Survey shows US investors to be largely unaware of brand identity

NEW YORK: Major US public companies have their work cut out for them when it comes to establishing brand identity with investors.

NEW YORK: Major US public companies have their work cut out for them when it comes to establishing brand identity with investors.

NEW YORK: Major US public companies have their work cut out for

them when it comes to establishing brand identity with investors.



This was among the major findings in a recent survey of 400 investors by

Doremus Advertising, a New York-based unit of Omnicom. The survey also

revealed that many people had no idea what a random selection of Fortune

500 companies actually do.



For example, 50% believe that Sysco, a food-service company, is a

technology company, while 70% think Corning still manufactures

Corningware household products - even though the company sold that part

of its business two years ago. Fifty percent of respondents don’t know

what Alcoa does, only 10% could identify Halliburton as an energy

company and only 20% realize that USX is a steel company.



’Big companies assume that because they are big, everyone will know who

they are,’ said Doremus EVP and chief strategy officer Jeff

DeJoseph.



’That’s not the case.’



The survey also revealed that companies which project a leadership role

in an industry are more likely to be known by investors than those

trying to communicate all their products and services. ’It’s more

important to stand for a leadership point of view,’ DeJoseph said.



Part of the problem, DeJoseph believes, is that mergers and acquisitions

have diluted many company brands. Additionally, investors feel

overwhelmed by the variety of investment information readily available.

Asked where they turn for investment advice, most respondents said

newspaper articles, followed by magazine articles, friends and

stockbrokers.



DeJoseph noted that many larger companies today use IR solely to reach

institutional investors, though at the same time they are trying to

communicate different messages to individual investors. ’Investor

relations presents a big opportunity for companies to set out a singular

strategy for both groups,’ he explained.



And while advertising can help create a company’s brand image, IR is

best for communicating the highly detailed corporate financial and

operating information that investors need.



’IR should be part of the whole group of tools companies use to

establish who they are in the investment world,’ DeJoseph concluded.



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