If one thing should be abundantly clear from our previous blog entries, it’s that all of us here at Kumo Ink are admirers of strong corporate identity. With more competition than ever before, the need for individual companies to stand out is obvious. Offering a high quality, sought after product or service is important, but no longer enough in and of itself. Business hopefuls must now establish firm corporate identities if they’re to promote themselves effectively and succeed in the long term. Our services are intended to help clients achieve this goal, but planning on their part is key.
Perhaps the most crucial step in establishing a sense of corporate identity is to review your organisation’s history, aims and methods. Before the public can be made aware of what separates your company from others, or of the principals on which it was founded, you yourself must reach a clear internal consensus on these matters. Writing or consulting such documents as business plans, mission statements and strategic plans can prove extremely useful during this process. In fact, it’s often the case that individuals have had clear ideas about their business venture from the beginning, but were never aware of this being the case. Forcing yourself to articulate them allows for greater understanding among you, your staff and your clients.
Having established how your company is perceived by both yourself and relevant colleagues, it’s time to seek opinions from external sources. Market research can obviously take on a variety of forms, from informal chats to conducting surveys, setting up interviews and contacting stakeholders. You might be surprised by the feedback you receive, some of which could very well be undesirable. It’s important, however, that you confront it by considering how to achieve your desired perception and put out the right messages into the marketplace.
Having refamiliarised yourself with your business and the way it’s perceived, consider your competitors and hold them under the same level of scrutiny. Assess the clarity of their message and what you think they should be doing differently, drawing inspiration from the areas in which you feel they’re succeeding.
Having carefully reconsidered your goals, methods and intentions, as well as attaining up-to-date awareness of the marketplace, it’s time to ensure that your business’ design and aesthetics encapsulate all that you want them to. These can include such things as logos and tag lines.
It may take a lot of investment and effort to arrive at this design stage, but the clarity of your aims will be reflected in whatever materials you produce and allow you to consult with designers and manufacturers in the most effective way possible. Always ensure that your identity is customer oriented and don’t forget that, although consistency is important, you must allow it to evolve naturally and in tandem with market trends.
This may all seem like a lot of effort to put into creating items frequently as small as business cards, but trust us, it really does pay off!