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Corporate Brand Matrix

The Corporate Brand Matrix is a comprehensive tool for planning an institutional rebranding. In a sense, it is an attempt at a 'universal theory' of corporate branding... essentially on one page, with clarity and transparency.

The Matrix is based on three propositions: 1. We can identify effectively all purposes for undertaking a rebranding initiative, 'the drivers,' and the strategic branding options (in the form of communication goals) commonly associated with each driver... one axis of the Matrix. 2. We can also identify all the tools and tactical choices that can be used to effect each rebranding purpose... the other axis. 3. This gives us a structure for learning from history -- a potential data base of` rebranding case histories. Case by case, what were managements' driving purposes, and what tools were used to achieve each purpose? The Matrix is a team initiative whose founding partners are Tony Spaeth, and Tom Vanderbauwhede of The Belgian corporate branding firm Lemento. It builds directly on Tony's "Components of Identity" structure (another Tool in this section). The Matrix has its own Web site, www.corporatebrandmatrix.com, where you can see details of the case histories entered to date. The site also provides definitions of both Drivers and Tools, and answers FAQs. In time, as cases of worldwide relevance are entered (based on our research and reporting) and verified by participants, it will provide a rich source of information... case examples by strategic purpose, by industry, by country, and even by consultant and design firm... and data for scholars of corporate identity.

Below, we simply list the purposes, and the tools, as we have defined and categorized them. See Matrix site for definitions.

1. The Driving Purposes axis


Drivers are of three kinds -- structural (organizational change), strategic, or functional. There are 13 drivers, and 22 associated 'communication goal' options.

STRUCTURAL drivers to accommodate structural change driving purposes Merger & aquisition communication goals merger of equals; best of both transformed survivor brand new vision, forget the past Spinout preserve existing equity express a new vision STRATEGIC drivers to effect strategic repositioning driving purposes Change direction Broaden the scope / visibility communication goals redefine industry / core competence remove limiting category association remove limiting geographic association enhance size perception elevate public profile Narrow the scope Change internal culture express a more specific focus enhance pride and confidence refresh & redirect competitive energy transfer affiliation from unit to parent Change expressed personality Change perceived composition renew / refresh public image redefine the defining units modify parental 'umbrella' presence

FUNCTIONAL drivers to improve branding functionality driving purposes Name weakness Name confusion Design weakness Advertising breakthrough Legal requirement communication goals increase name impact & recall increase name differentiation increase visual strength / quality incorporate the successful element retain or transfer brand equities

2. The "Tools and tactics" axis


There are four broad tool categories, and up to three layers of categorization within them:

IDENTIFIER TACTICS Name change borrowed words descriptive evocative arbitrary imported person place created words figurative (phoneme based) combination of words abstract abbreviations abbreviations initials acronym brand Logo change wordmarkdominant existing brand elevated combination of brands typographic only type plus integral device/symbol type in, or forming, a shape symbol-dominant figurative / pictorial metaphoric abstract monogram IDENTITY SYSTEM elements Visual system typography graphic devices palette

Verbal elements

formal / legal names principal unit names / competence list tag lines affiliation descriptions

Unit signature systems

monolithic visual endorsement verbal or no endorsement mix of systems

SITUATION FACTORS Corporate-level facts industry definition nationality & geographic scope size ownership management HQ location architecture history competitors employee behavior Subcorporate facts competencies defining units subsidiaries brands & products CHANGE EVENT Low visibility Medium visibility High visibility employee mention, functional focus public launch ads, internal pub'n anchors inst'l campaign, staged event