Corporate branding is the management activity that clarifies a company’s promise to the marketplace. Developing a corporate brand strategy helps a company focus on why customers should put their faith and trust in that company.
A key component of corporate brand development is the system you put in place to visualize your strategic brand decision. These systems are known as “brand identity” or “visual identity” programs.
Brand identity programs consist of design decisions that best portray your market differentiation and brand values. Standards are then created to ensure these design decisions are applied uniformly to all visual elements that represent a company. These standards are expressed in logos, colors, typefaces, paper stocks, design formats, etc. The last step is to create a brand identity style guide to codify and communicate your standards.
Is this guide important? You bet! It tells you what to do or what not to do – whether you are ordering stationery, typing a letter, creating a new marketing piece or designing a new reception area. The guide also provides specifications to external resources you are using to create collateral. And most importantly, the guide helps guarantee your brand identity program will hold together over a long period of time.
Everything a company does creates a perception of that company. Use your brand identity style guide to ensure you are doing everything possible for those perceptions to be developed the way you intended.