Corporate identity is a concept, which reveals how an organisation portrays itself in ways that it can be differentiated from other rivals in the industry. It refers to the mode of communication culture and symbols that are specific to the company. Corporate identity is closely linked to the corporate image, which refers to how the public views the company based on how it interacts with people from the place where it is located. An organisation should strive to ensure that its corporate identity concurs with its corporate image such that it can attract consumers. Using the Emirates Airline Company as a case study, the discussion will show that corporate identity can be used to achieve the goal and vision of an organisation.
Corporate identity refers to the manner in which an organisation displays itself through its culture, mode of communication, and symbols. It entails the organisation’s features that consistently exist in the business for a prolonged period in a way that it is distinctive. Pérez and Rodríguez del Bosque reveal how corporate identity helps companies in designing marketing strategies and recognising the tactics that work best for the organisation (148). The concept has developed in the past 50 years to the extent of being incorporated in large institutions (Bloch 33).
It is founded on the precept that when the public comprehends an organisation precisely, the management is well placed to accomplish the goal and vision of the organisation (Schmeltz 235). Although almost every company has a corporate identity, some businesses are formal while others are informal. Corporate identity appears in various forms, which include monolithic, branded, and endorsed identity (Batraga and Rutitis 1545). Despite the nature of the commercial distinctiveness, what matters is how an organisation operates its corporate identity to benefit itself (Otubanjo and Amujo 404).
Thus, the management has the role of ensuring that the corporate communications segment conveys the organisation’s image and its purpose. Management should strive to guarantee no conflict between corporate identity and corporate image (Otubanjo and Amujo 409). Corporate image refers to how people know a company and distinguish it from its competitors. The purpose of this paper is to analyse how Emirates Airline Company’s corporate identity is in concurrence with its corporate image. The goal is to show how the company’s corporate identity helps it to achieve its goal and vision.
In the data collection process, this study combined both qualitative and quantitative techniques. The essence of using both data collection techniques was because they helped in retrieving statistical data concerning Emirates Airline Company’s progress following the introduction of a proper corporate identity. The qualitative method was essential since it helped in getting information from the employees, investors, and consumers on how they received the company. The study also incorporated exploratory and conclusive research approach. The exploratory research approach focuses on gaining all information that is relevant to the problem. It can help to tackle the issue. The approach is an important tool in the initial steps in the decision-making process.
The conclusive research method was necessary because it helped in analysing the results of the study. To check the impact of corporate identity on the image and growth of the Emirates Airline Company, the company’s updated annual reports were collected. Moreover, interviews were conducted with staff members, top managers, investors, and consumers of the company’s services. The three elements of corporate identity, namely communication, behaviour, and symbolism were also measured using various techniques.
To check the behaviour of the Emirates Airline Company, organisational climate studies were conducted. Communication audits were also conducted to measure communication whilst symbolism was measured by analysing the graphic audits. Appendix 1 shows the questionnaire was administered to 40 respondents who comprised consumers and the company’s employees. The questionnaire captures questions that the researcher can use to investigate whether the company’s corporate identity has had any recommendable impact on its performance.
The responses from the given questionnaire provide an excellent ground for gauging the impact that corporate identity has had on the company’s success. Overall, the results of the 40 respondents who included the company’s employees, investors, and consumers confirm that corporate identity has positively influenced Emirates Airline Company’s success. This claim is evident based on the respondents’ basic knowledge and awareness of the issue of corporate identity, its role in the company, and the corporate identity forms that the corporation has deployed to make its image superior relative to that of its competitors. From the findings, it is evident that a huge majority of the respondents are aware of the corporation’s mission to work on its performance by enhancing its corporate identity. The table 1 below shows this finding.
|Corporate Identity Awareness|
Table 1: Corporate Identity Awareness.
In terms of the respondents’ comprehension of the various corporate identity forms that the company deploys to boost its image, table 2 and chart 1 below show the findings.
|Corporate Identity Forms|
Table 2: Corporate Identity Forms.
In terms of whether the company’s annual reports, climate studies, and communication audits reflected its image and growth, positive behaviour, and excellent communication modes respectively, 82%, 87%, and 81% gave a positive response. The implication is that Emirates Airline Company has successfully deployed these strategies to market itself against its competitors.
When responding to the company’s conventional thinking approach to its corporate identity, a huge 93% declared the method impressive. The unconventional approach has enabled the company to propel its way to becoming a top airline business in the industry. The corporate invested in luxurious aircrafts to attract clients, although this situation meant that that it had to cater for the high expenses of maintaining the aircrafts. For instance, in 2012-13 financial years, the company spent an estimated US$127 per barrel of fuel.
