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KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
16 Jan 07 21:25
Anyone else endured Corporate Branding.

Anyone think it adds anything or is it just a pointless exercise to keep arts, business & marketing graduates busy.

I can just about understand doing it for Sales and Marketing but we just had an all hands meeting for 2 hours this afternoon about it.

Or how about anyone have any smart anograms or similar I can substitute for our new "internal rally cry" of

Performance = Success

I also posted a copy of our "Elevator Statement" next to the freight elevator.  
lewtam (Mechanical)
16 Jan 07 23:11
Corporate fad = WOFTAM

I like the practical use of the Elevator Statement.  Does it include: 'We will strive to have an uncomfortable silence in the elevator, avoiding eye contact and social interaction no matter how familiar we are with other elevator passengers"

Or does that just happen at my company's head office?

LewTam Inc.
Petrophysicist, Leading Hand, Natural Horseman, Prickle Farmer, Crack Shot, Venerable Yogi.

MadMango (Mechanical)
16 Jan 07 23:21
I've been through 2 brading efforts at different companies.  At the end of both I was left with this empty feeling in my gut.  After I found out what the company paid for branding services through some consultants (the lowest was $50k USD), I laughed all week.

One company wanted to move away from their "lettery" name, and go with a logo.  Imagine the Chrysler diamond-star or Coca-cola ribbon.  The consultants displayed a huge 180"x 72" banner with about 30 ovid logos, all looking mostly the same.  The winning design was selected, and a few months later I pointed out if the oval was turned on it's side, it looked like rising tide waters, and asked what level of confidence that gave our customers.  Within the year the logo disappeared.

"Art without engineering is dreaming; Engineering without art is calculating."

Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

jmw (Industrial)
17 Jan 07 6:12
Re-Branding sometimes seems like the last resort of failed management; when the business is going to pot re-branding is a nice straw to clutch at. It is easier to say "Our customers don't Understand us" than "Our management team don't understand the (their) business.".

It is paint to cover the cracks.

There will be some notable branding successes followed by a raft of failed imitations. In the companies where I have experienced this, they fell into the second category.

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

MortenA (Petroleum)
18 Jan 07 3:22
Branding is a "management consultant" stunt. Something to make them feel important IMHO.

Its the worst buzz-word around presently!

Best regards

Morten
corus (Mechanical)
18 Jan 07 6:45
Face facts, management don't have much to do all day so exercises like this keep them off the streets where they could be harrassing old ladies to 'leverage' them across the street. That could be your mother. Think about it.

corus

kchayfie (Chemical)
18 Jan 07 8:00
Its not always a complete waste of time. One division of our company was sued by a client and we won. Another division of our company wants to work with a different division of the same client. They want to give us the work but our corporate name is unpopular up the management tree over there. The division wanting the work went through a rebranding exercise and got themselves a new name so they weren't associated with the other group and hey presto! a big contract falls in their lap.

If the clients management had been engineers instead of  accountants, a) the change would have been spotted and b) it wouldn't have been necessary anyway because they would have known which was the right team for the job!
epoisses (Chemical)
18 Jan 07 8:15
A good reason why (I know I have to watch my words now) one should not look TOO far down on this kind of exercises. Even though from engineering point of view it may be bull, we have to face the fact that there are parallel universes in which brands and buzz words are worth big money.
ornerynorsk (Industrial)
18 Jan 07 8:18
Aw, come on.  The people who have no real skill to offer the world need a job, too! Wait a minute, they could go into politics.
KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 07 9:22
Well, while our "Internal Rally Cry" may be "Performance = Success" (note it doesn't say good performance, just performance) our Brand is apparantly "THE HERO, Where there's a will there's a way."

I did find out what the elevator statement is though.  It's what you're meant to say to customers/prospective customers in the elevator on the way to your meeting or whatever.
epoisses (Chemical)
18 Jan 07 9:59
ornerynorsk,
if they have no real skill, how come they make money than you do?
big smile
epoisses (Chemical)
18 Jan 07 10:00
(..) more (..)

(annoying that one can't edit posts here)
bioengr82 (Bioengineer)
18 Jan 07 13:24
For those who believe there is no value in "branding" a product or business, I refer you to First in Thrist.  It is an excellent read.  Despite what we engineers would like to think, an excellent product that performs it's intended function better or more effectively than our competition is only part of the equation in a free market.

Get used to it.
KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 07 13:45
Like I said in my OP I can kind of see the point for sales & Mktg.  Maybe even some kind of short presentation at a regular all hands meeting but:

2 Hour dedicated meeting
150+ attendees
Average burden rate probably >$100/hr

Thus just the attendance at the meeting probably cost > $30,000.  

