The brand management consists of tangible and intangible elements. The tangible elements include product, price, packaging, style etc.
The intangible elements include the consumer experience, customer relationship etc. Brand management plays a vital role in modern society.
1. Meaning of Brand Management 2. Objectives of Brand Management 3. Characteristic/Features 4. Vital Concepts 5. Types of Branding 6. Role of Organizations 7. Logos and Slogans of Brands
8. Brand Names 9. Brand Hierarchy 10. Brand Audit 11. Brand Building 12. Brand Segmentation 13. Brand Licensing 14. Branding Strategies 15. Branding Levels and Branding Decisions
16. Brand Policies and Strategies 17. Brand Image 18. Brand Reinforcement 19. Brand Revitalization 20. Brand Activation 21. Product vs. Brand 22. Challenges 23. Brand Challenges and Opportunities
24. Advantages/Benefits 25. Guidelines to Build a Strong Brand.
What is Brand Management: Objectives, Features, Types, Process, Decisions, Challenges, Advantages and Guidelines
- Meaning of Brand Management
- Objectives of Brand Management
- Characteristic/Features of Brand Management
- Vital Concepts of Brand Management
- Types of Branding
- Role of Organizations towards Brand Management
- Logos and Slogans of Brands
- Brand Names
- Brand Hierarchy
- Brand Audit
- Brand Building
- Brand Segmentation
- Brand Licensing
- Branding Strategies Adopted by Organizations
- Branding Levels and Branding Decisions
- Brand Policies and Strategies
- Brand Image
- Brand Reinforcement
- Brand Revitalization
- Brand Activation
- Product vs. Brand
- Challenges in Branding Commodities
- Brand Challenges and Opportunities
- Advantages/Benefits of Branding
- Guidelines to Build a Strong Brand
What is Brand Management – Meaning
Brand management is a communication function that includes analysis, planning and positioning the brand in the market. The marketer needs to develop a good relationship with target customers to enhance brand image. The brand management consists of tangible and intangible elements. The tangible elements include product, price, packaging, style etc. The intangible elements include the consumer experience, customer relationship etc. Brand management plays a vital role in modern society.
They penetrate in all spheres of human life such as economic, social, cultural etc. Positive brand associations are developed if the product which the brand depicts is durable, marketable and desirable. It helps an organization to gain goodwill and obstructs the competitor’s entry into the market. The customers must be persuaded that the brand possess the features and attributes satisfying their needs. This will lead to customers having a positive impression about the product or service.
A brand is the specific type of the product form. A brand is represented by a brand name, symbol, design, logo, packaging etc. It is the identity of a particular product form that customers recognize as being different from others.
According to the American Marketing Association, the brand is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of them. The brand is intended to identify the goods or services of the company. It helps in differentiating the product or service from those of competitors.
According to internationally agreed legal definition, the brand is a sign or set of signs certifying the origin of a product or service and differentiating it from the competition.
According to Kotler, a brand is essentially a marketer’s promise to deliver a specific set of features, benefits and services consistently to the consumer.
It includes managing the tangible and intangible characteristics of brand. In case of product brands, the tangibles include the product itself, price, packaging etc. While in case of service brands, the tangibles include the customers’ experience. The intangibles include emotional connections with the product or service.
Branding refers to the practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products available in the market. It simply means the process of creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind. It aims at establishing a significant and differentiated presence in the market that is able to attract and retain loyal customers.
According to Philip Kotler/Gary Armstrong ‘a brand is defined as a name, term, sign, symbol or a combination of these that identifies the maker or seller of the product.’
American Marketing Association defines a brand as ‘A name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers.’
The legal term for brand is trademark. A brand may identify one item, a family of items or all items of that seller. If used for the firm as a whole, the preferred term is trade name.
Branding is the process of finding and fixing the means of identification. The term ‘branding’ refers to the entire process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product good or service in the consumer’s mind, through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.
Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. In marketing process management, a brand is the symbolic embodiment of all the information connected with a product or service.
A brand comprises of a name, logo, and other visual elements such as images, fonts, colour schemes, or symbols. It also encompasses the set of expectations associated with a product or service which typically arise in the minds of people. Such people include employees of the brand owner, people involved with distribution, sale or supply of the product or service, and ultimately consumers.
Jared Spool states that, “Branding means creating an emotional association (such as the feeling of success, happiness, or relief) that customers form with the product, service or company.”
Branding is all about holding the niche market for the product/service and creating a confidence in the current and prospective customer’s minds that one can have the unique solution to their problem. It is like naming the family member. Parents have children and manufacturers too have children; i.e., products.
As parents, the manufacturers also are eager to know the character and capacity of their products on their birth, but not on their names. Hence, branding is a management process by which a product is named, i.e., branded.
Branding is the management process by which a product is branded. It is a general term covering various activities such as – giving a brand name to a product, designing a brand mark, establishing and popularizing it. A brand is a name, term, symbol or design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate from those of competitors. For example, Lux Soap is a brand. They assist the producer in many ways. They add prestige to the product, aid in creating, stimulating and maintaining the demand and facilitate effective sales promotion techniques.
What is Brand Management – Objectives
The brand management objectives are as follows:
1. To produce, promote and distribute goods that are attractive to consumers.
2. To provide best deal to customers in terms of utility value compared to competitors.
3. To control consumers’ brand choice behavior.
4. Creation and management of brand equity.
5. Optimum utilization of resources.
6. Enhance brand image.
7. Enhance market share.
8. To restrict new entrants in the market place.
9. Ensure right marketing mix.
10. It forms customer perceptions about the product.
What is Brand Management – Characteristic/Features
The characteristic/ features of brand management are as follows:
1. It includes developing a promise, making that promise and maintaining it.
2. It deals with determining the brand, positioning the brand and delivering the brand.
3. It is an art of creating and sustaining the brand.
4. It ensures customer commitment.
5. A strong brand differentiates the products from the competitors.
6. It enhances the company image.
7. It helps in assembling of various marketing mix medium into a whole.
8. It plays a vital role in capturing the customers mind with the brand name.
9. It gives an image of an experienced, huge and reliable business.
10. It creates a confidence in the current and prospective customers.
11. It helps in communicating unique solution to the problem.
What is Brand Management – Concepts
The vital concepts of brand management are as follows:
1. Brand Building:
Developing a brand’s image and standing with a view to creating long term benefits for brand awareness and brand value.
