In the World today, most markets are packed full with both large and small companies and over flowing with marketing messages. This has made for a difficult area to get your marketing message noticed. With the rising costs of getting a new product or service ready for the market, it has become even more important to cut through this confusion. One and probably the most important way of doing this is by having a corporate branding strategy.
"It is vitally important for any serious corporation to create and protect a strong corporate brand"
Powerful corporate branding can equip most any new product or service with instant credibility and value that simply can’t be reproduced with any sort of product-focused marketing campaign. That is why it is vitally important for any serious corporation that wishes its product offerings to be successful to create and protect a strong corporate brand.
How do you do that? Well, first throw away the notion that branding only involves marketing, i.e. putting an image out there. Yes, it involves that, but a huge part of it also entails relations with investors, media, competitors, government and others. Not surprisingly, these kind of “high-level” considerations require the equally “high-level” attention of such company officials as the CEO and senior management.
By the way, don’t confuse corporate branding with corporate identity
two completely different things. Corporate identity involves a company’s
logo and design strategy only. It is merely a component of an overall brand strategy
"Successful corporate branding is all about establishing a long-term vision for a company and crafting the company’s operations to meet that objective."
Some companies that do this well include Microsoft, Intel, Singapore Airlines, Disney, CNN, Samsung and Mercedes-Benz. The kind of brand strength these companies enjoy takes a long time and a lot of work to establish, and there's a lot of brand research and tracking to maintain. But it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Today, a company of virtually any size can use the same sophisticated branding research tools the big boys use.
Why is it important to worry about these kinds of things? Because a strong corporate brand adds depth and value to a company’s product offerings. It’s also a public statement of the company’s culture and values. For instance, HSBC bank, one of the world’s largest banks, has the tagline “The World’s Local Bank,” which both represents the size of the bank, but builds on its purported focus on individual people
A strong corporate brand can also set the tone for further development of a company; such is the case with Proctor & Gamble (P&G). Under it’s corporate name, P&G markets many different brands—a fact that P&G has built its corporate brand on by promoting a sincere commitment to and respect for individual purposes, visions and values throughout every level of the company’s products and culture.
"With product development costs becoming ever higher and product life cycles shorter, it’s important for companies to recoup costs however they can without sacrificing quality or service."
Good corporate branding can also enhance budgetary efficiency. With product development costs becoming ever higher and product life cycles shorter, it’s important for companies to recoup costs however they can without sacrificing quality or service. With creativity, a strong corporate brand can do the work of many expensive product-marketing campaigns. Apple does this very well. While offering many different products, all of them are laden with cutting-edge design and innovation—hallmarks of Apple’s overall branding strategy. This model isn’t right for everyone, but if a company determines through research that this kind of consolidated brand strategy would work for them, they should do it. If not, there’s no good reason to try.
Strength of a brand is a good indicator of the strength of a company and its financial value—many actually list their brands on their balance sheets. But even that estimate is probably understated. In short, in this over-populated, over-marketed business climate, having a strong brand is more than half the battle.