Corporate Identity

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Corporate identity is not equivalent to corporate branding, which is but one aspect of enterprise identity. In addition to conspicuous icons such as logos, uniforms, jingles and slogans, there are crucial elements that, for better or worse, serve to identify any corporation. These include environmental, hiring, customer service, employee, management, community, trade and marketing policies and practices, which can make or break an organization's reputation and revenue streams.

When the practices and policies do not measure up to the cultivated and institutionalized iconic representations, public or governmental trust and organizational credibility will suffer, e.g., when images of free-range, "contented" cows or happy tuna are used to mask the grim realities of factory farming and ocean harvesting.

The more authentic and scrupulous the crafting of a corporate identity is, the better the long-term prospects of the enterprise, in financial, moral, legal and social terms, will be.

In its most visible and narrowly defined manifestations, corporate identity can be interpreted as a slogan, a jingle, or a visual symbol, such as a logo, that uses the combination of designs, color schemes and words to portray the company. It is a vital factor for corporate business communication with customers or clients. Another way it can be defined is as the visual statement of an organization or institution. It is a unique representation of a company that expresses the views, morals and business strategies.

Such tangible corporate identifiers serve as enduring symbols through which an organization strives to build up a relationship with their clients or customers. It is a sensory indication which is conveyed by logo, slogan, name, buildings and uniforms that is not affected by a company's financial activities. Corporate identity is almost permanent identification unless it is changed intentionally. An established and well known organization or institution uses corporate identity to express and disseminate its views, in light of ongoing and evolving evaluations of them.

More broadly conceived strong corporate identity depends on a company's actions, behaviors, brand, products and their differentiation, and financial activities. It can be positive or negative over time, but a positive corporate identity can bring consistency of goals and purposes and can encourage involvement of employees.
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