Corporate identity guidelines in today’s fast paced world, may evolve with our changing marketplaces, yet a corporate identity strategy is simple in concept but can be challenging to deliver. Strategic brand identity is the disciplined effort to succinctly define what a company or brand does, why it matters to its critical audiences, and why it is better than the competition. Regardless of a company’s size, from start-ups to large, complex multinational corporations, its identity strategy needs to be expressed simply and compellingly, and that’s where the hard work begins.
In order to develop brand strategy, you need to first identify brand objectives. There needs to be internal alignment on the brand’s direction to ensure that all the moving parts are moving towards the same goal. Once this alignment is achieved, there can be greater clarity and relevance in communications, which ultimately leads to greater audience appeal. A company that has identified its strategic objectives will have better focus on its mission and greater impact in its market. Over the years, we’ve developed corporate identity guidelines, and found the following four key brand requirements are critical for a successful corporate identity strategy.
• Differentiation. In today’s highly competitive market, brands need to have a clear differentiation or reason for being. What they represent needs to be stand apart from others in order to be noticed, make an impression, and to ultimately to be preferred.
• Relevance. Brands need to connect to what people care about out in the world. To build demand, they need understand and fulfill the needs and aspirations of their intended audiences.
• Coherence. To assure credibility with their audiences, brands must be coherent in what they say and do. All the messages, all the marketing communications, all the brand experiences, and all of the product delivery need to hang together and add up to something meaningful.
• Esteem. A brand that is differentiated, relevant and coherent is one that valued by both its internal and external audiences. Esteem is the reputation a brand has earned by executing clearly on both its promised and delivered experience.
Delivering on these brand requirements requires discipline, insight, and a clear understanding of the company’s objectives, audience, competition, and opportunity.