Companies can no longer rely on service/product differentiation strategies as their mainstay for sustainable competitive advantage because the rapid rate of service imitation from competitors now renders most product/service differentiation strategies a very short-term game plan.
As consumers, we are more sophisticated and more aware. We now take into consideration the social, environmental and ethical make-up of the goods and services that we consume both as individuals and as corporations.
An increasing number of online channels open the way to an age of information transparency and interconnectedness; we now seek out products and services that not only meet our needs or the needs of our businesses, but best align with our own aspirations and ideologies. Enter the Corporate Brand.
In the era of Corporate Branding, it is the values and emotions embraced by the organisation itself that increasingly become the keys to competitive differentiation. In essence, the company’s vision and culture are now an explicit part of its unique selling proposition.
The corporate branding process itself is dynamic and involves keeping up with continuous adjustments of vision, culture and image.
Unlike product branding, corporate brand implementation involves each company’s employees becoming key players acting as the corporate brand's ambassadors in both internal and external environments. Employees will therefore have a powerful impact on consumer and stakeholder perceptions of both the corporate brand and the organisation itself. From this perspective, it becomes essential to bring the (whole) corporation into corporate branding, as it is the employees who are are key to building relationships with all the company’s stakeholders and to realising the promise of the corporate brand.