2. Brand Awareness:
The probability that consumers are familiar about the life and availability of the product is called brand awareness. It is the degree to which consumers precisely associate the brand with the specific product. It is measured as ratio of niche market that has former knowledge of brand. It is measured according to the different ways in which consumers remember a brand.
Benefits of brand awareness are:
a. It provides the brand with a sense of familiarity.
b. It is a signal of presence, commitment and substance.
c. It is an asset that can be remarkably durable.
3. Brand Recognition:
A customer’s awareness that a brand exists and is an alternative to purchase is called brand recognition. It is consumer ability to recognize brand. It relates to consumers’ ability to confirm prior exposure to that brand when given the brand as a cue. It requires that consumers can correctly discriminate the brand compared to other brands. The consumers can clearly differentiate the brand as having being earlier noticed or heard.
4. Brand Loyalty:
The extent to which a consumer constantly buys the same brand within a product category is called brand loyalty. It is the scenario where the consumer fears purchasing and consuming product from another brand. Brand loyalty exists when the consumer feels that the brand consists of right product characteristics and quality at right price. Even if the other brands are available at cheaper price or superior quality, the brand loyal consumer will stick to his brand. It can be developed through various measures such as quick service, ensuring quality products, continuous improvement, wide distribution network etc.
5. Brand Associations:
The degree to which a specific product or service is recognized within its Class or category is called brand association. It should be associated with something positive so that the customers relate the brand to being positive. Brand associations are the attributes of brand which come into consumers mind when the brand is talked about. It is related with the implicit and explicit meanings which a consumer relates/associates with a specific brand name.
Brand associations are formed on the following basis:
b. Word of mouth publicity.
c. Price at which the brand is sold.
d. Celebrity entity association.
e. Quality of the product.
f. Products and schemes offered by competitors.
g. Product class or category to which the brand belongs.
6. Brand Personality:
Brand personality is the way a brand speaks and behaves. It means assigning human personality characteristics to a brand so as to achieve differentiation. When brand image or brand identity is expressed in terms of human traits, it is called brand personality.
Advantages of Brand Personality:
a. It develops brand equity.
b. It sets the brand attitude.
c. It is a key input into marketing activity by the brand.
d. It helps in gaining thorough knowledge of customers feelings about the brand.
e. It differentiates among brands specifically when they are alike in many attributes.
7. Brand Stretch:
The companies need to stretch the brand as per the requirements. When a brand is extended into new product categories or joins co-branding ventures its identity is stretched. They need to stretch it enough to be able to go in new directions. They should never stretch it to such an extent that the essence is diluted.
What is Brand Management – Brand Name (With Types)
Adopting appropriate branding strategy is a sensitive problem for the marketing manager of an enterprise. There are various strategies; it is the wisdom of his decisions which will guide the instrumentality of the brand name.
We find the different brand names as follows:
1. Family Brands:
The brand supplied to several products of a firm is called the family brand. As a general principle, the family brand should be adopted as and when the opportunity arises. It facilitates introduction of new products and helps in maintaining cost economy. It is limited to one line of product. This brand is used by the firms which offer their merchandise under one brand. For example, Amul for milk products, Dipy for squashes, Ponds for cosmetics. Such brand can help combine advertising and the sales promotion.
2. Individual Brand Names:
Individual brand name is applied to only one product. Each product has a unique brand name. Hence, the marketing managers have to promote each individual brand separately in the market. The firms producing products of greatly dissimilar nature apply the individual brand name.
3. Multiple Brands:
Sometimes a manufacturer finds it useful to market essentially the same product under different brand names. In order to invade different price markets, a manufacturer may use multiple brand names. Further, when the producers offer two or more products labeled under different brands, but to appeal the same customers, the multiple brand policy is used. Again, a manufacturer often introduces the same product but with minor differences so as to appeal to a wider market. As for example, Colgate and Palmolive. It puts out both a Colgate tooth paste and a Palmolive saving cream.
4. Umbrella Brand:
When the producers manufacture varieties of goods but prefer to adopt only one brand, we call it umbrella brand. For example, the Tata Company manufactures engineering goods, chemicals, textiles, tea, motor vehicles, etc., but under the same brand. Tata’s. This brand name minimizes the promotion cost. But this brand will be useful provided the company has already earned reputation in the market.
5. Private or Distributor’s Brand:
These brands are owned by middlemen, wholesalers or retailers. It is sponsored by merchants or agents. Such brands are used in the conditions where the size of enterprise is small a.id the technical know-how is poor, resources are scarce or so. The brand label shows either the name of the manufacturer or the distributer but not the both. The middlemen enjoy more freedom in pricing the products sold under their own brands. Generally this brand helps the small manufacturers.
6. Controlled Brands:
Whereas the private brand is owned by the distributers, the controlled brand is used by the manufacturers. But the distribution is restricted or controlled. In a virtual sense, we may call it a compromise between the policy of selling manufacturer’s brands and making distributer’s brands. Such brands give manufacturers more control over the situation and may be sold in the markets where the distributers are less powerful to obtain or procure their own brands.
7. Regional Brands:
Sometimes we find the sale of same products under different brands in different regions. Such brands are utilized to take the benefits of goodwill created in the past by a particular product but later acquired by the present manufacturer.
What is Brand Management – Role of Organizations towards Brand Management
1. Enhance Customer Relationship:
Customer relationships provide a growth engine for new products and sustainable revenue growth. A sustaining and growing customer relationship is a long-term proposition and strategy. Many organizations are including the development and leveraging of customer relationships in their management best practices.
