However, this power is not limited to brands. Corporate identities can be equally as potent and personify the spirit and culture of an organisation.
The most recognisable brands in the world have been in existence twice as long as the companies that owned them. What this demonstrates is the enduring power and portability of brands. However, this power is not limited to brands. Corporate identities can be equally as potent and personify the spirit and culture of an organisation.
Why a corporate identity and brand development are high yield investments
When properly executed, a brand or corporate identity can play an integral role in the commercial success and market capitalisation of an organisation. Organisations such as the Commonwealth Bank spent 11 million dollars developing their current corporate identity but its current value is calculated in the 100’s of millions. Today it can be argued that much of the value in any high profile company lies in its intangible assets, with brand identity and corporate identity at the top of the list. This is as true for blue chip corporations, as it is with companies with turnovers less than $1M.
The value of a brand or corporate identity also impacts on the premium a customer or client is willing to pay for a product or service. It plays an even more important role in ensuring repeat sales.
The financial benefits can overshadow another benefit of a well executed corporate or brand identity, and that is an organisations ability to attract and retain the best people. The best people want to work with the best brands; a fact often exploited by the HR sector. The financial benefit of attracting and retaining the best people is more difficult to evaluate in financial terms than brand integrity but it is considerable.
Corporate identity and brand identity in a digital world
A well executed corporate identity or brand identity allows even the smallest of organisations to present themselves as important players in any market segment. As more of our interactions take place online, the role of good corporate identity or brand identity will continue to grow. This is because the web does not care about the size of your head quarters, the square metre age of your factory floor, the size of your distribution network or how many outlets you may have. On the web an organisation with 3 staff can appear higher on a search than that of an organisation with a 100,000 staff. To an organisation looking for a new supplier or a consumer looking for a new product what is important is that online engagement and corporate identity and brand identity set the tone for that engagement.
Do I refresh or redesign my corporate identity or brand identity?
There is no hard and fast rule to follow in regards to if or when you should refresh or redesign my corporate identity or brand identity. Deciding whether or not to completely update a corporate identity or brand identity requires a degree of pragmatism. Each identity needs to be evaluated on it’s own merits and assessed if it meets the current and future needs of the organisation or product/service it represents. However, in saying that there are no rules, it is prudent to assess corporate identities and brand identities every 5 years or at times when significant change has, or will soon occur.
How much should I spend on a corporate or brand identity?
There is a great deal of science in a well executed corporate or brand identity. The right program and guidelines will not only ensure that your new identity yields results today; it will also help build equity over time through maintaining brand integrity. This process of investing in a well designed and executed corporate or brand identity will ensure that value increases over time. It is also a way of guaranteeing that the money you invest in other than marketing and communication activities helps to build, rather than undermine brand integrity and recognition. Developing such a program takes time, and as such costs.
‘Can’t I get a new corporate or brand identity online for a lot less?’
At the other end of the spectrum, we now have websites where you can pay a mere $500 (sometimes, less) for what appears to be a corporate or brand identity. You would have to be a fool to think that you could compare something created for this amount of money against an identity developed over weeks or months by experienced identity specialist. To the inexperienced and un-initiated they may appear similar, however the comparisons are superficial.
What do I get by investing properly in a corporate or brand identity?
Firstly, a proper corporate or brand identity is robust. It has been tested by it’s designers to stand up in the ‘real world’ where it is passed again and again to printers, signage companies, promotions companies, PR and advertising agencies, the media and countless others who are less concerned about maintaining your brand integrity than you. What makes a corporate or brand identity work is the set of guidelines that have been developed by the team of developers who built your identity. Additionally, a good corporate identity is developed as an IP investment and as such, has been designed with embedded features to register and safeguard your brand from copyright infringement.
What do I get with a $500 corporate or brand identity?
You will not find the same rigorous development method applied to a $500 ‘logo’. What you may find is that what you have purchased has been recycled again and again until someone decides to adopt it… in this case, that would be you. Unfortunately the same laxed approach building a corporate or brand identity based on an understanding of a culture, product or service may also mean that you have purchased something that infringes on someone else’s copyright. You many only find this out years after the fact and after you have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building in marketing, signage labelling (the list goes on). All of a sudden the few thousand you have saved on cutting corners is costing you tens of thousands in legal fees and even scarier amounts in settlement costs. Cheap corporate identities and brand identities are never a smart idea. There are legal firms who run on people making such decisions.
If I want to do this properly, where do I start?
Digital Storytelling Collective is a good place to start. The team at Digital Storytelling Collective have decades of experience developing successful corporate and brand identities and are passionate about working with clients to help them understand how to maximise their investment.
The team at Digital Storytelling Collective see good corporate identity and brand identity programs as the foundation stones on which we can build powerful and authentic communication strategies.