Branding: Perception is Reality
As we at General Atlantic celebrate our 32nd anniversary, we are proud to launch our updated brand. Our goal is to continue to own the attribute that has defined GA for the last three decades: "EXCELLENCE IN GLOBAL GROWTH EQUITY." As part of our branding efforts, we are updating our communications, presenting a refreshed logo and enhancing the look to all of our marketing materials.
While we have grown and evolved as a firm over the last 32 years, there are several fundamental characteristics of GA that have remained constant. Our brand is built around one central theme: "EXCELLENCE IN GLOBAL GROWTH EQUITY" and our main messages include our focus on active collaboration, being aligned for growth and creating dynamic value. Our brand attributes include our passion for working with great companies, patience in pursuing opportunities and building lasting value, persistence in overcoming obstacles and pursuing growth, partnership with our investors and our portfolio company teams and importantly performance in delivering value to our companies and our investors. We believe that the theme and the messages are true differentiators for GA and our objective in this update is to clearly demonstrate this differentiation.
We have refreshed our GA logo drawing upon our original wave design and maintaining its understated elegance to further symbolize our brand promise. The new waves represent growth, forward momentum and the progress of global innovation. The waves also resemble two strands of a rope, indicating strength in partnership and shared goals. We launched our new look in April and you will continue to see changes over the next several weeks.
We are acutely aware of the importance of brand - our own as well as that of our portfolio companies. When we make investments, we are seeking companies who are well thought of in the marketplace. Over the course of many years, we have worked with several of our companies on their global branding initiatives and have seen firsthand the value of building a strong brand.
In our view, branding is all about the qualities or characteristics that make you unique. Brand is the perception held by your targeted audiences of who you are, what you do and how well you do it. A brand is created throughout the entire cycle of customer experience from the first time one hears about a company to well after the purchase is made. A successful brand is created with close attention to each phase of the customer experience to ensure that your company vision is clearly articulated and perceived. Everyone in the company is a brand ambassador, each interaction is a branding opportunity and a company's name, logos, taglines, colors, shapes and other visual elements are all symbols of its brand.
Most companies compete vigorously on price, quality, service and breadth of offerings, but those that dramatically differentiate themselves from their competitors do so by shaping customers perceptions and experiences. Moreover, companies that recognize the importance of branding are able to affect the views of other key audiences (influencers, referral sources, analysts and investors) all of whom impact business prospects and ultimately market value.
Companies with strong brands benefit in multiple ways:
Authority: There is a perception of quality associated with strong brands and that can provide the opportunity for favorable interactions with customers and clients. While pricing will always be important, there is an intangible aspect to a strong brand which allows for better pricing and thereby increased company value.
Trust: A strong brand provides safety in uncertain markets. Clients and customers feel comfort in working with a firm that is known, stable and reliable. Predominant brands have a competitive advantage and discourage market entrants.
Status: Well-known, reputable companies are the ones people want to buy from, work for and be affiliated with. A strong brand offers increased opportunities for growth and success which leads to higher market value over time.
Developing and executing a successful branding strategy requires CEO leadership, executive management support and firm-wide employee buy-in. As markets become even more competitive, branding will become more and more important for all businesses and as a key value creation lever.
We are excited about continuing to build our brand and hope that our efforts have a positive galvanizing effect across our global network. Our goal is for our brand to be a benefit to your brand and we look forward to finding ways to leverage our efforts on your behalf. For more information or to discussbranding further, please contact your GA team member.