Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com

Confusing the corporate identity of a company with its corporate image is one of the most common mistakes sales and marketing or other employees do when representing the company.

Even branding professionals sometimes elude them wanting a term referring to the other, so close that those words.

In this article, we will thresh both concepts, define and clarify the difference between the two, so you always know what you’re talking about, and how to manage them (and to that of both depends on how much the success of your company!)

Corporate Identity: DEFINITION


Sticking to Wikipedia, the definition says:

“The physical manifestation of the brand. It refers to the visual aspects of the identity of an organization. “

That is, the CI is the set of textual and visual cues that make up the ” ALL ” of a brand / company. And the purely visual part is called corporate identity.

The issue is that you know what your company does, why it is good, what it offers to the market, and why is characterized, but the public does not know yet. It is that what should take physical form letters, shapes, and colors that can be recognizable and distinguishable from other brands.

It is the way to project your company out, to consumers.


Elements of Corporate Identity: EXAMPLES

What elements make up the CI of a company?

1 – The company name

The verbal identity is the first, and essential. Your brand should be able to be read and understood, to name it, remember it, search it and recommend it.

2 – Logo

It becomes the company name / brand, with typography and concrete visual composition. The paradigmatic example is the logo of Coca-Cola, so perfect that imperturbable decades and generations later remains:

coca_cola Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com

In this article, I explain more details about how it should be an ideal which requires a logo who will design the logo.

3 – Isotype or Imagotipo

It is the visual, abstract symbol or not, in which the logo is supported. It is an icon, drawing or letter next to “sum up” the brand. Not all companies use but is highly recommended. Some very clear examples: the “swoosh” Nike:

isotipo_nike Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com

Mercedes Star:

simbolo_mercedes Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.comThe “M” Movistar or “M” of McDonalds:

isotipos_movistar_mcdonalds Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com

What it is impossible to confuse the two latter, yet both still the same letter? It’s the magic of a good image type!

4 – The brand descriptor

It is useful for those brands whose name is not clear “what they do”. Interesting but not essential. For example:

marcas_con_descriptor Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com5 – The slogan or “claim”

Another element not required, but great if you give the key and find a short, catchy and direct slogan. Examples:

  • BMW – Do you like driving?


6 – Colors

This element is also essential because some color should have your brand. The choice of either transmit sensations and certain ideas to the public so should never be chosen lightly. These are the basic colors:

    White is the color of peace and tranquility. So hospitals are usually white. Also conveys purity and perfection, spaciousness, elegance … Apple, for example, has taken over the target and is one of the brands that use it better, not only in the logo but in the entire brand communication, web, etc.
    The black is a tricky color because it has too many negative connotations for many people. The black is often associated with death, mourning. Also at night, what many fear suggests, dark, holdups.
    However, it also has many positive connotations. It’s sleek, it’s mysterious, and it ‘s shocking, it can transmit a lot of strength to a brand, and many companies use it wisely without greater stridency color. Luxury.
    Brown, being a color “off”, not often used too. However, it has positive characteristics that make it suitable for certain types of sectors.
    Brown suggests the earth, and that conveys a sense of safety and soundness. Also suggests nature, especially if you combine it with next green. In addition, there are two products very appreciated by the general public that is brown: chocolate, and coffee. If your brand is out there, brown may be a possibility for you.
    Orange is a relaxed and cheerful color, which combines the best of parents: the joy of yellow, red and strength (just talk about them). This makes it striking and shocking, and many brands use it profusely.
    Yellow is a cheerful and vivid color, one of the best options to attract attention. Suggests the sunlight, clearly positive in their different shades. It is used by many brands who want to show a self – assured, young and energetic profile.
    One of the most reliable colors, with many positive connotations in terms of colors and combinations.
    It suggests the earth and nature, life, health, is a cheerful and friendly color.
    It is also the color most associated with money, the influence of the US dollar (and that in Spain, since the introduction of the euro, the green has been very little, the color of the basic ticket is blue).
    Any company that has to do with nature and ecology is almost forced to wear green. McDonalds implemented in Europe to replace the red, aware that European society is quite stuck in ecological, and communication was successful.
  • BLUE
    Blue is another safe color (perhaps the most widely used for more varied brands) because generally conveys seriousness and confidence. More seriously and more confidence against darker, more lightweight and more freedom when something clearer, by association with the sky and the sea.
    Purple is a more complex color use, but as powerful as subtle messages. It is a very elegant color, mysterious, with a sensual nuance.
    It is also a real attribute that transmits power and magnificence, as did the Caesars.
  • RED
    Red is the color perhaps more strongly across the spectrum. To the extent that view affects our body, our breath accelerating and increasing our stress. Perhaps as scheduled bodily reaction at the sight of blood.
    It is aggressive, strong and visceral color. Suggests a primary power, and also in passionate love, and sexuality.
  • ROSA
    Pink, for the moment, is inevitably linked to the feminine. It is a delicate color that conveys innocence or playfulness depending on the proportion of red lead.

