There is a fundamental difference between the concepts of corporate identity, brand identity and brand image. Corporate identity is the visual aspect of a company and although the corporate identity should ideally evolve with time, a change does not mean a change in brand value. Change of the corporate identity is inevitable because the company must reflect that it is concerned with its appearance and is modernizing with respect to time. However, a company with a strong brand personality should not change drastically for that may cause a breach in the customers’ trust.
Brand identity in totality is the way the company is projecting itself through its various features, attributes, performance, quality, and values of the brand. Brand identity is the way the company wants its brand to be seen, received and perceived.
On the other hand, the brand image is the perception of the consumer i.e. the way they see the brand. Companies generally work hard to ensure that the brand identity and the image coincide. Effective corporate identities succeed when the projected image is true to the business. The brand building process is initiated by presenting the true nature of an organization through its combined vision, values and culture.
A company must be unique in the competitive market and can achieve such by effective corporate identity brand building, highlighting its distinctive qualities and services. The brand must inspire confidence among the consumers and make them believe that they are going to benefit from the services of that particular company. Due to the overcrowded nature of markets in all possible services, the company should employ a specialist who can go beyond the sign language of the brand and understand the total business (and its nature) of the client.
The key visual elements of corporate branding and identity are the logo, color palette and typeface. A ‘Logo’ may be used to denote a trademark or emblem representing an organization. While designing, a logo artist takes different factors into account. For instance, people are always prejudiced by existing values and perceptions toward all visual stimuli. Thus the logo designer must be extra careful about creating a logo, which should not draw negative response from the consumers. Most importantly, the logo must be unique. The effect of a good logo is doubled by a catchy corporate slogan, minus the jargon, which creates a niche for itself.
One must also remember that a strong and comprehensive corporate branding strategy requires great personal attention and commitment from the CEO and the senior management to become fully effective and fulfill its potential.
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