Differentiating and communicating your product's unique value to your slice of the global marketplace is becoming more difficult and expensive every day. And with the rising costs of R&D and development necessary to create products that really do offer something exclusive and different, just one expensive, ineffective branding or marketing campaign can mean death. But there is a way for companies to stack the deck in their favor--have a very strong corporate brand. |
Strong Corporate Branding can empower any product that company puts out with instant reputation and value that differentiates it in ways that simply can't be reproduced with a product-focused marketing campaign. It's much like how a family's reputation can precede that of an individual family member, resulting in very real pre-judgment and prejudices about that person. In fact, the true nature of the individual may prove inconsequential if his family's reputation is strong enough. People will already have their mind made up about him, good or bad, before they ever meet him.
Just as a family tries to create and protect a good reputation, every conscientious corporation should create and protect a favorable corporate brand. The tools for doing so are the same as those used in product branding, but the work transcends the corporate hierarchy into the boardroom where issues like relations with shareholders, media, competitors, government and many others become part of the strategy. Not surprisingly, an effective corporate branding strategy requires significant effort from the CEO and senior management.
Also, be advised that corporate branding and corporate identity are two different things. A corporate identity strategy, an exercise where the company's logo, design style, color scheme and tagline is created or reworked, may be a component of a corporate branding strategy, it's not the whole thing.
Corporate identity is just the glossy marketing façade. A strong corporate branding program ensures a consistent brand image and experience throughout an organization.
Successful corporate branding involves establishing a long-term vision for the company, carving out pronounced niches in the marketplace and boosting the reach and recognition of the company and its leaders on a global scale.
Some companies with outstanding corporate brands include Microsoft, Intel, Singapore Airlines, Disney, CNN, Samsung and Mercedes-Benz. When your company has a brand like these, mergers and acquisitions are also smoother as was the case with financial powerhouses HSBC and Citibank's vast number of acquisitions in recent years. Eventually, the brand equities of the banks these two behemoths took over were completely absorbed by HSBC and Citibank. This kind of brand strength takes a long time to establish and a great deal of research and tracking to see through to maturity, but it's not as difficult as it sounds. Today's branding research tools are very sophisticated, yet very easy to use.
Related Articles -
Brand, Branding, Brands,