Written by Carl Da-Costa-Greaves
Corporate Identity and the Reputational Platform
Creating a strong corporate identity is a priority for every business. However, there aren’t many companies who are able to create the desired identity, or the right image in the minds of their target audiences. The right corporate identity is critical in creating a strong brand, and is part of the strategic reputation building process. This view is commonly known as the Reputational Platform. . The Reputational Platform helps to identify your organisation’s story – a bit like a theme behind what your company is all about.
There are 3 themes in the Reputational Platform;
• Activity – such as with Shell Oil company above. Shell's activities are mainly within the oil, gas and energy sectors.
• Benefit – like with Sony who provide leading technology in entertainment.
• Emotions – such as family business Johnson & Johnson.
When setting out to create a strong corporate identity you should consider how far it is that your brand can be developed and what are the benefits in doing this? Brand building is a costly investment and can take a long time, sometimes in the region of 3 to 5 years.
Tactics to create a strong brand
Investment and focus in the following areas will assist with the creation of a strong brand;
• Quality of products and services
• Passion for brand
• Customer relationship management
• Strong corporate governance and compliance
• Integrated risk and issue management
• Crisis planning
• Corporate responsibility (CR)
• Strong brand values, experience and communications
• Organisational culture and structure
• Contract fulfilment
• Business presentation and conferences
• Customer facing staff
As a result of the introducing tactical brand building activities into your business, your brand should begin to show an increase in its brand equity. Brand equity is an intangible asset, however, is becoming more and more important when valuing a company. In previous years, much of an organisation’s value was placed on physical assets such as buildings. As we move towards a more service and knowledge based economy, intangible assets are becoming even more important.
One of the things you should also be aware of at this stage of building a strong brand, is the ability to measure the strength of your companies reputation. Once you have measured your core activities you can then rate them by aggregate scoring. The process of scoring, or indexing , will give an indication as to the strength of your reputation. This is called the Reputational Index.
And finally, you need to ensure that the valuation of your intangible assets (brand equity) is fully aligned with the reputation of the company. If the company doesn’t have the reputation to back up the valuation of its brand equity, then the value of the company will fall, in line with the reputation. Likewise, if the reputation is higher, then the brand equity will rise to become more aligned, and hence the value of the company will also rise.