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At Abacus Marketing, we pride ourselves on providing a professional, transparent and high quality service to companies of every size. Not only do we work with lots of ambitious SMEs and start-up enterprises, but we also work with a number of blue-chip corporates too – such as Canon, for whom we create through-the-line advertising campaigns for the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe to promote their cameras and printers. Or Kuehne + Nagel, for whom we delivered an integrated corporate sales presentation tool and an office signage toolkit that is used across their global network of offices. Or Virgin Holidays, who trusted us to deliver their sales conference. Add to that list the likes of MasterCard (integrated TTL marketing campaign for a prepaid product), Land Rover (dealer programmes), IBM (channel marketing across Europe), Tesco Direct (integrated marketing campaign), Esso (customer service programme for their UK forecourts) and AXA (ad hoc marketing support), and you can see that Abacus provides a service trusted by some of the biggest global organisations.
So what is corporate branding? It is obvious that all forward-thinking organisations understand the importance of branding, but that does not mean that they necessarily understand what is required to deliver a strong corporate brand. The purpose of this article is to explain what we mean when we talk about corporate branding. To Abacus, there are two sides to the equation we need to consider when answering this question. The strategic brand proposition and the creative brand proposition.
Abacus is an integrated marketing agency in London – we work with a diverse range of clients, including blue-chip corporates such as Canon, Kuehne + Nagel and Bloomberg, as well as with lots of start-up enterprises and SMEs (small to medium-sized businesses). The needs of each client are of course always going to be unique – however, the need for our services is largely determined by the size of the client we are working with, and they tend to fit into one of these two categories. We tend to work with forward-thinking, ambitious businesses who understand the benefits of working with a passionate and trustworthy marketing agency such as Abacus.
This month’s blog has been written by Lucy Cheesewright, Managing Director at Langstroth. Lucy has developed an international reputation for all aspects of event management and has many years of experience working across a wide range of events. Abacus works in partnership with Langstroth, a professional event management company with a passion for excellence, to deliver prestigious high-quality events for our clients.
Corporate branding adds long-term book value and profitability to an organisation. This is because it is the first essential step in the process of creating a credible and professional shop window for its products and services. It can also help to ensure that staff are engaged and that they feel empowered to deliver a better and more coherent experience to customers. It ensures that prospects are handled in a consistent way at every single touch point in the sales pipeline process. It improves the likelihood that the staff selection process will lead to the recruitment of people with resonant values and views.
We create different types of marketing plans for a wide variety of clients, from start-up businesses and SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) all the way through to blue chip organisations. Our clients operate within both the private and not-for-profit sectors. They work within a wide variety of industry sectors and in both B2B and B2C marketplaces (as well as within more complicated distribution and sales channels).
The Entrepreneur website defines a strategic brand proposition as “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Which is, of course true, this only tells half the brand story – the visual or creative part. To us, a strategic brand proposition is just as important. It defines the culture and personality of a business, congruent with its vision and values. It is the expression of its virtues and views in the way it delivers work for its customers. It must fit in with the overall marketing strategy and business plan.
Every globally-recognised blue chip company (such as Nike, Starbucks, and Virgin) started small. But even when first starting out, they all recognised the importance of corporate branding and the benefits that a clearly-defined corporate brand strategy would bring to the table. This is true, whatever the size of a business, from the very smallest, to the very largest with very few exceptions. Corporate branding is for all.