Many people are often confused by the term brand and the differences that constitute a brand and a brand name. While a corporate image or brand summarizes what a company stands for, the brand name, on the other hand, consists of the company name and the symbols that are incorporated into their goods and services designed to clearly communicate what an organization stands for. Baack and Clow (2012) explain that a company’s logo identifies brand names and embodies the symbols that distinguish the company, its products, and their services. A logo therefore, represents the emblem that adds an additional aspect to a corporation’s image that supports the organization’s name and mission (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, because the mind processes images faster than it does words, logo identification occurs in the following two ways: (a) a memory recall or recognition of the logo and (b) an emotional recall of that individual’s experience with the company. Nike’s swoosh logo for instance, is merely the graphic representation of the company symbol that together with the brand name evokes various emotions, memories, and ideas.
The design of the logo is a significant feature because in many cases, the company’s brand name will include a number of products under one family name. The Apple Corporation, for example, provides many quality electronic products for consumers, including computers, smartphones, music devices, and tablets. Their corporate brand name is one of the most recognizable symbols in the global marketplace because they continue to deliver innovative quality products and keep their promises. In fact, consumers are so passionate and loyal about their merchandise, they are sought after in an unparalleled fashion witnessed by the long lines at Apple outlets stores each time a new product is launched. In short, a company’s brand name represents the company’s image and is designed to support a positive reputation by keeping the promises they make to their shareholders. Virgin Airlines for instance, provided quality service but was supported and backed by the stellar reputation of the Virgin brand name. This is one of the most effective ways to launch a new product or company. An established giant like Virgin or Apple can provide many components to help a new offshoot achieve success. This is one way brand names and corporate images support each other.
Brand names represent the symbols assigned to goods or services that in turn help shape and define a corporate image. Fombrun (1996) reminds us that the world has grown to worship greatness. People in modern society value aptitude, celebrate talent, exalt brilliance, and revere genius. Contemporary athletes, for instance, that compete in the Olympic Games are not paid a salary. For them, receiving a medal is a far more valuable asset due to one significant tenet: a reputation as a top performer. This provides the foundation that helps them develop an image they can use to build their brand name. The rise of mass marketing makes it possible to achieve greater levels of prestige and wealth whether as an athlete, politician, artist, or organization, because the competition for a stellar reputation is fierce. Many people in fact, wallow in the radiance of their heroes and often elevate them to near mythological status expecting perfection in return (Fombrun, 1996). A majority have the same expectations of the companies they support, the products they purchase, and often assign corporations similar iconic positions. Not only are people shaped and influenced by a company’s decisions and innovations, they are content to support these giants on their high altars of fame. The findings of this research conclude that there are many components that differentiate a corporate image from a corporate brand name. The keys to building an effective positive corporate image include a clear communication of: (a) the benefits a company’s goods and services they provide, (b) a mission that is part of their corporate message, and (c) keeping their promises. The combination of these components help effectively communicate what the company represents that helps shape the attitude of their shareholders which in turn motivates them to offer their loyalty and support.
Well’ that’s a wrap for this week. Until next time … keep working on your management skills!
“What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami
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Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
Fombrun, C. (1996). Reputation: Realizing value from the corporate image. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Hatch, M., & Schultz, M. (2008). Taking brand initiative. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishing.
Ross, M. (2010). Branding basics for small business: How to create an irresistible brand on any budget. Bedford, IN, USA: NorLightsPress.com.
Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live their brand promise and inspire fierce customer loyalty. New York, NY: AMACOM.