Corporate Identity

Meaning of Corporate Identity


Corporate identity describes a complex, strategic concept. This coordinates all corporate activities both in terms of content and form. All of this serves to create a distinctive personality and increase acceptance performance.

What is corporate identity (CI)?

When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur or startup, it may sound a little strange and excessive to you to have a corporate identity. But you shouldn’t be put off by this word. After all, it is incredibly important to think about how your company or startup is perceived by the outside world and to consciously develop your own identity that has a certain focus. But what exactly is a corporate identity?

Whenever you hear the word “corporate identity” you will likely think of logos, business cards and letterheads. All of these are definitely part of it. According to, your corporate design consists of all of the things that you associate with the corporate visual identity, including slogans, logos, colors, fonts, imagery, flyers, office supplies, web design and social media. Even your office furnishings, the work clothes of your employees and any company graphics that are on cars and trucks are part of your corporate design.

But a corporate identity means a little more than just a design. It describes who you are as a company or a startup. Therefore, it not only contains the elements of corporate design, but also your company values, your culture and your way of communicating internally and externally. In the following lines we will go into more detail on the individual components of the corporate identity.

What are the components of corporate identity?

There are several components to corporate identity, or CI for short. These can be summarized in three basic sub-areas and are also referred to as “pillars of corporate identity”.

Corporate Design

As already mentioned, the corporate identity is often equated with the corporate design. However, this is only a part of the corporate identity, namely the visual appearance of a company. The corporate design thus represents the most obvious part of the corporate identity. This includes all of the above-mentioned components of marketing such as the company logo , trade fair appearances and much more.

Corporate language

An equally important component of corporate identity is consistent communication and uniform language. In addition to classic communication measures such as advertising slogans and press releases, corporate communication also includes all internal communication activities. These include, for example, employee magazines and notices to employees. The corporate language also includes addressing customers, so you have to distinguish whether you want this Siezen or Duzen.

Corporate behavior

The importance of corporate behavior should not be underestimated with regard to corporate identity. This includes the entire company behavior towards all stakeholders. In addition to external behavior, for example towards customers, the media and the public, internal behavior also shapes corporate behavior. The latter primarily concerns the way people deal with employees and the conduct of managers. But the employees of a company can also shape the corporate behavior. This is achieved by behaving in accordance with certain company values.

Extended: corporate culture

The term “corporate culture” means the corporate culture. It describes the entire system of values ​​and norms within a company. This not only establishes the character and style of a company, but also influences corporate behavior and corporate communication.

Corporate identity in contrast to the corporate image

As you already know, the concept of corporate identity is about clearly conveying the individual advantages and central messages of the company. Basically, it can be said that the corporate identity as a whole aims to convey a positive corporate image and thus ensure a positive corporate image. It is not uncommon for the two terms “corporate identity” and “corporate image” to be used synonymously. But this approach does not quite do justice to the actual facts. The corporate image is basically the target of all efforts in the context of corporate identity. In contrast, the corporate identity is primarily intended to shape a company’s self-image. Accordingly, the corporate image represents the external image of the respective company,

Function of the corporate identity

The basis of the corporate identity is the company’s mission statement. This should serve as internal motivation for employees and make it clear to the outside what your company stands for. The mission statement includes the vision and mission of your company as well as the culture that should prevail within your company. The vision is intended to answer the question of what you and your company stand for as a community. The mission specifies what the goals of your company are that you want to achieve together and which values ​​and principles should be used to act in the company.

Why is corporate identity important?

Maybe you are aware of it or not, but you already have a corporate identity. Just like you already have a brand image, it doesn’t matter whether you actively perceive and manage it or not. Basically, it’s all about whether you want to leave your corporate identity to chance or whether you want to create something great that supports you in your corporate goals.

It is extremely important to look at both sides of the CI, your design as well as your culture and personality. Creating a holistic corporate identity means incorporating every aspect of your business and fixing everything that wasn’t working.

At this point, you may find that all of this is too big and completely unnecessary for a small startup like yours. It may seem silly to talk about culture when your startup is a one-man business, but it’s much easier to get it right at the start than correcting any mistakes afterwards.

Building a proactive corporate identity will ensure that you are consistent and consistent in all of your communications. Likewise, the CI will allow you to differentiate yourself from your competitors and help you interact effectively with customers, employees and investors.


A corporate identity should give a company a clear profile. At the same time, however, clarify its performance and way of working. It includes all activities of a company. From the use of certain fonts to customer management up to corporate management. The CI can be divided into a total of three areas: Corporate Design, Corporate Communication and Corporate Behavior. A consistently implemented corporate identity is not only limited to the company’s presentation in public, but also includes the internal appearance towards the workforce. The goal of a corporate identity is obvious, because the CI should ensure that a company is independent and distinctive and that it sets it apart from the competition. However, it should be remembered that a corporate identity concept must be well thought out, planned and strategically implemented.

Corporate Identity