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
’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
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.