The importance of having a professional, cohesive corporate identity is often underemphasized in the small business realm. Why? Primarily because the development of a corporate identity usually comes with a substantial price tag. But here’s why you should invest.
Your business is a living, breathing entity and much like you and I it has a personality and identity. You are different, unique, and stand apart from everyone else. What personally distinguishes you from another has mostly to do with the values, character, and service that you uphold, but the way you dress yourself in the morning is also an important representation of who you say you are. If you want to be viewed as a professional, it’s not likely that you will show up at the office in a pair of coffee stained sweatpants each morning.
The same principle applies for your corporate identity. A professional appearance reinforces who your business is and how it’s viewed as a commercial force. Developing an accurate corporate image should invoke the following.
First impressions are important to the customer. They are subconsciously looking to identify with your image. If they find themselves philosophically and emotionally agreeing with what it conveys, they are more likely to develop loyalty to the business. An image should convey quality, consistency, and trustworthiness.
A company needs a unified image and idea to stand behind. It establishes greater buy-in, pride, and overall staff morale. When you believe in your services and products and invest in how you portray them, the easier it is for employees to follow suit.
The stronger your mental impact is on a customer, the more recognizable you become, and the easier your business is to pass along and give referrals. It’s like putting a stake in the ground to proclaim your conquering existence. It should generate more business activity.
What should you do next?
Ask yourself who, what, when, and where.
Who is my business? What is my corporate personality? Is it time for me to consider establishing a corporate identity? Where can I find a company who will collaborate with me in this development?
Then, look for design professionals who are willing to partner and come along side your company and listen to your needs. Finally, invest in the total package – colors, schemes, accents, logos, business cards, letterheads, graphics, web presence – even if it means taking one step at a time.