For the first time Austrian Standards presented the "Certified Brand" quality label of the European Brand Institute Vienna to ELK, prefab home market leader in Austria, and FINANZFUCHSGRUPPE. The certificate is based on the brand-new International Standard ISO 20671 on the evaluation of brand management — a world-wide standard with strong Austrian roots.
Innovation needs branding - branding needs innovation. That was the motto of the iconvienna Brand Global Summit 2018 held on 19 April 2018 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and Vienna's City Hall. This European business conference provided a suitable setting for a brand-strengthening world debut.
At the welcome reception on 18 April, DDr. Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha, Director of Austrian Standards and former ISO Vice-President (2012-2016), and KommR DI Dr. Gerhard Hrebicek, President of the European Brand Institute, handed over the first ISO 20671 certificates that, for the first time, permit internationally comparable quality evaluations of brands and brand management and make them visible — a meaningful exercise considering that on average, the value of a brand accounts for 40 percent of a company's value according to studies of the European Brand Institute.
Documented brand quality
The world's first company that completed the certification process under ISO 20671 was ELK Group with ELK, hanlo and Zenker as certified brands. "We want to manage, maintain and refine the brands ELK, hanlo and Zenker in line with up-to-date standards," explains ELK's CFO Gerhard Schuller the motives for certification. "Brand value has an increasing impact on the overall enterprise value. A consistent and clear brand policy decisively contributes to corporate success. The certificate documents the quality of the brand in the internal business process and external communication," Schuller continued.
For Christian Mattasits, Managing Director of FINANZFUCHSGRUPPE, too, focused brand management is an important tool for generating added value for his clients. "Thanks to the certification process, we are now able to manage all the brand dimensions of our company in an integrated way," Mattasits emphasized.
Brand certification according to ISO 20671 covers all the areas relevant for the creation, maintenance and further development of strong brands. The standard defines the criteria for integrated brand management, which include investments in brand protection, market and trend analyses, product and marketing innovation as well as sustainable communication measures and regular, transparent brand reports.
ÖNORM as a trigger for world-wide standard
"ISO 20671 is a global standard with strong Austrian roots," Elisabeth Stampfl-Blaha pointed out. As early as 2006, Austrian Standards published ONR 16800 "Method for the evaluation of the intangible asset brand" that was updated and issued as ÖNORM A 6800 four years later. Those were the world's first normative documents on brand evaluation.
"The ÖNORM standard triggered the development of the ISO standard," explained Hrebicek who, being the convenor of the competent ISO working group, contributed Austrian know-how to the development of the International Standard. In collaboration with representatives of more than 45 countries and experts of diverse disciplines, international rules have been prepared that provide valuable guidance to SMEs, but also to regions wishing to strengthen their own brand and, as a result, their standing as a business location.
Brands are the asset of the future. Two Austrian companies - ELK and FINANZFUCHSGRUPPE - have received a confirmation of this fact in cold print. Further Austrian brands will follow and make certified brand quality visible.