The concept of corporate identity has become an important business phenomenon in the marketplace. However, in spite of this, there are limited studies that focus wholly on the critical factors that trigger its manifestation. Studies that discuss the factors that trigger the manifestation of corporate identity in the marketplace do so parenthetically. This paper makes a departure from such parenthetic analysis by developing a theoretical framework, which explicates forms of manifestation of corporate identity and the multifaceted factors that trigger them.

This objective is accomplished through a review of literature grounded in the disciplines of marketing, organizational theory, architecture, corporate social responsibility, and strategy. The framework of manifestation, which includes generic, distinctive, transformative, and innovative corporate identities, provides deeper insight into the nature of corporate identity. In addition, the framework sheds light into the important factors that need to be consciously managed in order to achieve desired corporate identity and corporate image in today’s competitive marketplace.

This paper has been divided into six dominant sections and this section constitutes the first. The paper continues in the second, third, fourth, and fifth sections with the development of a framework of manifestations, which emerge through generic, distinct, transformational, and innovative business activities. The paper ends with a discussion of findings in the sixth section.