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PRMM901: Corporate Identity and Branding

Assessment 2: Essay – Essay

Liang BIAN 4041124

Word count: 1444

1. Introduction

Corporate identity is a tern that defines the overall image of a company in the minds of customers, employees and other stakeholders, and a corporate identity differentiates a company from the other companies (Knapp et al., 2001; Hatch, and Schultz, 2003). Corporate identity is not limited to corporate branding and it is important for companies to manage their distinct identity to gain a competitive advantage in the fierce competition (Herbig and Milewicz, 1995), especially in the contemporary, where the business environment becomes much more complicated and the corporate identity landscape becomes more active and crowded; Balmer and Seonen (1997) has developed a framework called ACID Test to help the companies identify the corporate image, and later modified the initial model into a more advanced version, the AC2ID Test (See Appendix A), which consists of five identities, including actual identity, communicated identity, conceived identity, ideal identity and desired identity (Balmer and Greyser, 2002). This paper aims to discuss the five identities involved in the AC2ID Test and how the REDS process can help manage the corporate identity with a selected company, Apple Inc..

2. Company Overview

Apple Inc. is a United States multinational corporation which is headquartered in Cupertino, California (Apple Inc., 2013). The company majorly focuses in manufacturing and selling consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers, with a large range of world widely famous products, such as the Mac, the iTunes, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. The company has many achievements. Apple Inc. ranks as the second largest information technology in the world, with a total of 394 retail stores in 14 countries by the end of 2012 and an approximately $156 billion revenue in 2012 (Apple Inc., 2012, 2012a). Apple Inc. operates in a complex business environment. The macro-environment can be summarized on the base of the PESTL framework, and the significant forces are briefly demonstrated as follows:

Economic - The worldwide economy has experienced a volatile period during the past decade. In 2008, there was a global financial crisis which has negatively impacted almost all the economies in the world. However, many countries have soon recovered from the crisis and have achieved economic growth, while some countries still suffer. Sociocultural - In the recent years, the Internet seems to more appeal to people and the popularity of information technology products among consumers has increased dramatically, especially that of the smart mobile phones and tablet computers and laptops. Technological – In the past decade, the information technology industry has been witnessed with rapid developments and many excellent players within this industry have become giant multinational corporation and ranked into the world’s top group, such as Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc..

3. AC2ID Test Model

Balmer (2001, 2001a) modified the original ACID Test model and developed the new AC2ID test model by adding an extra ‘C’ that is the conceived identity (see Appendix A), forming the ‘5+10’ principle, which is the five identities and the ten types of relationship between them; and the REDS approach is adopted in the model.

• Actual Identity
The actual identity refers to the current attributes of the company that is determined by a range of elements, such as the organizational structure, leadership style, the products and the services of the company, and the values held by the management and employees.

• Communicated Identity
The communicated identity refers to the corporate identity mainly revealed by the corporate communication that is controlled by the company and derives from the uncontrollable communication. Specifically, controllable communication consists of...
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