corporate identity

  

Definition

Combination of color schemes, designs, words, etc., that a firm employs to make a visual statement about itself and to communicate its business philosophy. It is an enduring symbol of how a firm views itself, how it wishes to be viewed by others, and how others recognize and remember it. Unlike corporate image (which is 'in there' changeable mental impression), corporate identity is 'out there' sensory-experience conveyed by things such as buildings, décor, logo, name, slogan, stationery, uniforms, and is largely unaffected by its financial performance and ups and downs in its fortunes. Corporate-identity is either strong or weak (not positive, negative, or neutral like a corporate image) and is more or less permanent unless changed deliberately. The identity (conveyed by its name and multicolored bitten-off-apple logo) of Apple computer, for example, as an innovative and pathbreaking firm has survived almost intact over about 30 years. But its image as a successful business has dimmed and brightened several times during the same period. See also visual identity.

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