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Definition: Corporate identity

What is a corporate identity?

Corporate identity is how brands present their business to their customers, community, and the outside world. Building a corporate identity is complex. It involves developing a unique identity and all the visual assets needed to communicate the brand’s value and what it stands for. Corporate identity branding aims to position the company and its offering as unique in the marketplace, to ensure it resonates with its audience, and to make it memorable and recognizable.

What is the difference between corporate identity and brand identity?

Corporate identity should not be confused with brand identity. Brand identity focuses on building brand recognition and brand recall and creating a credible and consistent brand experience through the quality of the company’s products or services. Corporate identity focuses on promoting a positive image of the company through its ethics, values, and mission.

When a company does well, it can make a meaningful connection with its audience and establish trust.

Having trouble communicating your brand to the outside world? Check out The Ultimate Brand and Marketing Technology Guide to build a consistent digital presence.

Examples of how brands can build a good corporate identity

Create a consistent and cohesive visual identity
As mentioned above, visual identity is more closely linked with brand identity. However, creating a corporate identity that resonates means being instantly recognizable at all times. A consistent visual identity also ensures the brand comes across as professional, credible, and polished. Every element, from how staff deal with customers in-store to the logos on company communications, should be consistent and represent the company positively.

Deliver outstanding customer service
Customers always remember great service. Building a solid corporate identity means every interaction people have with your brand should be slick, helpful, friendly, reliable, timely, and professional. Customers want to choose brands that value and treat them as individuals. Every interaction, from the agents in the contact center to the sales representatives at events, is an opportunity to strengthen your corporate identity.

Tell an authentic brand story
All your company communications can play their role in promoting and designing a good corporate identity. Your company website is one of the most important pieces of marketing collateral so why not use it to tell the story of your brand, demonstrate your values and beliefs and show people what makes it special? Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Create a "meet the team" page with short quotes from key staff members about why they work at your company and why they were attracted by the company values, brand personality, and corporate identity.
  2. Make sure your value proposition is clear and consistent throughout the website (and all other marketing collateral). Any inconsistencies or unclear messaging could damage people's confidence in your brand.
  3. Add a dedicated webpage or hub explaining how your brand came into being, what drives it, its mission, and its values and beliefs.
  4. Create a testimonials page where customers and/or clients explain why they chose you over the competition.