A communication professional knows well that a brand is nothing but a visual association with the name and symbol that people make in their minds, a promise.
I do not think we need to list the thousands of advantages of using a visual identity. I believe each of us has at least one argument in mind. Most of those who run a business surely understand the need for corporate identity.
Let us imagine that the corporate identity is personified, it has a personality and communicates in a certain way. Seems that with age, we become more and more intentional in our inter-human relationships and learn that our speech, attitudes, behaviour and our way of being are defining for us and creating our identity. By ‘manipulating’ this communication we have the possibility to change our identity and change the perceptions of the interlocutor about us.
“What and how we talk may reveal the place of birth, the culture and ethnicity and ultimately determine the direction of life. There is a great power in words and they have this quality to carry forward a whole future, because our words are an expression of our thinking process and beliefs, that are mostly expressed in actions, thus habits and all these inevitable defines our life.” (Bujorean, 2014) This reasoning can be extrapolated at the corporate level.
The corporate identity is implicit digital as businesses are not communicating anymore exclusively on traditional media but also on digital platforms.
“In the digital environment we move in, transmitters and receivers have multiplied, provoking significant changes in marketing and corporate communication management and in the transmission of the corporate identity of our firm.
The image we project no longer depends solely on messages from the Marketing and Communications Department. These are shaped and evolved in blogs or in social network conversations… ” (Mikel Jaurietta, 2017, Managing Corporate Identity in Digital Environments)
So how do we manage the corporate identity in the digital era?
As it the case with the traditional communication, we need to be aware of the issue in order to control it, therefore an online monitoring service is more than useful.
Know the boundaries
When communicating on social media it is like sending press releases. E.g., posting something against the political class or government. If this is something assumed by the top management than the repercussion are accounted for but if this is the work of a social media content manager with a political agenda than it is very bad for the company that may end up loosing important public contracts. Knowing were are the boundaries in communication it is as important as knowing the buying persona of the business.
Design a contingency plan
Nothing new. Designing a contingency plan is part of the classic crises management planing. Knowing your stakeholders, their expectations and their pull it is very important when planing.
Report and don’t underestimate
A lot of public scandals with great implications for businesses started as an underestimated and insignificant communicate and a content manager failing to inform the senior managers.
Obviously these are not exhaustive and there are quite a lot of critical factors to be considered when managing the corporate identity in the digital era.
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(Article first published in 15 November 2018)