How to develop your corporate brand identity

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Guest Blog – Jo Bayne, Oyster Studios
A company’s brand identity creates an emotional connection, and reflects the business positioning and perceived corporate image as a whole. A brand logo is the mark or icon that identifies the business but is only one part of the presentation puzzle. For start ups or businesses updating their corporate identity it’s important to go back to basics and establish or re-visit the foundations of the brand and then develop a cohesive, consistent strategy for the brand experience moving forward. Once these building blocks have been defined developing your marketing toolkit of materials will be a far more efficient and effective process.

So where should you start?

Do your research
First, find out everything there is to know about your market, customers and competition.

Agree your company mission statement: Develop a mission statement that defines the purpose of your business and its reason for existing. The objective of a mission statement is to guide the actions of the organisation, outline its goals and provide a framework to guide strategies and decisions. As part of this process you will need to agree what will make customers buy from you – not the competition. What are your customers needs and how will you address them? What are the guiding principles that will define the culture of the business?

Outline your strategy and vision for the business
What are the key products and services you offer and how will these change over time – where do you want your company to be in three years time? How do you want your customers to describe the company? What promise or set of promises will you make to all who work with and buy from your business?

Define the personality and essence of the brand: Do you want your customer experience to be all business-like and professional or quirky and fun? What brands in the marketplace evoke the emotional response that you are aiming for? Are you a traditional business or entrepreneurial and highly innovative? Are you carefree and irreverent? The key priority is to ensure your brand profile is relevant and engaging to your target audience. As part of this process, scope out the tone of voice of your brand communications – for example, is it friendly and confident, informative, conservative, unconventional?

Agree your brand positioning
Who is your target customer? Is it an end consumer or a business? What is their demographic or market sector? How does your product or service compare to the competition? What is your value proposition? Will you be entry price point – or luxury? Are you focussed on delivering quality? Do you intend to differentiate your business through the customer service experience? What solutions will you provide to the problems or needs of your customers that aren’t already being addressed by the competition?

Clearly there are lots of things to consider when developing a corporate brand identity (ID) and hopefully this list will provide some food for thought. The reality is your brand ID will be reflected across the business from the sign on the door to the way your receptionist answers the telephone.

Whether you are a start-up or an existing business looking to evaluate and evolve an existing identity and keep it relevant and engaging, investing time and resources into this process is always a wise investment.

For a free consultation contact at Oyster Studios.

To create the right public relations context for your brand, check out our blog post on the top 10 PR tips.

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