That is before you consider the cost of flying in and providing accommodation for some of the presenters, paying for the branding consultant who was there the whole time but only presented for about 5 minutes + the goodies they gave away (cookies, water, pens, caps and paper pads nothing exciting).

This in a division of the company that has a cyclical market, who are at a trough in that cycle, had layoffs just last month and are busy quashing rumors of more layoffs.

The presentations were also full of marketing and management speak which made it seems stupid/patronizing, especially given that probably at least half those present were Engineers or Scientists.  It was patronizing enough at a drugstore I worked at as a cashier but in a company that should be aware that at least half those present are probably of above average intelligence it really seemed misguided.
vpl (Nuclear)
18 Jan 07 14:10
epoisses

You can "edit" the post by clicking on the red flag and asking the site people to do it for you.  They're usually more than willing.

Patricia Lougheed

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of the Eng-Tips Forums.

KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
18 Jan 07 19:12
And so it has begun.

A colleague and I are having a 'discussion' on something by email and he's added a few 'spectators' CC and started throwing in lingo from the branding.

He's thrown our internal rally cry (performance = success) at me.

I've matched him our internal rally cry and raised him the company brand (the hero) and part of a guiding principle.

Just think if this hadn't come up I could have spent several hours on something productive!
jmw (Industrial)
19 Jan 07 7:27
Beware of BCCs
Brown nosers and the like are adept at misdirecting your attention.

Rebranding is nothing to the mess that takeovers and mergers can create with various parts of the company fighting to preserve an "identity", usually as a product brand name

JMW
www.ViscoAnalyser.com

KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
19 Jan 07 9:14
Well one of the people he CC is important enough that I've been on best behaviour(ish) I very carefully worded my response, although I'll probably still get it from my manager when he gets in, he was out yesterday.

Interesting you mention the takeovers & mergers, that is the case here.

Our Metrology division is a combination of what were several different companies.  While I don't notice the fight for a product brand line as such many of the employees who were here before the mergers/acquisitions do generally resent the change in status quo and sometimes act accordingly.
MedicineEng (Industrial)
22 Jan 07 20:28
The best memories that I have from a corporate rebranding was the lobster dinner and how I (and other persons including the CEO) got absolutely drunk in the CEO's table. After that, everytime that there was a company dinner, I was invited for the big heads' table. I wonder why...
Guys fighting to sit on the table and the young engineer that knows how to tell some jokes and drinks as hell has a season ticket...  
I think those Marketing guys were puzzled as this strategy didn't come in the books...

Ahh, good memories of corporate rebranding...
MortenA (Petroleum)
23 Jan 07 1:45
I think that most engineers believe in the free market and the value of marketing - and knows that without these functions the companies would die. BRANDING ACMPAIGNS on the other hand seems like a waste of time and money. A futile management exersice.

I was consultant at a company that went through a big branding exesice - just to buy/merge/whaterver with a lot of other companies, change the name and management and then whats this exercise worth then?

OK there may be a party or a free dinner - but just as often its a late afternoon mandatory meeting where the CEO tries to "encourage" the little folks and then some consultants showing some overheads.

Best regards

Morten
RDK (Civil/Environmental)
23 Jan 07 17:16
I had a client that went through a re-branding effort. They were a large multi-national consortium of companies all with different names that did not relate to each other. All proposals and marketing efforts had a large amount of effort in them describing the linkages between the various companies.

The re-branding was to use the corporate name followed by a name describing the individual work unit. It followed that all stationary, signs etc were to the same standard with their logo and the corporate name and unit name.

The end result was a better corporate identity and clients that had a better idea of who and what they were dealing with. Overall it was a well worthwhile effort.

Rick Kitson MBA P.Eng

Construction Project Management
From conception to completion
www.kitsonengineering.com

MortenA (Petroleum)
24 Jan 07 2:09
RDK
OK I wont say that you cant have a good branding effort - however as many others have supported BUZZ words like "branding" often causes management to say "so einen ding mussen wir auch haben" (thats german for "I gotta get me one of those") and then just go half the way (like a pep talk after work time ha s finished).

Best regards

Morten
prohammy (Mechanical)
26 Jan 07 5:25
KENAT,

I have to agree that 'Corporate Branding' seems to have become the last chance of the damned.

I was with one company (in Ireland) who went through a rebranding exercise (or to use the stratagists terminology a 'phased image purification'....marvelous that one) because a small US company had the same name as us which was problematic for our US sales team. We were told about the 'exciting new development' (which I thought was a term applied to new engineering projects, how little I knew back then). We were told of our new company name, which would 'inspire the market and invigorate our customers'. We were shown our new company colours, which were 'bold and exciting'. We were basically told that world domination was on the way......

