The impact of organisational characteristics on corporate visual identity

Annette L.M. van den Bosch, Wim J.L. Elving, Menno D.T. de Jong

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    74 Citations (Scopus)
    27 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a research model to investigate corporate visual identity (CVI) management from an organisational perspective. It is assumed that characteristics of the organisation and of the way a CVI is managed will affect consistency of CVI.

    Design/methodology/approach: The model was tested in a survey carried out among employees in 20 Dutch organisations. Structural equation modelling with AMOS was conducted to get insight into the various influences and relationships.

    Findings: CVI management characteristics – socialisation processes related to CVI, knowledge of CVI strategy, and CVI tools and support – have a strong impact on the consistency of CVI, and organisational characteristics affect the way CVI is managed. With the exception of the openness and dynamics of an organisation, no supporting evidence was found for a direct relationship between organisational characteristics and CVI consistency.

    Research limitations/implications: CVI has been measured by the judgement of the respondents, all employees of the organisation concerned. Therefore the measure was the perceived consistency of CVI. Further research could include a visual audit and the perception of external stakeholders towards the visual identity. There was no distinction examined among the main corporate visual identity and sub‐ or product brands. The study was conducted in the Netherlands, where the Dutch term huisstijl is unambiguous and clearly related to the corporate brand or identity. Future research can take different brands into account or can broaden the concept of CVI (including cultural aspects, language, rituals, myths, etc.).

    Practical implications: The results indicate that CVI management matters, that CVI management is related to more general organisational characteristics, but that communication managers nevertheless have a considerable amount of freedom in determining the way they manage their CVI.

    Originality/value: Corporate visual identity has received little attention in research and hardly been studied at all from the perspective of this paper. This paper has value to both researchers in the fields of corporate identity and organisational identity, as well as professionals involved in managing the corporate identity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)870-885
    JournalEuropean journal of marketing
    Issue number7/8
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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