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YOUR BRAND: Who do you stand for?

A brand is worthless if it doesn’t connect with the right audiences in a relevant way

Many people think corporate identity is your logo…but that is a strong misconception.

Corporate identity represents your brand, visually. It’s not your logo, your website, your name or your product. It’s your company’s identity. It’s the physical expression of your brand, the image to represent your business. It’s exactly what sets your business apart from the competition. It might include color schemes, designs, words, slogans and the personification of your brand. It’s what you promise to your customers.

What should it contain?
First of all, it should represent your exact purpose, and what differentiates you between others. It’s your company’s vision, and commitment to its customers.
Second, you should keep it consistent. This will add to your brand recognition and people will recognize your brand upon seeing it. For example, take the Facebook brand. It’s a simple “f” but anywhere you see it, you will recognize it. Or the Nike swoosh, McDonald M, and so on. So keep consistency in style, color scheme and the main design.
Third, be flexible. This is not in contradiction to my second point. You should be consistent to the standards of your brand, but flexible to be distinguished from your competitors, and to create audience interest.

Why is it important?
A lot of strong marketers believe that using your corporate identity in the right way, will help you achieve your business objective.
Surveys show that companies with a strong identity outperformed others by 25%. So look at why it’s so important:
1. It’s the first impression your customers see, and how they remember you.
2. It’s a sign of your customer loyalty, and what people trust, that’s why they come back to you.
3. It’s your professional business reflection, and influences consumers in their decisions.
4. It’s your business longevity, showing that you are here to stay and serve.

What does it include?
Brand identity development is something every company invests in. So hiring a professional agency to build your identity will be investing in your business strategy. These are some of the elements to include in your brand identity development:
LOGO: an image is worth a thousand words, and this is what your target audience will see at first glance. Be sure to have it include your main message and what you represent.
BUSINESS CARDS: a business card should represent your main design and company colors, including the logo and main info to get back to you.
STATIONARY: all companies need to use letterheads, send invoices, envelopes and more. So why shouldn’t your printed material market your brand?
COMPANY WEBSITE: a company website is your most inexpensive and most effective way to market your brand. Maybe up to now, your competitors were your local guys, but now, the competition is international, on the World Wide Web. So you can stand out, get organic SEO results, social media marketing and started on your online marketing strategy.

Conclusion
Now that you know about the importance of your business identity and how it effects your sales and marketing, you can start making decisions. Regrettably, a lot of companies look to save money by leaving the work to acquaintances, not knowing the negative affect. My advice: this is your business longevity and strategy, invest in it, and give it to someone professional.