Response to change is the key. The Darwinian concept,’ adapt or die’, applies to corporate as well as biological life. Business, of course, must respond to change if it is to survive. The response may be the development of new business or new business combinations, new organisation or new organisational structures, new products, new channels of distribution, mergers the acquisitions and the like. If the world of printing technology calls for a change in large format photo printing process for instance, then the management must conform or abide by these changes in order to remain competitive.
Once a corporation has responded to change it often finds its identity seriously altered. Deregulation in both banking and the airline industries for example have made many old geographical-oriented identities obsolete. Many companies have found it necessary to communicate a new identity to the public in order to free them from old restrictions.
The transmission of the identity message is also subject to external pressures, among them; competitive forces, distribution requirements, media requirements, economic pressures, corporate requirements, regulatory requirements and many others.
Often the result of such pressures is the homogenisation of products and services; they achieve parity with one another and all seem alike to the public. Another result may be confusion, or lack of clarity, in the image. Or perhaps the image is simply no longer accurate. When the projected identity change or goes our focus it results in an inaccurate or blurred image in the public mind. It is then necessary to correct the identity system so it will again have the proper influence in the image. Or, it may be a signal to re-examine the company’s marketing strategy to see if it is still the right one.
Research and analysis play a pivotal part in this reassessment. It not only helps evaluate the existing image, but also directs changes in strategy, guides the development of a new strategic identity programme, and monitors its effectiveness.
The result of this research, analysis, and refocusing is a corporate identity programme which truly reflects the current nature and direction of the company – a design system which fuses corporate identity and public perceptions – a new branded package copious enough to certain and position the entire corporation. It can then be used to communicate to all of the company’s public – both in the business community, and in the market-place.