Due to the complexity of the EU-Institutions and its mechanisms, visibility and branding are a priority for EU Federations. I already touched upon EU federations more generally in an earlier post, but now I will go more in-depth into their situation.
EU Federations need more than 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. This investment is necessary to support lobbying, and the federations are well aware of that.
How to explain the trend of evolution with some of the Brussels EU Affairs brands? To give a couple of example’s of changed brands you might recognise:
- BusinessEurope. Formerly known as Union des Industries de la Communauté européenne (UNICE), they changed their name five 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;
- And the most recent example: COLIPA changed their name to Cosmetics Europe last month (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. A good example of this is 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 the Comité Permanent des Industries du Verre Européennes (CPIV), FEVE – the European Container Glass Federation & Glassfiber Europe. This makes it confusing for journalists, politicians, etc. to know where to go for what and who to listen to.
Dan LUCA / Brussels