Brands can refer to the cumulative perception created by marketers’ interactions with their consumer base. It reflects the interdependence of corporate reputation and brand performance as companies strive to win consumer loyalty and expand their reach. Corporate branding and consumer branding are the core elements of brand management. Corporate branding focuses on investing on the company’s reputation and identity while consumer branding relies on the creation of marketing elements that steer brand recognition and awareness. Despite their differences, consumer branding and corporate branding are viewed as brand architectures that function in tandem to enhance marketing outcomes and exert a positive impact on companies’ efforts to create recognition, awareness, and positive reputation.
Existing under different levels of brand management, corporate and consumer branding harness the potential of various marketing initiatives including online reputation management to influence consumer purchasing decision. This study suggests that corporate reputation is as significant as the product itself when it comes to consumer purchasing decision. Underlining the role companies’ standing in buying decision process, the said study outlines six realities that strengthen the essentiality of consumer and corporate branding:
• The company behind the brand is as significant as the product itself.
• The company’s reputation serves as product quality assurance.
• Consumers aren’t likely to buy from a company they didn’t like.
• Consumers have the capacity to shape corporate reputation instantly through word-of mouth, online reviews, and online search results.
• Majority of a company’s market value is attributed to corporate reputation.
A separate study also displays the same conclusion. The study reveals that companies’ association with ideals have a strong impact to consumer preference, consideration and choice, while emphasizing the criticality of purpose-driven marketing in reaching out to the audiences. Purpose-driven marketing is where companies move according to a set of core beliefs and invite consumers into their world, rather than merely imposing the brand and its message to their target consumers.
As markets become more complex and products are quickly homogenized, a unique synthesis of corporate and consumer branding is required to secure a credible brand differentiation. As Hatch and Schultz (2003) would put it, an effective brand management demands repositioning the entire company rather than simply its products. The authors recommend an organizationally integrated and cross-functional approach to brand management in which companies must adapt to constant adjustments on culture, vision, and image and see beyond the marketing value of brands.