owl4.jpgAt its simplest, branding is a series of chosen associations that a person or organization uses routinely in its communications. Coke, for example, has long been known as “The Real Thing”. It chose to brand its ethics and compliance efforts as “The Real Thing, The Right Way”. When American Express decided to rewrite its Code of Conduct it undertook an extensive branding effort to get to "My Company, My Code". And Siemens, after paying more than $1.3 billion in anti-corruption related fines and settlements in 2008, seems to have invested quite a bit more in the “Siemens Compliance System”.

Most organizations aren’t going to have the brand identity of Coke, the budget of American Express or the public embarrassment incentive of Siemens behind their compliance and ethics communication efforts. But branding is more than a logo or a tagline and it isn’t an all or nothing choice. Even a little thought goes a long way. For example, do you want an “Integrity” program, but an “Ethicsline”? Or you might ask the marketing folks for an image like the one above .... How about just looking a component of the program - say the hotline. Would your employees call "Ethics Direct'?

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