Press release: 30 November 2002
It is said that you can place a bottle of Coca-Cola or a Manchester United football shirt in a Moroccan bazaar or a Russian whaling outpost and people will recognise them for what they are. To achieve such levels of brand recognition is a state of affairs that most companies can but dream of.
However, any successful global enterprise today is well aware of the need to build its image, reputation, brand recognition - call it what you will. Owning a successful brand mark that automatically sums up the essence and ethos of a company is crucial in developing business on a worldwide scale. This month sees the BSI Group unveil a united face to the world, fronted by a strengthened brand mark, as part of its ongoing strategy to develop its expanding global business.
How the BSI brand has grown
Like many successful companies, BSI's growth has benefited from acquiring businesses fronted by brands that were established in their own right. These have included Inspectorate Griffith, bought in 1998 to give the Group a leading position in commodity inspection worldwide and CEEM Inc, a management services training company, operating in the USA.
Equally, BSI's heritage is something it is justly proud of and last year the Group celebrated its centenary, marking it with record turnover and profits. "The organisation was set up to assist industry build better businesses and trade more effectively. This remains at the core of all aspects of our business, whether it be newly acquired or long established," explains Vivian Thomas CBE, BSI chairman. "This new branding exercise will help strengthen the powerful reputation that BSI already has in its existing markets and make it easier for all our customers to understand the wide ranging services that are offered by the BSI Group today" he says
All BSI Group companies will now operate under the BSI brand
Thomas continues: "All BSI Group companies will now operate under the BSI brand. This not only strengthens the BSI brand name but will emphasise the opportunity that exists for customers to make the most of BSI's wide-ranging expertise.
"The BSI Group already operates across the globe, so presenting a unified face to the world will bring a wealth of opportunities and it also makes good business sense. Not only will knowledge and expertise be shared across the Group, but customers will be able to look to services of the other divisions of the BSI Group irrespective of which area of the Group they are already doing business with," says Thomas. "Our portfolio is second to none and we believe our customers are looking to the BSI Group to provide them with their total information, systems management and inspection requirements.
"After all we are the longest established National Standards Body in the world and British Standards retains its status as the UK's voice in representing the interests of various industries and world trade. BSI is an innovator and a thought leader, a global provider of commodity inspection services and a leader in the field of quality management systems. All our services complement each other so when you think about it, we have a great deal to offer our customers worldwide.
"Today we have some 10 to 15 different brand marks being used across the BSI Group. We are bringing them all into the BSI brand family and strengthening the existing brand mark to emphasise what we have become," says Thomas.
Strengthening the BSI brand globally
Global organisations are increasingly looking for ways to better meet the demands of local markets and the BSI Group is ideally positioned to help. It already services a range of businesses in a variety of industries in over 110 countries around the world, working with them to improve their performance.
Such a major change will not happen overnight. Where business units have strong existing brand recognition such as Inspectorate, transitional marks have been introduced which include the existing brand names. In the long-term it will be BSI accompanied by a particular service offering that represent individual Group brands.
"Although the BSI brand is recognised in certain markets and internationally in the standards and quality worlds, it may not be recognised in, for example, the commodity inspection field. The transitional brands will help us build recognition for the whole BSI Group while at the same time retaining the values of the current brands" adds Thomas.
The BSI brand mark will reflect the Group's core values
Meanwhile, the BSI brand mark itself, first introduced in 1987, has been strengthened, with a vibrant blue, and stronger yellow, designed to reflect the Group's core values: integrity, authority and independence. "The Group has developed since the brand mark was first introduced," says Mark Hunter, BSI's Corporate Strategic Marketing Manager, who led the brand development team. "BSI is more global, and it now leads the way in a range of interrelated activities and products providing business solutions to companies."
The initial changes to incorporate the new brand mark on the Group's stationery, building signage and web-sites will occur over the next few months. To coincide with this an awareness campaign to emphasise the fact that the Group operates in a wide range of areas: standards, information, training, inspection, testing, assessment and certification will explain to staff and customers how the brand unification will encompass all areas of the business.
"BSI is not a conglomerate," says Vivian Thomas. "People think that because we do provide a wide variety of services and because the nature of our activities is different across the Group, we must be a conglomerate. But each of our business divisions have a lot in common: our core values of authority, integrity and independence are the same because those values are fundamental to the service we offer. If industry didn't believe that then it wouldn't come to us to do business."
Thomas notes that the BSI Group is undergoing a metamorphosis that many of its customers have already been through. "A lot of successful organisations find that as they grow they develop or acquire a number of different brands which have their own values. We are retaining the equity of these brands while consolidating the Group into a cohesive world class organisation. It is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts."
Statement of core BSI values
"Our professionalism is respected because we set standards in a clear, objective and relevant way. We always work within regulatory frameworks. We employ rigorous and consistent standards in the assessment of management systems and the inspection and testing of commodities and products."
"We take our responsibilities seriously as a National Standards Body and in the application of our expertise in all areas of our operation. As a result, people accept that the assessments, advice and decisions we give are always rigorous and robust."
"In conducting our activities, we are strictly independent. It's plain to everyone - even interested parties - that we remain steadfastly impartial."