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Articles 7 Key Steps to Forge a Powerful Corporate Identity

7 Key Steps to Forge a Powerful Corporate Identity

Marketing
Bitrix24 Team
11 min
4516
Updated: February 20, 2024
Bitrix24 Team
Updated: February 20, 2024
7 Key Steps to Forge a Powerful Corporate Identity

Today’s businesses are in a constant struggle to stand out in a crowded international market, making a well-constructed, consistent corporate identity is one of the best ways of getting the edge over your competitors. 

Whether it’s showing you do things differently, hammering home on trust and great service, supporting a good cause, or a combination of elements, a corporate identity makes a personal connection with customers and builds trust and loyalty among your base. 

It’s a complex process, however, and you can’t simply rely on an eye-popping logo or memorable tagline to do the heavy lifting for you. 

In this article, we’re going to take a structured 7-step approach to cover a range of corporate branding strategies. Whether you’re a small business looking to find your place or an established company that needs tips on corporate identity in the digital age, you’ll find tips and tricks on how to stand out and stay in the minds of your customers. 

What is corporate identity?

To kick off this article, we’re going to deal with the most important question: What is corporate identity? Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve, your work will be inefficient and your identity won’t land with the most important audience — your customers. 

Corporate identity is a multi-faceted concept that involves the following factors:

  • Your company logo and visual aesthetics

  • Your culture, mission, and values

  • Your product and its objectives for your customers

  • Your tone of voice and how you communicate with your audience

Put together, all these elements create an image in people’s minds about what your brand stands for, its reliability, and its place in the market. Consistency across all your customer interactions reinforces your values and message, which is vital for building trust, loyalty, and ultimately business from your audience. 

1. Defining your corporate identity

Developing a business identity needs a starting point, a cornerstone that brings all of your corporate branding strategies together. A short, concise definition is the ideal place to start, but it involves a great deal of unbiased introspection and analysis.

The first place to start is with your core business — how do you want customers to perceive your mission? It’s useful to focus on the results, rather than the process at this stage. For example, here at Bitrix24, we create software for project management, customer relationship management, HR, sales, and more. However, these are the tools we provide so that companies of all sizes can boost their productivity and revenue by simplifying their SaaS solutions into one user-friendly platform. 

With your core business taken care of, you can then explore other areas, such as how you align your business operations, what your company culture is like, and what values you stand for. These should all link back to your initial definition. Ask yourself questions about what your brand stands for and what your values are. The answers to all of these questions will provide the shape and form of the next steps in forging your corporate identity.

7 Key Steps to Forge a Powerful Corporate Identity

2. Designing your corporate identity

Time to get your creative hat on — one of the most important elements of corporate identity in the digital age is the look and feel of your brand. Key elements of corporate image are logos, color palettes, typography, imagery, tone of voice, and so much more. All of these collaterals should be kept together in a coherent document, ready for new recruits to learn about or to be sent out in a press pack to third parties. 

However, corporate identity design goes way beyond mere aesthetics. It’s a visual medium that communicates your brand’s story, values, and personality. For a broad-stroke idea of what we’re talking about, let’s consider how a restaurant business would approach its corporate identity. 

Firstly, psychological studies have found that warm colors such as red and yellow are synonymous with food, while colder colors such as blue are seen as more sterile and clinical. Then, you need to consider what kind of restaurant you are. A business that champions rough-and-ready street food could consider using an informal font and injecting some attitude into its tone of voice. On the other hand, a fine dining establishment would usually stick to more formal language and perhaps a cursive font to give a more classy feel. 

As you’re designing your corporate identity, bear in mind that successful designs draw on your audience’s subconscious. Therefore, it’s crucial to balance being memorable and resonating with what your customers expect. 

3. Telling your brand story 

A brand story is more than your history and unique selling points. It is a flowing, engaging narrative that reveals your corporate identity. The aim is to form an emotional connection with your audience through your values, mission, and what advantages you offer your customers. 

Building brand identity is a unique process for every company, but that doesn't mean there aren't some common elements you can use as a starting point. So here are a few questions to inspire the core of your brand story:

  • What inspired the creation of your brand?

  • What do you aim to achieve?

  • What challenges have you overcome?

  • How does your brand impact your customers and wider society?

By addressing these points and weaving them into your narrative, you can communicate your corporate identity and values in a more engaging, less abrupt format. 

As you're designing your website, be sure to dedicate a page to your brand story where you introduce your team, and report testimonials from happy customers. Don't be afraid to get creative. An interactive timeline or infographics will invite an audience to buy into your storytelling and feel more connected to your brand as a whole. 

4. Aligning with the values you (truly) believe in

Modern business branding techniques call for an alignment with wider values and beliefs. These don’t need to be particularly outlandish. Societal equality and human rights aren’t going to alienate significant chunks of your audience and can fit in easily with your corporate identity.

Start by identifying values that are central to your brand’s ethos. You could focus on sustainable supply chains and social responsibility, or prioritize more practical ideas such as innovation and being customer-centric. Crucially, you want to stand for concepts that your customers agree with. 

7 Key Steps to Forge a Powerful Corporate Identity

Customers are attracted to companies who share their values as they feel like their purchase represents something greater than a simple transaction. However, this added custom and loyalty puts an increased responsibility on you as a company. If your support for a cause is found to be empty or even in contrast to your stated beliefs, the reputational damage can rightfully be severe. 

Once you have your core values clear, integrate them into your communications across all platforms. Here, a “show, not tell” approach is best. Instead of claiming to support environmental causes, use corporate branding strategies such as sharing reports on how your company has reduced its carbon footprint or publishing photos of a corporate tree-planting initiative. 

