Branding is important for many companies. It can be a very important economical asset for the company. Today is also personal branding a known term; branding of myself.
Sometimes a company leader; e.g. owner or CEO also is part of the branding of the company or somehow plays an important role in the view of the company; more important than in some other cases. I use the term Blended branding to reflect some of these thoughts.
One example is Virgin and Richard Branson. Virgin uses Richard a lot to promote the company; or you can say Richard uses his own personal brand to promote the company. He is very active on social media.
Another example is IKEA and Ingvar Kamprad. "Everybody" knows Ingvar was founder of the company. Ingvar recently passed away, now his sons have taken over, and we have to see how they and the IKEA culture will cope with the future.
Both these examples are fully or to large extent privately held companies.
Gerteric Lindquist has been CEO at the Swedish company NIBE for almost 30 years. NIBE actually comes from same local area as IKEA. For people in the stock market, it is well known he has been there for many years, and in a very successful way. Trust in him give trust in the company. And surely it gives a trust also to employees and business contacts. I read in Aktiespararen (June/July 2018) that he enjoys meetings with shareholders, and that he travels a lot. I do not really know that they actively work with blended branding, but it is a good example of long term relation between company and upper manager.
A few decades ago Volvo and its CEO Pehr G Gyllenhammar were very closely related. He left the company 1993 after a disagreement about a merger with Renault. Volvo has been robust to stay in business also after this "divorce" (they have had problems, but I would say for other reasons). Gyllenhammar has also been very active after this divorce, although I think mainly in other business segments.
In USA we have several relatively recent examples of Blended branding; like Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and Tesla.
Microsoft and Bill Gates is interesting as Bill actually has stepped down from an active role in the company and spend much of his time into more philantropic engagements.
Elon Musk is tightly connected to Tesla, and some other companies and projects.
Blended branding is a risk for a company, when the connection for one or another reason is lost. A risk that surely can be taken into consideration and be prepared for, and the trust for the company can continue.
It also can lock the person to the company. It is hard, as example, to imagine Elon Musk to leave Tesla and instead become CEO of Fiat. Hard both for the branding of Tesla and Musk.
Blended branding can indeed be a very useful asset for a company. I believe it also helps a company to have a long term strategy, to consider its financial goals over long term instead of quarter by quarter.
What do you think?
#branding #blendedbranding #personalbranding #Virgin #IKEA #NIBE #Volvo #Microsoft #Apple #Facebook #Tesla #Aktiespararen
This article has also been published on LinkedIn.