IDENTITY, IMAGE, AND REPUTATION
An Identity is conveyed by the company's colorful logos, its artistic designs, creative Web site, and business cards. Corporate identity has become an important tool for the promotion of corporate culture and companies. Corporate identity is the image used by a company which is designed to portray the company's identity, aims and objectives. Corporate identity is demonstrated by branding and trademarks. Logos are a part of corporate identity which contributes to success and recognition, which is not to be confused with logos. The world of business is hugely competitive and is comprised of thousands of logos. Out of those thousands only a few survive to become famous.
Example: you identify McDonalds by its big M.
A company image is the combination of the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, opinions and visions people have about you, your products and services, or your company. The look of your image backs up the corporate culture you've established inside and outside your firm. It's what you want to convey about yourself, your business, your product, your work ethic, and your professionalism combined with the strategy you've developed to reach your target audience.
It's so important because your image instantly tells all your customers and vendors what kind of company you're running. If your image is excellent, it will make your company stand out from its competitors.
Example: When you think of Starbucks, the vision, feelings and thoughts you get is of a good coffee.
Reputation is built up over time and not simply a perception at a given point in time. It is a product of both internal and external constituencies. It is based on the perception of all constituencies. It is the reputation that builds brands and super-brands, it is reputation that makes organization qualify for FORTUNE's 500, etc.