When many companies are jostling for attention in a crowded IPO world, where many are equally worthy – how does a name stand out? And how does it begin to ‘own’ all the positives it has - so that there is an instant ‘buy-in’ without going into detailed financial analysis and promoter history every single time. The answer lies in branding.
A brand is the sum total of what it’s audiences think of the company/ brand. There are multiple audiences for any company.
The Primary Audiences are internal and external and are in direct contact with the brand– their employees and their customers. Their actions directly impact the company on a day-to-day basis. Customers increase the top line, their loyalty and willingness to pay a premium increases the bottom-line . On the other hand, employees deliver the efficient and profitable functioning of a company. They ensure company targets are met and they ensure competitive advantage through their loyalty and dedication.
The Secondary Audiences influencers – and impact the company’s fortunes indirectly. They are Policy Makers, Media, Investors (both shareholders and Financial Institutions) and Industry bodies. (Such as Trade Associations, FICCI, CII).
The Tertiary Audiences are the customer’s customers in case of B2B brands and public-at-large. They do not impact a brand’s fortunes directly but do build a general public opinion about the company. (I have heard a senior govt. official talk about general goodwill and have said that public opinion will not let the TATA brand die if ever it is in dire straits; but a lesser-known brand might never get similar support).
There is one situation however, when the Secondary Audience of the Investor Community becomes as important as their customers and employees. The time when investors can directly influence the fortunes of a company is during an IPO. A successful IPO is when the offered shares are fully subscribed or over-subscribed. Companies are over-subscribed when people believe in a strong growth story for the company. They believe in the future of the company and want to become a part of the growth story..