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European Business and Brand Building

Edited By Luciano Segreto, Hubert Bonin, Andrzej K. Kozminski and Carles Manera

A strong brand is a key factor in business success, both in the short-term and in the long-term. Brands help to provide a better understanding of the corporate and commercial culture of different firms. A brand reveals the knowledge capital held by a company, but also often reflects the perception of the firm held by consumers and stake-holders.
The book explores the historical process of building some of the most famous brands among European businesses and examines the extent to which the brands have contributed to the image of the firms and their differentiation against competitors in the industry.


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Foreword 13 - Manfred Pohl


13 Foreword Manfred POHL Institute for Corporate Culture Affairs (ICCA), Frankfurt, Germany History has shown that the heart of a company, its identity, is frequently linked to a strong brand. Brands visualize a company’s self- image and express the way the firm wants to be seen by the public. However, a newly created brand cannot be simply imposed on the customer. Decisive for its success is whether the customer accepts the brand the same way the creator intends it to be seen. Thus, a brand can only be successful if the company’s self-image and the customers’ approval correspond. Identity is also closely related to unity, which is – according to its philosophical definition – indivisible. This means that a company has to strive for maximal integrity and still needs to unite various identities under its name, which are valid in different cultures and religions. A brand of a global company has to be seen similarly in every country around the world. As a consequence, the brand becomes a symbol of the company’s integrity; and the more complete this unity is, the stronger is the company’s identity. Moreover, a company needs to be careful not to miss the point in time when a brand is out-dated. The company has to realize the moment when a new brand is necessary due to changing perceptions of the customer. We could evoke several examples of changing buying patterns here, but we will concentrate on one concrete example instead: demographic change. Around 1900 the group of sixty...

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