Brands, just like humans, have their own identities that differentiate one from the other – a corporate identity expresses the brand’s business personality. The corporate identity is not just a name, logo, symbol or colors; it is much more than that.

Brands, just like humans, have their own identities that differentiate one from the other – a corporate identity expresses the brand’s business personality. The corporate identity is not just a name, logo, symbol or colors; it is much more than that. It is the sum of what it does, how it does it and how it communicates it. Ultimately, the corporate identity reflects the corporate culture, character, its products and services that inspire the trust of highly important business stakeholders: its customers, employees, suppliers and potential investors.

During their life cycle, corporations build their brands through their products or services depending on the industry. Throughout this journey, the identity of a brand and a corporation is developed together, whereas both impact one another. Corporations have the opportunity to control their corporate identity by investing in it, or, allowing it to develop by itself, into a strong or weak identity. Corporations must compete to position their brands into consumers’ minds in the best way possible, whereas the corporate identity plays a crucial role. The Corporations should think of how a consumer feels about a product when it comes into contact with it. What could they possibly be saying: “I trust them”, “I love them”, “Not worth it”, “Expensive”?!

Despite the importance of the corporate identity, there are, however, businesses that prioritize operational rather than communications investment, with the latter being key to the development of this identity. Think about it, how did we get it in our minds that Volvo is the safest car?! By knowing it, or by guessing it?! This information, or better yet, this belief got in our minds through years of investment to convince us that when we see a Volvo we immediately associate it with safety- which is Volvo’s Identity.

Laying out mission statements on corridors, websites or catalogs may be a simple communications tool for corporations. However, these values must be shared with the wider public as well, which becomes a communications marathon. In this regard, a brilliant quote comes in mind by Charles Revson, the founder of Revlon, explaining this precise point: “In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the drug store, we sell hope”. Operating in this highly competitive environment with rules of the game constantly changing, standout from the crowd is what sells, and by facilitating consumers decision making process.

A new era has begun in Kosovo also. Businesses have started to think differently about the way they build their brands and their identities. Local brands are being presented even outside Kosova, regionally and internationally. We have local companies that invest significantly in marketing activities, by cooperating with well-established advertising agencies to strengthen their outreach. This only shows that they are vigilant about the business environment and they show care toward the community, which are the main reasons behind their investment in Social Responsibility. In addition, companies make an effort to communicate effectively in order to build a strong relationship with the public, through investments in Public Relations, thus investing in their corporate identity. Corporate identities are being created as they grow together with the new generation of consumers- the generation of internet and technology innovation.

There are good quality products out there but unfortunately, nobody knows about them. It is because these products are having a monologue, instead of having a dialogue with their end user. Sometimes products are victims of their own wrong effort.

International brands in Kosovo, present for quite some years now, are also bringing a new experience in the market, with some great campaigns and different activities, showing how they treat their brands and their corporate identity. Some of them apply a centralized communication style, whereas they communicate globally in the same exact way, and some of them apply a decentralized communication approach, allowing for adaptation as per the market. The corporate identity must be managed in a global and not just a local level, which is a very difficult task, involving maintenance of the perception for corporation in different continents, countries and cultures. This indeed, requires a lot of efforts, comprised of research, vast experience, big budgets and great minds behind it.

Challenges are present, and at times they will be greater, but if companies invest seriously in their corporate identity, it will undoubtedly constitute a safer future for them.

Building a Corporate Identity is not a sprint, it’s a marathon!