A business identity, sometimes called a brand identity or corporate identity, is the way in which you wish your company to be perceived by the general public. As well as including your own employees and potential business partners, this identity is primarily aimed at reaching both new and existing customers.
It’s a multifaceted entity comprising many different factors, including your company name and logo, the language you use when dealing with the public, the atmosphere you create inside your stores and the general feeling evoked when the name of your company springs to mind. Although the two are heavy linked, it differs from your business image in that identity encompasses image; a strong identity will lead naturally to a positive and memorable image.
Why is business identity important?
There are a number of different reasons why cultivating a strong business identity and sticking to it are instrumental to the success of your company.
- Once you have successfully established your business identity in a recognisable form, you’ll encourage your existing customers to keep coming back for more. Not only that, you’ll also instil confidence in new customers and appear more attractive to them than less familiar brands.
- Price premium.If you have positioned yourself as one of the leading players in a certain market, the general public will be more likely to accept you as such – and pay a premium for the pleasure. It’s for this reason why well-established brands like Converse in footwear, Lexus in automobiles and Evian in water can charge a higher price for what is essentially the same product as less reputable rivals.
- With the explosion of the world wide web and the widespread competition of today’s global marketplace, you have to do something to set yourself apart from the chasing pack. A robust corporate identity is key to achieving that ideal.
What makes a good business identity?
Now that we’ve established why a strong business identity is important, the next step is understanding the different components of one. In particular, you should concentrate on:
- The first port of call for any fledgling enterprise is getting the name right. When choosing a moniker for your company, it’s vital you take into consideration the business niche you’re in, the target market you’re trying to reach and the impression you wish to create. For example, punned names can seem overly frivolous and downmarket; geographical references can build strong ties to the local community but limit your expansion. It may also be worth looking into the availability of an internet domain for your selected name, since any serious business will need an online presence before long.
- As the first thing a prospective customer, client or investor will see when they come into contact with your business, it’s imperative you choose a logo that’s both memorable and iconic, without being overly flashy or distracting. It needs to be striking in both digital and print mediums, on huge billboards and on tiny business cards. It must also appeal to the widest demographic possible to ensure your business achieves maximum outreach and customer retention. It’s highly recommended to hire a professional graphic designer to work closely with you to create a logo that represents your company’s ethos and lives long in the memory.
- The niche in which you position yourself will have a huge impact on how customers interpret your business identity. For example, do you want to be seen as luxurious and dignified or laid-back and down-to-earth? This, in turn, will have a huge effect on the tone of voice employed in all your correspondence, the comportment of your employees and the aura you project when dealing with clients and partners. Gauging the right attitude for your chosen market and executing it perfectly is crucial to building and maintaining a winning identity.
How can I communicate my business identity?
Once you’ve settled upon an identity with which you feel comfortable, it’s time to share it with the world. Again, there are a number of things you should keep in mind, such as:
- Perhaps the number one ingredient in reinforcing your business identity is consistency. On every letter, email and advertisement, your company name and logo (including colours, typeface and background) must be identical. Otherwise you will risk confusing your target market over who you really are.
- Project your identity into every sphere possible. This means handing out business cards, taking out advertisements in print, online and signage, sending regular newsletters, leveraging the power of social media, updating your website with regular content, interacting with your consumers and generally getting yourself out there. With ubiquity comes confidence.
- Company ethos. If you’re the only one in your company practicing its identity, it’s not a business identity – it’s a personal one. Make sure every single member of your workforce is singing from the same hymn sheet when it comes to communicating that identity to the outside world and you’ll build it up from the inside out.
Get in touch
If you’re looking to expand in your particular niche and perhaps acquire another business which shares a similar identity to your own, look no further. At Hilton Smythe, we have access to over 1,000 businesses across the UK and are incredibly experienced in uniting prospective buyers with the seller that’s right for them. Take your business to the next step today!