The key elements of corporate identity

Checklist for successful branding

The name says it all – corporate identity is the identity that a company deliberately chooses to cultivate. But what does that mean exactly? Anyone who sets up a company should pursue a clear strategy from the outset. Not just in terms of product marketing, but also in relation to corporate image. And branding is much more than simply a logo. Find out about the various aspects of branding and corporate identity in this article.

  • The corporate identity reflects the overall corporate philosophy. Encourage the entire company to adopt the same values to ensure that all employees pursue the same vision. The values your employees represent through their behaviour are conveyed directly to your customers. Just think of Starbucks, for example. Whether it’s in Seattle or Zurich, the baristas serve you in exactly the same way at every branch around the world, creating a unique Starbucks feeling. Customers remember this direct contact for a long time.

  • Nothing is as powerful as a good story. Stories move us and remain in the memory for a long time. People also like to retell them, providing the ideal opportunity for word-of-mouth advertising. Reflect on what story your company can tell and make sure that all employees tell the same story. A few ideas for exciting stories:

    • Did your company have to overcome any obstacles when starting out?
    • Create a mascot for your brand.
    • What does your company do for the benefit of the environment or society?
    • Where does the name of your company come from?
    • Are there any legendary tales surrounding your products?
    • Highlight the personality traits and values of your employees.
  • When you choose what style of language to use, you decide how you wish to communicate with your customers. You should always focus on the target group. Consider what you would expect from your company as a customer. A skateboard salesperson might prefer the more casual language used by young people, greeting customers informally in the shop and providing them with straightforward advice. By contrast, an insurance consultant might wish to make a professional impression, deliberately using specialist terms to emphasise this. To ensure your company communicates in a consistent way, you can define clear linguistic rules to provide support. Set these out in a form such as the following list of dos and don’ts – lots of or very few foreign words? Technical jargon or plain language? Short or long sentences? Active or passive structures? A set of guidelines may even be useful for customer service employees.

  • Decide on a colour scheme that fits your company from the start. By selecting a consistent colour scheme, you choose which mood you want to convey. Red, for instance, represents love or energy and attracts attention. Blue tends to have a calming effect. But you don’t necessarily have to adhere to conventional colour symbolism. Stand out from the competition! Give free rein to your creativity and try something new. What really matters is consistency. Once it has been defined, the colour scheme should always be used everywhere, whether for PowerPoint slides, on billboards or for product design. In the ideal scenario, customers will recognize your company just from the colour scheme chosen. It is not by coincidence that PostFinance is known as the “yellow bank” or that red immediately springs to mind when you think of a Coca-Cola bottle.

  • Typography is also part of creating a uniform image. Select one or a few fonts and only use these. What brand personality do you want the font to reflect? Is it speed, strength, trustworthiness or perhaps attention to detail? The appearance of your fonts makes a significant contribution to conveying your values.

  • You do not necessarily need lots of images to create a successful visual world. It’s much more important that the images used are powerful ones. Create a framework for your company’s visual world. Reflect beforehand on which emotions you would like customers to associate your company with. Based on that, define the rules required for your visual world. Should you use light or dark images? Should your images mainly feature people, animals or landscapes? Should they have a modern or retro look?

  • A company rarely just conveys its image visually. Are you familiar with the Swisscom ringtone? Or the fizzing sound on the Rivella advert that comes with the satisfaction of opening a bottle? Give your company a consistent sound. In this way, you provide your customers with an integral experience for all the senses – and this will ensure you remain etched in their memory.

  • You’re bound to know Mobiliar’s cartoon characters. The Mobiliar sketches are an excellent example of how a company achieves recognition on the market through a simple drawing alone – even without a company logo. Decide on a consistent image for all graphics, animation and drawings used in relation to your company. 

A corporate identity encompasses the company’s entire image. By creating a consistent image for your company, you’ll ensure a distinctive customer experience. Customers will develop a positive attitude towards your company. This means they will be more willing to buy over the long term, resulting in greater success for your company.