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Corporate Image and Corporate Identity

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Corporate Image:




                “PR is all about image” . And  Image is intangible and not easy to control. There is always an amount of chance involved. However,management cannot invest in the Corporate Image  by advertising. The only way to gain a long term high corporate image is to incorporate it to"PR-projects" and be good at what we are doing. In the long run the Customers decide whether the Organization gains or looses in corporate image. And this is what we will learn in this module.



In this module, you will learn:

1.       The definition of corporate image

2.     The importance of corporate image

3.     The relevance of Corporate image to Public Relations

4.     Corporate Image as Reputation






First, let us see a very good example of a company faced with the dilemma of the best way to deal with the problem without destroying the reputation and the image  of the company and its most profitable product.






What happened?

In October of 1982, Tylenol, the leading pain-killer medicine in the United States at the time, faced a tremendous crisis when seven people in Chicago were reported dead after taking extra-strength Tylenol capsules. It was reported that an unknown suspect/s put 65 milligrams of deadly cyanide into Tylenol capsules, 10,000 more than what is necessary to kill a human.

The tampering occurred once the product reached the shelves. They were removed from the shelves, infected with cyanide and returned to the shelves (Mitchell, 1989). In 1982, Tylenol controlled 37 percent of its market with revenue of about $1.2 million. Immediately after the cyanide poisonings, its market share was reduced to seven percent (Mitchell 1989).

What did Johnson & Johnson do?

Once the connection was made between the Tylenol capsules and the reported deaths, public announcements were made warning people about the consumption of the product. Johnson & Johnson was faced with the dilemma of the best way to deal with the problem without destroying the reputation of the company and its most profitable product.

Following one of our guidelines of protecting people first and property second, McNeil Consumer Products, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, conducted an immediate product recall from the entire country which amounted to about 31 million bottles and a loss of more than $100 million dollars. (Lazare, Chicago Sun-Times 2002) Additionally, they halted all advertisement for the product.

Although Johnson & Johnson knew they were not responsible for the tampering of the product, they assumed responsibility by ensuring public safety first and recalled all of their capsules from the market. In fact, in February of 1986, when a woman was reported dead from cyanide poisoning in Tylenol capsules, Johnson & Johnson permanently removed all of the capsules from the market.

How did Johnson & Johnson re-introduce the product to the market?

Once the product was removed from the market, Johnson & Johnson had to come up with a campaign to re-introduce its product and restore confidence back to the consumer.

1. Tylenol products were re-introduced containing a triple-seal tamper resistant packaging. It became the first company to comply with the Food and Drug Administration mandate of tamper-resistant packaging.(Mitchell 1989) Furthermore, they promoted caplets, which are more resistant to tampering.

2. In order to motivate consumers to buy the product, they offered a $2.50 off coupon on the purchase of their product. They were available in the newspapers as well as by calling a toll-free number. (Mitchell 1989)

3. To recover loss stock from the crisis, Johnson & Johnson made a new pricing program that gave consumers up to 25% off the purchase of the product. (Mitchell 1989)

4. Over 2250 sales people made presentations for the medical community to restore confidence on the product. (Mitchell 1989)

What was Tylenol's basis for its crisis management program?

The reason Tylenol reacted so quickly and in such a positive manner to the crisis stems from the company’s mission statement. (Lazare Chicago Sun-Times 2002). On the company’s credo written in the mid-1940’s by Robert Wood Johnson, he stated that the company‘s responsibilities were to the consumers and medical professionals using its products, employees, the communities where its people work and live, and its stockholders. Therefore, it was essential to maintain the safety of its publics to maintain the company alive. Johnson & Johnson’s responsibility to its publics first proved to be its most efficient public relations tool. It was the key to the brand’s survival.

Tylenol is one of thousands of companies who have faced a crisis that can be destructive to its company if not handled properly. In 1999, 17 years later, when Coca-Cola was faced with a crisis of its own, Nick Purdom of PR Week wrote that "the PR industry has an important role to play in helping companies identify and manage risks that could damage their reputation."
While Tylenol succeeded in managing its crisis, the Exxon case was not as successful.



Johnson & Johnson’s has a good corporate image but faced a crisis that can destroy their image, but they use the power of public relations to bring back their good image. Do you now realize the importance of a good corporate image?


Now, let us define Corporate Image:





                                                                           “ Man: This president is like a dog!”

“ Tylenol will kill all people in the world!”


