BRAND STRATEGY AS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR CORPORATE IDENTITY
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nowadays branding is the most crucial aspect among companies’ activities. A brand consists of more parts than the visible features such as names and logotypes. No matter if the company is a bank or a toy store it is the brand itself that determine if they will succeed or not. It may seem as a simple equation but to identify what makes a brand succeed is rather devious since two complete alike brand, do not exist (Haig, 2005).
Branding is most commonly associated with assets such as messaging, identify, design and of course the product or service itself.
However, a brand is more than these tangible assets. A brand is more about the emotional and psychological feelings that enable a person to relate to the brand (Johns, 2004). According to John Hargel 2004, the historical view of a brand was that you can rely on what we are offering because of our brand attributes”. Today, what old review is replaced with a more customer of branding that is “I know you better than the competitor’s and you can trust me to put together the right product or services to meet you individual needs” (John 2004).
A brand increase the value of a product or services by differentiating them from the competition and creates positive associations and form emotional relationships with the customer. Brand provides business with the means to free themselves from, for example, constant price competition, to increase the value of their services and value their marketing costs. Philip Cotler once said that “if you are not a brand, you are a commodity. The price of everything and the low cost produce is the only winner” (Green wood 2006).
In discussing branding or better still brand strategy, this research work consider the Nigerian’s banking industry to be an interesting market where various New generation Bank are the major actors. The banking industry today is different than before, since interest is growing and the services that banks are offering through the interest are increasing. The products that banks provide are almost similar and that makes positioning hard for them as customers may understand the banks to be similar overall.
But because banks are acting in different sub market it is hard to state their general market share as well as whole. Starting their result and company size is therefore easier and more convenient for getting a quick picture over their market position. Rapid changing are ongoing in the banking industry and there have been mergers and acquisitions in the industry recently. When company merge, brand issues are a focus point since they must mix their value and also create a new image that appeals to their existing and potential customers (Econ report, 2007). Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank Plc are one of the leading new generation bank in Nigeria and that is why they are considered more suitable for conducting a comparative case study on the brand strategy as an effective tool for corporate identify. Another aspect to be considered is that both Banks are going global and also that the underlying philosophy behind their corporate theme is excellence.
1.1 Statement of Problem
Today it is generally accepted that brand can be valuable assets. One of the brand owner’s primary tasks is to arose the customer’s commitment for the brand. That is because a low commitment traditionally cannot create a strong and sustainable brand loyalty (Melin, 1999). A brand is more than just names and logotypes.
A brand defines the identify of an organization, product or services that needs to be based on a unique idea and told through a compelling story. The brand needs to have the ability to connect hilt potential customers and form positive emotional bonds. A brand cannot be built on empty claims. The organizational needs to actually live its brand (Greenwood, 2006).
Creating a corporate brand is a long and complicated process and due to that many companies get it wrong. There have been cases where organization have developed a new fancy slogan and hope it will mean something to consumer and employees. It is almost as bad when a company simply designs a new logotype and put it on every product, hoping it will create the vision of a corporate brand (Hatch & Schultz 2002).
Pies and Trout (1993) say that to succeed in an over complicated society a company must create a position in the receiver’s mind and that is a position that takes into consideration, not only the strength and weakness fore the company itself but those of the competitors as well. They are also arguing for that positioning of a brand about to create a place at the market and in the consumer’s mind.
A good and effective brand identify should be connected to the company’s vision and it organizational culture and values.
It is used to create understanding and buy-in throughout the organization. A brand identify that is too value and general so almost of any kind of communication towards the customers can be considered to be suitable is helpful (Aaker, 1999). Corporate branding has risen in importance but there is not much research explaining the determination and effects of corporate branding.
In making managers aware of how corporate branding can bring about identify and be beneficial to their company it is important to have insight into both determinants and effects of branding and how the brand is communicated (Kramer, Nerjen & Smith 2003).
Brandy identify is something constructed through which can and sometimes should be changes, for instance, if identify has become weak or diffuse. A company, multinational, private or public irrespective of the industry it operates has to consider if their brand, product and positioning shall be adapted to national or regional markets. The uniform picture of the brand allows that some commercial messages, advertisement can be used in all markets, advertisements can be used in all markets and the commutation hereby becomes very cost efficient (Melin & Urde, 1990).
It is against this background that this research study is set out to examine critically how brand strategy can be used as an effective tool for corporate identify.
1.2 Objective of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of brand strategy on corporate identity specifically the study aims to:
· Investigate how company’s explain their brand identity and how they use brand identity when positioning them self.
· Highlights the major difference between brand identity and image.
· Examine the various brand strategy available to bank in Nigeria.
· Also investigate the relationship between company’s brand and company’s vision and values.
1.3 Research Questions
- What is the brand’s particular vision aim at?
- What is a particular brand fulfilling?
- What are the signs that make it recognizable?
- What are the link between brand identity, brand positioning, brand affinity and brand recognition.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following Hypothesis shall be tested in the course of the study.
H0: There is no significant relationship between brand strategy and corporate identity.
H1: There is significant relationship between brand strategy and corporate identity.
1.5 Justification of the Study
As rightly observed by management scientist that there is a remarkable wall off difference between corporate identities, brand identity and brand image. Corporate identity is concerned with the visual aspect of a company’s present. Brand identity is a combination of visual, auditing and other sensory components create recognition, present the brand promise, provide differentiation, create communication synergy, and are proprietary.
The rationale behind this research study is multidimensional. Firstly, it tends to analyze the basis component of brand strategy at it relate to corporate identity. When most people think about a brand’s identity, they usually think about name, the logo and maybe the tag line. The research work will in if course show that the identity consist so much more than that.
Given the competitive business environment as a result the globalization this study will also let the companies know that they have to work hard on the consumers experience to make sure that what customer’s see and think is what they want them to.
1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The only constrained a limiting factor of this study remain unwillingness of the respondent to give necessary information in the questionnaire.
1.7 Research Methodology
This research work majorly relies on primary source of data which will be sourced using a well structured questionnaire. To compliment the primary data, secondary data will also be used and this will be sourced from business journals, textbook as well as relevant websites.
The data gathered will be use to generate the raw score which will subsequently be analyze.
1.8 Plan of the Study
This research work has been divided into five chapters:
Chapter One comprises the introduction of the research work which entails the background of the study, the statement of the problem, objective of the study, the research question and hypothesis, the research methodology, scope and limitation of the study and the plan of the research in the study while chapter two state the literature review, the theoretical and conceptual framework of the study and the historical background of the organization in study and chapter three entails the study area, population of the study and population distribution of the study, it also reveals the research design used and the sample size and procedure used in the course of the study.
Chapter four covers the data analysis and interpretation of the data collected through the questionnaire and secondary data used. Chapter five is on summary, recommendation and conclusion of the study.BRAND STRATEGY AS AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR CORPORATE IDENTITY