It’s fair to say that there are a myriad of terms used in our industry that are either generically misunderstood or used incorrectly by sections of the industry in a vain attempt to look professional. One such phrase is ‘Corporate Styling‘.
So what is it?
Corporate styling is essentially the container that holds your brand content. Think of it as a bowl to carry your brand around in. Although you’d always want to ensure that people saw your brand, if they only caught a glimpse of the container, you’d want them to know what the brand was inside right?
That’s where we build clients a corporate style.
Essentially, corporate styling is an extension of your logo. It’s colours, shapes, typefaces and structural cues that lead viewers to an understanding that all those elements are a part of your ‘brand’. Having a logo is just simply not enough. We live in a fast paced market where instant recognition is a must. Your logo alone is not powerful enough to garner the recall you need in many of those ‘flashes’.
But don’t just think of corporate styling as lines or swirls on a piece of paper. It goes much further than that.
Coca-Cola would have to be one of the largest marketers in the world, spending billions of dollars a year on branding and promoting their products. As much as the Coca-Cola (or Coke) logo is iconic in it’s own right, the corporate styling that is associated with the actual brand is equally iconic. Many will recall the ‘swish’ that has consistently accompanied the logo for decades but the corporate styling stretches much farther than this.
It’s in fact in the bottle shape itself. As illustrated by the 1990’s billboard below, the shape alone is so powerful that you need nothing else than this to recall the entire brand in your mind. Now that’s one serious container!
Many of you may retort with ‘but I’m no Coca-Cola’ or ‘I don’t have the budget of Coke’ but tell me how many of you have a market as wide or as large as theirs?
It’s all proportionate. If you only require saturation of a small market then this can be achieved through a well planned and constructed brand campaign that reaches your target market. This approach can be maximised by ensuring you have a well produced corporate style that begins to impress upon your market so that, over time, you can obtain recall through that styling as well as you logo.
It is also fair to say that the ‘style’ factor or corporate styling is also a key factor.
Many businesses ask too much of their logo. They expect it to say everything about their business. It just doesn’t work that way. Pictures, images, copy and headlines all become an important part of that communication, as does your corporate styling.
Your container can be modified and adjusted as your market moves and swings. Like any style, whether it be fashion, interiors, motor vehicles or hair, your business may need to project a different style as time goes on. Rather than having to constantly manipulate your logo, you can simply adjust and ‘tweak’ your corporate style to always look fresh and stylish in the market.
It’s most definitely a subtle aspect of the branding process but it is vital to long term success in terms of brand recognition.
So stay in style…you certainly don’t want to be old hat!