Corporate Branding Strategy: Definition and How To Develop One

By Indeed Editorial Team

May 27, 2021

An effective way to stand out from other companies is to create your brand identity to make you more recognizable and relatable to your audience. By building a corporate branding strategy, you can build a connection with customers and establish yourself as a trusted organization in the industry. This can help you stand out from the competition, increase brand awareness and improve customer retention. In this article, we review what corporate branding is, the difference between a brand and logo, why it's important and how to develop a corporate branding strategy.

What is corporate branding?

Corporate branding refers to a company's image or identity and the way it's presented to customers. A company's brand typically represents its values, brand voice and messaging. Marketing professionals often build corporate brands to demonstrate how they prefer the company to perceive the organization. When you decide on a corporate brand image, it's important to remain consistent by regularly including your brand's logo, messaging, image, style and voice in all marketing materials. This makes the company more recognizable to potential customers and makes it stand out from competitors.

Related: What Is Branding? Why Branding Is Important for Your Business

Brand vs logo

While both a brand and a logo represent the company, they're different concepts that are both important parts of a company's image. A company's brand typically defines what the company's purpose is, the product or service it sells, the audience it sells to and why it sells that product or service.

Your logo is a visual representation of the brand and company. When people notice your logo, they typically think of your brand and its messaging. Consistently placing your logo on your marketing and sales materials can help people easily remember your brand and can increase awareness for new customers.

Related: How To Design a Logo in 12 Steps

Importance of corporate branding

Corporate branding is important because it allows you to define the business' personality, characteristics, values and purpose. This can lead customers to choose your product or service over others because they admire your purpose, believe in your cause and share similar values. Relating to a company allows you to use emotional marketing, which drives customers to trust, rely and commit to your company. Building these strong connections through corporate branding can lead to strong customer retention rates, impressive referrals and increased revenue.

How to develop a strong corporate brand

Developing a strong corporate brand typically involves working closely with your team to closely evaluate the company's missions, values, vision, goals and purpose. From there, you can build strategies to effectively communicate the brand's message to build meaningful connections with your audience. Follow these steps to develop a strong corporate brand:

1. Discuss the company's goals, vision and mission

Before you can implement any branding strategies, it's important to understand what you'd like your materials and messaging to display. Work with management and leadership teams to discuss your achievement goals for the company in both the short- and long-term. Discuss the company's mission and vision statements, along with its values, to ensure your goals align well with the company's overall purpose. Understanding what the leadership team aims for the company to achieve helps you create more accurate messaging and materials to demonstrate this.

Related: How To Write an Effective Mission Statement

2. Conduct a brand audit

Performing a brand audit typically entails closely reviewing its current messaging, image and identity. There are different elements that make up a brand and its image, including its website, marketing collateral and sales materials. Try to carefully review any materials your audience eventually sees to determine which accurately represent your brand's purpose, goals, vision and mission. You can then identify improvement areas to strengthen in order to better represent and demonstrate your brand accurately and positively.

3. Survey the employees

Since the employees regularly contribute work to the company, it can increase their motivation to submit quality assignments if they believe in the company and relate to its purpose. Gain their input on the brand's strategy by distributing surveys or questionnaires that ask how team members view the company and the values they believe you should communicate in your promotional materials. Common questions you could ask employees in your survey could be:

  • What do you believe is unique about our company and brand?

  • What made you want to work at this company over others?

  • Why should customers choose our company over competitors?

  • How does our customer service stand out from the rest?

  • What do you believe is the sole purpose of our company?;

  • How does our business impact the lives of our customers?

4. Research your target audience

The way you convey your brand and its messaging can depend on your target audience. It's important to regularly conduct research on who your audience is, the way they consume content and any values or causes they possess. This helps you communicate your brand and its identity in a way they can relate to and better understand. You can also learn their industry challenges, goals and needs. This helps you better convey how your product or service can help improve their lives to increase your connection, build stronger trust and stand out from competitors.

Related: Defining Your Target Audience: What It Is and Why It's Important

5. Build a brand strategy and style guide

You can use the feedback from staff members to create a brand strategy that accurately represents and showcases your brand's identity. After reviewing your brand's current materials, you can highlight areas to change and start building strategies that implement these fixes. You can create a style guide that explains your brand's purpose, messaging and image.

This can detail how you choose to display your brand and instruct employees on how to represent your brand as well. When employees are creating sales or marketing materials, they can quickly review your style guide and strategy to better understand how they should communicate to the audience in a consistent, positive and on-brand manner.

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