Corporate Branding is an advertisement style which has recently seen a lot of interest shown by the industrial giants of the country – with Mahindra, Tata Steel and the freshly minted Hero Moto Corp having rolled out such campaigns across screens. So, let’s talk through the campaigns in a bid to find out with what intent have they been rolled out and whether they have been successful in the same. As a functional definition, I have taken up Corporate Branding as the set of ads which talk about the parent companies of a product, instead of talking about the product itself.
Let’s watch one of the above three ads first so that everyone gets an idea about what I aim to discuss here, following which, we will do what I like the most – Dissecting the ad and the concepts behind them!
As you can see, there is no specific mention about the products of the companies above. The ads merely talk about the company, their culture and the values they espouse.
So, let’s evaluate why companies resort to Corporate Branding. For this, we will have to classify our TG into three parts, because for every part, there is a different purpose:
A) For the Prospective Customer: Create an overall value-based brand Image
It helps creating a positive image about a company which is embedded across all its products. It helps build and leverage the connect a brand has with the people. So, in the ad above, Hero Moto Corp, formed after demerging from Honda, has sought to leverage the connect that everyone in India has with Hero Honda, and tried to transfer this same connect to the new entity – Hero Moto Corp. They have clearly talked about how the new Hero Moto Corp is merely a rechristening of the erstwhile Hero Honda.
In addition, it also talks about building a value system to associate with the brand name. It has taken up ‘being a hero‘ as the quality that everyone of us displays in the small things in life, and has related this quality with the brand name itself.
If you recall, Hero Honda (the erstwhile entity) too had initiated a campaign called ‘Dhak Dhak Go’, which was another example of product-neutral campaign. That campaign was pivoted around the Indian-ness in us. Check it out here
Maruti, of course, created the ‘India comes home in a Maruti‘ campaign, a campaign I quite frequently use as an example of Marketing 3.0. Watch it here.
(I will be putting in a lot of links to ads in this post, because if I keep embedding every one of them, this will be akin to a Ph.D report 🙂 )
B) For the Prospective Customer: Project product qualities
Some corporate ads also tend to leverage a common quality across all the products that a company offers. One notable example of the same is Maruti, which leveraged fuel economy for all its vehicles through this ad:
Videocon put all its products under the umbrella of high ‘MNC-like’ quality, at the same time building an India-connect, through an ad featuring Shahrukh Khan, saying that Videocon is ‘India ka MNC‘
Honda built in a concept of technological superiority for all its products through this ad.
C) For the Prospective Employee
At times, companies tend to broadcast the value system and the work culture present in a company, to woo future employees. In today’s highly competitive market, Human Resource strength has slowly grown as the ultimate business advantage that every company enjoys. So, the marketeers try and project the company as a worthy place to live. The following ads by Tata Steel (recent) and Intel (slightly old, but a fantastic concept) showcase the same:
D) For the Current Employees – Morale Booster
For the current employees, ads which are about the company help build a feeling of pride in working for the company. Even the Tata Steel ad you saw above is an example of this category. A person always feels good if he can see proof about the good job he has, an ad which he can point to and brag about. Hence, these ads also serve the purpose of boosting employee morale.
Another example would be Mahindra’s recent campaign on Rise. With a view to going multi-national, Mahindra has launched a corporate initiative of the same name, introducing wide changes across the company. Showcasing the same on TV instills a sense of purpose in the employees, making them feel that the changes are planned out and not random. (Although my own opinion of the ad in general is low, since most of it talks about non-Mahindra things and then tries to connect everything to Rise and Mahindra. People outside the business community would really have no clue as to what the ad is all about)
So, there can be many different needs and purposes that corporate ads can intend to fulfill. I would say that amongst the ads discussed above, Hero, Maruti, Honda, Intel have done a pretty good job, and Mahindra, Hero Honda (Dhak Dhak Go) and Videocon haven’t been able to leverage it successfully.
In recent times, we have seen a strong growth in corporate branding, with a lot of companies indulging in it. Even IT companies have ads talking about their services in general (Accenture‘s High Perfomance, Delivered ads, IBM‘s Why I’m an IBMer campaigns are just a few examples). So, the trend has been initiated, let’s see how long and successful this style of advertisement becomes.
Next Up: Marketing by the Government