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This guide describes corporate branding, the value of logos, and the influence of employees, and their cultures. The document includes information regarding brand architecture, different branding platforms, the corporate mission statement, implementing the corporate culture and personality into your branding, and a naming and branding decision tree to help users identify their company logos. Use this document to assist a person or entity when making decisions on how to successfully brand a product or service.
This guide describes corporate branding, the value of logos, and the influence of employees, and their cultures. The document includes information regarding brand architecture, different branding platforms, the corporate mission statement, implementing the corporate culture and personality into your branding, and a naming and branding decision tree to help users identify their company logos. Use this document to assist a person or entity when making decisions on how to successfully brand a product or service. 2013 Branding Your Company Logo Corporate Branding The Value of Logos Managing Your Corporate Brand/Logo Branding Company Logo s Table of Contents Introduction ......................................................................................... 2 What is Corporate Branding? .................................................................. 2 Brand Architecture ................................................................................ 3 Kinds of Brand Architecture ................................................................. 4 Corporate Brand Platforms ..................................................................... 4 Positioning ........................................................................................... 5 The Corporate Principle Statement .......................................................... 6 The Corporate Mission ........................................................................... 6 Communicated Corporate Composition .................................................... 7 Corporate Culture ................................................................................. 8 Corporate Personality ............................................................................ 9 Key Tools to Use .................................................................................. 9 Naming & Branding Decision Trees ....................................................... 10 Branding Company Logo s Introduction What is Corporate Branding? C orporate branding is when your company’s name is used as a product brand name in an effort to influence corporate brand equity and to build product brand recognition. It is a kind of family or umbrella branding. As an example: Disney includes the word “Disney” in the name of many of its products. Other examples are Heinz and IBM. This strategy is different from individual product branding. In individual product branding, each product has a unique brand name and the corporate name is not promoted to the consumer. Corporate branding can produce major economic opportunities because one advertising campaign can be used for several different products. It also helps when introducing new products for acceptance because prospective buyers already recognize the name. This strategy can be harmful when creating distinct brand images or identities that are designed for different products. An overarching corporate brand reduces the company’s ability to position a brand with an individual identity, and can veil the unique characteristics that a different product may have. Corporate branding is not limited to a specific mark or name. Branding can incorporate many touch points; and can include: logo, customer service, employee treatment and training packaging advertising, stationery Branding Company Logos the quality of the products and services Any way that the general public comes into contact with a specific brand represents a touch point that can affect the consumer’s perceptions of the corporate brand. The long standing debate has been that successful corporate branding often stems from a strong coherence between what the strategic vision of the company’s top management is, from what the company’s employees know and believe; and from the company image as viewed by the external stakeholders. Misalignments among these three components may indicate a corporate brand that is underperforming. This kind of corporate brand analysis is often referred to as the Vision-Culture-Image (VCI) Alignment Model. Brand Architecture Brand architecture is the arrangement of brands within an organizational entity. It is how brands that are contained in a company’s portfolio relate, and differ from each other. The architecture should identify the different groups of branding within the company. It should outline just how the corporate brand and sub-brands relate to and support each other; and how the sub-brands reflect or reinforce the core purpose of the corporate brand to which they belong. Architecture can be described as an integrated process of brand building by establishing brand relationships among branding options in the competitive environment. The brand architecture of a company by and large, is a legacy of past management decisions, and the competitive realities that the company faces in the market place. © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 3 Branding Company Logos Kinds of Brand Architecture Branding has three