Over a period of time your corporate identity if not managed correctly will become inconsistent and out of sync with your business strategy. There are many reasons for this such as:
• growth through acquisitions
• geographic expansion
• market changes
• change in the business strategy
• new products and services
• change in the vision and values
• lack of management of the guidelines leading to inconsistency of application
There are 7 key questions to ask about your existing corporate identity to see if it is reaching it’s full potential
Are you internally committed to the corporate identity in terms of time, influence, investment and legal protection with regard to design and geographic spread?
Are your shared values, customer value proposition, substantiators, personality, essence, outward facing company structure, clearly articulated and understood across the company and amongst your target audiences?
Is your corporate identity and architecture flexible enough to adapt to restructure, growth, market changes, challenges, opportunities and does it have an ability to constantly evolve without re-inventing the wheel?
Is your corporate brand authentic and do your shared values stand up internally and can they deliver against customers’ expectations, fit with their needs, desires and their decision making criteria?
Is your corporate brand recognised and is there an in-depth understanding of its distinctive, characteristics, qualities and how positively do customers and opinion formers discuss it in the media?
Is your corporate or brand identity applied consistently across all touch points and communications channels for all audiences?
Do customers perceive the corporate or brand identity to have a positioning that is distinct from the competition?
If the answer is no to any of the above questions then you will need to start a review of the corporate identity. What should be done next?
Select a Senior individual
When a corporate identity programme is initiated a senior member of the company should be selected to take responsibility for the management of the programme.
Create a working party and steering group
A group of people should be selected to be responsible for the financial controls and clear lines of authority. The individuals can represent a range of activities within the business from HR to marketing. In some cases this can simply be the senior executive team.
What are the stages of work involved in the corporate identity programme?
The basic stages of an identity programme are:
Stage 1 Investigation including research, analysis and recommendations
Stage 2 Developing the identity – creating the strategy, architecture, design, guidelines
Stage 3 Launch and introduction – communicating the vision and values
Stage 4 Implementation – making it happen
Stage 5 Ongoing managemnet and communications
One of the key factors of a corporate identity programme is consistent management of the programme post launch. All too often changes of people, an attitude of “we have a guidelines so everyone can just follow them” leads to inconsistent application of the corporate identity. This can lead to confusion and dare I say it – silos where people see an opportunity to do things their way!