Rebrand your family business

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Rebrand your family business

With new technologies and turbulent markets out there, transforming your organisation's image is more important than ever

By Afzal Hasan

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Published: Fri 15 Apr 2016, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 15 Apr 2016, 11:52 AM

These days, CEOs of all organisations are up against increasingly formidable odds. This is especially true when they are dealing with turnarounds or attempting to transform their operations. Which is exactly what has made rebranding a matter of crucial significance. In today's dynamic market, it is essential to develop, maintain and adapt brand assets. In our region, there are several notable family-run business houses that play their role as the 'Master Brand' or 'Key Driver' over the many sub-brands in their portfolio. The essential role of the master brand is to generate leverage, synergy and clarity, so that in essence, the family-run company visibly stands behind its diverse businesses in spirit and substance.

All family businesses have their heritage, assets, capabilities, people, values and priorities, whether their frames of reference are local or global. Moreover, the smarter organisations among them are aware of their growing business challenges and the need to be in step with the times, leading them to invigorate their image wisely.

THE CHALLENGES
Every organisation becomes a personality, through a recognisable image. For this reason, maintaining and steering an enterprise's identity is essential.

If rebranding aims to be truly effective, one must consider an entire gamut of ingredients that make a profound impact in the business world and focus on the organisation's many strengths and profitability.
 
REBRANDING AGENDA
To constantly evolve, a company must adopt progressive enhancements that meet new consumers and employees' expectations. For this, the following should be considered:

. A physical landmark - group headquarters
Ideally, an elegant, spacious and purpose-built head office building - striking and well designed - to serve as the nerve centre of the enterprise. A sure recipe for success that will add to the latter's stature.
. An advanced work environment
Here are some value-creating propositions:
> A well-equipped auditorium
> An extensive, well-planned library to add to the staff's storehouse of knowledge
> A spacious, in-house kitchen and dining hall, offering healthy meals to staff and visitors at subsidised rates
> A fully fitted gymnasium
. Corporate identity and its implementation
Some people think that rebranding is just the change of a logo, corporate colours and tag line. In truth, what it actually comprises of is a total package of actions. Corporate identity needs to be dynamic, vibrant and relevant, and must be followed by the sub-brands, as well.

THE 'MUST HAVE' FACTORS

. People
Needless to say, managers need to be more sophisticated, not only in dealing with clients, but also developing successful relationships with employees.
. Work culture motto: everybody here cares!
All employees give their best when they know their organisation cares about them. Professor Chris Roebuck, one of the top HR experts from Europe, recently said that, in Dubai, when companies genuinely care, employees were seen to increase the effort they put into their jobs by over 24 per cent. "When you care for your employees, they care for your customers!" is a popular saying.
. Dress code
"Nobody takes you seriously unless you are dressed properly." Take a cue from the Japanese: the uniformly grey suited executives exude dignity and a quiet sense of purpose.
. Community relations
According to Muhtar Kent, Chairman & CEO of Coca-Cola Company, an enterprise's future is tied to the community it serves, because thriving and sustainable communities create thriving and sustainable businesses. So, its investment should not just be in capital terms - companies should also think about social upliftment.

PARTING SHOT
Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert, consultants at Bain & Company, noted that successful Chief Executives seem to rely on their deep understanding of the fundamental laws of business. They see what others are not doing, and do precisely that. Also, they identify and follow a clear path towards performance improvements.

The message is clear. To transform a family business into a genuinely all-communicative, powerful, long-lasting brand through rebranding, call on your strengths, step outside the norm, and watch out for what lies ahead.

(The author is a retired CEO, leading business consultant and member of Public Relations Society of America. The views expressed by him are his own.)


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