Brand Strategy As An Effective Tool For Corporate Identity
This research was carried out with the objective of determining the impact of brand strategy as an effective tool for corporate identity. A case study of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank. Data for the study was collected from both primary and secondary sources. Table was used to present the data and percentage was used to analyze the data. The result revealed that branding enhances corporate identity in Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank. The study recommends that management should ensure that good branding strategies should be adopted to enhance corporate identity and salesvolume.
1.1 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.
1.3 Objective of the Study
- To find out the extent to which banks engages in branding.
- To evaluate the different branding strategies adopted by management of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank.
- To identify the extent that product branding has led to increaseinbank’s corperate identity.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
- H0: Branding has no significant effect on the corporate identity of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank.
- H1: Branding of products has a significant effect on the corporate identityof Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank.
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.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This research project has continuously tried to emphasize the fundamental essence of enhancing corporate identity through product branding by Banks in Nigeria. In the course of this study, Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank was adopted as the case study with the aim of trying to analyze its product brand in enhancing corporate. The study findings clearly indicates that branding of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank product is one of the determinants of corporate identity in the organizations.
In chapter one, the research topic was thoroughly introduced giving an insight into the nature of the study. Chapter two contains reviewed literature and text written by scholars and researchers relating to the study. Chapter three focused on research methodology where the research design which involves research for solution to problem through planned and systematic approach was discussed. For this work, the exploration and descriptive research design were used also primary sources of data which involves the use of firsthand information and secondary sources which uses information that already exist were used to source for information. The research instruments used for data collection was personal interview and the administration of questionnaire. the sample size used for the work is 60 comprising of 20 staffs of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank, and 40customers of the companies product. Finally, the percentages and Chi- Square was used in analysing and presentation of data.
Chapter four presented the data collected from the administered questionnaire which were then interpreted and analysed using the percentage and Chi- Square method. After the interpretation and analysis, the alternate hypothesis was accepted while the null hypothesis was rejected since the value which is 27.03 is larger than the table value.
Based on the researcher’s findings, branding is one of the determinants of corporate identity in Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank. Because of this, competitors may want to imitate the brand of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank in order to:
- To forestall the occurrence of competitors imitating the brand of Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank. The branding should be done in such a way that it cannot beimitated.
- The researcher also observed that the problem of improper financing, planning, poorbrandingandinsufficientsalescanberevered.Thiscanbeachievedthroughproper allocation and use of funds and accurate planning and forecasting techniques to be used bymanagement.
- Good branding strategies should be adopted to enhance corporate identity and sales volume.
- Finally, employees‟ loyalty should be maintained by adequate monetary and non- monetary rewards. The company should keep abreast of developments in the labor market as a means of ensuring rewards viz-a-viz other manufacturing companies. This is because, equipment no matter how sophisticated they are must be operated by people and finally frustrated employees are a threat to a company‟s profit enhancement.
From the research, it is evident that principles of enhancing corporate identity tools and techniques are quite applicable and have been used in Intercontinental and Zenith Bank. Market has been segmented so also the customers and products were differentiated to the target markets that results into different brands both heavy customers and light customers with the aim of increasing profit among manufacturing industry.
Intercontinental Bank and Zenith Bank PLC has been able to retain and motivate its channel members thereby increasing the market position of the organisation. The company management has been able to improve its knowledge of the needs of its customers and fine turning its strategies to quickly adjust to changes in the environment. The company should refrain excessive inventories but providing adequate sales potential, monitoring distributors profits to ensure that their channels remain financially viable
- The company should embrace the marketing strategies of constantly innovating and improving their products to increase customers satisfaction
- A strong intelligence network should be maintained to enable the company monitor the activities of competitors in the industry on regular basis
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