While corporate identity and brand identity are often used interchangeably, they’re actually quite different. Sure, branding is the backbone of any company. Any marketer will say it’s arguably the most important part of generating new business. But without corporate identity, there would be no brand identity.
Corporate identity starts internally. Each business should ask themselves, “who are we” or “who do we want to be”. It’s all about the internal processes, strategies, and values that help shape a corporate identity. Who are your employees, what is your mission statement, who is your target audience, and how do those all intertwine? Brand identity, on the other hand, is how you would like to be perceived by your customers, or potential customers. Brand identity is more external and client-facing. Both equally important, but different at their core.
Larry Ackerman, identity coach and consultant, said, “Identity is cause; brand is effect, and the strength of the former influences the strength of the latter.” So, basically, corporate identity is your internal voice and brand identity is how you want that voice to be heard.
Still unsure? In this blog we’ll help answer the million dollar question: what is corporate identity and how does it play into your brand’s story.
What is corporate identity?
Simply put, corporate identity is the blueprint of your brand. It’s how you wish to present your company to consumers, competitors, and potential employees alike. It goes far beyond simple logos and branding, and encompasses things like company culture, internal values, industry, and brand.
Corporate identity is defined by any communications, design, or information put out in the wild by the brand. It can come in the form of advertisements and marketing, job listings, customer reviews and testimonials, employees and their uniforms (if applicable), sales efforts, and even packaging or product descriptions.
What is the purpose?
Similar to your brand identity, corporate identity creates awareness and familiarity with new and existing customers. Establishing consistency, authority, and reliability through corporate identity can be the difference between a successful strategy and one that falls short.
Consistency, and cohesiveness, should be at the forefront of any brand strategy. This means that any sales collateral, marketing materials, company communications, and how teams talk to the customers directly are all aligned with the same voice and tone.
A strong corporate identity speaks to your authority and expertise in the industry. Having a strong point of view on your offering, and backing that up with design and communications, will undoubtedly set you apart from your competitors.
Corporate identity lets your prospective customers and clients know exactly what they can expect from your company should they choose to adopt your offering. It creates a standard across all efforts and channels that ultimately creates trust with consumers.
How does it play into your brand’s story?
Everything you do should be done with your corporate identity in mind. Like Larry Ackerman said, corporate identity should be your cause, and branding should be the effect. That means that your corporate identity should influence all branding decisions. All of your creative assets, sales collateral, messaging, and communications should align with your corporate identity, and it should be obvious to the consumer. Yes, presentations include.
Your presentations are an extension of your brand, and as such they should represent your corporate identity. In Beautiful.ai you can customize your presentation theme to reflect your brand’s logo, colors, and fonts. Once you create your custom theme, it’s automatically applied to each slide in your deck so you don’t have to manually tinker with colors as you add content. Of course, colors and logos are just a fraction of your overarching corporate identity— your story needs to match. With our Smart Slide templates you can toggle between new layouts and variations that you might not have thought of otherwise, and craft your story in new, compelling ways.
At the end of the day, how you package your presentation matters, and your story should compliment your brand and corporate identity regardless of whether it’s an internal or client-facing deck.