There are many definitions of the concept of “company brand,” all of them proceed from the fact that a brand is an intangible phenomenon that allows you to uniquely identify an organization or its service/product and separate it from competitors. That can be a name, symbol, design, and sometimes an entire image, which is a combination of all these and other elements. Each brand has an external and internal side, showing what marketing steps it created and how it looks for the consumer, that is, what value it represents and even how much it costs.
Brand value can be expressed as a particular absolute value in the financial statements, but for the stakeholders, something else is much more critical: how competent marketing and branding will bring them real impact. Brand management is part of a strategic marketing policy and is generally regulated by the organization itself. The team’s task is to carry out those marketing steps that will add the product the most significant value in the eyes of the consumer, that is, they will convince him that this product has a guaranteed high-quality standard that is worth paying for, and sponsoring it repeatedly and recommending it to others.
The primary question when building a brand is as follows: who are we? What are we? Or what is our mission? The answers to these questions come from the vision of the organization, however, it is worth considering that the concept is formed based on the wishes of the management, their plans, and the brand is the primary method of real communication with the consumer, that is, it is undoubtedly vital for him to reflect the real the picture since any falsehood will lead to sad economic and social consequences. It is the imbalance between the vision of the organization and its real nature that often leads to failure in building a brand. Image answers the question: how do we want to see ourselves? And the brand answers the question: what are we really? Inconsistency of answers to these questions leads to the fact that the goals of the NGO are set incorrectly, the target audience and its fundamental needs are identified incorrectly, and the marketing strategy is failed.
Building a brand from within the organization
The organization needs to build a brand not only when implementing marketing activities, but also from within the organization, starting with its staff. The actions of employees, their goals, and the standard of customer service should ideally correspond to the created image of the organization in marketing positioning. From this point of view, customer service is also part of marketing. However, the brand must be built not only for those employees who directly work with customers but also for all other employees. Only in this case, the image will be holistic. From this point of view, brand management goes far beyond the marketing strategy, and it is a deeper positioning.
Company brand building concept
In 2003, British researchers Balmer and Gracer created the AC2ID brand building concept:
relevance (that is, compliance with the daily reality of the company),
communicative (the brand can express itself through all available communication channels),
perception (as perceived by the stakeholders),
ideality (the brand demonstrates the best perception of the organization by the market at the moment),
desirability (the brand must live in the hearts and minds of the management and all its employees).
Thus, the stakeholders determine its vision, the management determines the strategic aspect of the brand, the marketing department its visual design and positioning, and the entire staff as a whole determines the brand culture, and these characteristics are inseparable from each other.
Organization brand culture
The brand’s ethos is one of its most difficult aspects, and it is most difficult to regulate because it is also manifested in small things, in the organizational structure, in traditions, symbols, control systems, behavior, and even professional slang of employees. In my opinion, a crucial element of the AC2ID concept is precisely communicativeness – that is, the ability to manifest itself through any marketing channels.
Brand management involves a constant study of how your brand exists in the life of your consumer, how the consumer perceives it, what is the impact of the brand on the culture of your consumer. The brand should become a friend of the consumer, improve his life, bring it to a level of a different quality. It is for these things that the consumer will be willing to pay more than once. A brand is not only a property of large companies with multi-million dollar marketing budgets, but any organization can also have a brand if it is appropriately presented.