Brand is not Identity
The word “Brand” is not synonymous with identity, but rather with identification. Brand describes not what something IS but by what name it is known or, in a broader sense, how something is marked or how it can be identified. Thus, a brand can be used to distinguish a product, service, and company from the competition by: a given name (trade name, trademark) an identifying symbol (“logo”) any words (slogans) any other device (shape, color scheme, etc.)
Although “brand” is frequently used and mentioned when the terms identity or image would be more accurate, it is used here in the fundamental sense of service or product brand, such as Tide® Brand of laundry soap.
So what is Image?
Image is synonymous with perception. A company’s identity shapes its image; image (perception) reflects identity (reality). One could say that image is the combined result of identity (what a company is) and the brand (what a company calls itself).
The Role of an Identity System is as a Tool for managing change
Which, in turn, may call for changes to the system. A company that has not defined its identity and has no identity system will be ill prepared to cope with change, especially if that change is forced upon the company by external forces. It provides the means to control and coordinate what otherwise would be left to chance. It is all-encompassing in scope (brand management is a part of it) and, to be successful, it must be an integral part of a company's business plan, marketing strategies, and day-to-day operations.
The definition of an Identity System is; a planned and coordinated verbal and visual system applied consistently and creatively to all means of communications used to depict and describe a company's performance, products, and decisions to internal and external audiences with the objective to portray a company's status and ambitions accurately and favorably.
Key Elements of Corporate Identity
This is a very important element. Consistency across brochures, business cards, and stationary are important to establish a look and feel for your company’s signage and communications. Your company may require any number of other graphically designed digital and print media and it is important that colors, typography, and symbolism not send mixed messages to the viewer.
Colors support a story that the textual and graphical content tell. Different colors and color combinations set different moods, and telling the wrong story with colors could be detrimental to your business. The colors should include four-color (CMYK) versions for printers, preferably using Pantone colors, which can be passed on to printers to ensure accurate printing. The CMYK versions should be exportable to three-color (RGB) maintaining very similar colors for digital use.
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