Corporate branding strategies are more than just catchy slogans or flashy logos, they encompass a meticulous blend of visual representation, messaging, and customer experience that shape the perception of a business in the minds of consumers.
In fact, companies with strong brand affiliations offer a31% higher shareholder return than their contemporaries according to marketing guru Neil Patel.
In this article, we will dive into the world of branding at the corporate level and explore the strategies that can help you build a foundational business identity that sets you apart from the competition.
Corporate branding refers to the strategic process of creating a strong and unique identity for a company or organization. It involves the development of a distinctive brand image, reputation, and set of values that differentiate the company from its competitors in the marketplace.
We all know Nike, the global sportswear and athletic footwear company founded in 1964. In its early days, Nike primarily focused on selling athletic shoes, and it faced stiff competition from established brands like Adidas and Puma. However, Nike’s approach to branding proved to be a game-changer that transformed the company into an iconic and influential brand.
So how did they do it, and what can we learn from them?
Here’s how Nike’s corporate branding strategy played a pivotal role in its success:
One of the most recognizable corporate logos in the world is the Nike Swoosh. Designed by a graphic design student named Carolyn Davidson in 1971, the Swoosh conveys speed, movement, and victory. It has become synonymous with the brand’s athletic performance and spirit.
In 1988, Nike launched its iconic “Just Do It” advertising campaign. The campaign encouraged athletes to push their limits, pursue their dreams, and overcome obstacles. “Just Do It” became a motivational slogan that resonated with athletes of all levels, inspiring them to take action and strive for greatness.
Nike’s strategic partnerships with high-profile athletes and celebrities have been instrumental in building its brand image. From basketball legend Michael Jordan to soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis icon Serena Williams, Nike has collaborated with athletes who embody the values of hard work, dedication, and success.
Nike focused on creating an emotional connection with its customers. The brand’s messaging often celebrates the human spirit, individual achievement, and the pursuit of excellence, making customers feel part of a larger community of athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
Nike’s dedication to continuous product innovation also contributed to its strong brand image. From introducing Air cushioning technology in its shoes to developing cutting-edge performance apparel, Nike’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of sportswear reinforced its image as a leader in the industry.
As a result of these branding efforts, Nike became one of the most successful and valuable sportswear brands globally.
From a mere shoe company, Nike evolved into a symbol of inspiration, empowerment, and athletic excellence. Their powerful attention to an overarching brand strategy has enabled it to establish a lasting emotional connection with its customers, reinforcing its position as a dominant force in the sportswear industry.
Next, we’ll dive into key components that make a corporate brand stand out and dominate an industry.
From creative storytelling to consistent brand messaging – from innovative design to exceptional customer experience, defining your business at a high level is the ignition that will drive future success.
In essence, your corporate identity is how your brand presents itself to the world. It encompasses your values, personality, and visual elements, all of which work together to create a strong brand image.
By understanding, crafting, and implementing these elements across all touchpoints and media, businesses can enhance their brand identity, connect emotionally with their target audience, and gain a competitive edge.
The vision statement is a forward-looking declaration of the organization’s purpose and aspirations. It lays out a clear direction for the future of the company and provides a roadmap for strategic planning. In terms of branding, a well-articulated vision statement helps to inspire and attract stakeholders including customers, employees, and investors. It allows the audience to see where the company is headed and how they can be a part of this future.
Unlike the vision statement, the mission statement is focused on the present. It explains the company’s core purpose, outlining why it exists, what it does, and who it serves. A clear and compelling mission statement helps differentiate the company from its competitors, provides a framework for decision-making, and fosters customer loyalty. It’s a crucial element of the corporate brand as it tells customers what they can expect from the company.
Core values are the guiding principles that dictate behavior and action within the organization. They set the standard for company culture and behavior, both internally and in the interactions with the outside world.
64% of consumers form brand loyalty because of shared values according to the Harvard Business Review.
Core values in a branding context can help to attract customers and employees who share these values, building a strong community around the brand. They also help the company make decisions that align with its brand identity.
The Brand Archetype is a tool that helps companies personify their brand. This can help in building a strong connection with the target audience as people tend to connect more with personalities rather than products or services.
Brand Archetypes, based on the archetypes identified by Carl Jung, range from “The Hero” to “The Caregiver” to “The Explorer,” and each carries its own set of characteristics, strengths, and potential pitfalls. Identifying a brand’s archetype helps to maintain consistency in messaging and visual identity, providing a clear and recognizable personality that customers can relate to.
Defining a color scheme and visuals for your corporate branding is crucial in establishing a strong brand identity. The right colors can impact your target audience and set the mood for your company.
When selecting a color scheme, consider the emotional connection you want to create with potential customers. Different colors evoke different emotions, so choose colors that align with your brand message. For example, blue is often associated with trust and reliability, while red can evoke feelings of passion and excitement.
In addition to color, visual elements such as your brand logo, fonts, and media play a key role in corporate branding. Your brand logo should be visually appealing and easily recognizable, representing the essence of your brand. Fonts should be consistent across all marketing materials to maintain a cohesive look.
The brand voice is a critical component of corporate branding as it helps shape the overall perception of the brand. It is the personality and tone of voice that the brand uses to communicate with its target audience.
A survey from Stackla found that92% of marketers claim that brand authenticity is essential to their brands. This highlights how being authentic is critical to separate your brand from competitors.
A well-crafted brand voice can enhance customer loyalty, improve customer service communication, and ultimately contribute to the success of the overall brand strategy.
When determining your brand’s tone of voice, it is essential to involve all team members responsible for representing the brand.
By creating a style guide that outlines your brand voice and guidelines, you gain valuable input from different perspectives. This collaborative approach ensures that all team members are aligned, resulting in a cohesive and consistent brand voice.
Consistency in your tone of voice not only strengthens your brand’s image but also helps build trust and establishes your credibility with your target audience. It enables your customers to recognize and connect with your brand easily.
To effectively resonate with customers, it is crucial to align your brand with their values and preferences. Customers who feel connected to your brand are more likely to trust and engage with your business.
One way to create this connection is by developing a powerful corporate brand identity, which is where our BrandDNA Corporate Helix workshops can help.
Corporate Helix defines your brand at a high level by uncovering key components often found in corporate branding strategies, including:
BrandDNA is the ultimate guide to help businesses develop a clear and cohesive corporate identity, aligning your brand with your business objectives, crafting consistent messaging, and increasing brand awareness and loyalty. It will help your business streamline its operations and drive consistent growth.
Contact us today to learn more about how our BrandDNA exercises can help you achieve your business goals.