Although many people believe that the need for a clear corporate identity is a recent idea, it actually developed back in the 1960s. The industrial revolution cleared the way for a large number of new corporations to spring up across the world, and they needed to adopt an approach to presenting their corporate brand identities. Not only did creating a business logo become really important, but having clear brand standards to adhere to became part of daily life and showed employees exactly how the company wanted to present itself to the public.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, many brands reinvented their visual image in an attempt to adapt to societies new focus on technological innovations in communication, entertainment and travel. By this time many businesses were convinced of the advantages of presenting a professional corporate brand identity and so graphic designers were asked to create a business logo and standards manual to ensure that the logo was replicated correctly wherever it was used. A Corporate Identity is an easy thing to get wrong, and the success of a company can often depend on the effectiveness of the visual materials that it uses to represent itself.

In the 1960s it was mostly the large corporations that focused on corporate identity design, but with the huge development and growth of graphic design in recent years, corporate brand identity has found a place in the development of almost every business in every field within society today. Nowadays corporate identity tends to fall within the field of branding, which extends far beyond the concept of logo design; it now covers the whole customer experience of a brand/company at all points of interaction.

The first documented brand management programme was started in 1931 by Proctor & Gamble. Neil H McElroy, an advertising manager at Proctor & Gamble, famously wrote an 800-word memo advocating that an individual should be in charge of each brand within Proctor & Gamble, with a support group dedicated to each product – as if they were separate businesses. He argued that this would mean that the qualities of each brand would be distinguishable from each other. This would mean that the two soap products he used as examples, would have different target markets and so would become less competitive with each other. This idea is now known as product differentiation and is a key element of any marketing campaign.

As corporate identity is so important, companies may decide that they need to go through a rebranding process. This would be to make the brand more upmarket or to try and distance the brand from any negative connotations related to the previous branding. Rebranding can cover all sorts of things, such as changing the business logo, changing the brand name or even changing the marketing strategy. The aim is to change the audience’s perception of the brand, and sometimes rebranding does this well and sometimes it fails miserably.

For example, in 2010 the clothing company Gap ditched its new logo after just 7 days due to a huge online backlash against it, with some customers describing it as “cheap, tacky, and ordinary.” Gap then decided to ask the public to help rethink its design but ended up going back to the solid blue box and “GAP” capitalisation business logo that it originally introduced over 20 years ago.

For more information on how Zool can help you with your brand identity, please call us on 01625 238 770 or drop us an email at info@zooldigital.co.uk

A Brief History of Corporate Identity

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Although many people believe that the need for a clear corporate identity is a recent idea, it actually developed back in the 1960s. The industrial revolution cleared the way for a large number of new corporations to spring up across the world, and they needed to adopt an approach to presenting their corporate brand identities. Not only did creating a business logo become really important, but having clear brand standards to adhere to became part of daily life and showed employees exactly how the company wanted to present itself to the public.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, many brands reinvented their visual image in an attempt to adapt to societies new focus on technological innovations in communication, entertainment and travel. By this time many businesses were convinced of the advantages of presenting a professional corporate brand identity and so graphic designers were asked to create a business logo and standards manual to ensure that the logo was replicated correctly wherever it was used. A Corporate Identity is an easy thing to get wrong, and the success of a company can often depend on the effectiveness of the visual materials that it uses to represent itself.

In the 1960s it was mostly the large corporations that focused on corporate identity design, but with the huge development and growth of graphic design in recent years, corporate brand identity has found a place in the development of almost every business in every field within society today. Nowadays corporate identity tends to fall within the field of branding, which extends far beyond the concept of logo design; it now covers the whole customer experience of a brand/company at all points of interaction.

The first documented brand management programme was started in 1931 by Proctor & Gamble. Neil H McElroy, an advertising manager at Proctor & Gamble, famously wrote an 800-word memo advocating that an individual should be in charge of each brand within Proctor & Gamble, with a support group dedicated to each product – as if they were separate businesses. He argued that this would mean that the qualities of each brand would be distinguishable from each other. This would mean that the two soap products he used as examples, would have different target markets and so would become less competitive with each other. This idea is now known as product differentiation and is a key element of any marketing campaign.

As corporate identity is so important, companies may decide that they need to go through a rebranding process. This would be to make the brand more upmarket or to try and distance the brand from any negative connotations related to the previous branding. Rebranding can cover all sorts of things, such as changing the business logo, changing the brand name or even changing the marketing strategy. The aim is to change the audience’s perception of the brand, and sometimes rebranding does this well and sometimes it fails miserably.

For example, in 2010 the clothing company Gap ditched its new logo after just 7 days due to a huge online backlash against it, with some customers describing it as “cheap, tacky, and ordinary.” Gap then decided to ask the public to help rethink its design but ended up going back to the solid blue box and “GAP” capitalisation business logo that it originally introduced over 20 years ago.

For more information on how Zool can help you with your brand identity, please call us on 01625 238 770 or drop us an email at info@zooldigital.co.uk