If the answer to the above is no, then your organisation and its values could be compromised and project the wrong messages to your various audiences.
Why is Corporate Identity important?
“We have a set of guidelines somewhere?”
Any organisation that has been through a brand identity project should have a set of corporate identity guidelines as part of the process.
Toast proposes the following 6 reasons why professionally designed and updated corporate identity guidelines are worth their weight in gold.
To clarify the difference between your Corporate Identity vs Brand Identity.
It’s essential to avoid the potential confusion between corporate identity guidelines and brand identity guidelines.
At Toast, a Corporate Identity definition is one that outlines exactly how you present your company in internal and external communications. In doing so it ensures a consistent and cohesive identity is communicated to whomever the audience.
The importance of brand guidelines as an essential part of your Corporate Identity is unquestionable as it specifies exactly how the brand is applied with guidance on colour, logo use, fonts etc.
Clearly addresses what elements you can practically control.
When it comes to the perception of your company or its brand, you want to provide the best possible impression to any audience.
To do this, you need to know what elements of corporate identity and their channels are available and how best to apply your messaging to them.
This is where carefully crafted corporate identity guidelines come into their own, providing guidance and support on exactly what to project and how. These can include, but are not restricted to:
- Logo Design
- Letterhead, Business Card, Envelope, Internal Communication Documents such as email footers and MS Word & PPT templates.
- Internal communications: Newsletters, Intranet, Noticeboards
- External Communications: Adverts, Magazines, Brochures & Catalogues
- Product packaging
- Internal and External Signage
- Uniforms and livery for vehicles
- Events & Exhibitions (including promotional materials)
It helps you focus on your strategic brand messaging
A brand’s meaning differs from one user to another, depending on their exposure and experience with the brand.
If you control what an individual receives directly from you and your communications, you will have a greater opportunity to guide how they feel about your brand, its products or service.
Using your corporate identity guidelines allows you to ensure that the brand message you project is clear and consistent whilst strengthening your brand proposition.
Helps to quantify the value of your corporate identity
To appreciate the value of anything, you first need to understand its scope and scale.
Corporate identity guidelines will outline help to measure the scale of application that has been achieved.
By listing elements of your corporate identity, it is much easier to audit and review how the brand is being applied and what remains to be done.
Companies today know that their brand is as much of an asset of the business as bricks and mortar, and therefore require support and protection to ensure they are maintained effectively.
Assists in the building of brand recognition and advocacy
The key to maximising brand recognition, and its ultimate goal of brand advocacy, is consistency in messaging.
Consistency is achieved and maintained by having clear guidelines on how your identity is applied so that no matter who is involved in the creation of internal comms, signage, marketing or even a single business card they are always on message.
Consistency in messaging encourages confidence in your brand and limits the chances of diluting the meaning or values of your brand and your identity.
Consistency across an ever-growing range of channels.
The channels that corporate identity can now be applied to seem to be an endless list from new social media platforms to innovative digital adverts and posters.
Customers now expect a multichannel experience from their favourite brands, from being engaged on TikTok and Instagram to responding to promotions on Facebook or online ads that drive them to websites or stores where they will complete their transactions.
This potentially bewildering mix of messages and channels needs to seamlessly convey the core values and corporate image correctly and consistently = Corporate Identity Guidelines.
Trust your design team and give them the right tools
Toast has helped thousands of companies over the year to create everything from business cards to multilanguage WordPress websites and all of them needed to conform and reflect a specific corporate identity.
Some of these clients provided their existing branding guidelines template materials, corporate identity pdf or brand standards examples for us to use in maintaining their corporate identity.
Others have come to us to help them create one, which we can do whether we created the underlying brand or not.
A great example of this is the work we did for The Elton John AIDS Foundation, where we did not create the logo/brand but we created a set of identity guidelines that allowed the brand to grow consistently on and offline, called their Brand Book.
Are your corporate guidelines fit for purpose?
Do you have a copy to hand? Is it in a format that can be easily shared with suppliers, printers or designers?
If you don’t know or are unsure then talk to Toast today. We will happily review the guidelines you have and give you an honest opinion on if they are in need of updating or refining (or not!). We have been creating and managing multiple brands for over 20 years and know how to apply them correctly and consistently, time and time again.