Question: I have had my small business operating for a couple of years now, but I’m still struggling. Recently I was told that I needed a business identity package. What exactly is this and how will it help my business?
Answer: You’re like many small business owners, wondering just what a corporate identity package is. And if you already know what it is, you are probably wondering why your small business needs one. After all, you’re just a small business, not one of those big corporations. What’s in it for you?
All businesses have an identity and this identity, or branding as it’s often called, should answer a few questions. How does it represent your business? What is really in it for you? And … What will it do for your business?
As the name implies, a corporate identity package identifies your company to potential clients, suppliers and the general public. It includes your business name, small business logo, your logotype (just a fancy way of saying how things are placed, which font you use, spacing, and other things like that) your company slogan or tagline, and associated printed material– your business card, and letterhead, envelope and forms.
Write a big corporation ask a question and request a business card. Your answer will come on their letterhead, in their company envelopes, and include a company business card. If you take a moment or two to look at big corporations’ identity packages, you’ll soon notice a few important things they have in common.
When you look at it, you see quality. They use only high quality printing services and paper. Sure, that’s going to cost a little more, but it’ll be worth it in the end because it’s an integral representation of your small business’ image. You could print your corporate identity package yourself using your home printer, lightweight paper and business card templates, but how is that going to look? Will that produce the professional image you’re after? What would a flimsy poorly printed business card say about the quality of your products or services?
Big businesses use exactly the same color for their logo and their background every time. They use consistent fonts. Their slogan for example, would consistently be printed in the same font, never a different font or even a similar font, but exactly the same font, and always in the same proportion to the logo. Spacing is consistent. Spacing between letters and between lines is also always exactly the same proportion. What is their secret for a consistent, crisp image? Their logo is designed in vector form so it can be enlarged or reduced without changing proportion or image quality.
Letterhead, envelopes, business cards all match. And if you ordered something from them, the invoice and the statement you’d get at the end of the month would match too. Perfectly! As a small business you probably don’t have the luxury of spending the amount of dollars a big corporation does on their identity. In fact, they sometimes spend millions on their corporate identity. So how do you get a professional look at a small business price?
There are local designers and marketing companies who are highly skilled and, because they adjust their prices for the local market, they offer their services for reasonable prices. You can often get an entire corporate package designed with a unique logo, business card and stationary for less than $500. Add in the printing fees and you have a professional image. You can then use your image for your website, advertising and promotional products and retain consistency.
So, to answer why you should have a small business identity package; if you do it right; if you have a corporate identity package that looks professional, is of high quality, has a consistent logotype, and matches perfectly, you’re going to look just like the big guys even if you’re the smallest business in town.