Corporate design and why it matters

”Don’t judge a book by its cover,’’ the old proverb says, but we do. First impressions matter to all of us, whether they’re good or bad. That’s just how humans are.

You meet someone for the first time. You might not even know the person’s name yet, but you already think to yourself, ”I like her.” And yet, if someone asked you why, you couldn’t give a definite answer. Is it her glasses? Her hairstyle? Or perhaps her overall vibe? You can’t put your finger on it, you just find her instantly likable.

The same thing happens when we buy a product – often we can’t really justify our purchasing decision. “No way,” we hear you protest. “I make my decisions based on recommendations, advertisements, research.” Sure, but what about that time when Chloe, your kitten, wouldn’t touch the food you’d bought her after reading all those five-star reviews on Amazon? You went back to the store only to realize that there’s a much wider variety of cat food than you could have imagined. After scanning the shelves for a while, you grabbed the can closest to you – a brand called Purrty Good – and hurried home. Chloe loved it, but what was it that made you go for that particular product?

This is where corporate design comes into play. Purrty Good managed to establish an emotional bond with you. It might have been the squiggly logo font, the color scheme, or the cat pictured on the label reminding you of Chloe. Simply put, corporate design is what makes a company and its products unique and helps it stand out from the competition – from a visual and sensual perspective. That is, after all, what a potential customer first encounters.

Finding the right corporate design can be a long, complex process, and there will probably be bumps in the road, but no business can expect to thrive without it. The visual representation builds the perception of the brand in the minds of (potential) consumers, which, in turn, can influence profitability. ”A brand is a reason to choose,” Fred Burt, CEO of the global branding company Siegel+Gale said. Without design there is no brand. Consequently, there is no reason any consumer should choose the product of a certain company over that of the competition. But does that mean that once you’ve created your corporate design you should never change it again?

Many of us hesitate to make a change because we associate it with uncertainty or failure: “What if it’s not going to work?” However, if there is careful, strategic planning behind it, a change is an opportunity, not a source of anxiety. Many major companies have altered their design over the years. Indeed, they wouldn’t be the successful businesses that they are today if they let doubts get the better of them. When there’s a change, however, often something unexpected happens.

One of the risks of rebranding is that a number of adjustments are necessary, such as making sure that all templates and documents have the new design. Failing to do that can lead to all sorts of problems. Imagine your company has recently changed locations. The move went without a hitch but when you check your wallet for business cards the next day you realize that they all have the old address. You rush back to your desk but can’t find any new cards. So you rummage through your drawer for some stationery: the company address on the envelope hasn’t been updated. Your heart now pounding like a drum, you switch your laptop on. The website looks fine, but what about the templates? The letterhead is okay, but the employment agreements and the compliance documents… none of those is up-to-date. How could this happen?

Well, there is another old proverb: “to err is human.” We all make mistakes, and somebody at your company has made one by failing to consistently change the address on all the files across the board. It’s a simple explanation, but the consequences can be far-reaching: expect that oversight to keep rearing its ugly head. Chances are that old documents will continue to crop up even months from now. Worse yet, they might end up on your customers’ computer screen and in their mail. Let us hope it won’t come to that, but you can do much more than hope.

One option is to check the address on every single template your company has. Sure, if you want to waste time rather than spend it on running a business, go ahead. So, the only real option is to have a system in place that ensures that such mistakes will never occur again. With the right tools, managing customer communication is easy and effective. You can compose and edit documents in a web client, define templates, design communication processes with the help of an innovative platform – the possibilities are endless.

No rebranding or move should pose a problem from now on. Indeed, you can start every workday safe in the knowledge that, as far as customer communication is concerned, your corporate design is flawless and efficient.

Get in touch today to find out how our solution can help you improve your customer communication management.