A corporate image refers to how a corporation 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. Corporatew Image is the picture that your publics have of you. This picture is depicted by all of your actions and statements. How ever, different segments of the public body may and will interpret your messages in different ways. The management of the corporate image thus an on going task.Typically, a corporate image is designed to be appealing to the public, so that the company can spark an interest among consumers, create share of mind, generate brand equity, and thus facilitate product sales.

Expets in creation of Corporate Image:

Corporate Image is created primarily by marketing experts who use public relations and other forms of promotion to suggest a mental picture to the public. A corporation's image is not solely created by the company: Other contributors to a companies image could include the following:

v        news media,

v      journalists,

v      labour unions,

v     environmental organizations,

v     and other NGOs

Corporations are not the only form of organization that create these types of images.The following should be also observed to have a unique image, an image that is partially deliberate and partially accidental, partially self-created and partially exogenous.:

v     Governments,

v     charitable organizations,

v     criminal organizations,

v     religious organizations,

v      political organizations

v     educational organizations

All of this tends to have a unique images but always remember that:

“A successful corporate image must also be believable. That is, the image must be relatively close to your actual behaviours to be credible.”


Corporate image and Product positioning

A corporate image should be consistent with the positioning of the companies product, product line, or brand. Any inconguency between the overall corporate image and the positions of individual product offerings will be confusing to potential customers and will tend to reduce sales revenue. For example, an oil company that as the image of being environmentally unfriendly will not be successful selling products that they try to position as "green". A company in such a situation should either: withraw from the "green market", invest in promotional activities that will recast their corporate image in a greener hue, and/or follow a more environmentally friendly path.



“A good overall corporate image can be seen as the sum of all the images associated with the firm's individual product positions.”



Corporate Image as the Reputation

Corporate Image is the reputation that the Knowledge Organisation gains from solving the Customer's problems successfully. It is thus the external image of corporate Knowhow. The Corporate Image is the value of the organisation's name and customer network. It is an important asset because customers can not know what solution they will get until they got it. Customers therefore must buy on reputation.

Corporate image is impossible to measure on even a yearly basis. The simulation model assumes that results from the difficult projects will be made known on the market. We further assume that management makes a standardised customer survey after each such difficult project and that the results from that measures our Corporate image. The results are indexed into an amount of money and shown as an intangible asset.



Corporate Identity







Each individual has its own identity. Even twins are different from each other. In Public Relations, creating a corporate identity is a big factor. Because this is the thing to do in making a difference from other corporations. This will identify your company or organizations from others. But what are the strategies used in maintaining a corporate identity? What are the factors to consider in corporate identity? Let me explain further through this module.




In this module you will learn:


  1. The definition of corporate identity.
  2. The factors composes the corporate identity.
  3. Maintaining a corporate identity.












First, let us define Corporate Identity:






Fig. 1.1 Different logos from different companies.


A a corporate identity or "CI" is the "persona" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives, and is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks.

Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organisations philosophy which is manifest in a distinct corporate culture (the corporate personality). At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophy. (Balmer, 1995).

In general, this amounts to a logo (logotype and/or logogram) and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand.

Many companies, such as McDonald's and Electronic Arts have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark "M" logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald's packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for an identity that is extremely distinguishable, so it can appeal more to its targeted audience.

Now that we know already the definition of Corporate Identity, let us see the three parts of it:

Corporate Identity : It ‘s three parts:

v    Corporate Design (logos, uniforms, etc.)




v    Corporate Communication (commercials, public relations, informations, etc.)

McDonald's Philippines improves customer service via technology



McDonald's, as the world's leading food service retailer, serves some of the world's favorite foods - World Famous French Fries, Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, Chicken McNuggets and Egg McMuffin - in its more than 30,000 restaurants in 118 countries, serving 46 million customers each day.

Also, McDonald's is one of the world's most well-known and valuable brands. It holds a leading share in the globally branded quick service restaurant segment of the informal eating-out market in virtually every country in which it does business.

In the Philippines, McDonald's has been one of the leading quick service restaurants in the country. Managing a company with the size of McDonald's is a mammoth task. As a result, managing its day-to-day operations is a major challenge and that the information and communications technology requirements and infrastructure should be well placed.

In this age where technology is a key element in ensuring a company's success, McDonald's opted to avail of the help desk service from Fujitsu Philippines, Inc. (FPI).

Inevitable recourse

With over 180 company-owned branches nationwide, McDonald's was having difficulty in managing its different hardware and software store systems. According to Executive Vice - President Kenneth S. Yang, it is not the nature of the company to put up an IT unit, hence the decision to follow the model of a Help Desk was an inevitable recourse. Moreover, this is going to be cost-effective for the company.

