There is great payoff in building a strong corporate brand. Sony can put its name on any electronic device and customers will prefer it to the competition. Virgin can enter almost any business and be successful because its name means brings a fresh approach to that business.

The major requirement for corporate branding is for the company to stand for something, whether it is quality, innovation, friendliness, or something else. Take Caterpillar, the heavy construction equipment manufacturer. Caterpillar’s brand personality triggers such associations as hardworking, resilient, tough, bold, and determined. So Caterpillar has been able to launch Cat jeans, sandals, sunglasses, watches, and toys, all designed with the same traits in mind.

A strong corporate brand needs good image work in terms of a theme, tag line, graphics, logo, identifying colours, and advertising dollars. But the company shouldn’t over-rely on an advertising approach. Corporate image is more effectively built by company performance than by anything else. Good company performance plus good PR will buy a lot more than corporate advertising.

Copyright© 2003 by Philip Kotler. All rights reserved. Published by John Wiley & Sons., Hoboken, New Jersey
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