2. Lowest Manufacturing Cost:
Industry standards for competition once depended on achieving the lowest manufacturing cost. Management best practices aimed at lowering manufacturing costs are in use today with the world’s most successful companies. These practices have become an integral part of the formula for growth and competitive advantage.
3. Quality Enhancement:
Virtually every organization that was serious about success was concerned about delivering quality products and services. The disciplines required allowed the development of a common language throughout an organization. It resulted in processes that capitalized on myriad opportunities to improve quality and the means to measure that improvement. Commitment to quality improvement generated positive results.
4. Enhances Awareness:
The organization must play a vital role in alerting the customers about products and services. It contains information about what the product is, what it does, pricing, promotions, benefits etc. It attracts people towards the products and services.
5. Influence Demographics:
The target audience is defined in terms of demographics and consumers. It includes gender, age, education, household income, marital status, employment status, type of residence, number of children in the household etc. It helps to attract the targeted demographic.
6. Enhances Demand:
The organization must persuade and convinces the people about the product and services offered. More people will be inclined to purchase the products and services through effective promotions. There arises a subsequent demand for more products and services.
What is Brand Management – Logos and Slogans of Brands
Logos are symbols that represent something. It is usually a company, product or brand. Logos help the company to register a particular image in a person’s mind about the company. For this, the logo has to be attractive, unique, and functional. It should also represent the company’s image well.
Trademark logos are those logos that distinctly represent a company’s intellectual property. Logos are generally trademarked, in the sense that they cannot be used by anyone else. Sometimes, the logos acts as a trademark for the brand or the company itself. The trademark is generally represented by a TM symbol, which confers certain rights to it.
However, trademarks are not registered with the government trademarks office. When they are registered, they become a registered (R) mark. A trademark logo confers certain rights on the owner, exclusive use of the mark and ability to lease out or franchise the mark to some other party. Trademark logos are regulated by the jurisdictions of the particular state or country.
There are many kinds of trademark logos: combination (icon and text); logotype/word mark/letter mark (text or abbreviated text) and icon (symbol /brand mark). A trademark logo can contain just symbols, or both words and symbols. It may or may not contain the company’s name, but having the company’s name is an advantage. Some logos have just a part of the company’s name or just one letter, e.g., Y! (Yahoo!) or FedEx (Federal Express).
Elements of a Good Logo:
1. Lasting value – A good log has a lasting value. Trendy logos don’t hold up over time.
2. Distinct – A good logo is distinct. Some amount of uniqueness, as long as it doesn’t confuse, is valuable.
3. Appeal – A good logo appeals to the target market.
4. Supports USP – If the company is trying to communicate low prices then its logo should support that image.
5. Legible – This seems pretty obvious but many people use typefaces and images that can’t be printed or carried to a large sign. Logo should clearly identify the company and it can’t don’t understand it.
Do – Most of the best iconic brand logos in the market are very simple, straightforward and clear. The logo design should embody the business philosophy without the wordiness. These kinds of logos stand the test of time. The simple brand image always registers in the mind of each customers.
Don’t – Too much detail in the logo cramps and muddles the message that actually wanted to convey to the audience. Using too many words in the logo defeats its purpose.
Do – Successful Logo will be always different. The first impression lasts and a successful logo that stand out for its uniqueness will click and will always be remembered.
Don’t – If the Logo is imitating a particular trend, fad or movement then the design becomes outdated, and the business will be outdated too.
Do – Colour do matter in Logo design. Each colour scheme conveys and stimulates emotions so research the meaning of very colour. It is wise to ask the suggestion of an artist or a professional designer. Choosing of bright colours will enhance a progressive growth in the business and can impress audience is not the right colour. Hence it should be avoided.
Do – Design the logo in such a way that it can used in a variety of platforms. By doing this is would be easier and faster whenever need to post or print the logo. It would help exploring every possible media available. The variations will help to reach a wider audience.
Don’t – Never stick to one version of logo design. It creates difficulty in sharing with others and thus limit proper exposure.
Do – Choose a type face that is easy to read and utilise a maximum of two fonts in the logo. It will never make the audience confused or lost. When selecting prototype, save the logo. It will never make the audience confused or lost. When selecting prototype, save the logo design in vector format for easy resizing. And the vectors must avoid pixilation. An effective way to come up with a unique typeface is a bespoke font. Coca-Cola is a classic example of a bespoke font. It will amplify the reach of design in the audience minds.
Don’t – Never over use fonts. Comic sans and papyrus are not recommended fonts. There are many typefaces, through proper experiments and trails can select most apt one for the business. Never use shadows on the fonts. It will create a mixed – up visual.
Do – Nothing beats a well-researched design in the audience’s mind. It is better to employ the psychology of colour, shape, ad typeface when conceptualize a successful logo. Referring available scientific studies and data about designs and logo will helps in avoiding mistakes. It pays to know more about designs that audience will understand and love to see them.
Don’t – It is not wise to impose branding as if it is the be all and end all. Do not ignore feedback, comments and suggestions from people.
Do – Logo Design should be drawn out. When beginning with design concept mood boards are recommended. They will help in combining the brand value and impress the audience. It is better to use golden ratio and sketch it out, to come up with the best model, use vector design graphics software.
Don’t – Do not copy from other designs. It is not available to use clipart and downloadable designs on the web. Never use photographs in logo.
Do – Visual consistency is necessary for any successful logo. It will be start of brand recognition. Whenever audience see colour, shape, or typeface and they can relate it to the brand.
Don’t – Do not change logo ever too often. Changing it will confuse the audience and customers. And they will not recognize the product.
Do – Space in the logo design can be a boon or a base. Use the advantage of space left out by incorporating meaning.
Don’t – Never use space in logo design without putting meaning into it. Although white space serves as a break from design. If a space empty and not put imaginable though into it, not add space.
