Corporate identity mix: does your organization have a clear identity?

Corporate identity mix: is the identity of your organization clear?

Do you want to learn more about what a corporate identity mix is and how to clarify this for your organization?

It makes sense, because a clear identity is essential for your organization. You want to leave the right impression on your target audiences. This only happens when you know who you are. Sometimes organizations believe they have achieved a lot with just a slogan or mission. However, there is more to consider when it comes to identity. Do you know exactly what your organization is and how it portrays itself to the outside world?


An identity does not only answer the question 'Who are we?' but also 'What do we want?' and 'What can we do?'  It is important that the identity of an organization aligns with the demands and desires of external target audiences and internal employees. Organizations often place a lot of value on the image that external target audiences create of them. However, it is important not to forget about the employees as well. They ultimately represent and project the identity to the outside world. If employees do not support or correctly convey the organisation's identity, there is a risk that the external identity will be shaped differently.

Corporate identity mix

An organization presents her identity to its environment with the components of the corporate identity mix. When an organization wants to map out or change its identity, this mix becomes a useful tool. The corporate identity mix consists of the personality that is expressed through:

  • Communication,
  • Design and
  • Behaviour

As you can see in the model below, ideally, your image is a reflection of your identity. The better and clearer you convey your identity, the greater the chance that your image aligns with your identity.


HM corporate identity mix


The personality of an organization consists of core values: they tell you where an organization stands and what makes her unique. Examples of core values are: safety, adventure and clarity. These values determine the communication expressions of the organization.


Communication is an appropriate means to convey the personality of the organization. Through communication, you can convey a message to your target audiences. It is important that the message aligns with the behavior of the organization.


PostNL positions itself as a market leader in mail delivery in the Netherlands. Suppose there are many issues that arise at a specific time during mail delivery, then PostNL does not live up to its promised behavior.


Behavior consists of the daily actions of the organization. How does the organization (employees) interact with customers? How does it act during discussions? And does it keep its promises? This type of behavior also forms a part of the personality.


Organizations are becoming more and more alike. A strong and unique visual identity ensures differentiation. This includes elements such as the corporate design, logo, website, and the office building. A symbolism visualizes the personality and creates an image of the organization.

A strong corporate identity:

  • aligns with the core activities;
  • aligns with the organization as a whole;
  • is in line with the organization's roots;
  • is distinctive;
  • appeals to different target audiences.

For example, the Sint Maartenskliniek hospital in Nijmegen communicates its identity and ambitions in four stories. 

Have you mapped out our corporate identity mix?

Once the identity of your organisation has been mapped out, you can proceed with defining the buyer personas. This is an essential part of Inbound Marketing. Do you want to learn more about the topic? Check out our page 'Inbound Marketing: A powerful magnet for leads'.


Source: Michels, Drs. W.J. (2006), Communicatie Handboek. Groningen: Wolters-Noordhoff bv