You are not alone if you have also thought that corporate identity, image, branding, and design are all the same thing; they’re often used interchangeably. While they may sound similar, they are separate elements but cannot be isolated from each other. Each is a specific component that’s linked to and complements the other to give a company its overall identity.
A corporate image is the flip side of its identity, a critical element. This refers to the external perception of the company, determined by media coverage, customer reviews, or even fake news and rumours that affect a company’s identity. So, how do you distinguish between each of these components?
What Is A Corporate Identity?
A corporate identity is the physical look and feel of a company, simply, it is the visual DNA presented to the public. It incorporates the visual elements, the logo, typeface (font), tagline or slogan, imagery (photographs, videos, and graphics), colours, and tone of voice.
It must be clear in physical form too, on stationery, packaging, uniforms, merchandise, marketing, and online material. All aspects have to be carefully chosen to represent the complete face of an organization. Consistency is key! Maintaining a consistent identity is central to presenting a business in a professional light.
An important element of a company’s identity is corporate design. But what does design have to do with anything corporate you may ask? Everything! The office design influences a corporate’s identity.
How office design influences corporate identity?
Your office branding, or design, says a lot about a company’s culture and even work ethic! Also bear in mind it goes deeper than just using the same colours in your office decor. Office décor is the “body language” of an organization – the silent language that speaks volumes! Did you know that art adds personality to the work environment? One shining example is Nando’s, a global company that adds a local flavour, through art.
You can up the ante in your business by using office design to express the company identity in the workspace, as this impacts how you’re perceived by employees, investors, and customers.
While there are guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules for office design and décor. Companies can get creative and make their design and décor elements unique to their business that speaks directly to their brand and achievements.
An office branding should include your logo, colours, and style as part of the experience. Being able to connect your brand with your mission and culture, effectively, goes beyond those visuals.
How To Create A Brand Identity?
An aspect of corporate design is how functional the workplace is and how safe it is for the employees.
Internally, a company that gives its staff a comfortable and stimulating environment to work is viewed as valuing its employees. This basic investment in staff, not only improves productivity but also builds brand loyalty and brand ambassadors, leading to employees representing their companies in a positive light.
Externally, perception is a reality that should not be ignored. Offices have become showpieces for a company’s culture and the layout design tells many stories. For example, open workspaces with glass partitions mean open communication, collaboration, and transparency. Your brand is your reputation; it’s how consumers view your business.
Want Brand Success?
It is non-negotiable, if you want to increase your company’s competitive edge, you need a strong company identity. But if you want to be instantly recognized among the myriad of similar businesses, then a uniform corporate image is key.
The possibilities are endless, but there is one constant: the first impression lasts and you can create the wow factor to stand out in the crowd, from inside and outside the office!