ULMA, the Value of a Brand — ULMA Begira

Ulma Group

ULMA, the Value of a Brand

The construction and consolidation of the ULMA brand has been achieved thanks to the joint effort of all the Businesses, which have worked hard displaying commitment, loyalty and foresight.
ULMA, the Value of a Brand
Dec 15, 2016

On 8 July 2014, the Brazilian and German national football teams faced each other in the semifinal round of the World Cup. The match was played at the Gobernador Magalhães Pinto Stadium, which is located in the Brazilian city of Belo Horizonte. The world is watching. Tens of thousands of people were inside the stadium and several million were watching from their homes. What many spectators are not aware of is that the show they are about to see takes place in a stadium that has been completely remodelled with the help and collaboration of ULMA.

ULMA is currently a Business Group comprised of 8 Businesses specialised in different sectors and is capable of providing solution for the construction of world class stadiums, of offering baggage handling solutions at international airports, storage logistics, communication infrastructures, drainage systems and ventilated façades, greenhouses, forklifts, packaging and wrapping systems and equipment, flanges and fittings for the energy sector, etc.

The process of implementing a single brand took longer than expected because of the different moments the cooperatives were in

But in order to get to this point and have a brand that is renowned has required paving the way together, a shared history, full of generosity and innovative vocation that dates back to the decade of the 80s with the merger of cooperatives ENARA, ULMA and OINAKAR.

This initial merger was called Grupo OÑALAN and shortly thereafter the current ULMA Brand-Logo was created, which in 1990 would derive into the Corporate Identity and Image Project. And during these first years, solidarity was demonstrated between cooperatives; they decided to use ULMA as the corporate name of the Group and as the name of the brand.

It is at that moment in 1990 when the Corporate Identity and Image Project was implemented, which consisted of the implementation of the ULMA Brand in all the cooperatives and the unification of the commercial names of the cooperatives that would become Businesses. “The implementation process took longer than expected because the cooperatives were in different moments at that time” said Carlos Sarabia, head of the Brand and Communication Area for the Group and coordinator during those years when the Corporate Identity and Image Project was being implemented.

The start of the “construction” of the ULMA brand coincides with the decision in 1993 to not enter in MCC, which is known today as Corporación Mondragón. “That decision had a relevant impact on the subsequent strengthening of ULMA’s corporate Identity and Image as a Regional Group”, said Carlos Sarabia. “It provided an important boost for ULMA. We set some Values, a Shared Vision and the autonomy of the Businesses but always based on a unique Group concept”, remembers Sarabia.

The internationalisation process that had started as some of ULMA’s Businesses during the 90s and competing with other companies throughout the world was also key to strengthening the construction of the Brand’s identity. “Some Businesses go outside their borders and we realise we need to use the Brand in order to be known and be perceived as reputable”.

During the mid 90s, the Group entered a booming period and experienced a very important growth. This entire period served to bring our personnel together by sharing a common project. The construction of the Brand helped align the internal collective on a single direction. We worked displaying commitment, loyalty and foresight. The entire brand unification process has been very useful for the businesses.

This reflection is shared by Ander Ollo from ULMA Construction, who has said that the ULMA brand “has strengthened the internal identity of the Group, provided a sense of belonging to some origins and has developed common values”.

For Ander, working under the protection of the brand is also a boosting factor for the business activity. “It also strengthens us in each of the Businesses since it represents belonging to a Group that has a very important dimension”.

However, as well as being a tool used for achieving your objectives, the ULMA brand undoubtedly provides a value that is rooted in its surrounding environment, linked to its roots and known by the community. “Being from Oñati has been a plus in this process because people have seen themselves reflected. ULMA has been at Oñati for over 55 years and they are identified with the community”.

The ULMA brand has strengthened the internal identity of the Group, provided a sense of belonging to some origins and has developed common values

The brand has served as the structuring element but is also a financial asset. “It is an important asset that we have built together because we have been able to look into the future. Thanks to all the Businesses working in the same direction, we were able to unify for good” says Carlos Sarabia.

A glance into the future

Meeting future challenges requires resizing the Brand to adapt to the demand for digital communications and transmit ULMA’s social responsibility. All of this to benefit and strengthen the Businesses.

However, times change. We see it every day, where the irruption of information technology is modifying the business environments. And we see it in communications, where the digital revolution is changing the way people relate with each other. And in this context of change, it is essential that we look to the future.

“The ULMA brand needs to undergo a process of reflecting both in the channels it must use as well as in the values it must bring to the table in order to reach a positioning and a reputation that is appropriate for the needs of its Businesses. At this time we must consider this since we want it to be our brand and for wha”, said Carlos Sarabia. In his opinion, we must go down this road if we want to reach the level of recognition and reputation that ULMA needs.

“Any differentiation strategy requires passing by the brand. Let’s protect it and be pro-active. Our brand is a success story The world out there is moving very fast and we cannot stay still”. Ander Ollo also believes that preparing for the future is paramount. “We are working in different sectors but we also have a brand in common, to which we have associated some values. The great challenge today is to coherently develop the brand for all the Businesses of the Group”.

Currently the brand is facing two new challenges: the digitisation of the brand to adapt it to current times and the strengthening of its Social Value. “These two pillars are key”, says Carlos Sarabia. “The Social and Digital. Our genetics are social, our principles are social. We do not need to talk about social responsibility because we are a socially responsible Group. The challenge right now is to size our brand project. It is complicated but also very exciting. There is an exciting job ahead of us” adds Carlos Sarabia

”We must make the proper decisions while looking to the future and in a manner that excites all our people involved in this common project that is ULMA” conclude Carlos and Ander.