Corporate versus brand identity

London's leading Branding Agency, Tangent, specializes in graphic and commercial interior design. As creative consultants we work throughout London, Cardiff, Swansea the UK and Europe.
560 373 Tangent

Some time ago I took a stroll down Guildford High Street and photographed a cross section of the logos on the shop fronts. Because Guildford High Street has some of the highest rents in the UK most of the shops are let to upmarket brands. Here are a few examples of the logos I saw:


Why did I do this?

I wanted to analyse what links and differentiates these logos. What can we learn from this?

Additionally I wanted to explore what a corporate identity and a brand identity are. How they are defined—if this is possible.

So what links the logos illustrated? They are all relatively simple images. They are all primarily or entirely typographic. The use of strong, flat colours is almost universal. Tones and complex images are rare or absent. Reds, yellows, greens, blacks and blues are prevalent.

What differentiates these logos? Although they are almost entirely typographic, they all employ very different typefaces. The combination of design and colour makes them (mostly) very distinctive. Arguably the most different of this set is the Pizza Express logo which employs an Art Nouveau motif and typeface. Peter Boizot teamed up with Italian restaurant designer and cartoonist Enzo Apicella in the 1960s to design the PizzaExpress identity, so it is probably the oldest logo here.

Corporate v brand identity

The Oxford Dictionary defines corporate as “Relating to a large company or group. ‘airlines are very keen on their corporate identity’”

Whereas brand is “A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. ‘a new brand of soap powder’”

So strictly a brand aways belongs to a company or corporation. But it is more complicated than this. One view is:

Brand Identity

Brand identity refers to the perception of a particular product, service or idea a company or individual business owner provides. In creating a brand identity, the goal is to distinguish your product, service or idea from similar products, services and ideas from other businesses while communicating the ethos of the product.

Corporate Identity

Corporate identity is similar to brand identity. However, corporate identity refers to the perception of the entire company, not just one idea, product or service the company provides. This extends from the logo design to how the telephones are answered. One business may have many different brand identities wrapped up in its overall corporate identity.

Although often, the two terms—brand and corporate identity—are used interchangeably, they are two different concepts.

While branding relates to the emotional relationship between customer and a business, the corporate identity is all about the look and feel of the business. The latter helps a customer to distinguish his favourite brand from the crowd of other businesses.

The brand name evokes an emotion of trust and reliability, whereas the identity speaks of the product’s individual quality, its ethics and its focus. These two concepts are however interrelated; when the product is able to establish its unique identity, it is recognised as a brand.

When we think of the identity of a company the first thing that crosses our mind is the custom logo design. The logo is the unique icon that represents the company in the market, helps convey its business message to the customers and ultimately helps sell the product and services to them.

A custom logo can take your business far and accordingly you should be prepared to invest time and money in it.

What’s in a Brand?

Both corporate and brand identity consist of the same basic parts. A major part is made up of logos, colour palette and other images. This is a powerful part of branding, because much of the information people gain and remember is visual information. Another section of branding is slogans. Because various factors influence consumer perception, branding also involves items such as pricing, the quality of what the company produces or does, customer service and data availability.


A major difference between corporate identity and brand identity is in the way they’re developed. Companies may assign different marketing agents to each idea, service or product they want to promote. These agents can work independently of one another. To develop a corporate identity, however, at least one chief executive officer or other member of upper management must oversee the development of all brands. It’s the job of this upper management member or CEO to ensure that the marketing agents develop the brands according to the philosophies, vision and goals of the business.

Importantly, consumers need not be familiar with all brands a company offers before they associate a corporate identity with the business. In fact, certain consumers develop their concept of a corporate identity based on their experience with just one or two of the company’s ideas, products or services. For this reason, businesses that want to develop corporate identities pay close attention to every brand they initiate.

Sources: bizfluent Mash Bonigla Wikipedia.

Spread the love
Privacy Preferences

When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in the form of cookies. Here you can change your Privacy preferences. It is worth noting that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we are able to offer.

Click to enable/disable Google Analytics tracking code.
Click to enable/disable Google Fonts.
Click to enable/disable Google Maps.
Click to enable/disable video embeds.
Our website uses cookies, mainly from 3rd party services. Define your Privacy Preferences and/or agree to our use of cookies.
error: Content is protected !!