Article: Strategic Brand Management

Cláudia Bocciardi*

The popularization of the Internet and social networks has dramatically increased the speed and reach of the dissemination of information, causing a radical transformation in communication and interpersonal relationships. One of the most positive consequences of this change is the greater empowerment of society, which has thus gained more effective means of organizing itself and asserting its opinion.

The consequences of the phenomenon also have repercussions in the business world and in the way companies relate to their strategic stakeholders. In the past, companies operated in the B2B segment and did not deal directly with end consumer, finding the communication with them unnecessary. This has no longer been the case for quite a while. 

With such an easy and immediate access to information, consumers, as well as other audiences, became more demanding and began to make purchasing decisions based not only on quality and fair prices of products and services, but also on attitudes and values perceived regarding the companies. It should also be noted that stakeholders are able to play multiple roles: consumers can also be investors and residents of the surrounding community, and even employees can interact with a number of stakeholders, from customers to opinion makers, moving a gear for the dissemination of reputation.

For that reason, companies are required to create links with their audiences. It is in this context that the brand management approach gains new dimensions as part of the value creation strategy of companies. More than a logo or a visual symbol, a brand is the expression of the set of values, beliefs and attitudes of a company, whether it is in the materialization of attributes of a product or service or in the definition of the institutional positioning of a company or institution. Brands are an intrinsic part of the communication process and, as such, help to spread the attributes for which companies wish to be recognized.

Coherence with ingrained internal principles and values, consistency and constancy should guide this process as a way to ensure alignment between promises and the ability to deliver. This set of meanings recognized through brands helps us to create legitimacy and recognition.

By understanding that brands, in their essence, contribute to the perception of the audiences with which they relate, they should also evolve while following the cycles involving the companies or products they represent. Decisions regarding maintenance, modernization or brand change should be at the service of companies' strategy, which also tends to undergo periodic reviews for adjustment to market dynamics and shareholder goals.

Their support platforms should be periodically revisited to check their effectiveness, which results from the competence of the strategies adopted and, above all, the legitimacy of the attributes conveyed.

The example of Braskem is illustrative in this sense. Earlier this year, by marked our 15th anniversary last August, the marketing team found it appropriate to reflect on the suitability of the brand platform to the current transformations. Several steps in the company's development had been overcome over the period, from its position as regional leader after the consolidation of the domestic market, through the internationalization of its operations in the United States, Europe and Mexico, to the cycle that is now starting, with the aim of consolidating Braskem as a global company.

The beginning of this new cycle also brought the opportunity to revisit the brand platform, seeking a better adaptation to the future vision of the company. The process consisted of an immersion in the business strategy, the desired attributes and the vision of the future alongside the leaders, market trends, and the way we understand our culture and our values, thus enabling the identification of outstanding characteristics that bring distinction to the company. A strong, people-oriented vision built on long-term partnerships, the ability to challenge oneself in the search for solutions and positive impacts for the market, and looking to the future, all based on the intense purpose of creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics to improve the lives of people.

The strategic review of the platform also resulted in the brand's new visual identity. We sought to translate this with lightness and transparency, in a logo that now features an icon based on the colors blue and yellow, without losing the connection of the brand with its history and the bonds created with our direct stakeholders.

*Cláudia Bocciardi is the Marketing Director at Braskem.

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