C for corporate branding
Corporate – the word itself comes with negative associations. The moment you spell it out, a picture of a cold steely place forms - with suited persons, hard surfaces and big transactions. All disconnected from the lives of ordinary men and women.
Corporate branding brings an eraser to that image, so to say, and puts in place a picture of warmth and congeniality instead. It adds a personality to your business and showcases its human side.
Since 95% of all purchasing decisions are emotional, modern corporate branding relies heavily on creativity, vitality and engagement in order to be able to inspire consumers into depending on your service. It builds on the premise that people want to buy from people, and the aloofness of a ‘business’ just doesn’t cut it.
However, don’t be mistaken, it’s not just about visual appeal. A logo isn’t a brand. A great corporate branding strategy focuses on three aspects - overall visual identity, message and brand voice.
Read ahead to know how you can embody these aspects to create a unique brand which effortlessly stands out from the crowd.
1. If you’re saying everyone, you’re addressing no one
Even till a decade back, it was still possible to address a target audience that only had a single element in common, a shared age range, for instance. But today things are a little bit more intricate. And for the better. Diversity is good. But it also means that branding needs to be done differently now.
A free size approach to corporate branding, for both large and large companies, can result in a confused product, and consequently, an indifferent consumer. It certainly isn’t the best way to get leads.
Instead, focusing on a niche audience, their nuances, behaviours and needs is a much more fruitful way of spending your branding budget. The formula is plain - limit your target size, increase your conversion rates. A corporate branding campaign that speaks to the market is a fool proof way of boosting sales.
Unilever’s branding, for example, covers a whole range of products, each of which are marketed differently and to different audiences while the overarching message continues to portray a market relevant, uniform meaning – making a difference for the consumers and for the world, sustainably.
2. In a world of business, feeling is good
The biggest corporations are big because they have mastered the knack of maintaining a connection with their customers despite the increase in size. Take Apple, Adidas or Dove, for instance. Who could deny the power of their branding when the authenticity of their connections continues to draw customers to their doors, year after year?
Apart from their logos, taglines and packaging, there is a clear message that these brands impart to their audience. Whether it is the idea of thinking differently, of encouraging everyone to be an athlete, or that beauty is for everyone – underneath the range of each of those messages lies a very real aim of making humane, emotional connections with people they want to turn into their customers.
To avoid morphing into a soulless robot as your business grows bigger, think of ways you can amplify the feelings that your product or service aims to generate. It can be as part of a branding campaign, a complete makeover, or a story on your ‘About us’ page. The side of your business which actually creates value is your ticket to good corporate branding, provided you use it right.
3. Visual identity - not for nothing is a picture worth a thousand words
Visual identity is your key for creating an impression on your customers by utilising the manner of perception. Listen carefully, because according to one study the human mind processes visual 60,000 times faster than text.
Images speak to the subconscious primal level of the customer and persuade them towards your benefit without them even realizing. Choosing the right colors, then, the right graphics, the right typography, can be of great import. And of great responsibility.
As much as you want to choose the visual that looks the most appealing to you, take a minute and think whether the visual will appeal to the customer’s sensibilities. Make a brand style guide and dwell over these considerations before you take a decision:
- What kind of emotional impression do you want your brand to leave on the customers?
- What is the nature of your brand and what is its USP?
- Is the visual you are choosing consistent with other aspects of your company?
A corporate branding strategy is not just about strengthening your relationship with the customers, it also possesses the power to unify your organization. Its correct use can make your business a permanent part of the market, leading to long lasting, authentic connections throughout.