The corporate identity is the set of graphic-visual items conveying the same message, separately and jointly. This message is the concept the company wants the public to build of it. To achieve this communicative aim, the point of departure is a corporate identity element essential to get into the market, the corporate Logo. We say that we start from the Logo because it is the first link on the chain of components composing corporate identity and, as the first component, it must, and it wants to, establish a criterion. This criterion will be, and must, be respected by the other components. Keeping strong parameters makes each element of the set convey the same and unique message. Respecting this criterion is very important because otherwise customers will be confused and they will not understand what the company is telling them. And it is not only important because the confusion in itself is not desirable but, actually, because given a certain target group, it will feel affinity with certain things and rejection towards others. For example, if half of the corporate identity components convey compromise with tradition and the other half innovation, it will never be able to satisfy the tastes of any target group. However, if all components convey the same message, it will be able to catch the attention of one group or the other.
In this environment, the Web site enters vigorously. This is an essential component of a firm’s image. In recent years, the use and importance of Internet as mass communication means have increased and promoted to make it become the most consulted medium on the market. Given this predominance, the function fulfilled by a Web site on the creation of an appropriate corporate identity is very important.
A Web site must respect the parameters established by the previous corporate identity components without leaving aside its particular features that, in the special case of a site, are many and very varied. It is crucial that every new corporate identity component keeps its special features, making an effort to stay within the limits established by the other components. A company’s Web site plays a crucial role on the creation of its identity because it has a very interesting place, because it specially represents it and because it has a distinguishing feature forcing it to rigorously respect the parameters.
The very interesting place we are talking about is its appearance and the task of promoting the company on the information means and business transactions leading the market. The importance of a Web site is not the same as the importance of a newspaper ad. Some time ago, the importance of a newspaper ad was unbeatable. As time went by, this situation changed because consumers are more interested in how a firm is shown on the Internet than how it is shown in a newspaper.
The special representation we are talking about is the role a site has acquired, given the fact that thousands and thousands of new companies have entered into the market. The saturation caused by this massive arrival saturation has made that the companies are not recognized any longer by its buildings, by the area where they operate, by their works or owners, and become ideas, concepts, abstractions. Today, buildings do not represent the company and they are not a reference point for the public and that function is fulfilled by the corporate Web site. Given this special place, it is essential for the company’s page to rigorously stay within the parameters established to send a message in common.
Finally, since Web sites have the particular feature of interacting with the public, it is important that the potential customers’ interlocutor is a component perfectly in tune with the company’s interests. It is useless (and really harming, in fact) that the most important contact the company has with the people is out of sync with the parameters taking care and guaranteeing that the corporate message is the appropriate one. It is very important that the Web site stays within the criterion and that it can also fully develop its abilities and particular and distinguishing features.
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