On corporate identity (not personal identity)

I was checking on Bredemarket’s appearance in various searches (have I told you that I am a biometric proposal writing expert?), and I ran across something having to do with proposals and identity that was outside of my usual definition of “identity.”

This article talked about writing a proposal to help a company establish its corporate identity.

(Yes, I know a corporation is a person, but this is something different. I can’t capture IBM’s face, and Wendy’s face is not necessarily a unique biometric identifier.)

Establishing an outward-facing corporate identity

In the article, Ruben described how to help a company establish its corporate identity. After suggesting that you ensure that you understand the company, Ruben focused on the company’s needs.

Identify the Needs – having described the company, the next step is to explain why your idea for a logo or marketing campaign is suitable for their goals. There may be many “needs” you need to address. For example, it might be a good idea to describe why rebranding can make a company look more modern and approachable.

From there, you would naturally describe how you would meet the company’s needs, and why you are qualified to meet the company’s needs.

If all goes well, the company will contract with you, then you will come up with a plan to optimize the company’s corporate identity. The company will implement the plan, the company’s revenue will increase, and you will be a hero.

But corporate identity goes beyond the logo, the website, and the marketing materials.

Establishing a strategic corporate identity

There’s an important step that a company needs to take before making decisions on outward-facing marketing.

The company has to decide who it is.

There are a multitude of ways to do this, ranging from a detailed business plan to a brief mission statement or statement of purpose. Regardless of the avenue you take, you need to know what you want to do.

Take an example from the 1980s. Perhaps some of you may remember Mita, famous for the advertising slogan “all we make are great copiers.”

There was a reason that Mita used that slogan:

If you are sixth in unit sales in the office copier industry and you are one of the few manufacturers that does not have a diversified product line, then the thing to do in your advertising is disparage diversification.

From https://www.nytimes.com/1985/10/02/business/advertising-mita-copier-campaign-has-a-single-theme.html

In this case, the advertising slogan helped shape the entire strategy of the company, resulting in a corporate identity that was very successful.

From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkNbEoFHCtc

Revising a strategic corporate identity

In fact, it was too successful. Because if you already make great copiers, what else do you need to do? Not much, I guess.

But early in the 1990s, it started making mistakes: relocating factories in expensive Hong Kong, letting management become bloated and backsliding on technology. At the same time, Fuji-Xerox, Ricoh and Konica stepped up their presence. Among other things, Mita failed to embrace digital technologies.

From https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-aug-13-fi-12663-story.html

See Kodak.

Mita eventually went bankrupt and was acquired by Kyocera, who immediately decided to work on Mita’s corporate identity. The company was rebranded as Kyocera Mita Corporation in 2000, and was re-rebranded as Kyocera Document Solutions in 2012. Mita schmeeta.

In today’s business world, digitalization is proceeding at an unprecedented pace and the volume of documents is growing exponentially.
In this business environment, we believe that our mission is to support our customers to effectively manage their information, and turn that information into knowledge, in order to address their challenges with a sense of speed.

From https://www.kyoceradocumentsolutions.com/company/greeting.html

You can see how the corporate identity has evolved over the decades, and how a company that once concentrated on taking pieces of paper and making identical pieces of paper now aspires to transform document information into knowledge to address challenges.

What does this mean for your corporate identity?

As I’ve noted, establishment of a marketing corporate identity is only part of an overall strategic plan to guide the future direction of a company.

Taking Bredemarket as an example, the corporate identity established by my logo is only a part of the plan guiding Bredemarket.

Bredemarket logo

The pencil symbolizes writing, and long experience in writing, but it does not say WHAT Bredemarket writes. That has been established, revised, and expanded, partially through the annual goals that I set.

As long as I don’t blow it and get too restrictive (Bredemarket: all we write are fingerprint RFP responses), I should be fine.

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