Does the Company behind the Brand Matter?

January 18, 2012

Does the Company behind the Brand Matter?

I have thought about the company behind the brand for at least a decade (maybe more?). Years ago, I was involved in a pilot test where we placed corporate and product ads for several companies from different sectors in a business publication to try to determine the right balance of corporate to product messages to generate awareness and interest to buy. Should a company run one corporate advertisement and 1, 2, 3, 6, or 10 product ads to gain notice? Should they alternate the order — three product ads, one corporate ad, three product ads in that order? Do they even need corporate ads? Over how many months would it take to generate the most interest for the company and the products being sold? This was in the days when companies were wondering if they should communicate what they stood for, who they were and if it really mattered. Obviously pre-Internet days. It was a huge research undertaking that involved printing presses and hand-inserted advertisements. I learned alot about rubber glue and washing sticky hands. But my interest in the company behind the brand has always remained with me and kept me wondering how important it was to consumers (and executives). Do they really care? Does anyone notice the face of a company and its character, its values, its narrative? What do people do if they don’t like the parent company but still want the product? 
Luckily, we now have research on how important the corporate brand or parent company really is and why it matters to consumers and executives alike. We released the research today, The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust, conducted with KRC Research. Some of the key findings are:

  • 70 percent avoid buying a product if they don’t like the company behind the product (consumers)
  • 67 percent are increasingly checking product labels to see what company is behind the product (consumers)
  • 61 percent get annoyed when they can’t tell what company is behind a product (consumers)
  • 56 percent do research to learn about the companies that make what they buy (consumers)
  • 56 percent hesitate to buy products if they can’t tell who makes them (consumers)
  • Executives estimate that, on average, 60 percent of their firms’ market value is attributable to its reputation. 
  • 86 percent of executives report that their companies increased their efforts to build reputation over the past few years

More to come. And it’s been a busy day getting the research out so will return shortly.


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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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