Do – The design must be meaningful. The key to a successful logo is it can explain the meaning to the customer and employees.
Don’t – Logo design represents the company and the brand, so logo created must not be detached from it. It should contain meaning that can easily communicate with the audience.
Do – Simple lines and bold shapes well make your design easily recognisable and undeterred and distinguishable from the competition.
Don’t – Never use sunbursts and swirls. It will make the logo appear nonsense and it conceived designs. Do not use pre maid logos.
Do – Make a moving version of logo design to attract the audience. State designs should have an animated version for digital use.
Don’t – Never stick to a passive design. Passive designs are acceptable in itself if the logo is well conceived and use when appropriate. Example: Apple.
Characters represent a special types of brand symbol – one that takes on human or real-life characteristics. To be successful all brands need to elicit the proper emotional response for their target audience. It is no different for Brand Characters or Icons.
What is different is that unlike a Brand, a successful Brand Character or Icon must have flaws, vulnerabilities, conflict (preferably self-inflicted) and connect the character to the brand in a deep, intrinsic way. They must also have human truth as revealed through their story that audiences can relate to. Failure to have an emotional connection can lead to ineffective Icons. A Brand Character or loon can be properly developed to have that emotional connection.
It can be done as follows:
1. Know its story.
2. Know its flaws, vulnerabilities, and sources of conflict (preferably self-inflicted).
3. Connect the character to the brand in a deep, intrinsic way.
4. Know what human truth is revealed throughout the story that audiences can relate to.
5. Know whom the Icon represents and have that representation be one of entertainment triumphs and failure.
i. Brand characters will help to differentiate the product or campaign.
ii. Because they are often colourful and rich in imagery, brand characters tend to be attention getting and quite useful for creating brand awareness. Brand characters can help brands break through marketplace clutter as well as help to communicate a key product benefit.
iii. Brand characters will inject even more life into the brand experience activities – they are an alternative to static promotional materials.
iv. Brand character will provide instant personality and appeal, encouraging memorable associations with the brand.
v. Popular characters also often become valuable licensing properties, providing direct revenue and additional brand exposure.
Brand identity is something all companies worry about. One way companies are trying to attract and retain our attention is through memorable corporate slogans. These catchphrases are designed to sum up the essence of a business in a way that will stick in the mind and trip off the tongue. Marketing professionals say a corporate slogan must be concise and distinctive, encapsulating a basic “promise” to a company’s users.
A few well-known examples of these slogans include:
1. Nokia – “Connecting people”.
2. Apple – “Think different”
3. Amul – “The Taste of India”
4. Nestle – “Good Food. Good Life”
5. KFC – “So Good”
6. Tata DoCoMo – “Open Up”
Benefits of Slogans:
1. Slogans play with the brand name to build both brand awareness and image.
2. Create strong links with the brand and the product category.
3. The brand is exaggerated to leverage maximum brand equity. For example, “It’s not T.V. It’s HBO” by HBO; “The Citi Never Sleeps” by Citibank.
4. The brand is made an aspirational product “Just Do It” by Nike.
5. They functions as “hooks” to help consumers understand the meaning of the brand.
6. Slogans often become closely tied to advertising campaigns and serve as tag lines to summarize the descriptive or persuasive information conveyed in the ads.
Jingles are a musical or audible signature added to the brand, logo or slogan. The aim is to facilities memorization of the brand, its logo, slogan, and message by the memorization of the musical accompaniment.
Although this technique is used less in the industrial sector, it has become quite popular in business to business with the development of industrial brand mass communication to the general public (via television, radio, etc.) It is mainly used, however, by those companies with a mixed clientele (general public/professionals). Service companies such as temporary work agencies, banks and insurance companies also use jingles. Such is the case for IBM whose audio-visual campaign has used the same music for the last few years.
The classic example is Intel whose five notes are systematically played in each advertisement every time the brand is mentioned – that means not only when it is an Intel campaign but also those of its clients like Compaq, Hewlett- Packard, Dell, etc.
As the memorization rate of a jingle is high, Intel’s reputation and brand awareness grows accordingly. The use of the Intel jingle results from an agreement between the company and its clients to mention the presence of Intel components in their products.
i. Amul “Utterly Butterly Delicious.”
ii. Cadbury Diary Milk “Kya Baat Jindagi Ki.”
1. There is more listener awareness from a sung jingle, than the plain spoken word.
2. In a marketing situation it promotes a professional attitude towards corporate identity and product reinforcement.
3. Helps to promote a higher profile for the product.
4. Improves effectiveness of a spoken advertisement.
5. Jingles build branding for the company. Nothing reinforces the image like a consistent, quality message. With jingle, we will make a quality, catchy tune that will have the customers singing happily as they walk in the store.
What is Brand Management – Product Branding
Brand management holds the key in the modern market. Now a days products are becoming more and more similar. Selection of brand name for a new product is like naming of a new child. It basically serves the customer to identify the products and other offerings. It is an important part of product management and product promotion. It is a management process through which a product is branded. Branding is the practice of giving a specified name to a product or a group of products of one seller. It is the means of identification of a particular product.
1. Brand Name:
A brand name is a symbol, a term, a sign, a design or a combination of them which is intended to identify the goods or services and differentiate them from those competitors.
According to American Marketing Association, brand as “the use of a name, term, symbol or design or some combination of these to identify the product of a certain seller from those of competitors”. A brand identifies the product for a buyer. A seller can earn the goodwill and have the patronage repeated.
In recent years brand has become the most demonstrable, powerful and sustainable wealth creator in business in the world. The term brand and the practice of branding is applied across the full spectrum of businesses. Branding is also applied by any type of organization to create a relationship with its audience over and above day-to-day processes and cost. A successful brand has a powerful value of endurance.
