A company’s brand is its essence. Everything that the company is, does, and is perceived to be revolves around their brand identity, or their image. This makes the task of defining your company’s corporate branding vitally important.
You need to consider many things which affect both the present and the future of your company, and come to firm answers on many issues. In the end, when you have a recognizable, desirable, and strong brand, it will be worth all the effort.
Corporate Branding Success Stories
Your brand is a testament to the world of how you want to be viewed, and how you approach brand management. It can mean the difference between a company people will remember, and one they’ll soon forget.
Think of it as your visual voice, and key to brand loyalty. People will recognize your product or service based on the styling of your brand, and their ability to recognize your logo and iconography at a glimpse. Think about big brands like Budweiser, Target, or Coca-Cola.
When you read those names, you probably thought about clydesdales, red circles, and polar bears. That’s the result of strong brand identity and smart brand awareness. Let’s take a deeper dive by talking about the example of FedEx.
The Perfect Core Brand: Insights From FedEx
When I think about corporate branding strategies, what I like to be able to do is think ahead to this question: What could the future of my business look like? If you anticipate growth, you can start to strategize about what your brand promises and what it looks like.
What’s really compelling about FedEx’s approach here is that each one of these colors represents a different division of the company. If you imagine that almost every product or every division of your company had its own brand and you think about that early when you define your core logo, you can start to say “Hey, what happens if I had a core logo that just had small variations for each one of my sub-brands?”
That’s what this FedEx family of logos represents: an excellent example of a forward-thinking company that made its visual brand universally recognized and trusted.
My recommendation to a company when they think about corporate branding is to say “Hey, try to think of it like FedEx does. Try to think about growth before you get too ahead of yourself with creating logos that don’t match each other. Logos without symmetry and without consistency between fonts or visual elements. There’s power in cohesion.”
You want to be able to do that with your corporate branding. Because the worst thing that can happen is growing your company in five different directions without a way to relate them to each other visually. And that’s something you don’t want to find out late.
With a core logo, you can adapt your logo to be put anywhere––from bus stations to business cards. That’s why I advocate spending some real time and energy in a gap assessment to look at your brand and figure out how your brand can scale. It is worth every piece of investment when your brand is the bedrock upon which to build future success.
Learning From the Big Brands
So how can you, as a small to medium-sized business, take the example of these world-famous brands and apply it to create a strong brand of your own?
Branding says something about your company, and gives people a way to associate and recognize your company without words. The way that your corporate branding personifies your business has the immediate effect of targeting a certain clientele. It can make you relatable in addition to recognizable.
Core Branding: Beyond the Logo
If you think that branding is just your logo, think again. It has to go beyond that to every aspect of the messaging and what makes you unique. The aesthetics of what it looks like and the words you choose––they matter.
If we take the FedEx example above, you can see how each color corresponds to a different service they provide under the main parent company. What I tend to advise clients who have a vision for new product lines or services is to say, “If you’re going to break out that way, let’s develop a core brand, or even a parent company under which a family of interrelated brands can live.
Once you nail down the differentiation point of your logo design (in FedEx’s case it’s color), you can assign a color to each division and brand all materials related to that division in the same color. This is a great way to approach a rebrand as well.
If you took the FedEx approach, you would look at the four or five different goods or services you offer, and essentially color-code your logos. Product #1 would be orange, product #2 would be light blue, and so forth. This achieves the right balance of cohesion and differentiation and accents everything you do. It also helps your target audiences know that they’re in the right place for their desired good or service.
Action Items & Takeaways:
- Your brand tells the world who you are and what you stand for
- Define the character of your brand. Be relatable.
- Decide on a core brand or parent company and differentiate
- Be consistent and aim for cohesion
- Branding strategy is more than a logo
- Brand value is a bigger idea than you think
A Team-Based Approach to Corporate Branding
If you need help in producing a creative, recognizable brand for your company, Farotech can help. We have a team of designers who can create a stimulating brand based upon your specific company’s preferences and your unique buyer personas. The world wants to know who you are. Tell them with your brand!
We look forward to hearing from you! Please contact us today with any questions about how we can create a brand that makes raving fans of you and your company. Learn more about our unique approach to branding.