Corporate identity is the perception that clients or consumers have of a company, organization or institution. They use this identity to differentiate themselves from their competitors and enjoy a better position in their economic environment.
This representation in the imaginary of society is determined by the values, actions and characteristic brands. Thus, the concept of corporate identity groups together physical or tangible elements (logos or advertising melodies) and intangible elements (company philosophy or work methodology).
With the new marketing methodologies and the rapid advance in the field of communications, companies increasingly promote a corporate identity focused on the digital world. For this reason, this business concept is in permanent development, implementing elaborate marketing strategies.
Other factors such as the exercise of public relations and corporate social responsibility are important when it comes to shaping a strong and beneficial corporate identity for the company, both in economic and reputational terms. This includes the relationship with other companies in the sector, with public and private institutions and with the media.
Corporate identity factors
Among the factors that determine corporate identity are:
- Historical evolution of the company, as well as its financial results or even its name and brand.
- Portfolio of products of the same, its nature and the market segments to which they are directed.
- Professional projects in which the company is immersed. A company that is alive and constantly looking for opportunities often enjoys a higher reputation and value.
- Graphic and visual elements that identify it, such as the logo or slogan that helps to better identify it or the colors used in material, advertising, facilities, professional uniforms or others.
- Badges and advertising or public relations material. This includes the publication of business reports, cards and corporate brochures or magazines about the activity and mission of the company.
- Work outside the main economic activity, the formation of foundations or social actions and the organization of public events (informative breakfasts, dinners, conferences on multiple themes, etc.)
All this usually comes often reflected in the business plan and marketing plan of the company.
Advantages of a well-built corporate identity
A well-executed corporate identity can even cross borders and reach the public to such an extent that it takes the brand or the company as a way of life, reaching a level of identification above the company-client relationship.
A clear example can be the Apple corporation, which has managed to ensure that the use of its products, its annual news and the rest of its activities and details are followed by its consumers and the general public, and that they are mobilized so as not to lose detail. In other words, corporate identity plays an important role in customer loyalty.
Differences with corporate image
The conceptual boundaries between identity and corporate image are quite lax within marketing theory. It is usually understood that the image is a more practical application of the identity of a company, that is, it seeks the communication towards the outside of the values of the identity in an optimal or successful way. For this reason, the concept of corporate identity is more commonly related to that of corporate brand.