Moreover, it catered even for more expenses due to the fluctuation in oil prices. Thus, the organisation was forced to remain flexible enough to acclimatise to the changes in the company. Creating a corporate identity of an organisation that is flexible enough to adapt to the changing environment earns loyalty from both clients and investors.
According to the Emirates Group, Emirates Airline Company is among the fastest-growing airlines in the globe (3). Since its inception in 1985, the company has recorded a 25 percent annual interest with no losses in the past eighteen years. From the wealth that it has amassed over years, it has been able to purchase one of the most expensive aircrafts in the civil aviation industry. The aircraft is worth $19billion. In 2013, the organisation was categorised as number 19th in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI). This accomplishment can be largely backed by the huge investment the organisation has made in the financial institutions, hospitality, as well as airports.
The organisation began operations with two borrowed aeroplanes at a time when there was a conflict in Gulf and Dubai areas (Emirates Group 24). The chair of Emirates Airline invested about $10million in the business. He never received any financing from the government, unlike other airlines. He opted to create a different corporate that never focused on competitors but on the quality of service it offered to consumers.
Moreover, the head opted to adopt a management style that conflicted with the conventional style of management. Up to date, the company’s employees, management, and investors operate as a flexible family where every individual’s contribution is taken seriously. This family approach of managing the organisation creates a lot of structural flexibility since no stakeholder is restrained by the strict organisational precepts. In the same spirit of family approach, the organisation declined to appoint non-executive directors claiming that it did not have a board. Instead, it had an agenda of satisfying its clients (Emirates Group 26).
Moreover, the company has currently strived to create a corporate identity that incorporates the interest of the multi-cultural staff. The organisation has over 22,500 employees who are derived from about 90 countries. Managing the diverse cultures to ensure that they accomplish the goal is an immense challenge. However, the company has managed to use the diversity to its benefit. Most of the employees are situated in Dubai. Thus, they acclimatise to the Emirates culture after a while. Moreover, the salaries of the employees are paid according to the rates of their home countries as a way of saving on the cost of paying employees.
Emirates Airline Company has succeeded in creating a corporate image of a company that can be trusted to deliver quality services even during economic turmoil. For instance, despite the economic struggles in the Eurozone economic struggles, the organisation was committed to retaining consumer confidence through the provision of quality services. In the 2013-14 financial period, the organisation invested in the purchase of more 20 aircrafts. Moreover, to avoid suffering the cost of repaying heavy loans, the organisation has always resorted to purchasing its aircrafts through bonds, rather than bank loans.
Investors across the world have identified themselves with the Emirates brand. The organisation has been able to promote a corporate identity of accountability, transparency, and proper monetary reserves because of the positive corporate image that has inspired investors to continue investing in Emirates Airline Company through purchasing their bonds, despite the uncertainties in the global economy. The vision of Emirates Airline Company is to make civil aviation safe, leading, and sustainable. To achieve this vision, the organisation has a goal of attaining the top position by excelling in what it does.
It has designed a mission that is consistent with its vision. As per its mission, the corporation exists to offer the world’s best in-flight experience. This mission, vision, and goal create a corporate image of an organisation that is committed to providing quality services to clients such that it becomes the best in the civil aviation industry. Furthermore, the mission and vision statement also creates a roadmap that employees can follow whilst offering their services (Kleyn et al. 62).
To help people identify the company’s products in the market and general purpose, the business has a brand positioning that has been adjusted over years. Moreover, the logo not only creates integrity for the company in the market but also a harmonised corporate image. One of the logos that the company established in 2004 included the ‘keep discovering’ plan.
The plan implied that the company was committed to progressive development. Essentially, it would only rise to become a leader in the industry if it kept on discovering the potential. Indeed, it has progressed to become the best airline company in the Middle East. Currently, it is consistently establishing branches across the globe. In March 2012, the company adjusted its logo to ‘hello tomorrow’. With this aspiration, the organisation had the expectation of being the globe’s most admired carrier. It aimed at attracting new consumers who would eventually stir a global movement.
Apart from the distinctive logos, the company has promotional offers that differ from those of other companies. For instance, the company offers complimentary nights at Armani Hotel. It also has a promotion, namely ‘a tribute to grace’ where passengers and other clients would be awarded for buying air tickets. The company has embarked on sponsoring various sports clubs, which have in turn promoted it and its products to sports fanatics. For instance, the organisation has contracts with successful English football clubs to lure the huge population of fanatics.
