The term corporate identity (CI) is often used synonymously for corporate design (CD). In fact, corporate design is part of the corporate identity. It comprehensively covers all the characteristics of a company that make it unique. It is the clearly structured, uniform self-image of a company – internally and externally. This makes the corporate identity a central component of strategic corporate governance.
“Identity. The backbone of strong brands “
Prof. Franz-Rudolf Esch draws the distinction between CI and CD on the basis of a comparison from psychology.
“(…) people can be compared to an iceberg: a small part of the human personality is visible above the water surface, while a large part of it dwells invisibly beneath the surface of the water. For others, our appearance in public, clothing, behaviour and gestures, what we say and what we take a stand for. For brands, this would be the appearance of the brand and what it stands for.”
The elements of the corporate identity are therefore not necessarily immediately perceivable, but only become tangible in the interaction with the company or the brand. So what are the main four elements of the corporate identity?
The corporate identity is supposed to create a “we-consciousness” inside by establishing a corporate culture, the corporate culture. This includes
- lived values
They are designed to ensure that organizational members act and decide on the strategic direction.
Corporate Behaviour regulates the behaviour of the company and its staff both internally and externally. This includes:
- the leadership style
- the way colleagues treat each other
- the behaviour of employees towards outsiders
- the behaviour of the company towards the media and the public
Above all, the last point is that corporate behaviour and corporate identity concept are coherent in order to generate the desired image among the public, customers, the press, or potential employees. This also includes dealing with criticism.
describes the communication strategy of a company. Corporate Communication encompasses all communicative activities, both internally and externally.
The goal here too is to create a clear corporate identity image of the company. One instrument for this is the corporate language. With its tonality and specific language rules of the company are established.
Finally, the corporate design or CD mentioned at the beginning is the visual expression of the corporate identity. The corporate design includes
- colour scheme
- graphic elements like icons
- visual style
- possibly sound
They are used in all digital and analog touch points – from the website to the corporate architecture. Thus, the external appearance significantly shapes the way in which the company is perceived by outsiders: customers, suppliers, partners, and potential employees.
All in all, the corporate identity aims to build a strong business personality. Internally, in the figurative sense, it ensures that everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction and in tact. Externally, it helps to profile and demarcate the company from other market participants. In view of the tough competition for skilled workers, a clear mission statement that people can identify with is increasingly gaining in importance for employer branding.
Corporate Identity – Our services
Are your self-image and external image in harmony? We help you efficiently gain clarity about the identity of your company – be it in times of upheaval or start-up. In creative formats such as brand workshops, we identify with you values, USP, formulate vision/mission, define a positioning, and develop a mission statement that matches company goals and target group needs.