Corporate Identity

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Basic introduction to the topic

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Corporate Identity

  1. 1. Corporate Identity <ul><li>Corporate identity is the desired character of the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Corporate image is the received perception of the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>It is the preferred reading of the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>It is central in motivating stakeholders </li></ul>
  2. 2. Useful models <ul><li>Shannon and Weaver </li></ul><ul><li>Grunig and Hunt’s four models </li></ul>
  3. 3. Identity <ul><li>Design </li></ul><ul><li>Logos </li></ul><ul><li>House-style </li></ul><ul><li>Colour </li></ul><ul><li>Typeface </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Values </li></ul><ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Communication style </li></ul><ul><li>Associations </li></ul><ul><li>Personalities </li></ul><ul><li>Charities </li></ul><ul><li>Political parties </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dangers <ul><li>Failure to control communication results in a confused image (mixed messages) eg Ratner’s Jewellers </li></ul><ul><li>Beware of noise…information that can damage or alter perceptions of your organisation eg Nike </li></ul>
  5. 5. Nike SENDER Nike Corporate Identity…a carefully managed amalgam of associations with celebrities, sports stars, major sports events such as the Olympics RECEIVER Customers Clear design and mission message (preferred reading) resulting in sales RECEIVER 2 Hot issue public Exploitative company that should be boycotted and attacked NOISE Third world manufacturing policy Nike’s corporate message
  6. 6. Van Riel’s Corporate Mix (1995) <ul><li>Symbolism (from logo to car park) </li></ul><ul><li>Communication (which models are used?) </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviour (what is the culture?) </li></ul><ul><li>With Nike the symbolism and communication is well managed but the behaviour interferes with the preferred reading </li></ul>
  7. 7. Achieving Corporate Identity <ul><li>Research senior management and a range of stakeholder views as to the actual and desired image </li></ul><ul><li>Audit all the elements of a corporate ID for congruency with the desired image </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate a plan to adjust the corporate ID if necessary </li></ul>
  8. 8. Corporate Strategy <ul><li>Grunig argues that the corporate ID process should not simply implement a pre-determined strategy but should be decided/formulated in collaboration with and in response to stakeholders needs </li></ul><ul><li>Grunig’s ‘excellent’ organisations practise the two way symmetrical model </li></ul>
  9. 9. Corporate ID change <ul><li>Van Riel’s 1995 model suggests </li></ul><ul><li>1.Current image analysis </li></ul><ul><li>2.To meet ideal goal states what does the image need to be? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What’s the difference between stage one and two? </li></ul><ul><li>4. What changes must be made to the corporate personality to narrow the gap between stage one and two? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Symbolism <ul><li>The use of cultural codes and semiotics </li></ul><ul><li>Good example: the change from red flag to red rose for ‘New’ Labour </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just the signs outside or the stationery </li></ul><ul><li>Washrooms, carpeted areas and parking spaces are aspects of the symbolic part of an organisation’s culture </li></ul>
  11. 11. Corporate ID plans <ul><li>The reasons why you have a corporate ID plan is to: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Maintain the current position </li></ul><ul><li>2. Adjust the current position </li></ul><ul><li>3. Determine an entirely new position </li></ul>
  12. 12. Consistency of message <ul><li>Different stakeholder groups have differing needs and perceptions so uniformity may not be achievable </li></ul><ul><li>Van Riel (1995) suggested common starting points (CSP) </li></ul><ul><li>“ An organisation may present multiple images to its various publics…provided that these images are consistent, not necessarily with each other, but with the organisation’s common starting points” </li></ul><ul><li>Leitch and Motion (1999) </li></ul>
  13. 13. An organisation’s cultural web <ul><li>Areas to investigate as part of an audit of corporate ID </li></ul>The paradigm Organisational Structures Power structures Symbols Stories Rituals and routines Control systems Johnson and Scholes (1999)
  14. 14. Corporate personality <ul><li>“ Corporate personality consists of an organisation’s history, culture, values and beliefs as realised through its staff structures, systems, its products and/or services Anne Gregory (1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Unique corporate characteristics are revealed in </li></ul><ul><li>1.The company’s products and buildings </li></ul><ul><li>2. The nature and scale of its communication </li></ul><ul><li>3. Its behaviour Van Riel (1995) </li></ul>
  15. 15. All mouth and no trousers <ul><li>The “ image” without any clear or certain relation to “ reality” is perhaps becoming the dominant form in both internal and external communication (Cheney, 1992) </li></ul><ul><li>You might ask yourselves whether corporate personality can ever be anything other than the unique individual perception of each stakeholder </li></ul>
  16. 16. Institutional representation <ul><li>Contemporary PR is fundamentally concerned with representing major organisations and institutions of our society with values, images identities, issue positions etc. etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Whose interests are really being served here? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Stakeholder theory in internal communications <ul><li>In internal communication stakeholder theory focuses on employees’ interests in particular </li></ul><ul><li>These can be researched via corporate documents, surveys, interviews, attitude audits, critical incident analysis, focus groups etc </li></ul>
  18. 18. Balmer’s affinity audit <ul><li>Define </li></ul><ul><li>Core Mission </li></ul>2. Show sensitivity to people’s differing goals 3 . Evaluate individual ideologies against core values 4. Nurture all ideologies which underpin core values Stages 3 and 4 must follow Grunig’s two way symmetrical model
  19. 19. What has changed? <ul><li>Once internal perceptions are mapped, conduct further research with external groups to determine what the perception is of the organisation’s actual and desired image </li></ul><ul><li>All too often changing an organisation’s culture is just a way of getting more work out of people </li></ul>
  20. 20. The Design Audit <ul><li>A visual audit is not superficial but symbolic of deeper attitudinal change ( Wally Olins, 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>Premises </li></ul><ul><li>Showrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Offices </li></ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul><ul><li>Vehicle liveries </li></ul><ul><li>Signs </li></ul><ul><li>Brochures </li></ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul><ul><li>Manuals </li></ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul>
  21. 21. The design audit 2 <ul><li>The design audit is both complementary to, and an integral part of, the communications audit…and both are inextricably involved with the behavioural audit (Olins, 1999) </li></ul>

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