An Integrated Approach to Corporate Branding

  • Nicholas Ind
Part of the Journal of Brand Management: Advanced Collections book series (JBMAC)


The danger of a paper with ‘integrated’ in its title is the automatic assumption it will contain a polemic on the virtues of direct marketing, advertising and public relations working together. Although it is agreed that there are benefits in co-ordinating external communications, this paper is actually concerned with values; with integrating the actions of employees with marketing strategy. The rationale for this is simple and has long been recognised, intellectually, by marketers and their advisors: the reputation of a corporate brand is a result of all forms of interaction with an organisation. Consequently, there is little point in delivering an advertising campaign that bears little relation to the reality of an organisational culture or cannot be supported by the actions of employees. Intellect, unfortunately, has little to do with reality. The world abounds with advertising, and for that matter design and direct marketing, that suggest certain attributes which are all too rarely delivered by the organisation. In contrast, excellent corporate brands marry communications and operations in a credible way, not by employing integrated agencies, but through clearly stated values that unify the way they think and behave. The benefit of this approach is an image of the corporate brand, which recognises our desire for clarity and understanding. As Iris Murdoch says:

‘We see parts of things, we intuit whole things. We seem to know a great deal on the basis of very little … we fear plurality, diffusion, chaos, we want to transform what we cannot dominate or understand into something reassuring and familiar.’1


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  • Nicholas Ind

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