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Identity can project four ideas:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • How you do it
  • Where you want to go.

The four vectors:

Identity manifests itself primarily through three main vectors which you can see:

  • Products and services – what you make or sell – like BMW
  • Environments – where you make or sell it – like Hilton Hotels
  • Communications – how you advertise and otherwise promote your product – like Coca Cola

And one which you can feel and can sometimes almost see:

  • Behaviour – how you behave – to your employees and the world outside – like Orange or British Airways

The balance between these four is rarely equal and a priority early on in any identity programme is to determine which predominates.

The central idea/vision:

The fundamental idea behind an identity programme is that in everything the organisation does, everything it owns, and everything it produces it should project a clear idea of what it is and what its aims are.


At the heart of the visual identity is the nomenclature and identification system, and the way it is reflected in symbols, logotypes and marks. The symbol is highly visible. Its prime purpose is to present the idea of the corporation with impact, brevity and immediacy. It often becomes the focal point from which the whole identity is subsequently judged.

It is sometimes necessary to change the symbol in order to signify a change in direction.


The audiences of an organisation are those people who come into contact with it at any time, in any place, and in any form of relationship. It is often assumed that the most important audience for any company are its customers. In a service business, however, employees are much the most significant audience because they transmit the identity of the organisation to customers – so they have to live it. There are two groups of audiences – internal and external. Internal are staff and their families. External are shareholders, competitors, suppliers, partners (sometimes these can be the same), the financial world and opinion formers of all kinds. These audiences are not always separate and independent, to some extent they are overlapping.

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3 thoughts on “Corporate Identity – Viewpoints – Part II

  1. I totally agree with your assessment of a company’s audience – it is both farther and wider reaching than most firms believe.

  2. I like that you added Corporate behaviour as being an important part of the Corporate Identity as I think this is an aspect that is very important in modern times with there being a much greater awareness of environmental and ethical issues by businesses and the general public.

    I think there are obvious benefits for Corporations to communicate positive attitudes towards sensitive issues and that they really have the duty to lead by a good example so that the smaller businesses can be influenced by this.
    .-= MJ Stapleford Corporate Identity’s last blog ..Logo Design for Company based in Bristol =-.

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