01 Feb How to Kick Start the identity of your company
How to Kick Start the identity of your company
Every company needs a corporate identity. Just what is a corporate identity and why is it so important? The corporate identity is the first thing your target audience sees (and remembers). It’s therefore important you pay attention to this. But why is a corporate identity important?
A corporate identity is the appearance of your company, the visual presentation to the outside world. This includes your company name, logo, colour(s), fonts, tone of voice and photography style. All these elements are used consistently across all your communication tools, for instance, your stationery, business card, invoice templates, website, work clothing, you name it. So, it’s important to take this into consideration when creating corporate identity materials for your company. That everything is always in accordance with the brand guidelines which you can find in your corporate identity handbook. Whether you’re a large or small company, make sure someone within your company is responsible for monitoring your corporate identity. That can be yourself, a colleague, or your designer.
But why do I need a corporate identity?
Last year I had a conversation with a starting business owner. She asked if I could design a flyer so she could start promoting herself. The first question I hit her with was ‘Do you have a logo and what’s your company name’. Her answer to both questions was ‘No’ as she was under the impression, she didn’t need it. But how can you promote and build a business without these two fundamental building blocks?
A few months later she’s back at my table with a company name but still under the impression that a logo wasn’t necessary. So, again I ask, ‘Your logo is the external image for your company, how will people recognise you?’ Convinced, I started to design a logo for her.
Just an example of how people view starting a business. There are people who know the importance of a corporate identity and will reserve a budget to ensure everything is in perfect order from the start. Then there is a second group who thinks ‘I’ll start with a logo and some basic elements like a website and the rest will follow at a later stage when I’ve made some money.’ And then there’s the last group who thinks it’s not important and think they can manage with just a flyer. Not to mention the one person who uses an online tool like Canva or a website where you buy a non-generic design for a few euros. Whichever person you are, in the end, each company works from the same foundation.
So what do you need?
To start with, it’s important to know what your company stands for. What are your core values? Do you have a vision and mission? In other words, what’s your goal and how are you going to achieve this? Who’s your target audience and where do you find them? And finally, what’s your company name and which items do you need to start off with?
Basic items you need:
• Letterhead (digital and/or printed)
• Flyer or another promotional tool (can also be your website)
• Social media channels (where is your target audience, and make sure you are visible there)
It’s also important to know who your target audience is. Are you selling a service or product? This can determine whether you need a website, flyer or neither.
Why doesn’t everyone need a website?
In today’s world, we can hardly imagine a company not having a website. However, not every company needs one. A consultant who is hired on a project basis often doesn’t have a website. He uses his network to gain work. Then someone who sells products, or me as a designer, needs to be able to show what they offer. A website is then the most suitable tool to use. When you have a physical shop, a webshop is a nice addition to have. Then you also need to advertise in local magazines or papers (online and/or offline), meaning you need adverts designed for you. This is why it’s important to know where your target audience is located so you know how to reach them.
And what about things like colour and fonts?
Colours and fonts are part of the corporate identity development stage and not necessary for starting up your business in such that it’s part of the design process. Your designer will ensure that they match your core values and personal preferences.
Is there a list where I can tick off what I need?
Yes, for this purpose I’ve developed a checklist listing the most common items you need to start off with. Not everything is necessary from the start, but it can help you decide what is needed now and what can wait till a later stage. A construction worker might need his car wrapped but no website, and vice versa for an accountant. Check which items are suitable for your company by downloading the checklist here!
The checklist gives you directions to get you started. And don’t forget that you can always expand along the way. You don’t need everything right away. But make sure you put the time and energy into it because ultimately your appearance is your business card. Isn’t this one good? Then your target group will see that and step to the competitor.
Download the checklist here to help you determine which resources you need to start your business with.
Would you like to know more about core values?
Read more about core values in relation to colour in my blog called ‘The importance of the right colour in your logo.
Curious about how to create a strong appearance?
You’ll find more information about the Kick Start blend here. Or book the Style Scan where I’ll take you through the entire process.Book the Style Scan