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What's Your Identity?

By Claire Cunningham
Posted Thursday, September 2, 2004

Identity theft is a hot topic these days - at least on a personal level. In business, though, the serious issue is identity neglect!

What do I mean? I mean many businesses don't pay attention to identity issues. That's because they don't understand maintaining a consistent identity is a low-cost way to maximize impact.

Consistency and professionalism are the keys. That's what can help even the smallest business over time.

Consistency means repetition, and repetition is what solidifies ideas in our brains. Professionalism is about looking good. It's "dress for success" on a corporate level. If you want your company taken seriously, present a professional image

Here's a basic identity checklist for business owners.

1) COMPANY NAME - Is it distinctive? Memorable? Descriptive of what you do? Is it registered in your state? Can you/should you trademark it? (You may need to consult an attorney on this last question.)
2) COMPANY LOGO - Have you identified a distinctive typeface? Do you have a symbol? Do you need one? Have you had your logo produced professionally? Have you identified logo color(s)? Do you use all of this consistently?
3) TAG LINE - Do you need one? Do you have one? Does it clearly describe your company's unique position? Is it customer benefit oriented? Do you use it consistently?
4) PRODUCT NAMES - Do you have them? Do they follow a pattern? Do they make sense with your company name?

If you answered "No" or "Don't know" to any of these questions or if you're thinking about changing your name, logo or tag line, consult a marketing communications professional with experience in company identity issues. Investment of time and money up front will yield benefits in the long run.

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