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09 Apr 2019

Branding - What is a Corporate Identity?

Corporate identity is often a term that is misunderstood in business. It can be confused with the likes of logo or brand image and is often associated with larger businesses such as banking or legal. So, what is corporate identity and why is it important to the success of your brand?

Corporate identity is the face of your brand. As well as your logo, it consists of all visual elements including typeface, imagery, colour palette, and tone of voice. It is also seen across a number of mediums that give consumers a sense of your brand’s personality. These can include stationery, packaging, uniforms, merchandise, brochures or social media. Corporate identity design is the process of creating all these elements and collating them together in a document that either you or third parties can use to implement your brand and its core values. 

What are the four key elements of a corporate identity?

Firstly, your logo. Whether a symbol, a word or a mixture of both, this is the most important element of your identity. Look at the Apple logo – a strong corporate logo can take your brand from being a business to a cultural icon.

The second element is your typeface. Before a single word is read, visually, type can be warm and friendly, it can be elegant and luxurious or even bold and authoritative.

The third element is your visual assets. Your photography should be high quality and have a consistent look and feel to help differentiate your brand from your competitors and also be memorable to your customers.

The final element is brand guidelines. A set of detailed guidelines covering all aspects of your company from stationery to social media are required to help ensure that everyone in your company from designers to retail are all working towards the same brand vision.  (For more information on Brand Management click here)

So why is corporate identity important? If implemented correctly it helps your brand become instantly recognisable across all media, increasing recognition by your customers, ensuring a consistent look and more importantly, increasing the control you have over your brand’s image in the marketplace.

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