Corporate Identity (CI) means the sum total of the attributes and characteristics, in which the unique nature of a company is presented in comparison with other companies. Accordingly, the CI characterises the self-image of a company, which is considered to be different from the corporate image. A combination of concepts for action and lived value systems creates a corporate culture which represents and creates the company’s self-image at both the internal and external levels.
Corporate identity is also a communication concept which can be used as a strategy to structure the company as a unit at both the internal and external levels, to convey cohesion among employees and to stand out from the competition. Of importance in terms of this marketing strategy is a logical structure and a consistent adherence to the philosophy of the company in the interests of achieving trustworthiness and reliability.
The complex system consists of several building blocks which alternately have an impact at the internal and external levels.
- Corporate Design (CD)
CD means the visual identity of the company. This includes the design of the company logos (company logo and stamp), uniformly designed work clothing, letterheads, business cards, the online presence, but also the design of the company buildings and a uniform colour scheme. In addition to this, the CD also includes perceptible attributes, such as the acoustic appearance in the form of audio branding, or the use of a certain smell as a feature of recognition (corporate scent).
- Corporate Behaviour (CB)
CB refers to the behaviour of the company towards the general public, especially with regard to its stakeholders (customers, suppliers, partners, employees). CB therefore refers to the way in which the company relates to the groups of people who have a direct relationship with the company. The CB also includes the financial conduct (monetary) and tone (non-monetary), the staff management, but also the way in which the company responds to criticism.
- Corporate Culture
A company is always in a state of conflict between its aspirations, its system of values and norms, and the culture of the society in which it operates. Corporate Culture therefore means the entirety of the code of conduct and value system of the company, embedded in the cultural framework of the culture of the respective society. It has a major influence on the CB and CC of the company.
- Corporate Communication (CC)
CC encompasses corporate communications at both the internal and external levels: the external communication, for example, takes place in the form of advertising measures and public relations. This has the goal of conveying a uniform image of the company and supporting the image on a strengthening basis. The internal communication is the communication within the company.
- Corporate Language (CL)
The company uses a specific language which reflects its core values and self-image. This language can be very formal and technical, or intentionally informal, in a company with flat hierarchies, for example, thereby supporting the way in which the company conveys its values at the internal and external levels.
- Corporate Philosophy (CP)
The CP is based on the original intention of the company and is a reflection of the company’s self-image. It is the company philosophy. This makes it the fundamental and determining factor which underlies all other levels of meaning and values, and thereby formulates the values, norms, aspirations and objectives.
- Corporate Soul (CS)
The CS originates from the CP, and brings a condensed version of the values and standards together on the basis of a simple core idea. The CS is the ideal image that the company wants to present, and is made repeated reference to in all areas of corporate identity to create a uniform self-image at both the internal and external levels.