Consumers are inundated with thousands of advertising images daily through the Internet, television, radio and print. In such a crowded marketplace, a business' greatest challenge is being seen and heard. Having a strong corporate image or identity cannot be overemphasized. A corporate image or identity is an unspoken agreement to deliver your company's service or product in a certain way, with a particular style, philosophy and level of quality.
How can you use your company's identity to get attention in a crowded marketplace?
- Good identity starts with research, identifying the image of your company, the problems that must be addressed by the new image and the way your customers perceive your organization now and in the future.
- Determine what sets you apart from your competition. Is it location, an extra service you offer, lowest price or extended hours? What does your company stand for?
- Determine what style fits the image you want to project. Is your style conservative? Would you like to project a sense of warmth and professionalism or fast-paced and high-tech? Your personal style, as well as the style of your staff and the type of product or service you provide, will be important factors in your decision. Your identity should fit the vision of your company.
- Your image should be projected on everything you print, advertise, say and do. Use your logo or tagline on stationery, envelops, invoices, cards, signage, web sites, advertising, brochures, uniforms, give-away items, etc. Keep in mind that every experience a customer or potential customer has with your business, including phone calls, service calls and product performance, must reinforce and support your image.
- Be consistent. Use the same artwork each time your logo is reproduced and always use the exact same colors. Put guidelines for logo usage in writing. Consider developing a policy and procedure manual, job descriptions, and a new employee-training program to ensure that customer service and product or service performances are of consistently high quality.