Prof. Dr. Mats Urde

Welcome to the matrix! – What Does Your Corporate Brand Stand for?


THE PROBLEM: A clear corporate brand identity provides direction and purpose, enhances the standing of products, aids in recruiting and retention, and helps protect a firm’s reputation in times of trouble. But many companies struggle to define their brands.

THE MATRIX TOOL: The corporate brand identity matrix can address that problem by guiding executive teams through a structured set of questions that examine aspects of identity-related to the organization’s mission, culture, competencies, values, and other defining characteristics.

THE APPLICATION: Companies in a range of industries have used the matrix to clarify the relationship between parent and daughter brands; support business development; evaluate targets for acquisition; and reposition their brand image.

Sometimes a sketch of a parent firm’s identity can be done quickly—and even be helpful. During the Brand Science Slam in Berlin at the Global Brand Conference we will attempt a sketch in 10 minutes record! But developing a comprehensive understanding of a corporate brand identity usually takes much longer, involving many sessions and leadership and teams throughout a global organization. The process can happen faster, though, if the company already has strong core values and other essential elements of identity.

Examining and refining your corporate brand is a true leadership task that requires far-reaching input and commitment, passion, and grit. The outcome—a sharpened brand, stronger relationships, and a unified organization—can provide a clear competitive edge.

Based on: Greyer, S. A.; Urde, M. (2019). What Does Your Corporate Brand Stand For?” Havard Business Review, 80-99.

Mats Urde is a researcher, teacher, and advisor in strategic brand management. He has a long track record of practical experience from projects with Electrolux, ABB and IKEA among others. As an associate professor, he heads Lund Brand Management Group. He introduced the concept of brand orientation and have published field-based research on Volvo, the Nobel Prize Foundation, and the Swedish Monarchy. Mats works with cases in his master course Strategic Brand Management and Reputation. Mats have received the students’ “The Teacher of the Year” award, and the University’s pedagogical prize. In his spare time Mats like sailing and Icelandic horse riding.