"Initially, about six years ago, McDonald's availed of the Help Desk Service from a competitor. After a year or two, FPI won in the bidding for the service. The Asia Pacific market being serviced by FPI is also the same market being serviced by McDonald's, thus FPI has more or less the same market," says Yang when asked why McDonald's chose FPI as the service provider. He said that the identical market niche is a good background in servicing the existing customer base of McDonald's.

Business Benefits

 With the implementation of the Help Desk service outsourced to FPI, several aspects of the McDonald's operation were addressed. One of which is the monitoring of the inventory systems, the applications of the SMS, and monitoring of documents. Eventually these tasks grew to include hardware management systems.

The Help Desk service also improved the service of McDonald's by ensuring that the store systems in all branches are up and running all the time. As an example given by Yang, in case where a store has five Point-of-Sale stations, any trouble that will arise in one of the POSs will surely affect the service quality for the given number of customers at that particular time. This is of course a non-issue anymore because FPI takes care of the help desk function to provide technical support.

Another benefit would be that previously, it took McDonald's about a whole day to provide technical support service to a store. Now, with FPI's Help Desk service, it only takes half the time because any problem can be addressed from the Help Desk's end.

IT Directions

"We are following the US market in terms of growth, so this year, we will continue with the specific projects that have been started last year and the consolidation of the different applications, so that the stores can access the applications using the Internet, " says Yang when asked about the company's IT plan.

Expounding more on the network consolidation, Yang described that the store network is a project that allows the company-owned stores to be connected either via broadband or frame-relay. This allows the company to retrieve some information from and to the stores from the Help Desk for updates of the pricing, downloading of memos etc., as well as email exchange of information from the head office and suppliers. Easy communication provided by network consolidation also covers the local announcements from the head office to the stores. The network consolidation also allows the deployment of applications faster.

Another area for IT expansion is the consolidation of applications, focusing more on the transmission service. This works when a branch finished a store day and consolidation of all the information takes place from the store to the head office. With the store network in place, the time in generating the reports will also be faster, he said.

McDonald's is definitely a leader in the food chain industry, also in technology. Through technology enhancements such as FPI's Help Desk Service, network and application consolidation, and other technology implementations, operations of the company are greatly improved, ultimately benefiting not just McDonald's but its millions of customers in the Philippines as well.

v    Corporate Behavior (Internal values, norms, etc.)


To make it more easier to understand, let us see some example of corporate identity:


Example of Corporate Identity:


 Corporate identity - dcu identity

DCU's new logo was designed to be visually attractive and to reflect our corporate objectives and core values as outlined by the Strategic Plan.

A particularly strong feature of the design is that it is versatile and can be used in conjunction with individual identities for various colleges, schools and centres that are linked to or part of the university.

Nevertheless, it is essential that the integrity of the logo be maintained, and that the logo be used in accordance with the following guidelines.

corporate identity - corporate logo

(a) logotype and symbol

The DCU logo comprises 3 Rings and the logotype DCU. The rings and letters are fully integrated and should never be used separately.

The logos are available in the following formats: EPS, TIFF, & GIF.

Please follow these guidelines when using the logo:
* Never separate the rings and the letters
* Do not recreate the logo yourself
* Do not stretch or distort the logo
* Maintain the scale and proportions of the logo: When increasing or decreasing the size of the logo in "Word", scale in and out from the corners. Do not drag the picture box from the top, bottom or sides

Do not attempt to change the logo in any way.

Design for web

The style and design of the DCU logo lends itself to animation and works well reversed out of solid colours on media such as web.

If you are animating the logo, make sure the final version is true to the original.

(b)Exclusion Zone

Clear space gives the logo room to "breathe" on a page. Always leave at least this amount of space (exclusion zone denoted by distance a-b) around the logo when presenting it with other graphic elements.

(c)Use of Faculty, Unit or Department Names

Faculty, unit or department names should not be placed directly under the logo

Optimum - Branding Guidelines

Bold, Confident use of flat colour areas through alle the communication will help to strengthen the message of the brand.
These brand clours reinforce the clean, modern and confident look.
The logo is the central focus of the brand.

      Communication sample

University of Bradford - Corporate Identity Guidelines

The University of Bradford logo

The University of Bradford logo was first created in 1993 and has been updated to make it easier to use in publications and on the increasingly important medium of the web. It has two main components: the symbol and the namestyle which must always appear together and in the same proportions as shown. The University motto ‘Making Knowledge Work’ should be used wherever possible and positioned as per the guidelines. ‘Confronting Inequality : Celebrating Diversity’ should be used appropriately, but must
appear on all job adverts. (…)

The logo itself comprises four squares depicting two quarters of a globe, a stylised open book with seven clasps, and two bugles. The logo uses elements of the full crest, which will be retained for Official University documents such as degree certificates.