It is a part of brand which appears in the form of a symbol, design, distinctive colouring or lettering. It is recognized by sight. It is designed for easy identification of a product or service. Example, For Tata products ‘T’, Hyundai-H, Suzuki-S, BSNL, etc.
Brand image is the key concept intervening between the brand and its equity. It is driver of the brand equity. The image of a brand can adjust brand value upwards and downwards. The name adds visual and verbal dimension in consumers mind and acts as intervening variable moving the value upwards. Example the name Titan (wrist watch) or Hero (bike) add radical value to the product. It creates images for the product in the minds of customer.
Brand equity is the added value endowed on products and services. It may be reflected in the way of consumers’ think, feel and act with respect to the brand, as well as in the prices, market share profitability, the brand commands for the firm. The premise of brand equity customer based brand equity model is that what the power of a brand lies in what customers have seen, read, heard, learned, thought, and felt about the brand over the time.
Some brand command in the market place according to their power and value. The brands are familiar to customer. Example, Surf (detergent powder), Colgate (toothpaste) ponds (Talcum powder), Dhara, Engine (mustard and refined edible oil), etc. There is high level of awareness in terms of brand name recall and recognition. But some of the brands are unknown to customer; therefore it has no command in the market place.
“A unique set of brand associations that the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand stands for and imply a promise to customers from the organization member”. This definition is forwarded by Prof. David Asker.
It consists of all the thoughts, feelings, images, experiences, beliefs and so on, that become associated with the brand. The difference in brand equity arises only when difference in response to a particular product due to the result of customer knowledge about the brand. Brand must create strong, favorable, unique brand association with customers as have Hallmark (caring), Assam tea (flavor).
The challenges for marketers in building a strong brand is that the customer have the right type of experience with products, services and their marketing programs to create the desired brand knowledge.
Brand position is that part of brand identity and value proposition that is to be actively communicated to the target audience which exhibits advantages of the brand over competitors. The brand manager needs creative execution of brand position decision once he made it. In the same time brand identity and value proposition can be translated into a suitable execution strategy in the form of an integrated advertising campaign.
The brand manager tries his best to create a unique position in the market and place his hand and needs a careful choice of target market. He then establishes clear differential advantages in the minds of customer about the brand. This can be achieved through brand image, service, design, guarantee and good packaging.
What is Brand Management – Brand Names
Brand name refers to a name that requires no introduction, no explanation and very little advertising to give it clout. The brand name is a fundamentally important choice because it often captures the central theme or key associations of a product in a very compact and economical fashion. Brand names can be an extremely effective shorthand means of communication.
Whereas the time it takes consumers to comprehend marketing communications can range from a half a minute (for an advertisement) to potentially hours (for a sales call), the brand name can be noticed and its meaning registered or activated in memory within just a few seconds.
A great brand name is one of the most powerful forces in branding, marketing and advertising. It is at once the story about what makes individual different from the competitors and the emotional tug that connects with the audience – all in one or a few words. A brand name that wields that much power can only come through a powerful positioning strategy. A great brand name can do this and own the talk of an industry.
“An arbitrarily adopted name that is given by a manufacturer or merchant to an article or service to distinguish it as produced or sold by that manufacturer or merchant and that may be used and protected as a trademark”. – Mariam – Webster.
“The act of eventing someone from illegally making and selling a product using a brand name owned by another company”.
“A brand name a trade name, whether registered or not, that is to say a name or a mark, such as symbol, monogram, label, signature, or invented word or writing which is used in relation to such specified goods for the purpose of indicating or so as to indicate a connection in the course of trade between such specified goods and some person using such name or mark with or without any indication of the identify of that person”.
1. The impugned mark must be identical and similar to the trade name.
2. The trade name root are reflection in India.
3. The use of impugned mark is without due cause.
4. The use of impugned mark amounts to taking advantage of, or is determent to the definite character or reputation of the registered trade mark.
A good brand name possesses certain characteristics. A good brand name should be short, easy well to understand, distinctive and able to convey product features to the customers.
A marketer should find out whether a particular brand name has any negative connotation in the particular market or not. It is evident that number of multinational companies failed sometime in some countries, because the particular brand and company belongs to other country, which was not acceptable there. For example, a Japanese based D- Motor Co Ltd. could not succeed in U.S. market because of its negative connotation of name. The U.S. buyers were of the opinion that the particular company belongs to North Korea and it was a wrong association.
It is pertinent that a good brand name should reflect the product image along with company image. It is evident that a brand is a mirror of product image. If the brand name is decided on the basis of specialisation of certain countries in the particular product manufacturing, the particular company may be benefited bit more in the market in respect of its product image. For example, the customers generally presume that good quality watches in the world are generally made in Switzerland likewise French perfume is renowned in the global market. Therefore an appropriate brand name will reflect the image of such products.
If a brand name is unique or distinctive, it is always helpful in creating a desired product image. The brand name also represents the status symbol. Therefore it must be unique. A unique brand name often renders itself to graphic design possibilities.
4. A brand name should reflect the significant benefits of the product:
An International brand name should be chosen by keeping in mind the international market. It should reflect the significant benefits of the product. For example, overnight express, a courier company is having a worldwide service. But its name gave no indication and identification about its worldwide service in overnight or third day.
It may be a disadvantage to the company. If its name is modified to worldwide, overnight courier company, it may be more beneficial to the company. Many multinational companies like U.S. Rubber have changed its name to Uni Royal as to reflect worldwide image of its business.
No company can overlook the legal aspects of a brand name. Any name similar to the trade mark of other companies should not be considered for the particular brand name. For example, duke is a famous brand name in the fashion market. A Calcutta based company has started to use same brand name by using capital letters like DUKE. The original company approached the court and a legal suit was using DUKE. Finally the court directed the Calcutta based company to stop using DUKE with immediate effect.
The branding decision is to develop a brand name for a product. Assuming a firm decide to brand its products or services, it must then choose which brand names to use.
