There has been a lot of talk on free logos etc, so I thought I'd just post this simple Whitepaper I did on Corporate ID & Brand. Hopefully it may be informative and enlightening for younger designers and potential clients. Corporate Identity and Brand - why you should take it seriously? Why should you have a good corporate identity? A logo is a logo isnâ€™t it? If that was true then most of wouldnâ€™t be ogling open mouth when Audi RS8â€™s or Aston Martins zoom past us in the street. One great benefit of marketing is that on an ongoing basis it allows people to give you feedback about your business and what you offer. Through your marketing activities and a strong corporate identity you will be generating feedback from your customers they will either support you or they wonâ€™t. A company can enhance its company logo branding simply by listening to customers and potential customers. People want to be heard; when they know that they have a go-to brand that provides exactly the service they are asking for, they will have no need to go anywhere else. If you donâ€™t present yourself clearly and you cannot offer what they want then they might well vote with their feet and walk away. This is why branding and having the right corporate identity is so critical to the success of a business. One of the most popular topics for business owners always tends to be branding and corporate identity. This makes a lot of sense. After all, branding and your corporate identity is central to your marketing strategy - it is the visible and emotional badge representing your standards and values. A strong brand identity adds tremendous value to a business; indeed it can be your strongest asset; or your worst liability. An effective brand should: - Create your desired perception and positioning within your market - Create clear differentiation from your competition - Deliver an emotional `feel-good' factor - Provide strong recognition and memory recall value - Impart your values and persona Company logo and branding campaigns have never been more important. With so much competition, and on such a global scale, it's critical to establish one's company logo as a stayer and a player. A fresh company logo along with permission based email, advertising, value added information and a strong product will enhance your companyâ€™s success for years to come. What is a Brand - and how is that different to a Corporate Identity? Brand is the proprietary visual, emotional, rational, and cultural image that you associate with a company or a product. In a nutshell, Corporate Identity is Mechanical Branding, the physical graphic representation. Branding is the emotional connection created by the product/company. When you think Volvo, you might think safety. When you think Nike, you might think of Tiger Woods or "Just Do Itâ€. The fact that you remember the brand name and have positive associations with that brand makes your product selection easier and enhances the value and satisfaction you get from the product. While Brand X cola or even Pepsi-Cola may win blind taste tests over Coca Cola, the fact is that more people buy Coke than any other cola and, most importantly, they enjoy the experience of buying and drinking Coca Cola. The fond memories of childhood and refreshment that people have when they drink Coke is often more important than a little bit better cola taste. It is this emotional relationship with brands that make them so powerful. What makes up a Brand Identity? A typical brand identity includes a brand name, positioning statement, category descriptor, organizational values, brand archetype, and the brand's key purchase factors with their tangible and emotional benefits (brand associations).A good brand name gives a good first impression, is easy to remember, and evokes positive associations with the brand. The positioning statement tells, in one sentence, what business the company is in, what benefits it provides and why it is better than the competition. Imagine you're in an elevator and you have 30 seconds to answer the question, "What business are you in?" The category descriptor lets your customers know what "hook" to put your branding on in their mind. Linking your internal Brand associations are the attributes that customers think of when they hear or see the brand name. Ideally, you want customers to think of what they want from the brand (e.g., reliability and the benefits of reliability) and then associate that attribute with your brand name. Good Corporate Identity helps brand development When you take a moment to assess the corporate logos and brands that have achieved the most success in the marketplace, you soon realize that the most important thing is to find a design that will last for decades. You want a design that it encapsulates everything about your organization now and into the future and is not too traditional that it is boring, nor too trendy that it will be out of date next year. Sometimes you may even opt to incorporate something about the history of the company in the corporate logo and branding package if that is an important part of the companyâ€™s culture. When you embark on having a corporate logo designed for your company, you need to remember that it is critical that the final design represents your organization as succinctly as possible. Create a design that is not too large or too small, but scalable in various forms from web to newspaper and stationary- and that is easy to remember and friendly on the eye. Your logo ideally, will tell a story in just seconds and stay with the viewer for hours or even days later. It may also be the final clincher in when someone takes you seriously enough to do business with.