Corporate branding is the use of your company name and corporate identity as a brand in communication to your stakeholders. As such, it is the opposite of product branding. Through corporate branding, you promote the entire company; through product branding, you promote a single product or a product group.
Within corporate branding, a company has to choose between two different strategies. Either you're going for a "branded house" strategy, or you're going for a "house of brands" approach. Two examples immediately demonstrate the difference. Kia is a branded house. Whether you choose a Rio, a Niro or a Sportage, every Kia is primarily a Kia. Unilever is a real house of brands. Every consumer knows Dove, Knorr, Lipton, and Coral, but few consumers know that these are all brands of the Unilever Group. The Kia approach seems more efficient, simpler, and cheaper, but Unilever's products are so different that the more complex 'house of brands' strategy is appropriate.
Whatever strategy you choose, you have to ensure that you handle your corporate branding as carefully as you do your product branding. The goal is to create an unambiguous and positive association with your company name and increase recognition. All possible touchpoints should be examined: your company name, logo and baseline, your customer service, the training of your employees, all your branded material, the quality of your products and services, etc. A comprehensive exercise that requires a solid strategic foundation. A branding exercise based on your organisation's 'why' is a good starting point.
- Strategic foundation
- Branded house or house of brands
- Creating a logo and baseline
- Creating the full corporate identity
- Measuring and adjusting