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03 Feb / 2015

Corporate Identity and Branding – How do They Differ?

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Brand and identity are developed by a business so that it can distinguish itself from its competitors. Although they sound similar and certainly share some similarities but they are not identical. At the onset it will be helpful to mention that corporate brand and corporate identity are two different things. It is vital for businesses to comprehend how these can be applied separately to ensure success by getting their message across to the customers.

Let’s take a look at the two concepts separately –

Branding vs identity

Corporate Identity

An identity refers to the internal factors that display how the business is being run, its ethics, culture, work environment, organization and how it integrates itself into the business arena. These aspects build up the corporate identity of a business. Every company has certain distinguishing characteristics that set it apart from the rest. Additionally, the aim and quality of the product is also a part of its identity. The focus might also be on its uniqueness and exclusivity of the product or services it offers. An identity of a company is represented by its logo or a picture. For instance, Target uses a big red bull’s eye and Pepsi is represented with the alphabet ‘p’. Over the years these brands have managed to create an identity with these symbols.

Corporate Branding

This explains how people feel about the company. How far consumers can trust the company is dependent on branding. It constitutes of the external factors that are influenced by the corporate identity. At times businesses might attempt to enhance its image by altering its identity so that the general perception about its branding undergoes changes as well. For instance, consumers’ views about the brand can make visible changes to its identity elements like logo. In the past when GAP tried to experiment with a new logo there were severe criticisms against the new one. So much so that the company was compelled to resort back to the older logo. There are several such instances where changing the logo had affected the general perception about the brand. Once the consumers put their confidence in a particular logo or brand, it might become difficult to alter it.

Can Branding and Identity Work Together?

Of course they do. Brands earn a reputation when the company offers a quality product or service at a reasonable price. Only when backed by quality products or services, the widespread changes in the corporate identity might be accepted by the masses. Therefore, it is only through the emotional reaction of the consumers that you can strategize to improve your branding. In this regard, both identity and branding work hand in hand.

How do They Differ?

When you are trying to establish a firm footing in the market, you will surely be looking forward to play long innings. It is important to strive for longevity in a world where consumers change their minds on drop of a hat. If there is one thing that the companies do not want for their customers is confusion. The main purpose is to drive traffic in the right direction. The main difference lies in the kind of professionals that you deal with while working on branding and identity. As far as the latter is concerned, it involves the visual aspect of the company. This is where the graphic designers come in. Besides them, the web designers play a key role in developing websites. Their main aim is to focus on the colors, fonts, banners and every element that goes into the making of the website.

On the other hand, the branding part is taken care by the internet marketing department. Moreover, it is always an ongoing process as long as the company is evolving and growing. With this method processes are crafted and communicated so as to help the people to form positive impression about products and services.

Corporate branding and identity are interrelated. Both the elements must work in sync to provide the required boost to the business.

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