The communicational value of the corporate logo Case: IBM Finland

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objectives of the study The objective of this study was to identify the communicational value that corporation logos have for their internal and external audiences. Logos provide a tool for audiences to recognise and value an organisation but the main functions that global corporations’ logos evoke in the observers may vary from the corporations’ intended purposes. Which aspects are significant in a corporate logo design and which are the required factors in order to create powerful and one of the most recognized logos in the world? Has the corporate logo been linked to the image of the company? Once the positioning of the valuable and recognizable logo is completed, how will the future be constructed in terms of the company’s graphical design? These questions were focused on when researching the case company IBM’s logo image and exploring its current logo’s prolonged existence. Summary The methods used in the study were internal interviews at IBM Finland and focus group surveys of people who had no relation to the company. In addition, analyses of IBM and two other technology corporations’ logos in the same industry were used as part of methodology. These analyses were accomplished in order to outline likely existing logo design trends in the case company’s logo history. The data were analyzed by Melewar and Saunder’s CVI framework (2000, p.358). Conclusions The thesis showed that the corporate logo can provide various images for the viewers but the knowledge of the company behind the logo was not necessarily as strong. The essentiality of providing the company’s products or services behind the logo, especially when internal changes in the company are occurring, is strong. Visibility for the logo is important particularly if the logo’s use is to continue also in the company’s future businesses. Minor changes in IBM’s present logo were suggested since the meaning of the logo should support the theme of the core business, its central abiding message, instead of characterizing the product industry.
Corporate communications, corporate design, corporate image, corporate logo, Corporate Visual Identity (CVI), IBM, International Business Communications
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