Are you just starting your own business and doubting the importance of a professional corporate identity or are you an established entrepreneur but are ready for something new? Having a strong corporate identity is the foundation of your business and is therefore very important. At Gaia Digital, we build custom websites and create matching corporate identities. Read on to learn more about corporate identities, their importance and their different components.
A corporate identity: what exactly is it?
No business is complete without corporate identity. It is the way your company presents itself to the outside world. This is not just about the site or a business card. Corporate identity, also called corporate identity or brand identity, shows up in all layers of your organization: from the design of your website to your Instagram posts to the way you communicate to your customers and potential partners.
This already shows that a corporate identity is more than just a pretty logo and a quickly selected font. A professional corporate identity consists of three main elements: design, communication and behavior.
The design of your corporate identity is often the first thing your (potential) customers are introduced to. Since this is the first step for many companies, this is covered in detail later on this page. Corporate identity communication is about what (potential) customers hear and read about your organization. What message do you want to convey as a company? The final element of corporate identity is the behavior of your organization. How do you behave toward customers, suppliers and staff? The behavior of the corporate identity is often reflected in the way you communicate by mail or phone and dress code.
The main purpose of a corporate identity is that it should appeal to the target audience, persuade and prompt action. The better your corporate identity is thought through and implemented, the more it contributes to the creation of a strong brand.
And why is it so important…?
Having a professional corporate identity is super important, and there are two good reasons for that:
- Every year, many people start their own businesses. The market is becoming saturated tremendously fast because of this development. In the Netherlands, there are now some 2.2 million companies working hard to reach their target audience. But how do you do this when there are so many competitors? You probably guessed it: a professional corporate identity. A strong brand identity allows you to stand out from the competition.
- As a company, you are constantly working with people: customers, partners and colleagues. Human beings almost always think in boxes when faced with new situations. Unconsciously, we make all kinds of associations. This helps us make choices, both big and small. Associations also take place when we come in contact with a brand and associated corporate identity. A strong, professional corporate identity ensures that the people you interact and work with will associate your company with something positive! The moment of truth is the moment when your focus audience recognizes and remembers your corporate identity. Now your corporate identity is going to have real value.
We’re not trying to convince you of the importance of a corporate identity for fun. There are numerous scientific studies showing that a professional corporate identity is immensely valuable in building a successful business. Read on quickly and find out what parts of your corporate identity need tinkering!
The different components of a corporate identity
The best corporate identities are simple and effective. With a corporate identity, you want to ensure that your focus audience recognizes and associates your brand with positive emotions.
The design of a professional corporate identity consists of a number of components, including:
- Color use
- Tone of voice
A logo is not just a pretty picture or your company name in a fancy font. A logo is a graphic design that represents your business! It is actually the starting point of your corporate identity. Most people are visually oriented and are more likely to recognize a logo than a company’s name.
The iconic Swoosh most likely makes you immediately think of athletic shoes. When you see the orange lion you think of saving money and investing, and the simple apple makes you think of beautiful and innovative technology. Now that’s the power of a good, well-considered logo!
The color palette is very important in building a corporate identity. The chosen colors are reflected in the logo, in the design of the website and app, and in the packaging of your products.
Are you familiar with the concept ofcolor psychology? Simply put, it means that colors have a significant impact on human behavior and their experiences. For example, red often represents passion, energy and danger. Blue evokes a sense of trust, honesty and loyalty. This knowledge can be put to good use when creating and optimizing your corporate identity.
Many companies still do not really consider the impact of typography when developing a corporate identity. Typography is more than one or two deliberately chosen fonts. It is everything that comes with formatting text, think here also, for example, white space and line spacing.
The right combination of typography elements ensures that a message can be conveyed in the desired way. Look at the example below.
Which do you find more pleasant to read? Exactly! That is the power of typography.
“Visuals” is a very broad term. The umbrella term includes visual components including illustrations, animations, pictograms, icons and photographs. This is where the chosen corporate identity colors come to the fore again. As a result, connections are made faster and your brand is recognized more quickly.
Choosing to use photos can sometimes be tricky. After all, what is pictured is very decisive for the look of your identity. A photo with smiling people in a meadow gives a completely different look than one taken in an industrial office building. So before using an image, think carefully. “Does this fit our identity?”
Tone of voice
The tone of voice is the way a company communicates with its focus audience. This “voice” is reflected, among other things, in the texts on the website, the web copy. Do you have a young audience that you can address in an informal tone or do you work in the legal profession and it is common to vousvoy and use law jargon?
Before developing a corporate identity, it is important to know who your target audience is; only then will you know what method of communication is appropriate.
To ensure that the entire organization is aware of the corporate identity and applies it correctly, it is useful to record all information regarding the corporate identity in a corporate identity manual. When everyone adheres to this manual, you ensure that a consistent look is used. Such a handbook contains information on logo proportions, colors used, fonts and more.
Visual corporate identity is important. The logo, colors, language and visuals evoke certain emotions and reactions. By being aware of your identity and getting to know your target audience, you can arrive at a beautiful whole. Developing a corporate identity can take a long time, so you definitely won’t be blamed if you need some help with this.
Have house style made
Designing a professional corporate identity is a craft. Many budding entrepreneurs develop a corporate identity themselves or have it done by a creative friend or acquaintance. Fine, but it often turns out later that adjustments need to be made. A professionally designed corporate identity is very important for the initial growth and survival of a business.
At Gaia Digital, we love to help create corporate identities. Here it is important to dwell on your company’s identity. Questions such as “Who are you and who do you want to be?”, “How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?”, “Who is your target audience?'” and “What core message do you want to convey to them?” will be asked.
Developing a new, strong corporate identity requires a proper process. At Gaia Digital, we follow this roadmap:
- Introduction. As mentioned several times above, a company’s identity is the starting point of creating a beautiful corporate identity. We will also ask questions about the target audience and your mission and vision.
- Competitive Analysis. To ensure that you can stand out from the competition, we will perform an analysis. What colors are common in your industry? How does the competitor address the target audience?
- Gut test. We want your input. It’s not just about what we like. We would like to hear from you what your preferences are. Through a gut test, we find this out.
- Corporate identity concepts. We work out several corporate identity concepts based on the introduction, analysis and gut test. We will present these to you for feedback.
- Corporate identity elaboration. In this phase, we further explore and develop your chosen concept. The result is a fully developed corporate identity manual. This ensures that the corporate identity remains intact when applied.
A corporate identity design can take a long time to think about, and we are happy to provide the extra help. Through close cooperation, together we arrive at a beautiful and strong professional corporate identity. We are looking forward to it! You too?