A company’s logo and corporate identity are two related, but slightly different concepts. A company’s logo is a visual identifying sign that is associated with the company and used to promote or market the company, while a corporate identity is the persona or identity of the company. An organization’s corporate identity is also projected through its trademarks and branding. It is the corporate identity that separates an organization from other similar organizations that might have the same or related objectives.
The company logo is associated with the company’s brand and quickly gives those viewing it an impression of the company’s quality and standards. A company’s logo is just one of the facets of the company’s brand. Apart from the logo, other components of an organization’s corporate identity include the brand name and brand colors.
An illustration of a company’s logo and corporate identity can be seen in the following example. Say the name of a company that manufactures handbags is AB; this is simply one aspect of its corporate image. The way AB is written and any other design used to market or project the company name AB is the company’s logo. For instance, AB could be written in elegant cursive script with the image of a woman’s silhouette holding a handbag in the background. This could be adopted as the company’s logo.
The company could adopt blue and green as its brand colors, and these two colors will be reflected in the company’s logo, letterhead, business cards and promotional items. With time and enough promotion of its brand by the company through advertising, people will come to recognize the branding. The public will begin to associate the company with the silhouette of a woman holding a handbag in blue and green and the letters AB written in cursive over the woman’s image.
Another thing that will serve as a component of the company’s brand includes the angle the company is using to market itself. If the company chooses to market its handbags as very expensive ones meant only for people of a certain class, this will become a part of its brand. If it chooses to market its handbags as affordable, durable and meant for everyone, that will become a part of its brand. As such, the company’s logo will immediately remind people that the handbag is for people of a certain class.
The concept formed by the marketing becomes a company's identity or philosophy. Say AB handbags are exclusively handcrafted and cost more than many people can afford. Also, if AB makes only a limited number of handbags in a year and has a long waiting list, this creates an unmistakable identity of exclusivity and high class. The company’s logo of the woman’s silhouette seen anywhere will be associated with its corporate identity of exclusivity. This is how a company’s logo and corporate identity are intertwined.