a large street sign in front of your office building. It may be embroidered on your company’s t-shirt or made into a 3D animation for your corporate videos. This is why it is important to create a few logo variations along with your “master” version. Variants typically include single-color and black & white versions of your logo, horizontal or vertical variations and other models, all based on your particular branding project’s needs.
Although the logo is without a doubt the main element of your branding, developing a set of graphic elements that support your logo is crucial in helping your logo produce the maximum visual effect. Just as in movies, where supporting actors help the main actor deliver the message, the logo has its supporting elements to help deliver your brand’s message as well. These elements consist of clearly defining the positioning of your logo on any marketing product, establishing a color palette that helps your logo stand out, selecting typography that is consistent with your logotype and many other rules and standards to be used by third parties such as your suppliers or resellers.
Once all of the branding elements are established, we create a PDF document that clearly summarizes all of your branding standards and guides. This document is called “Brand Guidelines” and is very helpful in keeping things consistent throughout all of your marketing projects and initiatives. Along with this document, we offer our branding expertise to help you maintain consistency by providing ongoing art direction whenever you’re working with other suppliers. Since most third party suppliers are specialized in their own industry and not in branding, we offer art direction packages designed to correct inconsistencies in your brand image due to the fact that your sign may be done by a company specialized in signage fabrication and your t-shirts may be embroidered by a company specialized in brand apparel.
On a somewhat smaller scale, this same process applies to customers needing a simple revamp of their identity instead of a full rebranding project. Revamping your brand is crucial in making sure that it follows the latest trends and is a common practice in today’s competitive market. Keeping things consistent, fresh and relevant to your target clientele remains the key to your marketing success, no matter the field of your company.
Below, we’ve compiled a few illustrations of what some of the most successful brands in the world use as brand guidelines. You can also click on the PDF links to download the complete brand guidelines. To see our branding projects, visit our portfolio. We hope you found this article helpful and would like to remind you that we remain available for any inquiries that you may have.