It also allows its clients to book their tickets online as a way of reducing the long queues that discourage many potential clients. When the company introduced Africa as one of its destinations, it advertised Africa as one of the captivating destinations that travellers ought to visit with the purpose of attracting and retaining its clients to its new destination. Offering tour packages, which included hotel and car services, created a positive corporate image of the company to the public. Thus, the strategy successfully attracted more investors and clients in relation to its competitors (Emirates Group 26)
Moreover, it has strived to ensure that it caters for the different classes and clients’ needs. For instance, its products are offered in tripartite, namely first class, business class, and economy class. The nature of the luxurious services that are offered in the various classes differs. In the first class, there are full suites with different entries, a tiny bar, and an advanced in-flight entertainment plan.
The business class has partitions to enhance privacy, TV screens with huge inches, and a memory function in all seats to guarantee maximum entertainment to clients. The class also is endowed with 600 television screens to ensure that they enjoy their flight (Bloch 34). Furthermore, passengers are Gourmet Cuisine, irrespective of the classes. Apart from offering high-standard service to its clients, the company has a sub-branch of the Emirates Group that has invested highly in corporate social responsibility. It offers an educational scholarship to make the future of many youngsters become more certain.
It provides medical care to the deprived people in the society to enhance their quality of life. It also provides livelihood care to the underprivileged. Consumers have become more vigilant than in the previous years. They are not only attracted to the company because of its high-quality services or products but also the company’s ability to give back to the society. It creates a corporate image of an organisation that cares for its clients and the public in general.
The decision by the EU to issue oil embargo on Iran is anticipated to restrain the flow of oil from Iran to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Moreover, although the Emirates Airline Company has made efforts to attract and retain its clients, the Eurozone crisis continues to threaten the company’s European market. These challenges have made the stock and currency market volatile. Emirates Airline Company will be compelled to adjust its corporate identity to accommodate the existing challenges for it to retain the huge client base that it has attracted since its inception. The adjustment of the corporate identity will involve changing various concepts of the company such as its logo (Bloch 41).
The discussion in this paper has confirmed how corporate identity addresses the means through which the organisation portrays itself. It is important for an organisation’s corporate identity to harmonise its corporate identity with the corporate image so that the company can earn a good reputation in the public. Emirates Airline Company is one of the most prestigious airline companies around the globe and the best in the Middle East. Its success in the civil aviation industry has been because of the high-quality services that it provides to its services. It has established a corporate identity and corporate image that resonate with the public from across the globe.
Its unconventional way of thinking has helped the management and employees to work closely towards accomplishing the goals and vision of the organisation. Nonetheless, the ongoing challenges in the market will compel the company to review its corporate identity and adjust it to accommodate them.
Batraga, Anda, and Didzis Rutitis. “Corporate Identity within the Health Care Industry. Economics & Management 17.4(2012): 1545-1551. Print.
Bloch, Olga. Corporate Identity and Crisis Response Strategies: Challenges and Opportunities of Communication in Times of Crisis. Germany: Springer, 2014. Print.
Emirates Group. The Emirates Group Annual Report 2013-14, 2014. Web.
Kleyn, Nicola, Russell Abratt, Kerry Chipp, and Michael Goldman. “Building a Strong Corporate Ethical Identity: Key Findings from Suppliers.” California Management Review 543(2012): 61-76. Print.
Otubanjo, Olutayo, and Olusanmi Amujo. “A holistic corporate identity communications process.” Marketing Review 12.4(2012): 403-417. Print.
Pérez, Andrea, and Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque. “The Role of CSR in the Corporate Identity of Banking Service Providers.” Journal of Business Ethics 108.2(2012): 145-166. Print.
Schmeltz, Line. “Identical or Just Compatible? The Utility of Corporate Identity Values in Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility.” Journal of Business Communication 51.3(2014): 234-258. Print.
|Questionnaire for Employees and Consumers|
|Q.1||Would you, please, state your position in the company||Employee|
|Q. 2||If you are an employee, state your specific position in the company|
|Q.3||Do you understand the term corporate identity?|
|Q.4||Which corporate identity strategies does Emirates Airline Company deploy?|
|Q. 5||Do you think Emirates Airline Company’s corporate identity reflects the company’s image?|
|Q.6||Give a brief explanation to support your response to Q.5|
|Q.7||Do the company’s annual reports reflect its image and growth?|
|Q.8||Give a brief explanation to support your response to Q.7|
|Q.9||Do the company’s climate studies reflect its positive behaviour?|
|Q.10||Give a brief explanation to support your response to Q.9|
|Q.11||Do the company’s communication audits reflect any excellent communication modes?|
|Q.12||Give a brief explanation to support your response to Q.11|
|Q.13||How would you describe the company’s conventional thinking approach to its corporate image?|