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Branding survey highlights
Branding survey highlights – press release

 Mention the word brand and many people think about slogans, logos and advertising for Coca Cola, Nike and other consumer giants. It’s the real thing. Just do it. We bring good things to life. Brands have long been studied from a marketing communications perspective, with an emphasis on the message or promise being given to external customers. But how can a company ensure that these promises are fulfilled – especially in a growing service economy? 

Linda Gorchels, director of marketing talent development in the executive education department of UW-Madison’s School of Business, and Tim Aurand, associate professor at Northern Illinois University, recently surveyed companies to determine employee perspectives on their companies’ support for the brand promise. “We were interested in whether the brand was perceived as a ‘living value’ that guides daily activities,” said Gorchels, “or whether it was perceived as a marketing communications tactic.” 

In order to assess employee perspectives, a systematic random sample was drawn from a list of participants from management and executive education seminars at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The vast majority of respondents indicated that their companies had strong brand images. However, they were less convinced that their companies provided the training and performance measures necessary to bring these values to life. Fully a fifth of the respondents generally or strongly disagreed that brand value training is provided, or that knowledge of the brand promise is used in staffing decisions. More than 30% generally or strongly disagree that annual performance reviews or departmental plans consider the brand values.  

“For many American firms, employees (even in middle and upper levels of management) do not perceive that the requirements of living the brand promise have been built into the day-to-day human resource management efforts of their firms,” according to Gorchels. 



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