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Thread: Designing Corporate IDs for business to business relationships

  1. #1
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Designing Corporate IDs for business to business relationships

    Hi folks, been a while in this neck of the woods

    I have been asked to re-evaluate our corporate identity and come up with areas to improve our overall look and feel.

    But it has been asked that I look at it more of a business to business design aspect, than business to consumer design.

    Less trendy I guess.

    What would you guys think of being some key things to look at when designing from this point of view?

    All of our business is direct to other businesses buying software, and if we are going through a complete design overhaul, I want to know where I should focus my attention.

    Things like the logo, the brochures, the letterhead, advertisements (web and print), all of that comes into play.

    Is there much of a difference? How do you approache these things yourself?

    thanks for any insights
    <:8O)~~~ RATS! they ate my footer! ~~(O8:>

  2. #2
    Lunch is for wimps. erova's Avatar
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    maybe take a longer look at the language used...make sure the language is to inform the audience, rather than persuade...

  3. #3
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Just off the top of my head...

    Reduce the eye candy and increase the informational content.

    If you have a limited budget, I'd certainly go for the site search feature over the Flash intro, if you see what I mean.

    Not that it should be boring, but certainly more formal.

    Perhaps you could define your user more accurately too, as they would be more business-related, so you can plan to use larger files as most businesses have hi-speed lines?
    Stand by for emergency synapse rerouting

  4. #4
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    I don't think it makes too much difference - when they say focus on the b2b market, that only defines your target group, it doesn't change the design process or the approach you should take.

    so the guidelines would stay the same (and you probably know all this already):

    - establish and characterise your target market as much as possible
    - establish your own brand's current position and where you want to be in the future
    - have a look at what competitors are doing
    - think all that through, discuss it with others in the company and once you get a feel for it, start designing

    More focus on information would make sense to me too. A clear message is vital because business users won't spend time searching (that goes for sites or business cards). But in the end all that often applies to the consumer market too. Also, what kind of software do you sell? If it's mp3 jukeboxes, you can be hip and trendy. If it's Assembly language compilers, go for black background

    start with the logo, once you've hit on one or 2 ideas that you and others like, look into how it would work as a letterhead + business cards (easiest), then work on adverts and the like to develop the brand language.

    Just re-read this post and it probably hasn't told you anything new but I'll hit the button anyway

    - n.

  5. #5
    Part Time Goth TianaKaeSha's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback.

    The company I work for only has a couple of bits of flash on the site The search feature is the biggest selling point of our site (we are a search engine company) and information is the thing we are pushing.

    Our competitors hold a huge proportion of the market and I am looking at them to see what they are doing and seeing where we can improve.

    Our logo is something I really want to update, but I am not sure how the boss will feel about it. Everything in the company is about to get an overhaul and I just want to make sure I approach it in the best possible way.

    Does anyone recommend any books about redesigning corporate identities?
    <:8O)~~~ RATS! they ate my footer! ~~(O8:>

  6. #6
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    I can't help with books unfortunately.

    We did just have a team meeting about something very similar though and I can reiterate some of what was said:

    Reworking the corporate identity is about much more than design and you need to take a step back from actual design elements and work on the personality and values of the brand first.

    It's all about how your company wants to position itself in the market, about the strengths you want to portray and the impression you want to create. For example: traditional family business vs. super-hightech multinational. Obviously these are extremes but you know what I mean.

    Once that's done, you can start work on the design aspect - but you need to know the message you want to bring across first. And even if you're the only person doing design, it's worthwhile to develop a style-guide that specifies the brand identity - logo usage, spacing rules, font (type, size, weight), colours, feeling of photography, etc. It's invaluable when other materials are produced further down the line - consistency is key to a strong brand.

    Your bosses might not realise any of this and probably want you to complete everything in 1 week - after all, how long can it take to design a business card. But from what you said about your work before you seem to be in a strong position to take some sort of leadership in this, which is probably what's needed

    Just my views on this, hope that helps in some way,

    - n.

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