Aligning your brand with values you genuinely believe in is not just good ethics, it's good business. It builds trust, fosters loyalty, and creates a corporate identity that leaves a lasting impact.

5. Prioritizing customer service and success

There has been quite a buzz around the idea of “customer success” in recent years and for good reason. Forward-thinking companies have gone beyond simply resolving issues to pre-empting solutions so customers get the most out of their products. This level of service is an incredible boost for customer satisfaction and retention, which is why customer care has become so important to the idea of corporate identity in the digital age. With so many tools at your disposal, you can get scientific about your customer service, cutting out inefficiencies and getting to the core of what people want. 

Everything stems from a solid customer relationship management (CRM) system. This is your database that tracks all customer purchases, interactions, complaints, feedback, and more. The more data you collect, the clearer your vision of the difficulties customers are having and how they are using your product. 

For instance, if you are providing a SaaS service, your first step should be to run comprehensive onboarding sessions so your software has the maximum impact possible on your client’s organization. Next, you should schedule catch-ups to make sure teams are on the right track or to optimize the deal you’ve made with your client.

By building your corporate identity on excellent customer service and success, you take a massive leap forward in enhancing your company’s reputation. Clients want transparency and performance, and if you can guarantee that, you are one step ahead of your competitors. 

6. Consistently evolving and developing a business identity

As your brand starts taking shape, you’ll need to create a corporate identity manual. This document acts as a training manual and a reference for your employees, so make it easily available in your cloud storage. However, brand-building approaches constantly evolve, so this document is by no means a one-and-done process. 

All successful brands have their eyes open and their finger on the pulse when it comes to corporate identity. As technology evolves and consumer behaviors shift, your branding strategies must adapt to stay ahead of the curve. You might need to embrace new platforms and methodologies to keep your audience engaged or take advantage of the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning to stay relevant. 

We have seen all of this before. Those who saw the potential of social media in its infancy quickly began using it to start conversations and make sales, while companies that rejected new platforms stagnated. In tandem with the rise of social media came creative marketing techniques such as a more chatty, personable tone of voice and even lighthearted arguments with competitors that went viral. 

Clearly, it is vital to analyze new trends and consider whether they align with your corporate identity, so refer back to your definition before embarking on new techniques. 

Bitrix24 is the best friend for your business here!

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7. Measuring and maintaining your corporate identity

We’ve now come naturally to one of the most important elements of building brand identity: Measuring and maintaining it. As we have touched on in previous points, brands are living and need regular reviews and updates when they aren’t working as well as you’d like. 

Measuring your corporate identity starts with monitoring key metrics that reflect brand awareness, reputation, and customer loyalty. Circling back to your CRM, you can gather a diverse range of data, for example:

  • Monitoring the amount and type of your mentions on social media

  • Conducting surveys to gauge brand perception

  • Running customer satisfaction scores

These are just three ways you can measure whether your corporate identity is really enhancing your company’s reputation or whether you need to make a change. 

In addition to the numbers game, you should also look at the less tangible aspect of the quality of your messaging. For example, without abandoning your values, you can compare two similar corporate identity designs side by side, analyzing which branding and tone of voice best strikes a chord with your audience. 

Companies that focus on an iterative approach of constant improvement, rather than doubling down on potentially outdated tactics, often ride the wave of change more successfully. Of course, this doesn’t mean uprooting your corporate identity every week — far from it. However, by continuously measuring and adapting your strategies, you ensure that your brand remains relevant, resonant, and robust in the face of changing market dynamics. 

Bitrix24: Helping you create, communicate, and improve your corporate identity

We’ve now covered all the key elements of corporate image, from building a corporate identity manual to scanning your internal and external ecosystems to stay ahead of the game. 

As a final point, now that we’ve answered the question of what corporate identity is, how do you put it into practice? 

Bitrix24 users know that it takes a lot of interconnected efforts, from a CRM to gather customer data and a website builder to act as your online storefront to communication channels to run customer service operations and a secure online storage space to house your design materials and key texts. 

That’s why we created Bitrix24 — to offer all these business tools in one place.

To see how you can embark on the seven key steps to forge a powerful corporate identity, sign up for Bitrix24 today and start reaping the benefits of a user-friendly, all-in-one business platform.

FAQs

What are the core components of a strong corporate identity?

The core components of a strong corporate identity are:

  • Distinct visual elements such as a logo, color scheme, and typography

  • Consistent messaging and a tone of voice that resonates with your audience

  • Clear and genuine company values and culture

  • Continuous analysis of your business, industry, and audience

How can modern businesses effectively develop their corporate identity?

Modern businesses can effectively develop their corporate identity by taking a structured approach with digital tools. Checklists and reminders allow modern businesses to work on all aspects of their identity and ensure they align with their established ethos.

What role does digital branding play in shaping corporate identity?

Digital branding is crucial in shaping corporate identity as it allows businesses to engage in a more dynamic, personal way with their audience, opening up a range of channels for brand storytelling. 

How does a corporate identity manual contribute to brand consistency?

A corporate identity manual serves as a guideline for all branding efforts. With standardized logos, fonts, messages, and marketing materials, your corporate identity will remain recognizable and professional.

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Table of Content
What is corporate identity? 1. Defining your corporate identity 2. Designing your corporate identity 3. Telling your brand story  4. Aligning with the values you (truly) believe in 5. Prioritizing customer service and success 6. Consistently evolving and developing a business identity 7. Measuring and maintaining your corporate identity Bitrix24: Helping you create, communicate, and improve your corporate identity FAQs
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