At some point in its journey, a business realizes the importance of a complete corporate identity. Severe marketplace conditions and globalization make it all the more necessary for a business to stand out and connect well with its customers.
Despite such a pressing need, business owners often overlook the fine nuances of corporate identity design.
Yes, it is not the designer but the business owner whose vision goes into creating a corporate identity. The artist just gives a shape to the entrepreneur’s vision.
Let’s have a look at the ten steps an entrepreneur needs to follow a great corporate identity.
Know what differentiates your business from others.
Differentiating your business is the first step towards a great corporate identity.
There are many businesses similar to yours, but all of them do not run in the same manner as yours. You need to identify what is that differentiates your business from others.
If there’s nothing, then you need to create a differentiator now. Without a differentiator, your corporate identity won’t deliver the effect it is intended to.
Differentiators could be best customer service, delightful customer experience; always on-time deliveries and so on.
Identify your core audience.
Once you have spelled out the differentiating factor for your business, you need to decide on who is going to be your target customer.
All men and women between 18 and 65 are not how a good business defines its customers. Even all men between 18 and 50 is not a good marker.
A sample definition of a core target audience could be young office goers with incomes between “x” and “y” per annum who take minimum four yearly vacations.
Identify geographical and cultural constraints and inclinations.
Perceptions change with changes in geographies and cultures. Orange color stands for warmth in colder regions, but it is not the same for areas with a hot climate.
Such differences can even be stronger in different cultures. You need to be in tune with the perceptions of your core target audience. Getting it right is paramount to the success of your corporate identity.
Define your brand values.
What would you choose of the two — providing highest levels of customer service or a 100% year over year growth? Your brand values play a crucial role while creating your brand identity.
If you have doubts, take your time to decide what are going to be your business values. Remember, you need to live those values else no level of branding can help business.
Decide your brand appeal.
Brand appeal is another important factor, and most businesses choose to go with the trend. A brand appeal could be soft, durable, modern, retro, gentle, energetic, etc. It can also be a combination of two or more types.
Identify your brand colors.
Different colors stand for different things. You would want your corporate identity to be a perfect balance of hues and contrasts. Again, this is an aspect that is the job of the graphic designer.
However, when it comes to deciding your corporate brand colors, individual color preferences cannot be ignored.
Identify the medium.
When it comes to corporate identity, the three things that come to mind is the logo, business card and perhaps a letterhead. But when it comes to the real use of your logo or brand identity, things could get very different.
For example, a restaurant would use its brand identity on the menu, signboard and sometimes interiors too.
Find the right logo designer.
Now that you have worked on the above eight points, you can start looking for a logo designer who best understands your vision and values. You can always have a look at the artist’s portfolio to find out their level of creativity.
Many business owners want to go with designers who have worked for a similar business in the past, but this should not be a criterion to find an artist. The corporate identity of your business needs to communicate its vision and values and not which industry it belongs.
One very common request our customers have is to make the logo look like that of say an “electronics manufacturer” or an “online store.” When you start thinking regarding an “online store,” your corporate identity is destined to appear like “trying to be too hard” or a “compromised” version of Amazon.
Communicate effectively with the designer
You are the influence, the primary medium, the conceiver and the propagator of your brand identity. Your designer is a skilled person who knows the tools and nuances of design.
Your corporate identity is a combination of the message and the design.
Asking your designer to come up with concepts without detailed inputs will only result in disappointment. A briefing session or a briefing document is worth investing.
The time you spend here will bring great results and save a lot of confusion and rework.
Focus on quality v/s quantity.
There are hundreds of logo designers who want your business. When competition comes in, many design agencies start using the approach of “33% more.”
They lure you with offers of more concepts and even countless iterations. A designer offering more is going to compromise on quality as he will spend less time in researching, brainstorming, etc.
As a result, there are high chances of you getting disappointed with results or forced to accept what is on offer.
While looking for a designer, always focus on quality than quantity. Poor quality stuff reflects poorly on the image of your business, and the loss is beyond your imagination.