From Identity Into Brand Visual Identity: Finding and Defining the Intangible Brand DNA

From Identity Into Brand Visual Identity: Finding and Defining the Intangible Brand DNA

Daniel Raposo (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Portugal & CIAUD, Lisbon School of Architecture, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal), Fernando Oliveira (IADE, Universidade Europeia, Portugal & Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação, Portugal) and Luís Farinha (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Portugal & NECE, University of Beira Interior, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3628-5.ch005
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This chapter seeks to contribute to the clarification of the concepts corporate identity, brand identity, and brand personality. Through a methodology based on literature review and descriptive case studies, the authors seek to define a model to characterize corporate identity and to define brand identity and brand personality as ways of competitiveness and industrial innovation. The main result of this study is the definition of a model to identify the corporate identity and define the brand identity and brand personality, opening new paths for future empirical research.
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A brand's sustainability and competitive strength also depend on its alignment with other policies, actions, and business conduct. Misalignments and derivations between actions and behaviors with the visual and communication discourse tend to generate confusion or distrust, weakening the impact of messages and actions that reach the audience, with direct damage to the brand dimension and image. To a large extent, a weak or undefined brand image is more fragile and less valued compared to competitors, and therefore hardly generates high levels of brand recognition or loyalty (Karjalainen 2007).

Brand image results from a public perception built over time as a result of direct experiences, interpretation of corporate conduct and action, as well as institutional communication and specifically the brand in question. This public perception includes establishing correlations, analogies, comparisons, evaluations and value judgments according to the culture, interests and ethical and moral framework of those who make the analysis.

All companies, products, and services have a brand image, even those that do not value, do not have a visual identity or do not manage it as such, those that do not control the way they communicate with their audiences. It is enough for companies, products, and services to existing for them to have a public perception, for them to have a brand image.

It is possible to act with strategic sense, defining the desired brand image from which the brand and its personality are defined. Brand personality corresponds to a set of characteristics or human traits that distinguish it in a market, while the brand is a key concept, main ideas, feelings and values about something (Olins, 1978).

On the other hand, when developing a brand's visual identity, Branding, Design and Marketing companies rarely have data that characterize the corporate identity and the market and socio-cultural context in which the brand will move. This is mainly because most companies do not have mechanisms of self-analysis, which allow them to characterize and monitor themselves in terms of identity (Balmer, 2001; Costa, 2004).

Most business plans focus on the relationship between operational and production components and their relationship with distribution and sales to specific audiences, as compared to competing offerings. This scenario contributes to differentiation factors and the value of products and services based on operative components that can be difficult to perceive and that tend to limit design intervention to applied components, whether cosmetic or persuasive (Costa, 2008; Raposo et al., 2017). A set of characteristics that weaken the competitiveness of products and services, to the extent that they reduce understanding and differentiation and above all because they hinder utilitarian, symbolic and economic valorization, increasing their wear and tear and reducing the life cycle (Costa, 2004; Raposo, 2018).

Balmer (2001) states that most approaches to visual identity, brand management, and its communication were product-centered and only later moved to company scale, including the study of corporate culture and the emergence of strategic business identity management courses that were in the early 1990s. On the other hand, corporate identity has been studied and considered from different perspectives and disciplines, without any consensus, which leads to further confusion. On the other hand, a misconception has been established that any change in corporate identity implies changes in visual identity, something that should occur in certain cases (Balmer, 2001).

The purpose of this chapter is to define a model to define the Brand Identity based on Corporate Identity.

Our main objectives are as follows: (1) Define and delimit the concept of Corporate Identity, explaining its connection to Corporate Culture, explaining their differences; (2) Present the Corporate Identity as the core of Brand Identity, Brand Personality, and Brand Visual Identity; (3) Highlight Corporate Identity and Brand Identity as strategic assets for competitiveness and business innovation; (4) Define a theoretical model to characterize Corporate Identity and Brand Personality.

In terms of methodology, the literature review and the study of descriptive cases were chosen.

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