Department of Management

Corporate visual identity: exploring the dogma of consistency

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to conceptually and empirically explore and challenge the dogma of Corporate visual identity (CVI) consistency. The goal is to nuance the current polarized debate of consistency or no consistency. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research strategy is employed in this paper. Specifically, the empirical work rests on an interview study with strategists from ten different CVI agencies. The interview transcripts are analyzed using template analysis. Findings: In terms of findings, both empirical and conceptual arguments for and against CVI consistency are presented. Many of these arguments rest on conflicting assumptions of CVI communication, CVI authenticity and CVI management, which all influence the debate of CVI consistency. Practical implications: CVI practitioners are presented with a more reflective approach to dealing with consistency and hands on examples for inspiration. Originality/value: This paper offers alternative and more nuanced conceptualizations of CVI consistency. This includes seeing consistency and inconsistency as ends of a spectrum to be balanced rather than mutually exclusive and by differentiating between consistency across platforms and consistency over time – coined CVI continuity. Furthermore, several future research areas that can help to further develop the field of CVI are suggested.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCorporate Communications
Pages (from-to)342-356
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Agencies, Consistency, Corporate visual identity, Corporate visual identity management

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