Although you might not intend to, you most likely make judgments of others based on visual perceptions. Do not be upset: humans rely on their eyes to make decisions about their environments and the other people in them. Marketers and advertising analysts understand how people’s minds work and the importance of visual cues. These professionals analyze the impact a company’s logo has on the public. A business’ logo can cause people to see the firm in a particular light, even if that vision has no bearing on reality.

Defining Corporate Identity

A corporate identity refers to the color schemes, designs and words that a company uses to communicate its business philosophy. Through its corporate identity, a firm tells the world how it views itself and how it wants the rest of the world to see it. People associate companies with their corporate identities. For example, everyone who sees the iconic silver circle with three lines meeting in a point recognizes the symbol as Mercedes Benz’s logo.

The Need for Analysis

In 2002, the Mars Confectionary Company and Pedigree Masterfoods Company merged into one unit, called Masterfoods. Masterfoods operates in three sectors: candies; a field termed “savory meals”; and pet care. The new company created a logo, which it hoped the public would recognize and associate with Masterfoods. Four years after the merger, Masterfoods announced it was reviewing its corporate branding strategy. The company reported that customers did not recognize the logo, and thus did not recognize the firm.


Analyzing people’s perceptions of a corporation’s identity requires research. Marketers and researchers must examine not only the company’s logo and how others see it; they must also evaluate competitors’ logos, and whether these competitors have more success in the field than the company in question. Analysts use focus groups to discover what the average person thinks about a company’s visual identity, and whether he associates the logo with the company with both ease and frequency.

Related Corporations

Companies in a similar field can sometimes give researchers an idea of how consumers see a company through its logo. For example, a high-end jewelry company would wish to create an association between its logo and the traits of exclusivity, quality and history. This jewelry firm might examine how other companies in the luxury goods market communicate these ideals. Even if these other businesses do not sell jewelry, they do sell the same concepts: limited edition products of the highest standards with an excellent reputation.