The terms "Corporate Identity" and "Brand" are thrown around a lot in marketing. Many people consider them synonyms. They're not.
So...what's the difference?
"Corporate Identity" is what your business LOOKS like to the outside observer--your potential clients and customers and suppliers. Your logo. Your catch phrase. Your handouts. Your fonts and colors.
But your BRAND is more than that. It's the emotional feeling behind it. The trust. The confidence. The assurance that your business is what they want and need.
The two, your Identity and your Brand, need to work together to say: here's who I am, and here are the promises I make to you!
I found a couple of really good articles that explain it in depth:
One of my favorite Brands that most are familiar with is Target. These guys have it figured out! Everything about Target identifies who they are. Their commercials have that crisp, clean, edgy feel to them. Their newspaper circulars feel the same. Bright white, pops of red, and a little bit of retro (but in a good way) wraps it into a neat little package. You can tell a Target ad without even seeing the logo. Walk into the store and, yep, it feels like their ads. And to drive it home, their slogan is "Expect More. Pay Less." Which is EXACTLY what they offer us as customers. They offer nice merchandise for a reasonable price. And they do it in a way that we know and trust.
So, what does YOUR business need; an Identity or a Brand? Both. Ask yourself, is your logo representing your business? What about your marketing materials, or your website? Is it clear to your potential clients what you do, or sell? What about your promise to them that you can deliver exactly what they expect? And you can do it in a way to meet all of their needs and that they want to come back for more. Oh, and that you can do it better than the other guys.
Your Corporate Identity tells them who you are, but your Brand tells them what values you stand for. Make sure BOTH are working for you and your business!