Blogroll / Design strategy

Similarities and differences between a corporate identity, a corporate image, and a corporate reputation?

Imagine corporate identity as a whole presented in a circle consisting of: + corporate design, + corporate communications, and + corporate behaviour. If you are developing a corporate identity, you should be aware that you are not able to influence directly the corporate image of your company or your organisation. While corporate image is a relatively short term element, corporate reputation is a reflection of historical and accumulated impacts about the company.

This post was part of my presentation competing at the WBPC10.

If you are a listener rather than a reader here is the audio post: Corporate Design Strategies and Branding presentation at the WBPC10: Post series 3 (.mp3; 2,4 MB)

What is the connection between corporate identity and corporate image? Similarities and differences. And what is the corporate reputation?

Very soon in researching the material for the thesis I’m presenting here  I realised that in the references there is a wide agreement that corporate identity is a whole presented as a circle consisting of:

  • corporate design,
  • corporate communications, and
  • corporate behaviour.

And that corporate image is only a projection of a corporate identity. So, if you are developing a corporate identity, you should be aware that you are not able to influence directly the corporate image of your company. Actually corporate image cannot be managed directly. Because different stakeholders of the company have different images of the same company.

To me this was a surprise because in my language (Slovenian) everybody speaks about Image. So, contribution to the coherent design terminology was one of my motivations for this thesis.
Slide presenting a contribution to coherent design terminology
We should now understand the connection between corporate identity and corporate image. What about the corporate reputation? While corporate image can be altered relatively quickly and this is exactly the reason why companies pay close attention to obtaining and retaining a strong corporate identity. On the other side the only way that management can influence the images of their company is through corporate identity (and naturally through promotions and communications programmes). So corporate image is a relatively short term element and corporate reputation is to be something more durable than corporate image.

Corporate reputation is a reflection of historical and accumulated impacts about the company. Both, corporate image and corporate reputation are closely allied elements. Companies are putting great efforts to have appropriate corporate identity mix in accordance with their corporate reputation and their over all performance (financial, sales, environment, human resource managenet, etc).

Audio post: Corporate Design Strategies and Branding presentation at the WBPC10: Post series 3 (.mp3; 2,4 MB)

Sources: Literature (updated)

Marko Savić
I’m exploring & researching the inter-dependence of the business model innovation with design thinking. You may wish to hire me as a Business Design Coach or Senior Lecturer in Design Management or as a Key-Note Speaker at your next event.

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