Branding is Both Vital and Challenging, Says Global Communicator
A company’s brand is more than just a logo. It is what customers identify with, the impression they have of the company and how they perceive its quality.
According to Orange County brand expert Bill Casey, even the most successfully branded business can run into trouble, as evidenced by Wells Fargo’s recent struggles with its fake account problems. “These issues will impact Wells Fargo financially,” Casey says, “but the question is whether its customers and potential customers have lost trust in its brand,” something that remains to be seen.
Casey has worked in France, Thailand, and across the US, leading marketing and product management organizations for Fortune 500 and start-up companies. Currently he is senior director, corporate communications and brand for Ingram Micro, where he leads internal, external and executive communications, as well as corporate social media. He also leads the corporation’s brand strategy and launched the new company brand. A new IABC Orange County member, Casey lives in Irvine with his wife, Regina, and together they appreciate Orange County’s proximity to mountains, beaches and Los Angeles.
In May, Casey presented “Corporate Web Sites: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” at IABC Orange County’s Network & Knowledge series together with his colleague Dennis Crupi, director of Agency Ingram Micro.
“Your brand is everything you do, from the customer experience to how you treat your associates, your customers and the world we live in,” Casey explains. “The best brands have a holistic view of vendors, customers and associates. Brands aren’t just clever slogans. The brand must be who you are.”
Thanks to consumers’ instant access to global content, customers can immediately[CW1] share their brand experiences – good and bad – with friends, contacts and the public. Because customers have real time access to data, information and reviews – and because they share results quickly and completely – companies are increasingly emphasizing high-quality customer service. They immediately respond to customer complaints, work hard to serve them, and aim to meaningfully engage with them.
“To be authentic and successful, the idea that customers come first must always come from company leadership,” Casey says. “Actions must back the words.”
Strong brands rely on effective accurate, reliable communications, both internal and external. “Internal communications help underscore initial discussions about the brand,” he says. “If people understand more about what a company is trying to do, as well as its successes and misses, they will engage more with the company – and the stronger it will be.”
External communications that tell the company’s story to customers, investors and potential customers are equally important, Casey adds. “Communications is how we live,” he notes. “It’s important because it’s so difficult to do correctly. We know that when we talk to our family, friends and coworkers we can be misinterpreted. Ineffective communications can send the wrong message, which in turn creates the wrong actions.”