Four general types of brand names are often used:
Procter & Gamble (India) has several individual brands in different product categories such as Vicks (healthcare), Whisper (Feminine hygiene), Ariel and Tide (fabric care), Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Rejoice (hair care), and Pampers (baby care). A major advantage of an individual-names strategy is that the company does not tie its reputation to the product. If the product fails or appears to have low quality, the company’s name or image is not hurt. Companies often use different brand names for different quality lines within the same product class.
This policy is followed by Tata. The blanket family name of the company is used in diverse product categories such as salt, tea, coffee, automobiles, and steel. Development costs are lower with blanket names because there is no need to run “name” research or spend heavily on advertising to create recognition.
Sales of the new product are likely to be strong if the manufacturer’s name is good. Corporate image associations of innovativeness, expertise, and trustworthiness have been shown to directly influence consumer evaluations. Finally, a corporate branding strategy can lead to greater intangible value for the firm.
The Aditya Birla Group in India follows this policy to a great extent. It uses separate family names for its various products. For example, Hindalco for aluminum, Ultra Tech for cement, Grasim and Graviera for suiting. If a company produces quite different products like these, one blanket name is not desirable. Swift and company developed separate family names for its hams (Premium) and fertilizers (Vigoro).
Kellogg’s combines corporate and individual names in Kellogg’s Rice Krispies, Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes as do Honda, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard for their products. The company name legitimizes, and the individual name individualizes, the new product.
Individual names and blanket family names are sometimes referred to as a “house of brands” and a “branded house”, respectively, and they represent two ends of a brand relationship continuum. Separate family name comes in between the two, and corporate-plus-individual names combine them.
A brand name is an element which allows customers to identify and differentiate the brand from other products. Choosing a brand name requires careful consideration as it represents the key concept of the product or service in an economical and efficient way. The brand name is perhaps the most valuable assets that a company possesses. It lends credibility to the efficacy of the product and offers quality assurance by letting customers know what they can expect from the brand.
Branding can be differently advantageous and beneficial to marketers and customers.
1. Helps in advertising – A marketer can easily communicate the characteristics and distinctiveness of the product through a brand name.
2. Establishes identity – Branding creates a unique identity that can be differentiated with similar products. This in turn also ensures customer loyalty for a brand.
4. Ease in introduction of new product – An established brand name can easily allow a business to introduce a new product in the market. This in turn also ensures probable sale of the new product.
Advantages to Customers:
1. Shopping time reduced – A brand name allows the customer to shop easily and effectively as customers can associate the brand with the quality and its utility.
2. Quality – Brand name ensures quality of products /services which possibly remains consistent across all types of existing and new products.
3. Status symbol – A brand name allows consumers to reflect a social position symbolising wealth or prestige.
What is Brand Management – Brand Hierarchy
The brand hierarchy is the visual organizing principle for the company’s products, services and brands. The brand architecture is part of branding and contributes to the logic structuring of products and brands of an organization. The brand hierarchy reveals an explicit ordering of brands by displaying the number and nature of common and distinctive brand components across an organization’s products.
In business, the extent and importance of the brand have been increasingly expanded. It is a key element in the communication strategies, management and sale of products and services. The marketer needs to understand the perception of consumers on products in the same category according to models of different brand architecture.
Benefits of Brand Hierarchy:
The benefits of brand hierarchy are as follows:
1. The brand plays a vital role in the perception of the product.
2. It helps to coordinate the development.
3. It helps in organizing strategic actions.
4. It helps in construction and projections for market.
5. It facilitates the alignment and positioning of elements.
6. It helps to focus investments to strengthen the business.
7. It helps in understanding of the set and subsets of the brand hierarchy.
8. It enables the diagnosis of the current brand of a company.
What is Brand Management – Brand Audit
A brand audit is a comprehensive examination of a brand in terms of its sources of brand equity. A brand audit is a more externally, consumer-focused exercise that involves a series of procedures to assess the health of the brand, uncover its sources of brand equity, and suggests ways to improve and leverage its equity.
According to Smith & Jones, “Brand Audit is a diagnostic tool that helps companies to evaluate how effectively they represent and deliver their brand strategy across all points of consumer contact.” It’s a third party analysis of a brand’s verbal and visual communications, designed to assess the brand’s integrity, clarity and consistency.
Brand audit is a consumer-focused exercise that involves a series of procedures to assess the health of the brand, uncover its sources of brand equity, and suggest ways to improve and leverage its equity. The brand audit can be used to set strategic direction for the brand. Are the current sources of brand equity satisfactory? Do certain brand associations need to be strengthened? Does the brand lack uniqueness? What brand opportunities exist and what potential challenges exist for brand equity? As a result of this strategic analysis, the marketer can develop a marketing program to maximize long -term brand equity.
In a brand audit, marketers study the sources of brand equity from both the firm’s and the consumers’ perspectives. From the perspective of the firm, it is necessary exactly what products and services are currently, being offered to consumers and how they are being marketed and branded. From the perspective of the consumer, it is necessary to uncover the true meaning of brands and products to the consumer.
Following are the major benefits of brand audit:
1. Brand audit have a better idea about strengths and weaknesses of the current brand portfolio.
2. It determines the current positioning in the market and formulates the desired positioning.
3. It evaluates any gap in brand perceptions between internal and external stakeholders.
4. It determines the relative position of the company in relation to its competitors.
5. It understands customer’s needs, preferences and priorities in the specific market.
6. Brand audit build associations and personalities that would be relevant to and desired by the customers.
7. It formulates strategies that will assist them to outsmart their competitors.
What is Brand Management – Brand Building (With Steps and Models)
Brand building is the enhancing a brand’s equity through advertising campaigns and indirectly through promotions such as cause championing or event sponsorship.
Steps in Brand Building:
According to Urde (2003) a brand-building model based on the premise that a brand’s identity is developed as a consequence of continuous interaction between the organization and the customer.
