Every company/organisation has an identity. Regardless of whether or not you create one for yourself, your company will have an identity through which others view it. If you fail to purposely create one for yourself, it will be created for you by your audience.
This is why every fashion entrepreneur needs to actively work on their identity. Now, there are two types of identities an organisation can have, they are; Corporate Identity and Brand Identity.
Corporate Identity Vs. Brand Identity.
Corporate and brand identities are usually mixed up and used interchangeably by many entrepreneurs when, in fact, there are differences between the two.
The corporate and brand identities of a business always have to work hand-in-hand to pass across a uniform message to everyone that comes in contact with them.
Corporate identity is about the internal activities that shape how a company, as a whole, is perceived by its target audience. It consists of how they design their products, communicate internally and externally, and how they behave.
One company can have different brand identities if they offer many different products, all wrapped in corporate identity.
Brand identity, on the other hand, is how an organisation wants to be perceived by their customers based on a particular product, service or idea they render. It distinguishes your products or services from similar products and services of other businesses.
The brand identity always has to tie back to the general corporate identity. To learn more about building a brand identity, click here.
Elements of Corporate Identity.
The corporate design comprises of brand elements that distinguish your brand’s products from others. A fashion brand’s corporate identity is reflected in its name, logo, typography, colour palette, tagline, uniform, business cards, packaging, and all other visual elements of the brand.
All of these design elements are formed based on your company’s values and pass across the message of your brand clearly. They are meant to be simple and clear, evoking emotions you desire from your clients and distinguishing your fashion brand from all others.
Corporate communication refers to how your fashion business relates to employees, external stakeholders, investors, and customers. It deals with how you express messages and address them based on your voice and tone.
It is not about what you say, but how you say it.
It is about how you treat the public and how you say what you want to say to them. It encompasses everything from your public relations to internal and external communication.
Corporate communication is also seen in how you communicate via your website and social media platforms. These should give anyone that visits them the same experience a physical encounter with your business will give.
The corporate behaviour of your fashion house is its essence. Your corporate behaviour shows your company’s vision, mission, and core values. It is how you present your fashion brand to the larger community.
Amongst others, one way to show your corporate behaviour is through corporate social responsibility endeavours. If you want to direct action in different areas of your company, corporate behaviour guidelines are a must-have.
An example of a fashion brand with a great corporate identity is Adidas. They are a multinational corporation that design and manufacture shoes, clothing, and accessories.
Their message in design, communication and behaviour always encourages the touths to have a sporty and healthy lifestyle. They even go as far as sharing inspiring success stories with their global customers.
Importance of Corporate Identity.
A strong corporate identity for your fashion brand is vital in building a strong brand in every way. Here is the importance of a good corporate identity.
- It provides consistency in all your communication as a brand and ensures that everyone represents the organisation the same way every time.
- It creates trust in the company and improves its reputation and stations it as a trustworthy expert in the industry.
- It helps you stand out from the competition and makes your brand readily recognisable.
- It helps standardise tour brand’s visual presentation across all channels, such as social media, email, website, etc.
- It helps your company to be easily identified and remembered by customers.
How to Create a Corporate Identity.
Your corporate identity encompasses everything about your business as a whole. Your corporate identity is more about the values of your brand than the visual identity of the brand.
The corporate identity of your fashion brand starts with your brand story as this dictates everything you will do in that brand.
To effectively create your corporate identity, you have to first identify who your target audience is. They dictate what your visual identity will be and how your communication should be.
Your language is also very important in creating a corporate identity. Your language has to be consistent in everything when it comes to advertising, business relations, customer service, collaborations and partnerships, and so on.
By creating a corporate identity, you will influence all areas of your business either directly or indirectly. It will reflect in your communication with staff members, through internal reports, notice boards, and so on, and other people, through your social media, website, newsletters, brand’s publications, and so on.
Every great organisation has a corporate identity. You should consider building one too.