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Part 3: What is corporate design?

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Recognition, competition, trust - these 3 factors are directly related to the design of a company. This and the question of what this actually has to do with relationship marketing is explored in more detail here.

Welcome to part 3 of our series of articles on relationship marketing. In Part 1, we introduced what this actually is, why values are so important, and what value-based interaction between people and brands is all about. You can read part 1 here.

In Part 2, we turned the spotlight on the exciting topic of brand personality. Again, we explained what it is exactly and how it relates to relationship marketing. You can find that part here.

And again we redirect our spotlight and in part 3 on: Corporate Design! We address the question of what that is exactly and of course: what does it actually have to do with relationship marketing? Here we go.

What is corporate design?

Just as you don't know Max without Moritz, Mickie without Minnie, and even Dick & Doof (Stan and Olli) only meet in a double pack, the same is true in marketing: a professional brand appearance is only possible in combination with corporate design. 

The comparison with famous couples in history gives an idea of what this is all about: a professional brand cannot be recognized and referred to as such if it does not have a uniform public appearance. And this is exactly what corporate design is all about. 

Corporate design - CD for short - is the conceptualized, uniform appearance of a company or brand that is perceived as such both internally and externally. Corporate design can be understood as a kind of map that describes who you (the company) are, where and what you stand for, and where you want to go. 

The corporate design is the DNA of a company. And ideally, this should be reflected in everything: The packaging of the products, in the logo, in the interior design of your own offices, posters, social media postings, online marketing to the letterhead. Corporate design includes all selected design elements such as colors, fonts, font sizes, etc., which enable the uniform presentation. 

Above the CD is the corporate identity - also called corporate identity or CI for short. Here, companies and brands define how the communication style should be, how public behaviors are designed, values, corporate philosophy and so on. 

Key elements

Finding and defining a corporate design is not difficult in its basic features. It is important that there is a well thought-out concept from the beginning and that the focus is on recognition. 

The corporate design is reflected in these elements: 

  • Brand or company logo 

  • the slogan/ claim 

  • color concept with scheme

  • layout guidelines as well as layout prohibitions 

  • Style for texts and images

  • brand presence on website and social media 

  • professional clothing, business equipment and advertising material

  • advertising material and packaging 

  • public appearance at trade fairs and events 

Once the design is defined, it should be reflected in all of these elements. If the logo is designed as being in a shade of yellow, that should naturally appear on the company T-shirts in the same shade of yellow as well. 

What do we need corporate design for? 

A corporate design concept can have a positive effect on sales, because it makes the company or brand more visible to interested parties and potential customers. A clear assignment to a brand is possible in the case of a presented offer, and if there are already positive experiences, companies can benefit from a leap of faith. 

This benefit arises in detail for companies:

  1. Recognition value: A logo that has been seen by prospects on social media can be recognized on another channel. The more often this design is presented and seen, the more likely it is that people will automatically associate a hue with a brand (Red with white: Coca Cola; Yellow M - McDonalds).

  2. Positioning: A well thought-out, stringent design communicates to the public what a brand stands for. 

  3. Competition: Appearance is crucial for positioning the company in the competitive environment and setting it apart from the competition. 

  4. Trust: A uniform design concept conveys reliability. If this design is then seen more frequently and positive experiences have also been made, the design is representative of the quality of the company in the long term and trust is built up among customers. 

Of course, corporate design has several other advantages. However, it is clear that a uniform appearance is important. 

Relationship marketing and corporate design 

So what is the connection between corporate design and relationship marketing? And is there also one to brand personalities? 

In Part 2, we learned that identification can be improved with the human characteristics that are assigned to a brand in the context of a brand personality. So people no longer identify with price or a product. No - identification takes place through a brand being perceived, for example, as the caregiver who always has good advice and can help with any problem. Or with the jester who always brings a smile through his appearance (as a brand). 

The connection between corporate design, relationship marketing and the brand personality lies in what we see -  the face to the personality, the image in front of your eye in a relationship, the visual appearance to the outside. 

One advantage of an elaborated corporate design concept is that, among other things, trust can be built up through recognition. Trust is also a decisive force for a relationship - both between people and between people and brands. 

It can also be classified as follows: building a consistent relationship is the goal, corporate design is a means of defining the identity of a company or brand, and this identity consists, among other things, of the brand personality. 


We have now reached the end of our series of articles on relationship marketing. What is clear is that relationships are highly significant in all phases, roles and situations of people and are co-created by both participating parties. 

When shaping the relationship between a brand or company and a person or consumer, companies should keep a number of things in mind so that an initial contact can grow into a relationship and subsequently a long-term bond. 

The possibilities are great, but it is crucial that the implementation is both consistent and documented accordingly. Because only a documented guideline can be understood, followed up and implemented by all those involved in the company. 

So much to read and still not enough? No problem, our blog has a lot to offer! 

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