main levels: Corporate brand, umbrella brand, and family brand – Examples include Virgin Group and Heinz. These are brands that are used across all the firm's activities. The name is how they are recognized by their stakeholders who are the consumers, employees, shareholders, partners, suppliers and other parties. These brands may also be used along with product descriptions or sub-brands: like Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup, or Virgin Trains. Endorsed brands, and sub-brands – For example, Nestle KitKat, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Sony PlayStation or Polo by Ralph Lauren. These brands include a parent brand that can be a corporate brand, an umbrella brand, or a family brand as an endorsement to a sub-brand or an individual product brand. In the eyes of the consumer, the endorsement adds credibility to the endorsed sub-brand. Individual product brand – For example, Procter & Gamble’s Pampers or Unilever’s Dove. The individual brands are presented to consumers, and the parent company name is given little or no prominence. Other stakeholders, for example shareholders or partners, will know the producer by their company name. Corporate Brand Platforms These are actionable articulations of management’s intentions broken out into six separate parts. They are broken out into three sections which are: 1. The vision or defining the destination a. Positioning b. Purpose © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 4 Branding Company Logos c. Mission 2. The desired culture a. Personality statement 3. The communicated work In practice, it helps to break the 'vision' piece into three elements (positioning, purpose and mission) and to add a 'personality' statement to the 'culture' piece. Responses to these six expressions of the leadership intentions are the most useful for specifying the purpose of planning, designing and managing the corporate brand: 1. Positioning – What we hope to be instilled in our consumer’s minds in comparison with other companies? 2. Purpose – What are we in business to accomplish? 3. Mission – Aside from the economics, why is it worth doing it? 4. Composition – How the company is viewed. Is it structured enough to achieve its purpose? 5. Culture – What are the distinctive and shared behaviors that best support the company’s common purpose and mission? 6. Personality – What is our chosen style and manner? How does it set us apart from our competitors? All companies are not able to articulate all six statements. Sometimes their units will not share a common purpose that is meaningful to the agency’s mission or culture. In circumstances like this, the corporate brand is made weaker by definition because the units themselves may constitute the stronger and more relevant brands. This six-part process is proven to be an effective identity planning tool. © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 5 Branding Company Logos Positioning "Positioning" offers a short, specific, definitive statement of the exclusive ‘position’ that the company hopes to earn, in the minds of its audiences, and in relation to other companies. The statement should cover three areas: 1. Industry – The definition can be conventional or creative. For Dow Jones, a “business knowledge” category was created in which it could believably be a leader. 2. Geographic scope – Establishes the regional, national, or global scope of the entity’s leadership ambitions. 3. Ranking – Establishes a comparative position that the entity aims for within its chosen industry and geography, and generally is tied to ‘the leading, ‘premier’, ‘preferred’, or one of the ‘industry leaders’. The ideal positioning statement is ambitious; it defines a "goal;" that must be earned daily. The positioning statement offers the essential one-line press release and oftentimes is the basis for the company tag line. Examples include: Dow Jones – “The world’s preferred source of business knowledge.” Eastman Chemical – “The world’s preferred chemical company.” Malden Mills – “Innovative fabrics, engineered for performance and beauty.” Celera Genomics – “The definitive resource for human genome knowledge and its medical application.” Flowserve – “The world’s premier provider of industrial flow management services.” © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 6 Branding Company Logo s The Corporate Principle Statement The corporate principle statement articulates the company’s functional reason-for-being, including what it does and what it makes or provides daily. The corporate principle is not to just make money. To clarify this, it is beneficial to add verbiage that suggests that “by doing this well, we will provide exceptional returns to our employees and to our shareholders.” The principle statement gives a sustained focus for corporate decisions, and for communications. Examples include: Dow Jones “Our corporate purpose is to comprehend the business of the world. By sharing that comprehension as universally as we can, helping people everywhere to understand the business in their lives, we will provide an exceptional return to our shareholders." Flowserve "We are in business to provide industrial customers with the world's most effective, efficient, durable and reliable flow management capabilities." The Corporate Mission If the corporate principle statement depicts “what we do,” the Mission statement is “why, beyond economics, it is worth doing.” When defining them, they are both quite different. Separating the "what" from the "why" makes it easier to distinguish and to write them. In every big company, leaders and employees are inspired beyond earnings and dividends. They are inspired by the belief that by achieving its daily purpose, the company, in some way makes the world (or its branch of the world) a better place. If formulated properly, the Mission statement expresses this contribution. Branding Company Logos The premise that a company’s contribution is distinctively meaningful to human society is the most robust driver of management, employees, customers and even investor loyalty. It is as close as you can get to a corporate soul. A credible Mission statement that is compelling is not easy to articulate, but definitely worth the effort. As a rule, Mission statements are usually written for internal audiences. Here are some examples: Dow Jones “We are motivated by the conviction that the free flow of business knowledge is fundamental to free markets, and free people.” Celera Genomics “By helping the world fully know the human genome, we will contribute health and well being to human life in current and future generations” Communicated Corporate Compos ition What are the principal components that define the company? How do they relate to one another so as to achieve the corporate purpose? Recognizing the many audiences’ need to understand the company’s basic composition, this statement explains the company in terms of its organizational concept and/or components. More specifically, the question is “to best support our positioning, and how we want people to identify with our make up?” The communicated composition is what matters, which may differ from the legal, the reporting or the accounting configuration. © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 8 Branding Company Logos The Composition statement gives the strategic platform for unit branding and naming. It provides for the unit signature system, for product endorsement, and for other characteristics of the sub-corporate identity. A useful Composition statement may emphasize convergence with the parent brand, as in the Dow Jones illustration. More often, it will merely list four or five basic areas of competence that support the overall purpose. Or it can predict evolving specializations, as in the Celera Genomics instance like in these examples: Dow Jones “Although historically we are formed of strong, freestanding businesses, today convergence and coherence are more important to us than division. Our purpose is best served by an open flow of ideas, skills, people and information throughout Dow Jones.” © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 9 Branding Company Logos Celera Genomics “Today we are one team, wholly focused on decoding the genome. As we learn more, we expect to divide into more specialized teams, each a global leader in a human health field.” Corporate Culture The Culture statement identifies any specific, distinctive behaviors that actually help to differentiate or further characterize the corporate brand. The corporate leaders believe this is helpful if not critical to achieving the corporate purpose. Considerations include how the company culture relates to those of its industry, its national base, and its owners and founders. In some companies, the stronger culture is at the division or the subsidiary level. When this is intentional, the Composition and the corporate brand statement will indicate its supportive role. When it doesn’t, that means work needs to be done with the company leadership. To be of any assistance, the Culture statement has to extend beyond the boilerplate, beyond parity expressions of quality and the like. Examples: Dow Jones “Our most fundamental passion is for the integrity, accuracy and relevance of the information we provide. This Dow Jones value crosses all unit lines.” Celera Genomics “We are at home in the cultures of pharmacology and medical care, of information technology, and entrepreneurial commerce. We contain all these but above them we are scientists, driven by the need to know and understand.” Commonfund © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 10 Branding Company Logos “Our corporate culture easily, indeed proudly captures the aggressively competitive, performance-driven values of finance, in service to our educational mission.” Corporate Personality Culture identifies a company’s basic behavioral values. On the other hand, Personality identifies a company’s preferred style and manner. The Personality statement is particularly useful when developing a consistent corporate “voice” and visual design. It can also drive the design of the corporate logo. This is particularly clear in the Dow Jones example, where the preference was to design a "bronze plaque" kind of logo. It was strong but it was wrong, and it had to be directly dealt with. Dow Jones “We are not a bronze plaque. Our defining personality is dynamic, fast- moving, real time. We are innovators.” Celera Genomics “We are proudly aggressive and impatient... focused by our purpose, and driven by our mission.” Key Tools to Use The information that follows outlines the key instruments that can be used when diagnosing, planning, and managing identity solutions. © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 11 Branding Company Logos Components of Identity – Come up with three factors that need to be understood in order to settle on and fashion the company’s identity. Corporate Identity Process – The four universal phases of an identity program: 