Many small businesses in Singapore feel that having a strong brand identity is not necessary. Some think it is something only large companies need. And although some might invest in a logo, they miss the fact that a brand identity is so much more than just the visual impression of your business.
What is branding?
Branding is about the impression you make about your business. What is special about your business and how you connect with your target audience. It is the total package. It includes not only your company name and logo, but also the impression you leave with customers, what they say or would say about your business and what it is like to do business with you.
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Communication with customers
Promise, Message and Values
A strong brand identity clearly communicates your promise, message and values. It is the perception the world has of your business. It creates an emotional connection with your target audience and highly influences whether they want to do business with you.
Brand design for food company Nibbla by goopanic
SO what is corporate identity?
Corporate identity is different to brand identity. Consider a big multinational company like Procter & Gamble: the company has one corporate identity—one logo, one set of values and company culture—and then it has hundreds of brands underneath that corporate umbrella—Gillette, Pampers, Pantene—each with an individual brand identity.
Even a smaller company with just one brand (for now) can still make a distinction between the customer-facing brand and the overall corporate identity.
Why are brand and corporate identities important?
Creates an identity that is bigger than you
Many small businesses build a brand around themselves rather than the business. If your goal is to become a public figure, that may be fine. But if you want to separate the business from you for future growth or sale, develop a brand for the company. A unique brand will be one of the assets that come into play during the sale or acquisition.
You may be the best, most experienced person in your field, but not having a professional brand conveys the impression that the company won’t last. A well-defined brand identity projects a long term feel to those who see it regularly. Eliminate any question about your viability by having a crisp image and clear messages.
A brand identity helps you to differentiate your business from the competition and appropriately position your brand. Developing a professional, creative identity design can help you to stand out to potential customers in your market.
Creating a brand identity package ensures that your brand is at the forefront of all your marketing materials, which helps to increase brand awareness. The more places your brand is featured, the more contact it will make with consumers, and the more memorable it will be.
An effective brand identity can help to build customer loyalty and trust in a brand, since it allows customers to make a connection between a product and the company.
What are the design elements of corporate identity?
Nothing is more associated with a company than a logo—think the Nike ‘swoosh’, the golden arches of McDonald’s or the red script of Coca-Cola. Done well, it becomes an iconic symbol for your company that inspires positive emotions and represents everything that you stand for.
Logo of OOPS designed by Kuan Kee Onn
The website sits at the heart of any modern-day company ecosystem. It’s the hub for all your content and product information, it’s the one place online that you have full control over and it’s where most of your customers will eventually end up, at some point along their shopping journey.
Whether you’re focused on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, or on the latest trendy network, you’ll want to make sure you’re projecting a consistent corporate image across each channel.
Packaging and merchandise
You mustn’t forget the offline world: your packaging, if you have a physical product, as well as any merchandise and marketing collateral like mugs, flyers, pens and other fun stuff. These all need to fit with your corporate identity and tell a cohesive story as well.
Packaging design of OOPS designed by Kuan Kee Onn
External corporate communication
Who writes letters anymore? Well, you’ll want to think about your digital corporate design! This includes your digital letterhead email signature and powerpoint template, and any other company communication as well as your business cards.
Space and Experience
Whether you grow your organization and create a proper office space, or you are opening a cafe or retail shop. Your corporate identity extends to your physical space or even to the cups you serve your customers with.
Go into any Apple shop, you still can recognise it is a Apple shop even if all the Apple logo and Apple products are removed. The same applies to Starbucks cafe. And that is what we call Space Identity.
Corporate Spatial Identity of MOMENTCAM designed by AND lab.