October 24, 2014
Due to the complexity of the EU institutions and its mechanisms, visibility and branding are a priority for European Federations, especially if they have an operational office in Brussels. I already touched upon EU federations more generally in earlier posts, but in this post I will go more in-depth regarding branding.
EU federations need more than just their brand to communicate in Brussels. It is imperative for them to have good relations with other key stakeholders in their field of expertise in order to position themselves. To make this investment is necessary to support their lobby activities, and the federations are well aware of that.
How to explain the evolutionary trend of some of the Brussels EU affairs brands? I’ll put forward a couple of examples of changed brands you might recognise:
– BusinessEurope. Formerly known as Union des Industries de la Communauté européenne (UNICE), they changed their name seven years ago (2007);
– FoodDrinkEurope: they used to be known as Confédération des Industries Agro-Alimentaires (CIAA), until they changed to FoodDrinkEurope in June 2011;
– Brewers of Europe changed their name from Confédération des brasseurs du marché commun (CBMC) in 2005;
– COLIPA changed their name to Cosmetics Europe in January 2012.
The transition of French acronyms to an English brand name (not another acronym) makes it easier to understand what sector the federation represents, thus making it easier to position itself.
Moreover, I am convinced that federations active in Brussels on a European level, which represent the same or similar sectors, will merge in order to favour brand consistency in the market. This is, for example, found in the glass industry which is represented in Brussels by ‘Glass for Europe’, grouping the 4 main corporations in the sector, but also by Glass Alliance Europe; FEVE, the European Container Glass Federation; EDG, the European Domestic Glass Committee; ESGA, European Special Glass Association; and Glass Fiber Europe. This makes it confusing for journalists, politicians, etc. to know where to go for what, and who to listen to.