In Corporate Communications, a corporate identity is the “persona” of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks.
Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organizational philosophy that is manifest in a distinct corporate culture — the corporate personality. At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophyOften referred to as organizational identity, corporate identity helps organizations to answer questions like “who are we?” and “where are we going?” Corporate identity also allows consumers to denote their sense of belonging with particular human aggregates or groups.
In general, this amounts to a corporate title, logo (logotype and/or logogram), and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand. These guidelines are usually formulated into a package of tools called corporate identity manuals.
Many companies, such as McDonald’s and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark “M” logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald’s packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for the research, design and execution involved in creating an identity that is extremely distinguishable and appealing to the company’s target audience.