One of my goals for this year is to work with more businesses to develop and refine their corporate identities. Just as we’re launching authors, we love helping companies launch their brands.
Any conversation about corporate identity or brand building starts with core values. What are yours, as a company? What drives the heart of your business? What inspires the owner to get up every day and spend his or her time and money on this business, these projects? Once you understand your values, the first year is all about building the product—and an evocative visual identity that’s going to attract the clients you want while inspiring your own staff to achieve greatness. Then it’s building the materials that will support that effort, such as website, brochures, logos, postcards, business cards, etc. They all need to create the unified feel of a professional company vs. a hobby. When everything matches, that’s identity. It’s something people have a very strong, but unconscious, response to when they’re trying to figure out what level you, as a company, are at. You establish your credibility through the standards and consistency you use to create these materials.
Once the materials are created, year two is off to the races! It’s about relationship building. About finding the stories that are happening around the company, learning how the company is impacting the world and changing lives. (And don’t be fooled. Every company changes lives; even shoelaces change lives!) Then we build the PR campaign and relationships around these stories. We find the target audience and get to them by creating 100 local victories (a contract signed, a speaking engagement, a testimonial from a user of your product/service, a radio show) and report on them. Then we repeat. It becomes a pattern of very intentionally telling those stories so that, at the end of the year, you’ve reached a mid-sized victory (such as an endorsement from a state senator, a large hospital, or your closest major city’s police department). Then you know how many local victories you need per month to grow that larger victory pool. After a certain number of mid-sized victories, you’ll garner national attention (endorsement from a major national organization, a Fortune 500 company contract, or a story in a national newspaper or TV show).
All of this effort, the time spent, is in the pursuit of corporate identity. It’s growth. If you’re interested in working with a family-style business that can create this kind of identity for you, contact our director of business development, Erin Cohen, at firstname.lastname@example.org.