Group branding with single mindedness

Group branding means fathoming the persona and orchestrating integration across the various entities within a Corporate Group. It brings to our minds a group of Geese in flight. They look perfect like a team, yet each knows its role. They have their unique identities but are ready to merge with the larger Group persona when needed. Well that is how Group branding can get effective, cohesive. Oneness in diversity. Sameness across the entities.

We begin Group branding with Work Group Sessions. These work groups are drawn from top and middle level leadership. Sometimes we constitute a group by drawing people from those teams, which are spearheading the image leadership of the company – product development teams, communication teams or for that matter HR teams. It is a function of the businesses the Group is into and the larger orientation.

At the end of the session we do a Reconciliation and Collation exercise. We put together all that we have heard, seen and observed. We complement this with our learnings and our intuitive understanding of what the Group ought to be. First the whole than the parts. Within each part/ group company we arrive at individual messaging and what the entity contributes in terms of message, communication equity and residual perceptions amongst stakeholders.

First arriving at the contours of the needed image for the Group, then each group company with its complete social anatomy and physiology. What the sub entity stands for to the outside world, to the inside audience and for the Group. Linkages, interdependencies between Group and various entities also play a significant role in the larger Group branding journey.

Group branding demands patience, insights and a point of view. You could experience all of this with us.


Continuity holds the key

Imagine some of these situations: “We never know where the consumer is going to be at any point in time, so we have to find a way to be everywhere” “Ubiquity is the new exclusivity” – Linda Kaplan Thaler

So are you a company with multiple advertising windows? You could also be a company with multiple products where the branding and messaging requires a common brand identity across all of them? You are talking to target audiences who are tech savvy and have the options of seeing your communication/messaging on multiple screens – smartphone, tab, pc, laptop, TV, cinema and more. If you are a services company then there could be many touch points where continuity holds the key.

Our approach to continuity is to: Map the various touch points that a consumer/user or a prospect interacts with; Arrive at a set of elements. A kind of repository of continuity. These could be a logo, a color palette, a slogan, a visual element/s, tone of communication, persona and more;

The more difficult part – is to get it going and actually train the teams to make continuity a brand element.

Many mediums, many windows, many presentations – continuity is the way we work. Oneness means brandness.


Tonality of communication is a unifier

Nothing works better than consistency in personality and tone. Ask yourself what is the personality of your brand. Is your brand fact-driven, serious, fun, caring, in the face, rebellious or intelligent? How sophisticated is it? Does it give one confidence? Do I perceive reliability? Am I a groupie brand – lots of people and so on…

It is crucial to know your brand’s personality. If your brand does not have one, create and build on it. Ensure that it resonates with your prospects and customers. A good branding team knows that a well-defined brand personality helps in creating and directing marketing and communications efforts. Having the personality is one thing communicating consistently across the products, logo, tag lines, packaging, communication will help your efforts be on the ball, on strategy so to say.

Companies and organizations make the mistake of having different tones and personalities across different items of communication. Tag lines are in the face, the brochures are serious. The in shop display is factual, the website is long winding and full of irrelevant descriptions.

With Brandlogues – it will be one personality and tone right through.


Do NGOs need branding?

Brand managers in NGOs know that branding is more than just a logo or a symbol. It is a psychological construct, which requires nurturing, managing and continuity across elements and time. Brands and branding are similar, or at least the responses one gets nowadays from NGO teams on the understanding of branding is no different from other sectors. Strong brands and cohesive communication with a well-engineered persona can help NGOs acquire financial, human and social resources. Partnerships are largely a function of brand perceptions.

“Brand becomes critical when you’re seeking to create partnerships, when you’re seeking other funders, and when you’re looking to associate yourself with people in the field,” explains Diane Fusilli, a global brand consultant and former communications director at the Rockefeller Foundation.

“A strong brand helps bring greater credibility and trust to a project quicker, and acts as a catalyst for people to want to come to the table.”

Brand and branding in NGOs or social organizations is all about embodying the organizations identity, encapsulating its mission, values and distinctive activities. Externally it is about reflecting to multiple stakeholders- donors, supporters and more the image and relevance. Branding has within its coils the innate ability to influence, assist and reach. It is a virtual bridge between the program strategy and the external communications.

NGOs, research organizations and advisory bodies can gain from the branding journey.