Building Corporate Brands to Their Fullest Potential
A corporate brand is a company's most valuable asset – it engages an organization's full range of stakeholders in a relationship that drives growth. But a corporate brand can also be difficult to manage – the challenge is to manage the brand to its fullest potential.
Burson-Marsteller builds and strengthens brands that help organizations achieve their business strategies. We work with our clients to determine the desired results from a corporate branding initiative, and then build brand and communications programs that deliver these results. We help organizations enhance the corporate brand in the eyes of key audiences including:
- Shareholders and the investment community
- The company's senior management team and Board of Directors
- Company employees at every level
- The media and, by extension, the broader business community
- Opinion leaders, business partners and academic advisors who can impact corporate reputation
Understanding the Corporate Brand
The key to a successful corporate brand positioning program is having a full understanding of what sets a company apart from its competitors and defines its distinctive character.
Burson-Marsteller uses a holistic methodology that combines academic insight with real-world experience across numerous industries and product categories. We begin with an analysis of the competition and the equities upon which the brand will be built. We evaluate how a company is perceived by different audiences and recommend strategies that can improve or enhance these perceptions. We help our clients achieve differentiation that resonates with stakeholders and sets them apart from their peers.
In addition to traditional brand equity and positioning research, we often use BrandAsset® Valuator – the most extensive study of brands ever taken – to help our clients understand their corporate brand and potential differentiation.
Defining the Corporate Brand
Burson-Marsteller believes it is critical to work in partnership with organizations to develop the corporate brand as it is ultimately our clients' brand. At the center of this process is a facilitated 1-1½ day workshop that includes pre- and post-work in which the parameters of the brand are defined.
This "inside-out" process of uncovering a company's unique equities delivers a strategic brand model. The core of this is a differentiated brand essence – a construct and statement that helps the organization's leadership articulate the brand's functionality, differentiation, personality/image, and sources of authority.
We also determine the architectural model for delivering the brand to market – defining the role of the corporate brand versus product and subsidiary brands.
Communicating the Corporate Brand
Once the corporate brand is defined, we work with our clients to advance unique positioning with a strategic communications campaign.
We begin by determining the "outside-in" elements – the brand strategies and positioning that maximize opportunity in the marketplace. Positioning becomes the platform from which effective corporate and marketing communications are implemented. This would include messaging to support the brand as well as one or more of the following:
- CEO and executive positioning
- Media relations
- Organizational communications
- Financial communications
- Corporate citizenship
- Crisis preparedness and response.
These offerings are strengthened by our experience and ability to integrate thinking, planning, and execution in partnership with our clients.
An articulate, well-defined, and properly communicated corporate brand positioning program can directly support a company's business mission, improve its standing with constituencies, and create a base of allies who can be useful in advocacy or specific issues of importance to the company.
Strengthening The Corporate Brand
For a decade, Burson-Marsteller has been examining how corporate reputations rise, fall, and stay true to course. We use our reputation knowledge and know-how to help organizations understand and create an enduring reputation.
Our Corporate Brand Positioning team offers the insights, services, and tools to help organizations build, manage, and measure their reputation with each of their critical audiences. We help our clients understand how the organization is perceived, integrate best practices, and leverage the CEO and leadership team.
Message Development and Testing
Burson-Marsteller develops alternatives for messages – themes, words, tone, and supporting points – as well as "big ideas" that our clients may consider as part of their reputation programs. Using unique methodologies and a range of tools including telephone polling, Internet surveys, and Rapid Visual Polling, we test the details of those messages and ideas with key stakeholders, assessing impact on both reputation and purchase intent. With the findings in hand, a company can move forward with its reputation management program with confidence.
Reputation Rankings Analysis and Management
Burson-Marsteller offers counsel and programs to track, monitor, and strategically pursue ranking positions on more than 190 national lists in 80 tier-one business and industry trade publications.