How To Create a Strong Corporate Identity in 6 Steps

Updated February 3, 2023

Creating a corporate identity is one of the best ways for a company to improve its public image and gain name recognition. Companies with a strong identity often create a more loyal customer base and find greater success in their marketing campaigns. If you work in marketing or public relations, it might be helpful to learn about corporate identity and why it matters.

In this article, we explain what corporate identity is, explore its importance, list the elements of corporate identity and explain how you can create or improve the identity of your company.


What is corporate identity?

A corporate identity is a purposeful design of style, character, ideals and aesthetics that a company associates with its name and products. Corporate identity is a part of brand awareness that companies can use to create a common public perception. This allows them to market better and become well known, even among people who don't consume their products. 

Related: Learn What Corporate Identity Is and Why It's Important


Why is it important to create a corporate identity?

These are some reasons creating a corporate identity is important for organizations:

  • Easier marketing: Creating a corporate identity is important because it allows for simpler and more effective marketing. When consumers recognize your branding and identity quickly, advertisements and marketing campaigns can be simpler and more efficient.


  • Consumer trust: When you show consistency in style and branding, consumers are more likely to trust that your products and services can maintain quality as well. When customers recognize and associate your identity with the products you sell, they're more likely to continue purchasing those products instead of trying a competitor.


  • Product launch: If you have a consistent and successful corporate identity, launching new products becomes a simpler process. When consumers recognize your brand and associate it with other products and services, they're more likely to try the new products you launch.


  • Company guidance: An effective corporate identity can provide guidance to design teams and people within the company. When everyone understands what the corporation stands for, it makes it easier to take action that aligns with the identity and create material that follows the style.

Related: How To Build Your Brand Identity in 5 Steps


Corporate identity elements

When creating corporate identity, you can consider various elements and determine which are most important. There are many aspects that influence public perception of an organization, and by focusing on them, you can create a strong corporate identity. These are the elements of corporate identity:


Design

Corporate identity design refers to the visual representations of a company. This can include the corporation's logo, the font they use in marketing and advertising, the imagery associated with the brand and other stylistic elements. For example, an outdoors brand may use imagery of parks, trees and nature when marketing their products, and that aesthetic can become associated with the brand. Stylistic elements can include the language guides the company uses in official documents and publications, as well as the overall aesthetic nature of their content.

Related: A Guide To Successfully Rebranding Your Company


Character

Character is an important element of corporate identity, and it includes the company's ethics, morals, tone, moods and emotions. Character refers to how the consumer feels when they hear the name of the company or see an advertisement for its products. For example, a sports goods company may have a mood that is upbeat and energetic, while a mattress brand may have a gentle tone for its branding. How the company gives back and commits to environmental friendliness can be a factor in the perceived character of the corporation.

Related: 7 Ways To Gain Customer Trust (And Why It's Important)


Behavior

Corporations and organizations contain many people and representatives within the business structure, and how each person behaves contributes to the corporate identity. How representatives and leaders within the company communicate with other businesspeople and the consumer is an important aspect of the company's identity. For example, if the public perception of a business is that the customer representatives provide excellent service and that there are never hold times for telephone calls, part of the company identity may be punctuality, consideration and attentiveness.

Related: What Is Brand Loyalty? (Plus Tips To Increase It)


Storytelling

The last element of corporate identity is the storytelling that the brand does for the company. This includes the history of the organization, current efforts and future goals. For example, a company may include its founding story as part of its corporate identity. They may also report their current efforts to improve and innovate in the field, and future efforts to reduce environmental impact and give back to the community. Including storytelling in corporate identity is important because it allows consumers to subscribe to the continuous idea of including the band in their lives.

Related: What Branding Is and Why It's Important


How to create a strong corporate identity

It's important to create a corporate identity to ensure the organization is consistent and that products are recognizable. Many marketing and public relations professionals focus on creating an effective corporate identity that appeals to an ideal consumer. You can follow these steps to create a strong corporate identity:


1. Determine your ideal consumer

The first step to creating a strong corporate identity is determining who the ideal consumer is. Branding and identity likely can't appeal to all people, so it's important to determine which kind of person the brand best caters to. After determining the corporation's ideal consumer, you can assess its current perception to understand what needs to change or improve.

For example, a company that sells luxury pens may not want to appeal to young children who need school supplies, and instead focus on executives and other high-powered business people. This means their corporate identity may include more professional, modern and luxury elements in approach and design.

Related: Brand Analysis vs. Brand Strategy: What's the Difference?


2. Create a cohesive design profile

The corporate design profile includes all elements of design, like color pallets, font, imagery and aesthetics. Depending on the company, they may choose to adopt aesthetics that are classy, rugged, modern, professional, playful, bright, fun, soothing, serious or edgy. The design profile that the corporation creates can affect the company's ability to attract consumers and market to its target demographic. To create the design profile, designers can compile elements, including official colors, typesets and logos, into an accessible source. They may also create a vision board or other representations of the brand's aesthetics.

Related: How To Design a Logo in 12 Steps


3. Implement interaction guidelines

Interaction guidelines are specific rules that show staff members how to interact with each other and customers. These guidelines allow them to understand how to react in each situation and provide consistent and cohesive service. For example, a business may express to their team members that the top priority is to please the customer. They may include how to react to certain situations and what to say when contacted by the media.

Related: How To Brand Yourself in 7 Steps


4. Promote character and action

Corporate character includes ethics, morals, tone and emotions. The corporation wants to determine how a customer or potential consumer feels when they think of the organization and its products, then strive to achieve that feeling. For example, a soda company may want their consumers to associate their drink with refreshments, fun and parties. A health foods company may want their consumers to associate their products with happiness, cleanliness and improved health. Companies can take part in fundraisers or organize charity events to shape their character.

Related: Brand Personality vs. Brand Imagery: A Complete Guide


5. Stay consistent through change

Though creating a corporate identity is important, it's also important to allow the identity to evolve as consumers change and the needs of society develop. Creating a brand that easily transforms to current standards and trends can be difficult, but it allows the business to remain relevant to new consumers and markets. For example, though a company may choose to update its logo and marketing tactics, it may keep the same standard color for its advertising and branding efforts.

Related: Branding vs. Marketing: What's the Difference?


6. Track and monitor perception

To ensure your corporate identity is positive and effective, you can track and monitor how the public perceives the company's brand and identity. Consider using surveys and other data-gathering methods to assess public perception. Monitor changes after brand shifts and track which actions from the company influence positive and negative perceptions. You can use this data and analysis to inform future decisions about corporate identity.

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