Most businesses succeed or fail based not only on the quality of their products but also as a function of how well they market themselves to customers. Corporate branding refers to an overarching identifying mark or logo or slogan that customers know and understand regardless of which particular products they buy from the company. It is a key element in gaining recognition for a product or family of products and establishing a long-term reputation in the marketplace.
One advantage of corporate branding is the way it facilitates communication between a company and its customers. Corporate branding generally makes use of trademarked images and slogans, each of which is carefully selected to convey the company's image of itself and its preferred way of appearing to customers. The words a company uses to brand itself get at the core values and goals of the company. They may also indicate what type of customers the company wants to attract. Consumers synthesize this information and develop opinions even before they experience a company's products firsthand.
Corporate branding allows a company to employ a single marketing strategy across all of its divisions or products. There is less of a need to develop individual branding strategies for specific products. For example, a technology company may brand itself as forward-thinking and innovative. With this established through corporate branding, each product that the company sells gains the same futuristic image simply by featuring the logo or brand name of the company. New products can take on the same corporate branding without the need to spend time and money on a new branding strategy.
Corporate branding spreads out the cost of developing a brand image over an extended period of time. This saves money versus creating and promoting a new brand image for each new product. It also allows companies to roll out new products without a new brand strategy; instead they can rely on the existing corporate brand when time is of the essence. An established corporate brand offers price flexibility. The company can choose to develop new brand images within the corporate brand for major new products while relying on the existing corporate brand for others.
Strong corporate brands gain value that is separate from the products they represent. This value comes from the time and money corporations invest in developing a brand that, over time, becomes recognizable to consumers. Those who have positive experiences with products that carry the corporate brand will naturally respond more favorably to the brand in the future, while consumers who are familiar with the brand but not its products will already have a built-in sense of the brand that makes marketing easier. Companies with established brands can license the brand, sell it outright or use it as leverage in negotiating mergers and acquisitions.