Building Strong Corporate Brand
A strong corporate brand has significant impact on how the business and its activities are perceived by the end consumers and the bottom line of its balance sheet. Building a strong brand is a gradual process and involves understanding of its business, USP (unique selling proposition), customers/consumers, market etc.
What is a Brand?
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a “Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
A brand provides a consistent message through all its interaction with the target audience. Therefore, a brand exists in the mind of the consumer which is the intangible sum of thoughts and feelings about a particular company, service or product.
What is a Corporate Brand?
Corporate brand-building refers to the art and science of building awareness, loyalty, preference and value for brand name of a corporate entity directly, as opposed to the product/service brands they manage and market. Specifically, it aims to provide a broad range of financial and strategic benefits that align with the company vision, mission and business strategy. Its primary audience includes business customers, channel partners, financial analysts, employees and consumers.
A good brand will:
· Deliver companies message in a clear and concise manner
· Connect with the consumer and motivate them to revisit the company product/service
· Increase company credibility.
Strong Brand Creation Method:
“A brand exists in the mind of the consumer”, which is the intangible sum of thoughts and feelings about a particular company, service or product. A company could maneuver brand perception but primarily it should be focused to give positive experiences to its consumers.
It takes time to create a strong brand which in turns drives consumer loyalty. A few basic processes to be followed to reach optimum level which is as follows
Determine Target Audience
The strong brand formation should be based on target audience’s concerns, needs, preferences, and lifestyle. It’s important to find out a niche for its product/services to focus on the potential consumers rather than everyone. Furthermore, its necessary to pull out relevant information from data available in the market and know your target market inside out, by understanding the buying trends and opportunities in product/service category.
Forming Company Brand Values
Company brand values to be crafted as per consumer needs. However, brand values must constantly evolve to suit changing market conditions and should also reflect organization’s forward looking business strategy. Do not over commit while making it since consumer experience and company brand promise goes hand in hand. There should be uniformity between company values and its staff, produced products, communication in advertisements, customer service etc.
For example, we may consider Rahimafrooz group values, which are
· Integrity: Integrity in all our dealings.
· Excellence: Excellence in everything we do.
· Customer Delight: Total commitment to customer satisfaction.
· Innovation: Thinking ahead and taking new initiatives.
· Inspiring People: Valuing and inspiring people.
Company Unique Selling Proposition Selection
It’s imperative for a business to determine the unique value it brings to the consumers. If these values lead to competitive advantage the business has over its competition, then those are company’s unique selling points. These USP’s are major contributing factor to make the business successful and thus should have central focus while planning company brand strategy.
For example, GrameenPhone’s after sale customer service is their one of their competitive advantage over its competition because of service point’s proximity and fast service.
Strong Brand Benefits:
· Adds value to a company and its services.
· Consumers buy other products or services from the brand with less persuasion
· Builds trust to retain consumer
· Creates a distinct position in a cluttered marketplace
· Company could charge premium for its services
· It produce differentiation between same product line of competitive brands
· Attracts merchandising contracts
· Leads to better quality perception
There are two core elements to a strong brand — emotional value and practical value. To get your brand grow quickly, these two elements need to be right.
There are some elements which contributes to a company brand image negatively, those are
· Unprofessional/Untrustworthy behavior of company staff
· Concern about public safety or health
- Poor customer service (at any level)
- Obvious company financial difficulty
- Poor quality products
A strong brand builds with the positive consumer experience and the value they associate with the brand. So it’s very important to keep target consumers delighted through quality product and service and constantly remind them the benefits through Corporate brand building activities.