Corporate branding is so much more than a cute logo. When done well, corporate branding encapsulates the whole personality of the corporation and indelibly imprints that image into the minds of the general public.
Corporate branding is a process – a step-by-step discovery of what is possible in a world of all possible branding concepts. You might have big ideas about corporate branding, but you’ll avoid a lot of grief if you think about the requirements the corporate brand has to satisfy first.
You might narrow down possible corporate branding concepts by thinking about the following:
1. Your corporation’s image. Corporate branding is all about corporate image. Making consistent decisions, for example, contributes to your corporation’s image. Corporations receive a lot of brand equity for consistent corporate behavior. Corporate image now also encompasses the personality of the CEO. Donald Trump, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffet have all engaged the public with their own personality and charisma to help brand their corporations.
2. All of the ways your buyer or the general public hears about your corporation. How does your corporation communicate the value of its products and services? We’re talking the logo, brand name, slogan, packaging, print and broadcast media, website, networking, and more. A great example of corporate branding that utilizes all these avenues is the Disney Corporation. It uses its logo, mascots, thematic advertising, as well as audio and visual themes and spokespersons to crystallize the Disney brand in the public mind.
3. Your corporation’s position. Drill down to what your corporation does, its venue, its market, its demographics, its market position. What are the benefits of the products or services it provides? Who is the audience that the corporation is addressing? What are the attributes the corporation wants to project that distinguish it from the competition? These are key to your corporate branding efforts. Stability, dependability, and great customer service are attributes all corporations want to stress in their branding, in addition to all of the attributes your particular corporation brings to the marketplace.
4. Your corporation’s culture. How does the public view your corporation? Because you are giving the corporation a personality, corporate branding should also include things the average person can see the corporation stands for. Who does your corporation identify with? What’s your stand on the important issues of the day? What worthy causes do you support? For this reason, corporate branding also includes the corporate mission statement.
Once you’ve wrapped your arms around these requirements, you can let loose with the big ideas about what influences corporate branding. By doing your corporate branding in this order, you will be more likely to successfully project the full and complete personality of your corporation in a way that will permanently fix the brand in minds of the general public.
Experts have written volumes on this subject. What’s been your experience? Michael Houlihan, co-founder of Barefoot Wine, the largest wine brand in the nation, invites you to lend your voice to this discussion on Corporate Branding with your comments, thoughts, and opinions below.
Who Are We.
Having built and sold a bestselling national brand, we appreciate the value of brands and everything it takes to make them successful. Companies are valued by their brand equity. Achieving and maximizing brand equity requires tremendous respect for all your customers, from your wholesaler to your end user.
Starting in our laundry room with no money and no knowledge of the industry, we built the famous Barefoot Wine brand. We learned a lot they don’t teach in school and much of it the hard way. Although our success was in consumer products, our real world experience will be helpful to anyone looking for information and advice about brands.
We have written the New York Times Bestselling Business Book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, which chronicles the history of the famous brand from its inception through its acquisition. Our book is now required reading in schools of entrepreneurship across the country. We hope this book will provide inspiration and encouragement for all those contemplating starting a brand or wanting to improve their existing brand.
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey
-Barefoot Wine Founders