What’s the difference between corporate identity, brand identity, and brand image?
What’s corporate identity?
A corporate identity is the manner which a corporation, firm or business presents themselves to the public (such as customers and investors as well as employees).
Corporate identity is a primary goal of the corporate communications, for the purpose to maintain and build the identity to accord with and facilitate the corporate business objectives.
The corporate identity is typically visualized by way of branding and the use of trademarks, but it can also include things like product design, advertising, public relations etc.. .
Corporate identity is what makes up the physical look of your brand. It usually includes your logo and the supporting devices such as your website, letterhead and business card as well as your social media platforms and the ‘tone of voice’ of your business.
Maintaining a consistent corporate identity is vital if you want to show your business in a professional light. Sticking to a particular palette of colors and fonts, consistent logo positioning and using the same tone of voice throughout your printed and online communications will all help to enhance your professional stance.
While branding identity relates to the emotional relationship between customer and a business, the corporate identity is all about the look and feel of the business.
What’s branding identity and brand image?
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers
Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand. a product is what you sell, a brand is the perceived image of the product you sell, and branding is the strategy to create that image.
Branding identity is how a business presents itself to and wants to be perceived by its consumers. It is the way a company chooses its name; designs its logo; uses colors, shapes and other visual elements in its products and promotions; crafts the language in its advertisements; and trains employees to interact with customers – all with the goal of cultivating a certain image in consumers’ minds.
Brand image is the actual result of these efforts, successful or unsuccessful.
Brand image is the current view of the customers about a brand. It can be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for. It is a set of beliefs held about a specific brand. It is the consumers’ perception about the product. It is the manner in which a specific brand is positioned in the market. Brand image conveys emotional value and not just a mental image. Brand image is an organization’s character.
Linking Corporate Identity to Brand Identity and Brand Image
If corporate identity is the physical look of your brand, brand identity is how the company wants the brand to be seen. This could incorporate a sense of personality or values and also the features and benefits of the products or services of your brand. It is worth mentioning that the brand identity naturally lends itself to incorporating the culture, goals and objectives of the company.
For example, Google has a vibrant, fun, innovative culture and work place which is also shown in their brand and corporate identity.
Brand image is how the customer actually perceives and interprets your brand. It may not necessarily be the same as the brand identity. A customer can recognize the logo of a brand which can instantly evoke a feeling of trust.
A good example is Coca Cola – you see the logo, you instantly know you are getting a quality product.
Maintaining consistency in your corporate identity is essential because it reinforces the brand identity at every point that the customer encounters you. So it is important to consider all the touch points such as social networking platforms, newsletters and email marketing, sales brochures and the like.
Steps of building and / or improving your corporate identity:
- Know who you are.Any effort to develop a brand should start with a thorough understanding of who you are. What do you want to offer your customers? Who is your target market? What value do you bring to the table? What are your principles, what do you hold dear as a company? Your answers to these basic questions should be the basis for any plans and effort to introduce your business to the public. If you are an existing company, you also need to know how your stakeholders – from your employees, to your industry partners and the general public – perceive you, especially in terms of such factors as desirability, trust, and accessibility.
- Know what you are not.A survey of the competition is also a necessary component of the identity-building process. Your goal in researching about businesses that offer the same things you do is not to mimic them. Quite the contrary, you should learn about your competitors so you know what it is precisely that sets you apart from them, and what you need to work on to give better products and better services to those who pick you. If your survey reveals that you are actually very similar to them, then that should prompt you to define your company more, as well as your target market and your offerings.
- Know what you want to be. The process should likewise entail a discussion of what you want to achieve in the future. What are your goals as an organization? In five, ten, even 10 years, where do you see your company expanding to? For the year, what are your marketing goals? What resources do you have to be able to achieve these?
- Work with the creatives. Once you have figured, internally, what your company is about, you can begin communicating them to a team of creatives, who will be able to translate your ideas to visual representations – from the logo design, to letterhead templates, to slideshows and signages. If you do not have an in-house team, you may opt to outsource to a graphic design agency, who should be guided by a brief.
- Create a manual.The final result of any corporate identity-building process is a set of guidelines for promoting your company. The document should outline the preferred ways to draft and print promotional materials, so that anyone from the company will be equipped with the information they need to be able to present the brand in a consistent manner. For example, the guidelines will state the only acceptable pantone colors for the various parts of the logo, or the format of all email signatures that are delivered as company correspondence. Looking to build your corporate identity? Our team here at Hive Studio Creative will be happy to help! We specialize in developing and growing corporate brands, through creative branding materials and innovative marketing strategies.
The Benefits of Corporate Identity:
- A company that invests in corporate identity indicates that it is here to stay. It sends a message that the company is serious about being successful. It gives the customer a sense of trust.
- Corporate identity gives a sense of the culture or personality of the business.
- In creating a consistent identity, a company is ensuring that they will be recognized and remembered.
- A uniform corporate identity becomes instantly recognizable amongst its target audience.
- A strong corporate identity can improve customer awareness and can increase a company’s competitive edge.