The globe represents the University’s international connections, the stylised book represents knowledge and the traditional values of an established university whilst the seven clasps represent the seven original subjects taught in medieval universities. The bugles are an important feature on the City of Bradford crest; they derive from an ancient Bradford hunting legend and,
therefore, represent the city itself.

In Corporate Identity, creating o good logo is very important…how it all began?


The Logo: a little history
Logotype, commonly know as a logo, is a design, a graphic representation/image/trademark symbolizing one’s organization. Designed for instant identification, a logo can appear on company letterhead, advertising material and signs as an emblem by way of which the organization can easily be recognized.

Originating in the 19th century, after a surge in industrial manufacturing that led to an increase in output, global distribution, and the commencement of competition, logos were created to differentiate between products within the same industry. Emblems or symbols were included on products, packages and labels so buyers could easily recognize the product they preferred. Logos revolutionized the advertising world.
There was a time when only affluent organizations could afford their own crest, emblem or logo. They were, in some cases, a very detailed drawing with many objects. Cost was not an issue and more was considered better. Then, flags were used due to their larger format. They were visible from the craft fields and from long distances.
Today, successful companies continue to say that “simpler is better”. Especially when the world is advancing so rapidly, you have less and less time to impress your customers. Logo designs, now, are very stylish yet remain conservative, which makes them eye-catching and easier for the brain to memorize.
A Corporate Identity involves the  consisitent,continous use of awell – designed logo and well –developed key messages. The logo and the key messages should reflect the business trhey symbolize. They connote a thoughtful and purposeful enterprise, and mirror the quality of its proiduct and services.  Wanna have some tips from the expert?

A. Logo:

v      Is a flag,signature

v      Doesn’t sell directly,it identifies

v      Derives its meaning from the quality iof the thing it symbolizes,not the other way around.

v      Is less important than the product it signifies; what it means is more important than what it looks like

For a logo to be effective, it must be:

v      Distinctive

v      Visible

v      Usable

v      Memorable

v      Universal

v      Timeless




Additional Informations:

What Corporate Identity Isn't

Misconceptions about the purpose of a corporate identity system often cause companies to limp along with a sub-standard business image. Find out how you can avoid these common mistakes in your own organization.

 1. Corporate Identity Isn’t a Selling Point

This is probably the biggest mistake that new companies make when trying to develop their corporate identity. The purpose of your identity is—perhaps surprisingly—not to convince people to buy your product. There are other tools (e.g., text content, your staff, and the product itself) that actually perform that task.

Instead, its primary role is to serve as an anchor that helps to lock the overall message created by those other tools into your customers’ minds. Think of it as a shortcut, a mnemonic to help your client remember the cumulative effect of your other sales and marketing efforts.

Starbucks is a fine example of an identity done right. The name and logo are essentially meaningless in themselves, but they are punchy and memorable enough that they can effectively represent “the Starbucks experience”—which actually comprises more tangible things such as the decor, the employees, the coffee, etc.—in an abbreviated form.

If they had fallen into the trap of trying to actually sell coffee with their identity, they probably would have come up with a name like “Superior Coffee” and some kind of generic swirly logo—and it would never have become the success that it is today.

A rose named “premium red flower” doesn’t smell nearly as sweet.

Freeing your identity from the burden of trying to sell your product allows you to develop one that excels at its true job, which is to instantly evoke the experience of interacting with your organization.

2. Corporate Identity Isn’t Critical

I say this not to dissuade you from investing in your identity, but rather to prevent you from thinking that you can succeed simply by following the lead of big brands, because those big brands often thrive not because of their identities, but despite them.

IBM is a terrible name for a business, for example. It doesn’t give a strong anchor for their overall brand experience. It’s just alphabet soup. They’ve managed to thrive over the years, however, because their products, people, and marketing efforts have compensated for that weakness.

It would be a mistake to attribute their success to their name, particularly if you then try to become “the next IBM” by giving your company an equally dull name.

Instead, work on developing an identity that is declarative, vivid, and memorable. Be fresh—don’t worry about emulating others, because the whole point of your identity is to make you stand out.

3. Corporate Identity Isn’t Comfortable

If you’re sitting around the conference room table with a logo sketch on the whiteboard, and all the major stakeholders are nodding and smiling, then you’ve almost certainly got a dud on your hands.

