A Corporate Religion is a set of attitudes and values as well as
strategies, tools and actions for the company management to use in
their work. In a Corporate Religion company it is the brand,
and not the product, that is used to guide the company. The company
must be turned into a 'movement' where the management form is
driven by a fundamental belief in the value of a strong Corporate
Brand, as opposed to companies that are driven on the basis of
exact - historical - knowledge.
Technological development means that physical products become more and more identical. As a consequence it becomes impossible or very difficult for the company to differentiate itself using only marketing products.
When consumers perceive a product to be identical to others, they will want to know more about the company behind the product - about its attitudes and values. So where previously the product was equated with the brand, it will be the company and its values that will position the brand in the future.
It is not enough to have the 'right' attitude if it is only skin
deep. Today's consumer is intelligent enough to see through
attitudes and values that are not firmly anchored in the
The challenge for the company management is therefore to identify, develop and drive the company according to a set of base values. These must be perceived as credible, desirable and unique; both internally in the company's own organisation and externally among customers, business partners etc.
Brands differ in their strength. The stronger and more relevant the values that are tied in with the brand, the more involved the consumers will become with the brand - and the greater the involvement, the stronger the brand and value for the company. Corporate Religion is the vehicle for reaching the ultimate target: Brand Heaven. The model distinguishes 5 types of brands:
- Product Brand: Products without any form of added value connected to the generic element.
- Concept Brand: Brands that are driven by emotional values - as opposed to product characteristics.
- Corporate Concept Brand: Brands that merge with the company and present themselves in a sustained and consistent way.
- Brand Culture Brand: Brands that are so strong that they - in the eyes of the consumer - have become equated with the function they represent.
- Brand Religion Brand: The ultimate brand position is that of brands that - in the eyes of the consumer - have become a 'must', a faith to which they profess.
How to use the model?
An interrelationship exists between a number of quantitative and qualitative values that create strong brand positions. Carry out a little internal exercise to find out how your company and competitors are placed in the model.
Most people recognise the quantitative values along the X-axis. It is a number of rational and - in many cases - measurable elements e.g. awareness, preference, top-of-mind, market share, degree of distribution, quality/price, technological profile, the rational need for the product and the products' USP (the product's rational raison d'être).
The qualitative values along the Y-axis are more difficult to measure. These include a number of emotional values such as appeal, originality, political correctness, whether the brand is a 'must', what the degree of social acceptance is as well as the brand's ESP (the emotional reason for the brand). Depending on the industry and product, several additional parameters can be set up to make a quantitative evaluation of the brand.