In the increasingly competitive and globalized market, brand management has become a prominent element of success for both private and cooperative enterprises. The International Year of Cooperatives, mobilizing national and international resources to recognize cooperative value in human society, creates an exceptional opportunity to upgrade cooperative brand.
With more exposure of cooperatives in public news, and appropriately timed advertisements this means less investment with more returns. In such a context, we recommend two strategies of brand marketing should be considered by cooperators.
To begin with, we should focus on long-term rather than short-term benefit. Instead of commercials for a specific product or enterprise, advertisements highlighting cooperative value and social responsibilities is preferred, as they raise the overall image of cooperatives with lasting return.
Popular cooperative education, such as television and radio programs that introduce the nature of cooperatives are also fairly good instruments to help the public understand and choose cooperatives. During the celebration of IYC, our priorities should rest on the popularity and attraction of cooperative movement.
After that, our campaign should be further targeted to youth and children. They represent our future, and their preferences determine the destinies of different industries and enterprises in the next decade and more. While private enterprises have invested enormously to influence our next generation, cooperatives shall catch up. We shall aim to transforming our brand and image into attractive ones, and making “cooperation” a fashion among students. It involves not only a change of our logo and outlets, but a restructuring of our mind.
In the past few years, Chinese supply and marketing cooperatives have made tremendous efforts to raise our brand value and influence. All stores and outlets of supply and marketing cooperatives now use the same logo across the country with a quality control system shaping up to make “coop” a trustworthy brand in China.
Also, a range of programs has been implemented to increase the awareness of cooperatives among young students, including cooperative training courses and funds to help students create campus cooperatives. Together with all cooperators around the world, we are cherishing this exceptional opportunity of IYC.