Driving value with corporate identity

Lulu Raghavan
Landor Perspectives 2010

Companies express their core philosophies through visual messages. Collectively, these messages comprise a company’s corporate identity. Godrej, Shopper’s Stop, and CEAT Limited are just a few of the growing number of Indian enterprises that have been paying close attention to the image they project. Each has recently undergone a visible identity transformation communicated largely through a new logo.

But a logo is only one element of the larger picture. A company’s name, graphic representation (wordmark), and tagline all also convey aspects of its belief system. The overarching role of corporate identity, however, is just what the phrase implies: to identify a particular source of products or services and to associate that source with attributes that set the company apart from its competitors.

An identity that perfectly captures the ethos of a company builds equity in the brand and projects a differentiated image. When the identity is unique and relevant, it helps make a positive first impression on stakeholders and gets the conversation off to a good start. By contrast, an unattractive or outdated corporate identity makes these goals harder and more expensive to accomplish.