The relationship between branding and corporate identity lies in the manner in which the brand reflects the identity of a business. Brands are the offshoot of the corporate identity of a company, and they must convey the message of what the company stands for. A company that has developed a solid identity knows that people have come to trust and rely on that identity. As a result of this trust, such people may buy a product simply because it bears the brand of the company in question. The brand of the company appears to be an endorsement of the product, leading people to believe that such a product should have the qualities they have come to associate with the company.
The brand of a company includes aspects like trademarks, logos, designs, corporate colors and typefaces. Branding and corporate identity are related in the sense that customers invest whatever emotional currency they have cultivated through a relationship with a company in any product that bears the brand of the company. Identity refers to those characteristics that make a company what it is. A good corporate identity enables a company to really shine in a sea of competitors.
The corporate identity may also be viewed as the motto of the company — its driving force. A company's identity may be that it does not make any inferior or low-quality products or that it does not make promises it cannot keep. For instance, some courier companies promise their customers that they will deliver their parcels anywhere in the world within three days. This promise, if kept, becomes a part of their identity. As such, the relationship between branding and corporate identity is the fact that anything bearing their logo or brand automatically inspires feelings of reliability and trustworthiness.
This connection between branding and corporate identity is the reason why most companies guard their identities zealously. They do not wish to give the impression that a competitor's product came from their company. For one reason, it would diminish the confidence people have in the company's identity. It would also lead to financial loss for the company, because other people are trying to cash in on their solid corporate identity.
An example of protecting identity would be a company in Japan that is known for making excellent electronics. The company has developed its identity to reflect the fact that it stands for quality. If another company starts making knock-off versions of Japan's electronics and illegally sells them under Japan's brand, such a company is taking undue advantage of another's corporate identity.