Anyone see where this is going.....

I (and 50% of the workforce) were left go 9 months later when the US markets down-turned, the company was taken over by venture capitalists that had a minority share, and the owners/management were ousted.

If only we had saved some money, concentrated on core markets......etc etc etc.... common story

The good news, it was at that point I decided to go into the contact design game and have never looked back.

Conclusion. Corporate rebranding must be a good thing???? (I know a bit less cynicism and I might turn out to be a nice person)

Kevin Hammond

Mechanical Design Engineer
Derbyshire, UK
 

TStaples (Automotive)
20 Feb 07 16:34
Kenat,

I can't believe your management has fallen victim to this practice of expounding the obvious.  These "consultants" are rather shallow and twist some fairly obvious observations with word substitions to come up with such impressive slogans to charge $$$$ for.  

In order to derive what they REALLY are saying, we must use a simple thesaurus, and perform simple substitution.

For example:
PERFORMANCE=SUCCESS

According to my thesaurus:
PERFORMANCE=ROUTINE

SUCCESS=CONQUEST
CONQUEST=OCCUPATION
OCCUPATION=SOMETHING TO DO

By substituting in the original meanings for the contrived slogan, it is obvious that the consultants really mean:

ROUTINE=SOMETHING TO DO!

My personal slogan is:
BRANDING CONSULTANTS=EXPOUNDING THE OBVIOUS

-Tony Staples
www.tscombustion.com

KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
22 Feb 07 15:43
Tstaples, I wish I could share your disbelief.
KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
30 May 07 15:06
Gets better, they now have a bunch of office items (pens, pads, coffee cups) with our logo and 'cutesy' quotes on them.

Note pad: "Here are some more solutions for a nanoscale world" on every page not just a cover.

Pen: "Don't forget to write down your world changing ideas everyday"

Don't have a cup to hand but it's something like "world leading scientists rely on us, we rely on coffee".

This after a 'profit sharing check' that barelay paid for a family dinner.

PSE (Industrial)
31 May 07 7:53
I think we have either re-branded or re-logo'd the company 3 times in the past 4 years.  The first major change, "modernized" the corporate logo and established a corporate color theme.  The next change was incorporating into that logo, part of the corporate colors of another company we purchased.  Marketing then realized that the new logo color scheme did not look good on our products so we reverted back to the previous color scheme but added a "catch or tag" line.  I threw away all previous business cards and so far have not bothered to order new.  Surprisingly, I have not missed having business cards at all.

I shudder at the cost of all this.  Corporate signage, letterhead, packaging artwork, literature and more all had to change numerous times during this period.
Jordonlaw (Structural)
1 Jun 07 4:43
I went through this once with a big UK company. They merged with a competitor and then changed their name using expensive guys in suits. To much fanfare they announced to the world their new name and most people laughed. Soon afterwards we got a memo round asking us to look at a document (procedure ?) that showed us how to use the new name and associated logo. The memo didn't follow the document and the document consisted of prescribing where the logo should be placed on buildings. An excellent use of shareholders money.

TDAA (Geotechnical)
4 Jun 07 20:01
There is a pretty short sighted view of Corporate Branding (CB) on this site, but for good reason.

True CB is earned over time, and is one of the most important aspects of visual marketing.  It means having visibility and consistency in looks.  As mentioned above, the "Coke Wave" is known around the world by almost everyone. The "Golden Arches" are not far behind.  In the US, most people recognise the yellow pricetag is Best Buy.  Chilie's has dropped there name on thier signs, replacing it with a red pepper. It doesn't even have to be a "worless" logo.  I am sure you can picture the Sony font, or how the E in Dell is at an angle (as I see 4 of them in front of me). You see them, and know exactly what it means.

So, with world wide recognition of CB efforts, why is it so bad?  I think it is because engineers dont really believe that marketing works for them. Heck, the logo doesn't do the work, you do!  But guess what, seeing that logo consistently, will make the client remember that you did the work for them.  Sure, it is not a substitute for face or phone time, but it helps in the overall picture.  It has certianly worked for the products we buy, the places we shop, the places we eat, and may of our clients.  Why not us?
KENAT (Mechanical) (OP)
4 Jun 07 20:37
Like I said in my OP I can see why you'd do it from a sales & marketing point of view & to influence the customers.

However I still have trouble seeing the benefit of a dedicated 2 hr meeting + goodies, internal gimmicks etc.

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