Corporate Branding Strategy: Leveraging the Legacy - Family Business Identity

In the United States and across the globe, millions of family businesses operate, achieving varying levels of success. Some actively establish a corporate identity as family-owned, while others do not leverage on this aspect of their background at all. For this entry, we ask the following questions: How does a company establish a family business identity? What are the benefits of being perceived as a family business? When is it advisable to put focus on being family-owned? Branding the business. Essentially, family business branding is a means of promoting brand equity, or the value that the brand brings to the owners through differentiation. Companies can use such expressions as “a truly world-class and still family-owned company,” as in the case of UK-based company JCB, or “A Family Company,” for SC Johnson. Family business branding can also be evident in the use of the family name, photographs and anecdotes in the slogan, advertising materials, printed copies, website, packaging, and store design. Organizationally, family businesses are also supposed to be led by actual members of the family, and it is supposed to reflect on corporate profiles published on brochures and on the web. Value of family identity. Family identity brings with it the notion of heritage, and the impression that particular company values had been handed down from generation to generation. Moreover, in a world that is increasingly becoming homogenized and corporations eventually become merged and operate transnationally, family-owned businesses exude dependability as well as a commitment to personalized service. The goal is for these perceptions of being reliable, trustworthy, and accessible to translate to consumer loyalty. Being known as family-owned brings competitive advantage to companies belonging to particular industries. Examples would be clothing and food, where trade secrets can very well distinguish one brand from another, and where tradition is highly valued. After all, who would not be thrilled to enter a restaurant that prides on secret recipes passed down for decades? Or bring home a coat or a bag bearing the name and the signature design of a fashion house? Well before they have become the conglomerate-owned businesses that they are today, weren’t the houses of Fendi and Gucci known for decades-old legacy of craftsmanship? The downside of family business branding. Family business branding has its downside, too. Samsung, the global technology brand, is family-owned but do not package itself as such, perhaps because it belongs to an industry where the impression of being bound to tradition can hurt. Discontinuing family business branding may benefit families which seek to present various brands with different target markets. For example, if a family that manufactures ball point pens decided to branch into two: one focused on producing mass market pens, the other on high-end ballpens.  It is also advisable for those whose names have been tainted by controversy. To help you navigate the complex but exciting world of brand management, get in touch with us here at GreyBox Creative. We employ a formidable team of professionals who specialize in the development of corporate identity, and design a branding strategy aligned with your marketing goals.

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