The model consists of ten stages:
1. Mission – Mission describes the brand’s fundamental reason for existence in terms of the organization’s value base.
2. Brand Vision – Brand vision describes where the organization wishes the brand to be in the next few years. It provides inspiration and stimulus for development.
3. Organizational Values – An organizational value defines what the company stands for and what it is.
4. Core Values – A core value defines the functional, emotional and symbolic core organizational values. The organizational values are to be translated into the core values of the brand. Then it is translated into customer added value.
5. Brand Architecture – The brand architecture helps in deciding how the company organizes and uses its brands in terms of the number of brands, types of brands and the brand roles.
6. Product Attributes – The product attributes ensures that the core values are built into the product to make the product exude the brand’s identity.
7. Brand Personality – The brand personality ensures that the impressions and values that the company claims to stand for are coordinated and communicated.
8. Positioning – The positioning ensures that the brand is enduring by being deeply rooted in the organization’s values.
9. Communication Strategy – The communication strategy ensures that the core values of the brand identity are expressed in messages that interest and appeal to customers.
10. Internal Brand Identity – The internal brand identity ensures that everyone in the company understands and agrees with the core values of the brand and what they represent.
Brand Building Models:
Wheeler (2006) proposed a complete guide to creating, building and maintaining strong brands.
The process consists of five stages:
1. Conducting Research – It includes clarifying vision and values, researching stakeholders, conducting audits and interviewing key management.
2. Clarifying Strategy – It helps in synthesizing learning, developing positioning and achieving agreement.
3. Designing Identity – It helps in visualizing the future, brainstorming the big idea, designing brand identity and finalizing brand architecture.
4. Creating Touch Points – It helps in finalizing identity design, developing look and feel, designing program and applying brand architecture.
5. Managing Assets – It helps in building synergy around the brand, developing a launch strategy and plan, launching internally and externally. It helps in developing standards and guidelines.
Ghodeswar (2008) developed a conceptual model for building brands in the Indian context.
The model consists of four stages:
1. Positioning the Brand – Positioning the brand defines the features, tangible and intangible attributes, product functions, and benefits of the brand.
2. Communicating the Brand Message – It helps in deciding on advertising campaigns, themes, celebrities, events, shows and the consumer.
3. Delivering on Brand Performance – The company needs to ensure product and service performance, customer care, customer satisfaction and customer delight.
4. Leveraging Brand Equity – It helps in defining line and brand extensions, ingredient branding, co-branding, brand alliances and social integration.
What is Brand Management – Brand Segmentation
With high volumes of data created across multiple marketing channels, brands are challenged to organize and active the right data assets to maximize cross-channel performance. To better understand the target audience, drive more sales and reduce marketing waste, you need to align the brand segmentation with digital activation and reporting.
The key reason for this alignment is to increase efficiencies and synchronize the efforts so that each element is working in correlation with the other. Knowing what audience to target determines what marketing initiatives you should use to engage them, which in turn directs you to the right insights to improve the segmentation. It’s a cycle that is interrelated and symbiotic.
Segmentation Directs the Strategy:
Segmentation is making sure the right message gets to the right buyer at the right time. It’s also a great deal more economically efficient than mass marketing. By segmenting high-performing users you will increase engagement with current users to drive more value from the audiences. Aligning the segmentation with the activation strategy is key.
By gaining an understanding of consumer behaviour you have the insights needed to increase conversions. Segmentation is the tool that helps to analyse aggregates of consumers that share common characteristics.
By targeting the segments which have the highest propensity to engage, you can develop a more effective marketing strategy that better serves consumer needs and ultimately boosts conversions.
5 elements of the most effective segments should be:
1. Measurable – Based on size, purchasing power and segment profile
2. Substantial – Of a critical mass that is profitable
3. Accessible – One that can easily be reached
4. Differential – Is distinctive from others
5. Actionable – That enables effective programs/campaigns to be developed
To segment markets properly, you need to divide them into distinct groups with specific needs, characteristics, or behaviors which require separate products or marketing mixes. It’s key to activate the audience segments you have identified across the entire digital ecosystem.
The target segmentation should be made on the basis of:
a. Which consumers will best respond to the brand(s).
b. What most addresses a buyers needs and motivations.
c. Where consumers are in the buying cycle.
d. Quantifiable characteristics which link to KPIs such as size and market share.
e. Ease of persona (profile) identification.
f. Feasibility in targeting (based on fiscal, resource and practical considerations) and the consistent growth potential of the segment.
Segmentation Drives Efficient Activation:
To optimize brand management efficiency and achieve/retain the competitive advantage and increase conversions, you have to align brand segmentation, messaging and activation.
Successfully segmenting the brand and aligning it with activation increases:
a. Top of mind awareness
b. Brand likeability
c. Brand purchase
Making use the CRM and third-party data sources, segment the audiences and help plan activation. By identifying the best customers, focus on the best media to reach them and the best message to engage them.
When planning the marketing activities keep segmentation in mind so can determine which elements to include in the marketing mix. The right mix of marketing activities and vehicles is closely linked to the behaviours of the target audience.
Market segmentation and building a differentiated value proposition are two of marketing’s most powerful tools for guiding a marketing strategy. It clearly identifies which consumer targets will generate the highest return in conversions and provides a better view of how to best reach and engage them.
It’s about delivering brand growth by using all channel opportunities to connect with consumers and deepen their experiences/relationships with the brand. The need is to –
a. Convert brand strategies into innovative activity plans
b. Develop closer marketplace connections with consumers
c. Implement consumer activation programs
d. Drive brand visibility and channel presence
e. Monitor market developments and brand performance
Establishing an emotional or rational attachment between consumers and the brand to foster the engagement is paramount. This is aligned with how you craft perceptions and behaviors in relation to the company.
Brand Reporting Gives You Better Insight into Segmentation:
Reporting that is aligned to segmentation helps provide the insights needed to inform the marketing process and guide campaign development.
