The backbone of every company should consist of a clear and transparent set of brand guidelines which serve to communicate a variety of things about your brand. Although the internal and external components of such are not standard across industry, most organisations utilise brand guidelines as a resource for everyone to understand how to represent the brand. It can be broken into:
- The Corporate Identity such as mission, core values, personality, tone and so on.
- The Corporate Design such as the logo, colour palette, typeface, spacing, backgrounds and so on.
Brand guidelines are important because they act as a term of reference that communicates a consistent message across the company and externally.
The term Corporate Identity (CI) can be defined as both a corporate governance strategy and a communication concept, identifying the self-image of a company as well as the strategic measures that contribute to creating this image. In short, a CI plays an important role in every organisation in conveying its personality and values.
It is in the best interest of companies to present a uniform, transparent image of themselves and their brand because when employees and subcontractors see the company image, values and goals, it makes working for the company easier. Employees also tend to feel more valued and understood as they are able to recognise their role within the structure of the network. The corporate identity is the most important and powerful tool for a business to grow in a competitive market and reflect a positive impression; describes the services of the business and presents the overall ethos.
Some vital areas of CI include:
- Corporate Design (CD)
This is the sensory element a company uses to represent themselves such as a logo, representative colour, building architecture and corporate sound.
- Corporate Behaviour
This relates to how the company behaves with people who have a connection to the company such as employees, customers, suppliers and so on.
- Corporate Culture
The culture of a company is about having an overall operating culture which encompasses basic values, norms and a certain legal order that is respected by all.
- Corporate Communication and language
This covers the way a company uses specific language to express their corporate culture and how it voices its concerns and values both internally and externally.
- Corporate philosophy and corporate soul
A corporate soul encapsulates the values and norms that make up the core of a company, unifying all the aspects of corporate identity and creating a balanced self-image.
A well-developed brand guideline is crucial for establishing a uniform, transparent and consistent identity across all platforms of a business. The aim is to achieve a recognisable brand that is focused, has core values and set standards and rules, all aligning to create a unified work force and to emanate a powerful impression.