What is your name and title, and what does your company do? Kristen Bryan (K), Copywriter, id8. We are a full-service branding agency that helps clients who need clarity and guidance. One sentence BIG IDEA: It’s now crucial for brands to find ways to cultivate relationships without seeing people face to face, and utilizing the corporate brand identity matrix can help brands find the right way to foster these new relationships that align with their brand core. Why is this relevant to marketers? Companies today are required to pivot their business strategies if they want to stay relevant to their consumers (who are also changing their needs and perceptions) and to stay ahead of the curve. Specifically, brands need to take into consideration how their relationships — both internally and externally — have moved to a virtual format, and how their overall corporate identity supports this change. Does the way your company cultivates new relationships align with your brand core — what you stand for and the enduring values that underlie your promise to your customers? Let’s back up a little bit. To first develop a clear, unified corporate identity, many companies around the world have incorporated a tool called the corporate brand identity matrix, which is an adaptable framework for every company’s particular circumstances to successfully define their corporate identity, align its elements, and harness its strengths. The matrix uses a structured set of nine questions, arrayed in three layers (bottom, top, middle) to address internal elements, external elements, and those that are both internal and external, respectively. To use the matrix, executives need to formulate answers to the related questions in the matrix; for example, on the bottom row (internal) for Mission and Vision: What engages us (mission)? What is our direction and inspiration (vision)? On the top row (external) for Position: What is our intended position in the market and in the hearts and minds of key customers and other stakeholders? When this identity is coherent, each of the other elements will inform and echo the brand core, which stands at the middle of the matrix, resonating with the company’s values and what the brand stands for. The core will then shape the other eight elements. Relevant EXAMPLES: So, how does this apply to companies who need to find new ways to cultivate their relationships without seeing people face-to-face? The matrix can be used to address many different identity issues, from improving the overall image to helping define “mother-daughter” brand relationships. In this case, the matrix is crucial for supporting brand development and introducing new ways of doing business. Answering the nine questions with the new focus on developing virtual relationships will help you align the new business development with your brand core. In other words, think about the bigger picture when coming up with solutions for your business to fit into the digital era. How you do it should speak to who you are as a brand, both internally and externally. Starting with a strong identity and fully stable matrix will enable the company to stay unified and consistent, even when facing change. Challenge for Attendees: Use the matrix to audit your corporate brand identity by answering each question. Is every element coherent, and do they inform the brand core? Does the brand core in turn shape these elements? The Corporate Brand Identity Matrix
Guidelines: 1. Be concise 2. Be straightforward 3. Seek what is characteristic 4. Stay authentic 5. Seek what is timeless Take the matrix a step further — do your answers align with your organizational capabilities? Each axis of the matrix represents a different capability: diagonal from the bottom left is strategy; diagonal from the top left is competition; horizontal is communications; vertical is interaction. Assess your answers to ensure each element logically follows the one before it, regardless of which direction in which you’re moving. The clearer and more logical these paths are, the stronger your corporate brand identity.