Developing the service brand

Roderick White

In an earlier article (1), it was argued that the attempt to develop company branding was justified only if the brand was intended to be a 'service' brand. A 'service' brand needs to embody and provide, as well as communicate, appropriate elements of service - and consistently successful brands of this type are few. (There are plenty of branded services, and many companies that aspire to 'service' brands).

This article takes this thought process further, and lays down some guidelines for the establishment of a service brand. Financial services is the primary area examined, as it is a sector where there are many attempts to establish strong brands, but few obvious successes.

CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS

A successful brand can retain a substantial position in its market/segment, and embodies values that enable it to be consistently more profitable than less well branded competitors. This entails an ability to embrace technical developments, in order to maintain its competitive position over time.