7 – Typefaces

This element is also very important, not less. Besides typography logo and slogan, you have to choose the appropriate font for each communicative element of the company: more modern or more classic, with or without serif …

tipografia Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com8 – Substrates

Merchandising, stationery, headers or email signatures, clothing employee … everything “physical” come out to the public should be regulated following the same identity, logo, isotype, colors, fonts … consistency between email, a pamphlet a web shop and attention on a poster next to the highway must be unique.

Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com

Therefore it is essential a corporate manual.


It is the document where all the elements described above are detailed. Generally, is provided by the same designer, studio or advertising agency that has been responsible for creating it.

Why is it so necessary? Because you do not work alone / a. There is a team of workers who will communicate with manufacturers, suppliers and end users, and all with the same standards of visual identity. Same logo, same fonts, same format, same colors.

That consistency is getting the manual which strengthens your brand and helps you to transmit the values of your company as you want.

Difference between CORPORATE IDENTITY with CORPORATE IMAGE - tinoshare.com


Here is the Identity Guide (MANUAL) for Facebook.

Here is the Identity Guide (MANUAL) for Google Trend.

Here is the Identity Guide (MANUAL) for PayPal.

You will see that each use and details that are tailored to the needs and realities of each company communication. This means that if your company will be essentially an e-Commerce, there are things you will not need in the same way a company whose axis is in business offices or physical stores.


Not to be confused with a “CORPORATE IMAGE MANUAL”

You may find there a “corporate identity manual”. Actually, that does not exist, it is part of the confusion between “identity” and “image” that gives rise to this article.

In itself, it can not have a “corporate identity manual” because as we will see, in the corporate image not everything depends on the company, but of how it is perceived from outside.

The irony is that the corporate identity manual itself is essential to create a good corporate image. Now we see why.

Which it is the corporate image of a company

Is the perception others have about that company.


Since there is no “official” dictionary of marketing, we have to pull back from Wikipedia :

“It refers to how a company is perceived. It is a generally accepted image of what a company stands for. The creation of a corporate image is an exercise in perception management. “

That is, that the corporate image is the result of applying the corporate identity, adding your service and communication strategy, to cause the public to see your company in a certain way.

When people have an image of a business that corresponds to the objectives of the company, something positive, we say that we have a good corporate image.

A bad would be to a company whose communication or visual identity is inadequate, or whose product / service does not match what they promise. Like the gathering of “bad reputation”, come on.



It is critical to customer loyalty, and to the progressive expansion of the brand.

  • To get it, you must first make sure it runs perfectly and internally consistent at all levels of your company. This is the first step.
  • The second is to design communication campaigns in line with the spirit and identity of your company and the image you want to convey (we will see the examples below).
  • The third is to make sure your product and service meet the expectations they generate. Because if they do not, all this will not help you at all. Your bad image will be spread, and the business will fail.

Sometimes a single mistake can throw it all land.

Consider the recent scandal Vitaldent: all the work, all the planning, it has gone down the drain by a fraudulent practice of its directors. Today, with the damage suffered by their clients, everyone associates that brand name with “scam”.

It is the unpredictable point of the corporate image, which can only be mastered by doing what a company should do: give a good product / service reliably, every day.



One of my favorite resources is MediaMarkt.

MediaMarkt sells cheap and functional domestic technology within the reach of most people. That is its opinion, and its personality is young, direct and irreverent. Their slogans, their way of communicating beyond the informal to become even aggressive, seem to say: ” it is absurd to buy expensive technology when we have it cheaper and just works .” Summarized in the slogan “I am not stupid.”

That message cove in the public mind, and if you look, cove because since there MediaMarkt has always had the same personality, and have always used the same communication strategy.

They have worked hard to get this corporate image and works them (even when passed thread).