Corporate Identity: Today’s Politics


How do you recognize your favorite brands? By what they do? Their logo? The places and ways they make themselves known? Perhaps even their colors? Everything that you recognize, all of the moving parts of a brand, forms the corporate identity.

Political parties play a huge role in America. Primarily, we have two large political parties– corporations, if you will – that brand and identify themselves with traits and characteristics audiences will be able to identify. The Republican party has a logo of an elephant, the Democratic party a donkey. The Republican party primarily brands with the color red, the Democratic party with the color blue. The Republican party is well-known for holding traditional, conservative values, while the Democratic party promotes itself as built for change. Both identities allow the audience (American citizens) to recognize the party with all of their promotional materials.

To create specific corporate profiles for today’s political parties is to understand the ways the organizations are seen by the public, to recognize how the signs that represent each party are both received and transformed into a corporate image. How does a corporate identity differ from that of a corporate image? A corporate image is the official self-image or ‘reputation’ of a given organization, while the corporate identity is the collection of signs and symbols people associate with it. The two, therefore, consist of complementary parts that feed off each other. The recognition of the brand behind each of the two political parties comes from the communication each party constructs for itself according to ‘external’ impressions by the audience. These perceptions are often based on controlled messages (ads, releases, political slogans, logos, and even endorsements) put forth by the parties, allowing the organizations to help mold the image. In turn, the corporate identity can change as decision makers (party leaders) take these impressions into account.

The corporate identity of both the Democratic and Republican parties are influenced by their persuasiveness and credibility, or rhetorical power, in a world filled with signs and symbols. Each slogan, logo and ad must transfer rhetorical messages that connect with voters and call them to act. Do you think the symbols our country’s political parties use appropriately convey their brand? How do you interpret and connect with these symbols? Do you feel as though the “symbols” of each party were more relevant this year than with past elections? Let us know!