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Corporate strategy for the industry?

I was impressed by last week&#39s article on branding (Money Marketing, October 18).

As life insurers and asset managers adopt a more strategic approach to marketing, branding is moving from a communications-based proposition to the “centre stage in corporate strategy”,as the authors rightly state.

However, the article does not develop the most critical issue. Does our industry have any real corporate strategy? Or is it simply a series of ongoing tactical responses?

Gerry Johnson, the highly respected professor of strategic management, would question the degree of corporate strategy in today&#39s financial services industry.

Your authors refer to Axa&#39s policy of one brand worldwide, which I believe to be an excellent example of overall vision and strategy. I would have been interested to see this compared and contrasted with Prudential&#39s successful multi-branding strategy both in the UK and worldwide.

The chief executives and marketing directors comprising the majority of the membership of the Financial Services Forum are currently actively considering the issue of corporate strategy in our industry.

On November 7, we have a conference devoted to the subject of strategies for competitive advantage in financial services marketing.

We have invited Gerry Johnson to question the strategy of our industry and Frank Wilson of Axa and Tara Mcleod of the Prudential (among others) to share their perspectives on product, branding service and segmentation as part of overall corporate strategy.

I would hope that we will be able to contribute to this important debate.

Anthony Thomson

Chairman of the advisory board, The Financial Services Forum, London


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