Committees are great at developing identities that are generally pleasant, but you can’t be generally pleasant and remarkable at the same time. A great brand is evocative, passionate, and impressive—and it’s a rare committee that can come up with anything that can be described
with those words.

Trying to find an identity that “we like” is a fundamental error made by business decisionmakers. It actually doesn’t matter much if you like it, even if you’re the owner of the business, because your personal preferences have little to do with how your customers will respond to it.

(In fact, because you’re probably in a position involving a fair amount of risk and stress, the names that appeal to you are exactly the sort of generic, comfortable, soothing names that you should probably avoid. It’s easy to name your company “Apex Shoes”—and hard to name it “Nike”)

Maintaining Your Corporate Identity

By Jonathan E. Shimberg and Linda R. Crohn

There are many ways to structure the ownership of your business. These legal entities include sole proprietorship, various types of partnerships and various types of corporations. There are many reasons to incorporate your business, including tax benefits. However, one of the most important benefits of incorporating your business is your insulation from personal liability as a shareholder or officer of the corporation. If your corporation is properly maintained, your personal assets will not be available to creditors of the corporation.

A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners and managers. It has a life of its own and ends only when it is dissolved. The corporation can purchase assets and borrow money in its own name. If the corporation is maintained properly, debts of the corporation are only the liability of the corporation and not its shareholders or employees. As an owner, the debts do not become your responsibility unless the lender requires your personal guarantee.

If the corporation is not maintained properly, creditors can "pierce the corporate veil" and you may become personally responsible for corporate debt. The following are some suggestions for maintaining your corporate identity.


Use the proper corporate name. If the name of your corporation is ABC Widgets, Inc., make sure the "Inc." is on all of your business papers. The presence of that word informs people dealing with you that you are a corporation.

If you want to use another name or use initials, register it under the appropriate law. If you do not want to put "Inc." on everything and want to be know as ABC Widget, the corporation is using an assumed name which should be registered.

Make sure all stationery, business cards, brochures and other written material identifies the business as a corporation. If you have taken the steps to incorporate, let the world know. To many customers, doing business with a corporation is more professional than with a sole proprietor.


Keep separate bank accounts for the corporation. Remember a corporation is a separate legal entity. It has its own Federal Employer Identification Number, which must be shown on all tax filings. As a separate legal entity, it should keep its own bank accounts, financial records and credit cards. Keeping only one account and one set of financial records indicates there is no difference between you and your corporation, and therefore you should be liable for the corporation's debts. It is crucial to have separate records and accounts.

Do not pay personal expenses from the corporate bank account. Personal expenses are just that. They should be paid out of your personal funds. Do not pay your personal bills from corporate monies as a reimbursement.

Pay yourself a salary or find out from your accountant the proper way to repay yourself for loans made to the corporation. You should pay yourself reasonable compensation for the services you render (if there is money to pay you). Never take a draw. You are an employee of the corporation and are paid a salary subject to social security, medicare and withholding taxes.


Sign all documents as President.



Hold meetings of shareholders and directors at least annually. Prepare written minutes of each of these meetings, and have them signed by the President and Secretary of the corporation. A written record should be kept for any major changes or decisions made by the corporation.

Prepare proper corporate income tax returns. Talk to your accountant about the various tax forms which should be prepared, as well as how frequently they must be filed.


File your annual report from the Secretary of State on time. Failure to do so could result in an involuntary dissolution of the corporation and leave you personally liable until the corporate status is reinstated. Every year, prior to the anniversary of your date of incorporation, the Secretary of State mails to your corporation's registered agent, a request that you file an annual report and pay the annual franchise tax fee. It must be filed by the date shown on the form. Prepare quarterly reports to the Department of Employment Security. If you have employees and are subject to the Unemployment Compensation laws of this state, prepare, file and pay these taxes.

Prepare Internal Revenue Service forms 940 and 941 on time. If you have employees whom you have paid wages (including yourself) you should prepare, file and pay these taxes, some of which you withheld from your employee's wages.

For professional service corporations, follow all procedures and file all necessary forms from the Department of Professional Regulations. If you are a licensed professional, Illinois law requires that you register your corporation with the department which issued your license. There may be other requirements, depending upon your profession.


By following some simple rules, the corporation will maintain its own identity, you will be protected from any personal liability and the government will receive its reports and taxes in a timely manner. A corporation can provide many benefits to its officers, employees and owners and it is worth the time and effort to keep it operating properly.























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