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What Is the Importance of Corporate Identity?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Corporate identity is important for cohesion within a corporation as well as public perception and success on the open market. Typically, corporations establish an identity through the use of branding measures like logos, colors, and trademarks. They reinforce it with policies and business practices that support the identity and create room for growth. Corporations with unclear or poorly shaped identities may have trouble distinguishing themselves in the market.

Organizationally, corporate identity is important for employees who work within a company. When they act as representatives, they need to know what kind of image the company wishes to project, and how it wants to do business. Employees at every level represent the company formally and informally, and can play a role in the shaping of public perceptions about the organization. A company in the environmental sector, for example, may encourage staff to engage in environmentally friendly practices, and to stress the company's commitment to sustainability in meetings and other settings.

Corporate identity also plays a role in the reception of a company on the market. Consumers seek out brands they know and favor. A company with a strong identity can attract and retain more customers. It can also build up associations with that identity to make members of the public view it in a positive way. Organizations might, for example, sponsor events to have their logo thrust into the public eye on documentation like programs, fliers, posters, and banners.

Periodic shifts in corporate identity may occur as a company makes changes to its organizational culture and business practices. Sometimes, these are signaled with design changes. A company might rename itself, change a logo, or adopt different colors. Companies work closely with consultants on these activities to ensure the best possible results with a rebranding campaign. The company does not want to lose customers, or take bad associations to the new brand after getting rid of an old brand.

New companies or older companies with unclear goals may meet with identity consultants to discuss ways to improve their image or develop a more cohesive image. Consultants can recommend a variety of measures. These may include advertising campaigns, the development of better internal guidelines for staff members, and more participation in community events to make people aware of the company and its services. Ideally, every communication from a company, from a business card handed to a seatmate on an airplane to billboards in major urban areas, should promote a consistent and clear corporate identity.

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Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By burcinc — On Jun 25, 2014

@SteamLouis-- I think there are consequences. A poor corporate identity and image will push customers away. Many firms and companies have had to close because of this. Corporate identity and image truly are very important. There may be shortcomings or mistakes on the part of the company, but if the company makes amends, fixes the situation and keeps the customers happy at the end of the day, the company identity and image may not be tarnished too much. But if customers are not happy, then the company will lose business, that's inevitable.

Just this week, I read about a firm which had to close because it became a victim of fraud. Its corporate identity was stolen and a spoof site was established where the firm customers were basically cheated through a scam. The firm filed a corporate identity theft complaint with the authorities, but it was too late. The firm never recovered from the damage to its corporate identity.

By SteamLouis — On Jun 24, 2014

I used to think that consumers care about corporate identity but now, I'm not so sure. There are corporations, companies and firms that do not have the best service, but customers still work with them. I don't understand this. If a corporation has a poor image, then there should be consequences.

By discographer — On Jun 23, 2014

Identity is important for a company, just as its important for an individual. Individuals who have good characteristics, who have skills, who are hardworking and can market themselves well are successful. Companies need to do the same thing. They must develop a good corporate identity and then market that so that they can do business.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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