A Brand is a name, symbol, design, features, or anything else that differentiates a Company’s products and services from its competitors. Branding is the process of creating a favorable impression about a Company or its products or services in the mind of the target audience. Corporate Branding is the process of creating a good impression about the company in the minds of all stakeholders, including but not limited to customers, employees, investors, the government, media, and society at large. Corporate Branding strives to create a favorable image of the company in the public’s minds by following standardized processes at all touchpoints with all stakeholders.
History of Branding
The concept of Branding has been around for more than four thousand years. There is evidence of Branding being used by ancient Egyptians by marking their cattle and livestock with hot metal rods. Marks and seals have also been found on ceramic and pottery products produced in ancient China, Mesopotamia, Harappa, and the Roman and Greek civilizations. The purpose of marks and seals was to establish the origin and ownership of the products and animals.
Branding in the modern world
Today, companies, individuals, and organizations build brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Brands convey a message about the quality, values, principles, and vision an organization lives by. It represents the organization’s philosophy, its people, and its purpose.
What is the meaning of Corporate Branding?
The concept of Corporate Branding is broader in scope than product or service branding. Corporate Branding builds upon the traditional processes followed by marketers to create product and service brands. It strives to create unique experiences about the entire organization for all stakeholders during their interactions. It works to make a good experience for internal and external stakeholders during their interactions with the organization.
- This includes creating favorable experiences for employees through proper training and treatment. It includes creating favorable customer experiences by providing excellent customer service, good quality products, and services.
- It includes following appropriate corporate governance policies to create favorable experiences for investors, market regulators, and the government.
- It includes taking corporate social responsibility by allocating time and resources for social causes. It thus involves the planning and implementing activities that showcase the organization in a positive light in front of all stakeholders.
- Corporate Branding consists of integrating the top management’s vision with the organization’s work culture to create the right image of the company in the perception of all internal and external stakeholders.
- It also involves the effective use of advertising to promote the desired appearance of the organization to society at large.
Benefits of Corporate Branding to organizations.
- Corporate Branding helps companies to create a distinct identity for the organisation which motivates consumers to associate with their organisation.
- This form of Branding helps companies to create a favourable impression in the minds of all stakeholders including the government. This helps the organisation to receive favourable treatment from the government.
- Corporate Branding helps companies to secure the trust of their customers and clients.
- Using Corporate Branding facilitates the use of one advertising campaign for all the products of the company as people are already familiar with the name of the organisation.
Limitations of Corporate Branding.
- Brand building often takes a lot of time and financial resources on the part of the organisation. All organisations may not have the potential and capacity to engage in such a prolonged exercise. Also, organizations may lack the patience to engage in such an exercise.
- An organisation which is constantly in the spotlight may find it difficult to ward off negative publicity if any untoward incident occurs. For example, Nestle found it very difficult to manage the Maggi controversy when a reputed government agency accused it of having excessive amounts of an ingredient in its spices in India, which could harm the consumer’s health. The share price of Nestle had plummeted during the period of controversy.
- Excessive exposure to a brand may make it too common and cheap in the perception of people. People may not want to associate with such a brand.
- A brand that is an established player in one industry may find it difficult to maintain the same reputation in another industry. For example, Amul is an established name in the Dairy industry but not such a serious contender in the Chocolate industry where it lags behind Cadbury’s. Britannia is an established player in the confectionery industry but does not find much place in the Dairy industry.
- A strong corporate brand may reduce the ability of the organisation to build brands of individual products and showcase their characteristics. This is because the overall corporate brand image will overshadow the product brands.
Examples of strong Corporate Brands
The name of Apple brings to mind the image of the most expensive mobile phones, best in class laptops and tabs and the iPod. Apple mobile phones are believed to have the best in class camera, music player and loads of other features. Ipads and MacBooks are believed to provide much better functionality and user experience than conventional windows laptops and Android devices. All this is possible because of the corporate image built by Apple which focuses on high quality and high price.
Google has created the image of the most advanced and sophisticated Search Engine. It revolutionised the search engine industry when it was launched over twenty years ago. The success and popularity of Google have helped its parent company Alphabet diversify into a range of services like YouTube, Google Maps etc. When we think about a search engine the first name which comes to mind is Google.
When we think of buying anything online, the first thing that comes to mind is Amazon. Amazon has built its reputation with over two decades of reliable and affordable service to customers across the globe. We cannot imagine our purchases getting lost by Amazon. The security of financial transactions and privacy of address and other user data which Amazon provides cannot be found in other Ecommerce websites. Amazon has won the trust of its customers.
When we think of burgers, the only name that comes to mind is Mcdonald’s. We cannot imagine eating a burger at any other place. Macdonald’s has become synonymous with burgers.
When we think of buying sports shoes the name at the top of our mind is Nike. Nike has established itself as the dominant, most reliable and most expensive brand of sports shoes over the past fifty years. Other brands like Adidas, Puma and Reebok usually find a place only if you cannot afford a Nike. Nike has built its brand by offering high-quality shoes promoted by the most respected sportspeople in America.
Also, check how to improve your brand image.