What is Corporate Branding? The American marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers. Basically, it is what comes to people’s minds when they hear your company name or see your logo. Your brand is a combination of three things: company personality, image, and the core competencies and characteristics. The brand is the impressions you make as well as the words people use to describe your company to others.Why is it Important? Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions. A strong brand creates customer satisfaction and helps establish the longevity of a company. A strong, unified brand gives a company legitimacy and respectability. It creates solidarity and loyalty within and without. A good, strong brand will: deliver the message clearly, confirm your credibility, connect your target prospects emotionally, motivate the buyer, and concrete user loyalty.
Why is it Important? Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions. A strong brand creates customer satisfaction and helps establish the longevity of a company. A strong, unified brand gives a company legitimacy and respectability. It creates solidarity and loyalty within and without. A good, strong brand will: deliver the message clearly, confirm your credibility, connect your target prospects emotionally, motivate the buyer, and concrete user loyalty.
What does that mean for you? Continuity. Continuity. Continuity. What is continuity? It is making sure that everything you do as a company has a coordinated look and feel about it. Graphically this translates into a few things including the standard logo, corporate colors, a particular typeface, even a photo or illustration style.
Often departments grab logos and typestyles and use them with haphazard abandon on everything from data sheets to PowerPoint presentations. I’ve seen sales people ignore mandates from the home office and put out their own marketing pieces bearing no resemblance to the carefully crafted look created by their own marketing department. The result is always the same – the company’s identity is diluted. Often a related drop in market share is seen in response to the lack of an effective, unified marketing. That, in turn, requires a needless squandering of marketing resources to reestablish the company’s former brand awareness in the marketplace. Solution: Continuity helps achieve levels of image and branding efficiency unavailable to practitioners of hit-or-miss marketing with little or no image consistency between messages and media
I’m constantly amazed at how casually some companies treat their company image and therefore how damaged it gets. There’s no shortage of firms that use two, three, even four versions of their logo on a regular basis, with no particular rhyme or reason. The same goes for corporate colors – often a victim of one or more employee’s personal taste (“I HATE that color, I’m going to use green instead.) This dilution of image is made even easier by the proliferation of PowerPoint, Publishers and other tools used by more and more employees. The longer this practice is allowed to continue, the more it will cost your company. In time, money, image awareness and, ultimately, in market share. Solution: Establish company-wide standards and maintain them. Issue a simple style sheet that everyone can understand and follow and then enforce it. Make graphical elements of your company images available to the people that might need them and enforce their use. Help remind employees that it is about what the end user, the potential consumer likes before our own personal tastes.
Branding consists of three main elements: company personality, image, and core competencies and characteristics. Therefore it is important to develop a company image, a company message, and guidelines for consistently communicating the same images and messages within the company and to the community at large.
A strong brand enables a company to prosper and grow at a healthy rate and helps ensure respectability and longevity.
This blog was originally posted on October 19, 2011. It has been updated for content and accuracy.