The term “corporate identity” is thrown around by people who are usually trying to sell everything from website for businesses to promotional items. But what exactly is a “corporate identity”?
A corporate identity is how the general public, your prospect and customers, separate you from your competition. Another term that is thrown around is “brand”. A brand is a name, term, design, symbol or other feature that distinguishes one seller’s product from those of another’s. Your brand is part of your corporate identity, but it is not by itself your corporate identity.
You start building your brand with a logo. You logo should at-a-glance be memorable and communicate to your prospects and customers. Your logo will assign ownership of everything you produce and promote. You logo will establish colors and themes that tie all your materials together. Prospects will instantly identify your company and your reputation when they see your logo.
Once you have your logo, then you start building your printed collateral, such as sales brochures, printed catalogs, letterhead and business cards. Everything is designed with a theme and overall look. We call this a corporate identity package because everything looks similar and from the same company.
The following are elements of a corporate identity package:
Your Business Website. Your website is your digital storefront and today is vital part of your corporate identity. Prospect may receive a direct mail piece from you and if interested in your offer, in 85% of the cases, will look you up online. What does your current website say about your business? Does the look of it match the theme and overall look of the rest of your promotional materials? In an effort to save money, some business owners may have their son or brother in-law design a website for them. These sites usually look unprofessional and do not match any of their other materials. My suggestion is that you hire a professional company to build your website, as it is too important a piece to your corporate image. You can expect to pay on the low end $2000 to $6500 for a professional website, depending on your business and what you need.
Letterhead and envelopes — In the digital age you may not use a lot of letterhead, but you should still have some on hand for correspondence. Generally, a business’s letterhead should be professionally printed on a heavier text weight paper. Your business envelopes should be printed in full color. Today with digital printing, business envelopes & letterhead can come alive with full color for pennies apiece.
Pocket Presentation Folders — Depending on your business, pocket folders are an important part of your corporate image package. If you have sales people or technicians that give prospects written estimates, a professionally designed and printed pocket folder will separate you from your competitors.
Business cards — Business cards are literally one of the earliest forms of advertising and promotion. You can go with cheap business cards, but similar to your website, you should invest in getting quality business cards made. An essential part of your corporate identity, your business cards should be printed on a quality paper in full color
Brochures —Brochures should be designed to support your overall theme and look. Brochures for business are important to have on hand because they help you cross sell products and services and to close prospects on service. They also make great follow up mailer for prospects that called or stopped by, but have not purchased yet. Corporate identity packages should include brochures because brochures are personal and effective.
Catalogs and booklets — Not all businesses need a catalog or booklet, but if you have multiple products and services that you offer, then they are important. A good graphic designer of catalogs and booklets can save you hundreds in printing costs. Someone unskilled in graphic design usually cannot design an effective catalog or booklet for a business. Using a company like ours can save you time and money in graphic design. The finished professional look will support your corporate identity and build your brand. So it is definitely worth the investment to hire a professional graphic designer.
Now that you know the basics of corporate identity and have a general idea of what a corporate identity package would consist of, you know the first step is to contact a professional print marketing company.
If you have any questions or need some help developing your corporate identity please give me a call, 727-536-4173.
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