In marketing, a corporate identity is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks.
Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organizational philosophy that is manifest in a distinct corporate culture — the corporate personality. At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophy. (Balmer, 1995).
In general, this amounts to a corporate title, logo (logotype and/or logogram), and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved color palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand.
Many companies, such as McDonald's and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark "M" logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald's packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for an identity that is extremely distinguishable, so it can appeal more to its targeted audience.
Corporate identity is often viewed as being composed of three parts:
Corporate identity has become a universal technique for promoting companies and improving corporate culture. Most notably is the company PAOS, founded by Motoo Nakanishi in Tokyo, Japan in 1968. Nakanishi fused design, management consulting and corporate culture to revolutionize corporate identity in Japan.
Corporate identity can also have a sociological sense. In any large society members of a minority tend to develop a "corporate identity" where they feel a special bond to any other member of that minority even if they have never met the person before. This bond develops because they generally have similar experiences, face similar discrimination, have similar cultural values, economic limitations, etc.
In the United States, for instance, persons of Arab or Jewish ancestry, blacks, Hispanics, lesbians and gay men, and persons who follow non-Christian religions, among many other minorities, each have a sense of corporate identity. Within a particular group there are feelings of "we have to watch out for each other" and "I have an obligation not just to succeed, but to help others of my group." The same will applies in Vietnam which has complete diferent history and culture and, thus, a complete different set of rules will apply.
A common corollary to this sense of corporate identity is a concern about assimilating into the majority culture to the extent where the minority group ceases to exist for all practical purposes. Corporate identity is promoted, strengthened and encouraged by activities such as teaching the ancestral language, practice of rituals and social customs, observance of holidays, etc., from the minority culture and discouraging marriage outside the particular group or moving to a geographic area where the minority group does not have a significant presence.
Organizational point of view
In a recent monograph on Chinese corporate identity (Routledge, 2006), Peter Peverelli, proposes a new definition of corporate identity, based on the general organization theory proposed in his earlier work, in particular Peverelli (2000). This definition regards identity as a result of social interaction:
Corporate visual identity plays a significant role in the way an organization presents itself to both internal and external stakeholders. In general terms, a corporate visual identity expresses the values and ambitions of an organization, its business, and its characteristics. Four functions of corporate visual identity can be distinguished. Three of these are aimed at external stakeholders.
The definition of the corporate visual identity management (Van den Bosch, 2005) is:
Special attention is paid to corporate identity in times of organizational change. Once a new corporate identity is implemented, attention to corporate identity related issues generally tends to decrease. However, corporate identity needs to be managed on a structural basis, to be internalized by the employees and to harmonize with future organizational developments.
Efforts to manage the corporate visual identity will result in more consistency and the corporate visual identity management mix should include structural, cultural and strategic aspects (Van den Bosch, 2005). Guidelines, procedures and tools can be summarized as the structural aspects of managing the corporate visual identity.
However, as important as the structural aspects may be, they must be complemented by two other types of aspects. Among the cultural aspects of corporate visual identity management, socialization – i.e., formal and informal learning processes – turned out to influence the consistency of a corporate visual identity. Managers are important as a role model and they can clearly set an example. This implies that they need to be aware of the impact of their behavior, which has an effect on how employees behave. If managers pay attention to the way they convey the identity of their organization, including the use of a corporate visual identity, this will have a positive effect on the attention employees give to the corporate visual identity.
Further, it seems to be important that the organization communicates the strategic aspects of the corporate visual identity. Employees need to have knowledge of the corporate visual identity of their organization – not only the general reasons for using the corporate visual identity, such as its role in enhancing the visibility and recognizability of the organization, but also aspects of the story behind the corporate visual identity. The story should explain why the design fits the organization and what the design – in all of its elements – is intended to express.
You can learn by having a look at Zeno Designs' article entitled "How to Define Your Brand".
So give us a call or drop us an email and make our talented team work for you!
|Last Updated on Friday, 28 October 2011 15:28|