Many Marketing Directors and CMOs are barreling through a busy time of year: planning season. The end of a calendar year often means the close of a fiscal year, which means marketers are budgeting and planning for the future. Sometimes, in the midst of allocating budget for public relations, advertising, and sales collateral, a crucial piece is overlooked.

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Corporate branding should be an integral part of a marketing mix on a consistent basis. Over time, as the speed of business increases and promotions are pushed to market in a reactive manner, corporate identity can become watered down. Brands often begin a corporate branding program with a solid logo and consistently enforced brand guidelines, but these guidelines can loosen over time without proper attention and strict reinforcement. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain corporate brand consistency when the business, employees, and locations may be in constant flux.

For the most successful and iconic brands, corporate branding is not a once-per-decade project. It is an ongoing effort that ensures a look and feel that is always consistent, modern, and relevant. Corporate branding goes well beyond an occasional logo and website update. Successful corporate branding programs incorporate design, imagery, and voice.

Design should focus on a relevant and modern look and feel. Dated design gives the impression that a brand is not current. Design includes logo treatment, colors, and graphic elements on all materials: letterhead, sales collateral, website, signage, advertising, etc.

Imagery is also an important element of corporate branding and a crucial counterpart to design. Imagery should mirror the brand’s desired feel and be inclusive of all customer groups. Imagery has the ability to project a brand’s heritage, quality, effectiveness, or value.

Voice is one of the most easily lost elements of corporate branding, especially in today’s world of social media, reactive promotions, and real-time interaction. Brand personality should be conveyed through a consistent voice across all channels, even in something as quick as a tweet. Is the brand’s voice humorous? Brainy? Cynical? Uplifting? Whatever it may be, a strategic corporate branding plan will define it and provide guidelines for consistently using that voice, everywhere.

Id8 is all about focus on your brand. To have a conversation with a branding expert regarding your specific needs, contact us at info@id8agency.com, 770-428-8668, or stop into our Marietta, Georgia advertising agency and say hello!