Every company needs a corporate identity. This seems to be no problem for big businesses like Apple, BMW, Coca-Cola, FedEx, GE, Google, Honda, McDonalds, Microsoft, Nike, Pepsi, Rolex, Shell, Starbucks, Target, Toyota, UPS, Visa, Volkswagen, and Walmart—all companies with easily recognizable logos, brand consistency, and value to their customers—but what about corporate identity for small businesses? Start thinking like a big business with these key steps.
Make a commitment to build your brand—your corporate identity.
Building a corporate identity doesn’t happen overnight because it involves more than a company logo and a clever tagline. It also includes
• Corporate colors
• A Web site
• Industry images branded specifically for your company
• Customer interface
How you and your employees personally present yourselves to customers—both face-to-face and online—which may include how you behave, how you dress, what you say, and what standard you use to make decisions
• Customer service
How you care for your customers and their personal information
• All the content you create
In multiple formats
Across many channels
For advertising, customer service, events, and speaking engagements
Start and stay focused
Know (or figure out)
• What you are passionate about
• Why you do what you do
• What you excel at—in your mind and in your customers’ opinions
• What makes you and your company unique
• What value you will offer your clients now and in the next 5 years
• Who you want to be fans, friends, followers, and target audience
• How you will make sure you stay true to your passion, mission, and value proposition
Continually link these 3 elements together
Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi, reporting in the Harvard Business Review, identified three elements of a strong corporate identity:
“the value proposition you offer your customers, the capabilities system that allows you to create that value, and the set of products and services that leverages those capabilities and delivers against your value proposition.” The same authors, commenting on a Strategy & survey noted increased sales for companies that provided “a truly distinctive way of providing value, powerful capabilities, and coherence between the two.”
For the corporate identity of the small business, brand consistency is of utmost importance. This means that you consistently communicate
• The unique benefits you provide for your customers
• What products and/or services you offer
• How precisely you add and deliver value to your clients
Don’t be shy about your strengths, your uniqueness, your passion, or why you do what you do. As we explained in Tate Design’s 3 Ways to Avoid a Corporate Identity Crisis, if any part of this message is vague, your corporate identity will be unclear and sales will suffer.
Whether you need a company logo, name development, a tagline, a Web site, or graphic design and templates to brand your newsletter and social media posts, Tate Design can deliver. Contact us at 610.725.0702 or [email protected] in order to build the elements of your corporate identity.