How to be a more successful entrepreneur by developing a strong corporate identity

An essential starting point on your road to success is to develop a strong corporate identity, thereby laying a proper foundation for your business to grow from.

When taking the step of becoming self-employed (being an entrepreneur), you have to very carefully plan your approach to ensure you have everything in place. Without a proper plan in place, a business can never truly succeed as there is no structure and procedures in place in how products or services will be marketed, sold and communicated.

There is a myriad or articles and books written about corporate identity, and reading a lot of material on this topic might inundate the reader with too much information and too little guidance on how to implement it. Today, I will try to simplify the basic elements of corporate identity and how to develop it for your growing business.

What is Corporate Identity?

Simply put, corporate identity is the way consumers, customers and your own staff perceive your business through the way you communicate it to them, both directly and indirectly. Corporate Identity in includes the 3 following main elements

  1. Visual Identity:

This includes your logo, company colours, website design, email branding, vehicle branding, business cards and the branding on the products you might sell. Your visual identity plays an extremely important role to be recognised easily. Just think about companies like Coca-Cola with their red and white colours and the trademark ribbon typeface, or Apple with the apple logo and clean-cut website and branding approach. Both these companies have instantly recognisable branding and products – a strong corporate identity.

 

Note: Think about what you your business to communicate visually and jog down some notes – you will need it later.

How to be a more successful entrepreneur by developing a strong corporate identity

2.Your Company Values:

A company might look absolutely fantastic with a visual identity in place, but without strong values the corporate identity will not be well-developed. We have all read the Mission, Vision and Value statements on various other websites. From these, we can easily identify that these statements are in general nearly identical. Why? I would say that many business-owners do not know their businesses well enough to write their own unique statements, and would rather use nice-sounding phrases to try and impress. As an entrepreneur, your need to strengthen your corporate identity with clear values specially fitted to what you do. Good core company values:

  • Help your company in the key decision-making processes. Since you have already defined what your company stands for, it is easy to stay with the guidelines.
  • Educate your clients and potential customers about what the company is about. In this competitive world, and being an entrepreneur, having a set of specific core values that speak to the public is a competitive advantage.
  • Can attract or push away potential customers. Now more than ever, we live in a world where users would support a company based on their core values closely matching those of the company they support. Think about eco-conscious companies, or family-orientated businesses.

Note: Take some time to think about the values you want in your company. Write it down and refine it until you feel it represent what you, as a company and entrepreneur, stands for.

How to be a more successful entrepreneur by developing a strong corporate identity

3. The message you communicate to your customers:

A globally recognised brand doing a stellar job in brand communication is Samsung Electronics. Their corporate identity is easy to understand through the way they communicate: Creating superior electronic products and services to make the lives easier and more enriched for their customers. All their promotional communication focuses on ease-of-use, innovation and the reward gained for using their products.

You need to find your own “voice” to communicate your corporate identity. Samsung focuses on bringing cutting-edge and exciting products to consumers. Coca-Cola communicates a message of having fun with your friends while you drink their product, with a trademark “jingle” incorporated into the music.

Note: Look at your visual identity, core company values and the culture (or if you are the only-employee look at your personality) to find a fitting way you communicate with your clients and potential customers. Ask your staff, family and friends for some input and have fun while finding your unique approach.

Why should corporate identity be important for the entrepreneur?

While operating a small business one might think that having a corporate identity in place might be unnecessary, yet it is essential for the future growth of your business, simplifying processes and defining the message consumers will identify with. Corporate identity is an essential part of a business foundation, and an integral part of any business plan.

Your corporate identity will also help you to understand your own business, which in the longer term will assist you when interacting with customers about your products and services. It also places your firmly as a competitor in your specific industry, rubbing shoulders with bigger brands by communicating your unique values and selling points that will make consumers identify with what you have to offer. This alone gives you a competitive edge and can generate interest in your business.

The core ideas to keep in mind in creating your corporate identity

Looking at our previous section to establish what a corporate identity is, you have to follow some basic guidelines when planning and creating your own, unique proposition. Remember to:

Keep your visual identity simple and relevant to your business. Look at other businesses in your industry to compare what they have, and find some examples of what you like. It must be easy to identify and striking enough to stand out in the crowd. I would advise that you communicate your ideas about your visual brand with an established graphic designer, who will design different concepts for you to choose from. Be clear in your communication in order to get the best result.

When working on your core business values, think about the following guidelines:

  • What you stand for
  • What makes you unique
  • What you offer your clients
  • What you want to achieve
  • How you want to achieve it
  • What measures are in place to maintain your growth and success
  • Describe your unique customers
  • Your policy for your staff

Planning the message you communicate your corporate identity to your clients and potential customers should only be attempted once the other two elements have been completed. Be sure to do thorough market research to ensure you do not accidently copy ideas and slogans from others companies. It takes some exercise, and sometimes various attempts to find the right balance and the message you are happy with. It might be a cheeky slogan, an element of fun, bold colours or even your own “jingle”… Do not give up or get discouraged, since when you find your unique voice, you can shout it off the mountaintops for everyone to recognise!

How to be a more successful entrepreneur by developing a strong corporate identity

Ways entrepreneurs can imprint your corporate identity on your consumers

You can imprint your corporate identity on consumers by making it instantly recognisable when interacted with or encountered. This is done by communicating a clear message to consumers, whether it will be your logo or branding visible in store or delivering a service, on your website when users find you online or when you reach out to them with advertising and public relations.

It is also worth knowing that when consumers are impressed by what you offer, who you are and what you stand for, they will most probably recommend it to others. Word-of-mouth marketing or recommendations is a fantastic way to spread word for your business, since those impressed by who you are (your corporate identity) will become voluntary brand ambassadors for your business.

Finally, you must keep your message consistent. Take pride in your corporate identity in all parts of business and encourage your staff to embrace it. In a world where so many companies are neglecting their customers, the few business who has a strong value proposition and take care of the clients are becoming a more popular option than just the lower price.

Final Words

Our programmes have been designed to teach and assist you on how to find a strong corporate identity for your business, and how to find your own voice. We have a panel of experts contributing their valuable knowledge and experience to guide you towards better business success. Trust us to show you the way.