ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Do companies make the most of their corporate brand?

Chris Davies Bristol Myers Squibb

Chris Davies Bristol Myers Squibb

‘The pharmaceutical sector is only beginning to realise the role of the

corporate brand in communicating products. Patients are becoming more

empowered and informed and want to know more about the companies which

make the products. Glaxo Wellcome has taken tentative steps in branding

its products and others will follow. By 1998 all prescription medicine

will have to include a patient information leaflet so that will be

another opportunity to say something about the company.’

Sarah Portway IBM

‘A strong corporate brand positions the range of products and services a

company brings to the market. It conveys the values of the company.

Corporate branding is important where product differentiation is less

easy to establish. As consumers become more discerning, how they feel

about the company that creates the products they buy becomes more

important. We will see more focus on corporate brands in the future as

firms race to win the hearts and minds of their customers and not just

to pocket the returns of the one-off sale.’

Kim Badlands Andersen Consulting

‘There is a lot of focus on the importance of branding as a

differentiator in the consulting industry. Many firms have a similar

business proposition and so branding can illustrate the difference

between them. We have a huge advertising and sponsorship programme which

clearly defines the brand although a lot of what we do is very much PR


Jill Rawlins Somerfield

‘A lot of us inherit corporate brand values passively by doing damn all,

then wonder why we’re not perceived in the way we want. Sometimes you

have to subordinate marketing objectives when trying to take the bigger

view but most marketing departments haven’t looked at it in that way.

Too often PR people are concerned with the tea and crumpets end of PR,

not the strategic end.’

Tim Halford Standard Chartered

‘Corporate branding, in its widest sense, is the lynch pin of an

organisation’s reputation. The need for promotion will differ depending

on strategic objectives and audiences - a faceless ‘parent’ is not

always a damaging thing. The subject of corporate branding however, is

an ideal one for consultancies to ‘unsettle’ their clients and earn

juicy research and project fees. We all know we need to spruce-up our

image; we are all insecure at heart. Beware, it takes a really

streetwise chairman to see through the fairy-dust.’

The Big Question is edited by Lexie Goddard

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