Better branding on the horizon Understanding the perceptions and mechanisms behind product branding, as well as the most effective mechanisms to upgrade brands, could make companies more competitive. Climate Change and Environment © Shutterstock The EU-funded 'Relating company efforts to consumer perceptions: a contingency framework' (Globrand) project is investigating the relationships between company efforts, corporate image and consumer perceptions. Likewise, the team is exploring the relationship between communications channels used by companies and brand image, detailing channels used as well (e.g. advertising, PR and endorsements). Globrand wants to identify the more effective and efficient channels to build types of images in the minds of consumers. Another important consideration is how these relationships vary across different countries. The project team conducted an extensive review of existing literature on the subject to address these questions. Relevant papers in different journals on business, marketing and consumer research were analysed, focusing on corporate image and corporate reputation. Globrand then prepared a document which introduces the project and summarises the project objectives for the benefit of concerned stakeholders. It designed an interview protocol which provides the general framework for interviews in the business world that can help shed light on the project's questions. The interviewees include global companies with significant presence in Europe, followed by interviews with senior managers who are responsible for corporate image building. One of the firms being interviewed for this research project is a multinational content protection technology company with 900 employees. Others include an IT service provider with about 400\;000 employees across 170 countries, as well as a fast-moving consumer goods company with over 138\;000 employees in over 80 countries. The results of the Globrand study are important in keeping both small and large firms competitive, building brand image and improving their marketing initiatives. In a world where economic difficulties are on the minds of many businesses, the project results may represent a welcome blessing.