Corporate Brand Identity Matrix – latest YouTube video

Following our first YouTube Community Poll, we have released our latest content for the channel. The video is a short explainer that introduces the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix. You can watch the video here:

Of course, if you prefer, you can get the gist by reading what comes next.

Introducing the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix

We often work with organisations that need help shaping and defining their identity. It can be to instil a growth mindset or overcome communication challenges between certain departments.

There is usually one person in the room who dismisses defining core values or setting a vision as “fluff” or “marketing speak”. When this happens, it is useful to refer to the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix.

Developed by Stephen Greyser and Mats Urde, the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix provides a useful framework for considering how the organisation is perceived. The matrix consists of three rows of three boxes.  The top row consists of three external elements, the bottom row three internal elements, and the middle row presents three dual elements than span both.

The dual elements of brand identity

At the heart of the Matrix is Brand Core, which represents the essence of the brand. It is often expressed as a delivery promise and is reflected in all other components of the matrix. The Brand Core is both internal and external, as it underpins both how the organisation operates and how it is perceived. Core values sit within this box. They are internal, as organisational values should shape behaviours and communication whilst providing a reference point for decisions. They are also external, as the decisions we make and how we conduct ourselves will influence how we are perceived by others.

The other two elements that sit on the middle row are:

  • Expression – how we communicate with others; and
  • Personality – how we behave towards others.

As core values underpin many of the interactions in these other two elements, the importance of having them clearly defined is highlighted.

Corporate Brand Identity Matrix

The internal elements of brand identity

Values are also a fundamental component of Culture – the culmination of how we work, how we behave and our attitudes. Culture sits in the bottom row, creating the foundation of the organisation together with:

  • The Mission and Vision – those things that engage and inspire the people within the organisation; and
  • Competencies – those things that we do well or can do better than the competition.

These are the internal elements of the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix.

The external elements of brand identity

The external elements appear across the top row of the matrix, consisting of:

  • The Value Proposition: the distinguishing idea behind our offering to customers and stakeholders;
  • Relationships – how we intend to engage with those customers and stakeholders; and
  • Position – where we want to be in the market that we operate it, how we want our key customers and stakeholder to think about us.

Why is the Corporate Brand Identity Matrix useful?

By considering each of the nine elements of the matrix, you are able to see how they relate to each other. This is particularly important when it comes to the key elements of:

  • strategy,
  • communication,
  • competition, and
  • how well our values and culture resonate with others.

The stronger the links, the more cohesive (and therefore stronger) the overall brand.

Whilst the original work was concerned with defining and aligning the brand identity of large corporations, you can use the matrix within smaller organisations. It can help you to shape and define a coherent approach to business development.

The framework allows you to explore, understand and create the linkages needed for the organisation to be successful. Enabling growth whilst avoiding the common pitfalls associated with businesses expansion.

Link to original article:

The video was originally inspired, and is based on, the article What Does Your Corporate Brand Stand For? (, as published in the Harvard Business Review in the January-February 2019 edition.