Since the dawn of time, people have been building their external image, among other things, by having something that others do not have. In young children, these are often cool pictures, which they now and again exchange. Big and very big children also use pictures, but they already use a little bit different ones, e.g. inscriptions on t-shirts, the logo of a particular company on bags, etc., but they are much less ready to exchange these attributes of the external image, because… they are more valuable to them, they have integrated them a little bit more with the image inside themselves (it’s mine!), which means that these (in this case: someone else’s) things are already an integral part of e.g. their self-esteem. And if the internal image, after many subsequent acquisitions or own creations, is consistent with the external image, then identity is created. A true identity, today called authenticity.
This life-long process, the process of agreeing with myself who I actually am, is what can give real meaning to my own life. But only if we accept that this is a never-ending process and not a goal that we can achieve in a few days or weeks. The point is, in fact, that we will never really find out who we are, but we can always reflect on this and take concrete steps towards who we want to be? However, human impatience may not know the limits. And yes, you can cut off your external image from this (complete internal mess), and… start painting all over again. You can even go even further and start believing deeply in what you (after all) have painted yourself. And so, an identity is created, as if only for external use, but actually for many, also for internal use. It is as if a real, whole egg consists only of shells. One can imagine its resilience. But, its total absence does not prevent these eggshells from being painted in the most beautiful patterns and colours and exchanged all over (how much are these brands/eggshells worth?), like… Easter, but empty eggs.
The same applies to the company’s internal and external image, and thus its identity. This identity can be treated as the mentioned (cheap, because empty) Easter egg, but will it really meet the conditions necessary to gain and maintain “trust: (…) the intersubjective recognition of her (company, author’s note) to prove itself in the eyes of others”? (Defoe). After all, “professional proving oneself through the permanently accumulated trust in one’s own >name< is directed towards the whole period of professional existence, and in some cases even beyond that, towards the period of many generations”. (Reckwitz)