1. Analysis & planning 2. Creative development 3. Application design 4. Documentation/launch/maintenance Corporate Brand Platforms – Come up with three factors that need to be understood in order to settle on and fashion the company’s identity. Corporate Brand Matrix – A comprehensive means for planning an institutional rebranding. In a sense, it is an attempt at defining a 'universal theory' of corporate branding, on one page and with clarity. Decision Trees – A powerful tool that controls naming and branding decisions all through the company, using a method that everyone accepts and understands. Naming – A more disciplined method for brand naming. Guidelines & Standards Manuals – Examples of the documents that are needed to maintain great brands. Implementation Checklists – The corporate media that usually requires auditing and re-design. Links that are useful – To associations and top agencies. Naming & Branding Decision Trees The big companies adore creative entrepreneurial managers. It stands to reason that creative managers thoroughly enjoy giving creative names to everything they create or manage. They will give it its own logo if they are © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 12 Branding Company Logos able to. This can be a good thing because it can create new brand wealth. Unless it is controlled, it is also be a recipe for brand chaos, confused customers, lowered quality impressions, excessive marketing budgets and eventually a corporate brand that has been diminished. Should a proposed business product, service or unit be descriptively named under the corporate brand? Should it have a descriptive name with a creative twist, with just enough distinction to warrant "TM" designation? Or, should it be more free standing under its own unique proprietary name, registered ®, and perhaps distanced from the parent? The best answer is almost always a question of optimum balance between the product or unit's legitimate business interests and the corporation's strategic and communications interests. It is pointless to attack questions as merely a "logo cop," acting on self-directed principle. You need the support of clear, unarguable policy that everyone from the product manager to the CEO can understand and will accept. The Decision Tree is a magical tool that almost makes this easy. To get a good fix on the best strategic branding balance in any given business situation, there are only four or five questions that need to be asked. The four questions that follow are universal and applicable to all industries. In situations where the company is a multi brand organization, the fifth question can help. It is the planned offering that is best thought of as an extension to an existing brand family. For each of the questions, there are three possible answers. 1. Is the business [product, service, whatever] fully controlled by our management? a. Yes (proceed to question 2 ), b. No (can't use our brand! save for required legal disclosure, in small print) -- Or it's a cooperative or joint venture, under © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 13 Branding Company Logos contract, in which case a separate set of brand policy guidelines [not discussed here] comes into play. 2. Is management committed, long term, to this initiative? a. Yes b. Not yet (for example it's a learning experience or market test) c. No (a rare answer... applies to one-time opportunity businesses) 3. How do we think this business will impact our master brand? a. It will reinforce our current brand image b. It will help to expand our brand in desired directions c. Its effect on our master brand will be neutral, possibly even negative (And as a practical matter 'neutral' is also negative, to the extent that any further stretching of the master brand will tend to dilute it.) 4. Only then, ask how the corporate or master brand will impact the proposed business. Again there are three choices: a. Positive – The master brand will help launch/establish/support the business. b. Positive if secondary – It will help, but only if it's in a secondary role as sponsor, as ultimate parent and endorser; the business needs to feature its own 'flag.' c. Neutral or negative impact – The master brand is not an asset for the proposed product or business. And that's it. With these four questions, you can construct your own "Branding and Naming Decision Tree." Each situation, each "branch," will lead to a logical and understandable approved signature type... that is, the kind of name (and visual presence) that makes strategic sense for the offering, and its verbal and/or visual association to the parent brand. (Although there are some twenty-four possible branches, there may be only a handful of signature options, six or seven at most. Why is this "tree" approach effective, in gaining support for (often) an ultimately tougher branding discipline? I think it clarifies the issue of © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 14 Branding Company Logos balance, between corporate and business-level perspectives. The two 'impact' questions -- impact of the brand and impact on the brand -- are fair and reasonable. They make room for legitimate business marketing initiatives, while reminding everyone of the equally legitimate corporate 1 reputation interests in the business's success. 1 Information source: http://www.identityworks.com/tools/corporate_brand_platforms.htm © Copyright 2013 Docstoc Inc. 15 Branding Company Logos
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