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IBM, FutureBrand Extend Alliance to Europe

London, ENGLAND -- IBM and Futurebrand have extended their e-branding consultancy alliance to Europe, 8 months after launching in the U.S.

The two companies claim to have Europe's largest team of strategy and design specialists in corporate and consumer branding across all major industry segments.

Steve Byrne, executive consultant for IBM Global Services, said e-business processes are inevitably becoming a core competency for major global companies. As a consequence, success in the markets will be defined increasingly by the interactions that brands establish with their customers across multiple channels.

"These economic forces are driving client demand for e-branding solutions that create a consistent brand experience in both physical and virtual environments," said Byrne, adding that the alliance will allow IBM and its partners to meet market demand for the next generation of e-business solutions.

IBM and Futurebrand will together offer a range of services in Europe targeting integrated marketing strategy, brand strategy and brand management. The whole offering, including business expertise, creative input and technology, is aimed at taking clients into what IBM calls the "e-marketspace."

Charles Trevail, chairman and chief executive of FutureBrand EMEA, said businesses need to understand and continually monitor how to connect with their customers, differentiate their brand message, and provide a brand experience that creates relevancy and greater brand loyalty.

"The alliance provides businesses with the strategic and executional skills to develop an interactive environment that maximizes their customers' experience with the brand," said Trevail.

IBM and Futurebrand's plan is to localize its manpower, putting teams of e-branding specialists in key cities across Europe. It will start in areas where it already has IBM Centers for e-business Innovation, namely London and Hursley in the U.K., Paris, Hamburg and Milan.

A global consultancy, FutureBrand has around 650 branding and new media specialists on its payroll and operates in 19 countries worldwide.