What is Corporate Identity?

What is Corporate Identity?

I often get into discussions with clients about “branding” and “Corporate identity” where they talk about one when they mean the other, or they separate the two and fail to see the relationship.

If we define a brand as a promise kept, it is by definition the whole business enterprise – product content, service support and reputation and image.

The questions brands have to answer in the mind of the consumer are:

What “market” am I now in?

What brands have I heard of?

Which ones do I trust?

So Corporate identity is part of the process of projecting : “The overall image of a corporation or firm or business in the minds of the public (customers, investors and employees.)”

Corporate Identity is part of the process of establishing the brand, and the colours, logos, typefaces and writing styles should all reflect the personality and “promise” of the brand.

Brands (and therefore Corporate identity) have three components:

Design

  • Logos
  • Uniforms
  • Colours

Communication

  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Information

Behaviour

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Norms

Just taking colour as an example:

  • Colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
  • Colour ads are read up to 42% more than similar ads in black and white.
  • Up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on colour alone (depending on the product).

But it all flows from the Brand’s personality.

Think about Apple’s and Virgin’s Brand Personalities for a moment.

Apple’s brand personality is about simplicity and the removal of complexity from peoples’ lives and its values are around Lifestyle, Imagination, Innovation, Dreams and Aspirations.

Virgin is often described as maverick, rebellious and even a bit edgy – but that is combined with a sense of fun and appreciation of pleasure. This enables Virgin to challenge and shake up many industries whilst keeping a strong emotional appeal to customers.

Now think about their logo’s…

Think about the colours they use…

Think about the PR programmes, the cult of the founder…

Think about their advertising….

That’s Corporate identity!