Sunday, January 16, 2011

Corporate Identity: Self potrayl of an organisation

An organisation carries out thousands of operations, it buys, it sells, it hires and fires employees and  it promotes its products/services using promotional tools. All these operations of the organisation relate wholly or partially to various publics. No organisation can work in isolation. Companies are dependent on reactions and actions of its customers and consumers. People react and respond towards any organisation according to the way the company is perceived in the market. Image and identity of the company are related to each other. 

The sum total of the way an organisation represents itself is called identity. The way different publics perceives an organisation is often known as image. Marketing wars are not won and lost in shopping malls, but are won and lost in the minds and hearts of the people. Style of functioning of a company can be called as mark of identity of a company. Whereas, the kinds of actions and reactions in the minds of people is mark of image. Identity is real whereas image is perception. 

# Four major areas of activity that reflect singly or by complementing each other
1. Product/Services - Company manufactures or markets a product/service. Product is the mark of strength. E.g. Tata Steel

2.  Environment - Location where a company manufactures or market its products. E.g. Five Star Hotels. Ashoka Hotel and Oberoi Hotel...huge difference between the two. 

3. Information - Company's promotional style or business philosophy. Communication system of the company

4. Behavior - Behavioral pattern of the employees amongst themselves and with outside public. Style of functioning differ from company to company 

Either or mix of these areas can become the identity of organisation. Company must make up mind as to what should be its mark of identity. When they come together in various quantities - a mix of these elements projects the organisation as a whole. 

# Corporate Identity in relation to Corporate Image

All the four elements are equally sharing the circle, but this is not the situation is every organisation. Identity is real. Iamge is reflection of identity. Correct the identity and image will emerge according to the identity. 

Case Study: Revamping TAJ , Branding in recession

In today's business environment, a company must define its identity in very clear terms, as to what it should be known as. A particular identity generates a particular response from various segments of business as well as publics. Identity to an organisation is most important because identity represents its core competence and reflects in all activities of the organisation. It should represents inner truths of an organisation. Core competence and inner truth should be identified and matched. 

Identity should focus on:
1. Company's key strengths 
2. Business purpose of a company
3. Company's Philosophy
4. Value system it stands for
5. policies organisation strongly believes in 

Identity is an instrument of inspiring confidence amongst customers, a launch pad for new products, a means of attracting and motivating work force and a symbol of confidence to shareholders. Company's identity must be so vivid that it should serve as a benchmark to perceive and measure company's products, behaviors and actions. Every action of an organisation should be a signature of its identity. 

But corporate identity does not come about or emerge itself. Identity has to be determined, managed and nurtured with same seriousness as management of other aspects of business. 


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