Aligning segments to reporting, allows to determine which segments are most profitable so you can increase targeting efficiency. This strategy provides you with a more accurate picture of which individual segments contribute to the ROI, which ones require greater attention and more resources and which to eliminate.
Alignment Equals Optimization:
The competitive edge depends on finding the right audience for the products/services, then getting the right message to them.
Segmentation is the tool to help achieve this, but unless it is targeted with the right marketing mix, you are wasting efficiency and cutting into the margins. The vast store of data you have must be used to determine both who to talk to and how to reach them effectively to drive engagement.
What is Brand Management – Brand Licensing
Licensing means renting or leasing of an intangible asset. It is a process of creating and managing contracts between the owner of a brand and a company or individual who wants to use the brand in association with a product, for an agreed period of time, within an agreed territory. Licensing is used by brand owners to extend a trademark or character into products of a company difficult nature.
An arrangement to license a brand requires a licensing agreement. A licensing agreement authorizes a company which markets a product or service (a license) to lease or rent a brand from a brand owner who operates a licensing program (a licensor).
After license branding, a license gets access to the logos and trademarks associate with the brands. Association with the brand gives marketing power to the licensee’s products. Brand licensing is a short at way to gain immediate access to all the positive brand quality. It also enables companies to differentiate their product from competitors and communicate attributes of their products to consumers.
A licensing agreement allows a company (a license) which markets a product or service to rent a brand from a brand owner (a licensor) the responsibility of licensee’s is to produce, promote and distribute the product while the licensor get royalties for its brand.
There are multiple stages to the process of brand licensing:
1. The licensor chooses the product they wish to license.
2. The licensee will create a prototype of the product and come up with a final production piece and sample.
3. The licensor will approve the licensing deal.
4. The licensee will begin selling products to retailers.
i. Make sure to build, protect and manage the brand and its reputation.
ii. Establish the guidelines for licensing, including product category, price range and distribution.
iii. Limit licensing to well respected companies.
iv. Limit the number of companies that agrees to license to in a specific geographic area or product category.
v. Crete a license training program to help ensure all of the products that license will achieve brand standards and live up to the reputation of the company. This can include training on brand image as well as quality standards.
vi. Monitor always the licensees to make sure the licensed product are branded the way the brand owner want them and stay in line with the company image.
Benefits of Brand Licensing:
1. Minimal Investment:
Brand managers extend their brands with minimal investment. Through the licensing arrangement, third party manufactures are responsible for everything from product development to inventory management to store replenishment.
2. Supplementary Marketing Support:
The brand obtains supplementary marketing support for the right to use the brand in their category, the manufacturer must agree to spend a percentage of their net sales on marketing. This marketing commitment not only supports the category licensed, but can be significant to the overall brand.
3. Trade mark Protection:
A brand can avail benefit of trademark protection in a particular category. It must be actively sold in that category. If the category lies vacant, others may claim rights to use the mark. Extending a brand into a category, through licensing helps brand owners meet the commerce standards.
4. Increased Consumer Connections:
Increased consumer connections and insights in the categories being licensed. Extending a brand through licensing, it offers thousands of incremental opportunities to connect with consumers. By inserting a survey inside the licensed package or a toll free number on the exterior and a brand owner can gain many additional insights about the brand.
5. Increases Brand Exposure:
A brand to gain incremental self-space. If a brand owner choose to extend a brand licensing into a new category the brand gains tremendous additional exposure in those categories in every retail store the product is sold. When sold in to major chain retailers, the brand can gain thousands of additional feet of brand exposure in each category.
6. Entry into New Distribution Channels:
By licensing the brand to a manufacturer which currently sells into a retail channel where the brand unsent by does not have a presence, the brand can gain access to that channel via the licensing relationship.
7. Entry into New Regions:
He brand can enter to new regions. Similar to new channel access, a brand can gain entry into new regions through a manufacturer which the brand is currently not sold.
8. Access to Patented Technology:
Many companies which choose to license brands offer proprietary innovation to brand owner. When the patented technology reinforces the brand’s position. The new product offered can be met with tremendous consumer appreciation and pent up demand.
9. Knowledge Transfer:
Knowledge transfer from the manufacturing partners who license the brand. Licensing arrangement provides the opportunity for the brand owner and the manufacturer to share insights and knowledge across multiple disciplines including product development, marketing, R&D and Sales.
10. Royalty Revenue:
The brand owner to capture royalty- revenue through the manufacturer’s sales of licensed product. This symbiotic relationship helps to create new products for the market place that consumers crave. For every dollar in revenue generated by the manufacturer, -the brand owner receives a percentage in royalty payments and most of which go straight to the bottom line.
What is Brand Management – Branding Strategies Adopted by Organisations
There are about three commonly embraced branding strategies adopted by a business firm.
1. Corporate Branding:
In this case the company or corporate brand name is used for all products. The benefit is that the familiar name and goodwill of the company gets prominence arid readily wins over new customers. It gives instant recognition to the product. The company does not need to invest in brand recognition and advertising again and again. Brands like Sony, Panasonic, Kellogg’s, Heinz, Tata and Virgin are good instances of corporate branding. However, the use of a corporate brand can also create problems if one of the products, such as Maggi noodles in case of Nestle, gets bad publicity.
2. Corporate-Cum-Individual Branding:
This is also known as Combination Branding. A combination branding strategy brings together a corporate brand name and an individual brand name. The objective here is to provide some association for the product with the corporate brand name while maintaining some distinctiveness. It gives credibility to the brand name. A good example is that of Intel Pentium and Intel i7 computer processors. Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office in personal computing software are also good examples.
3. Individual or Multi-Branding:
In this case, the company uses different brand names for different products that it markets. These different brand names do not identify the brand with the particular company. For example, Unilever markets its soaps using different brand names like Dove, Lifebuoy, Pears, and follows the same strategy in case of other products. In multi-branding, the corporate brand name is given little or no prominence.
This strategy is to safeguard against the harm brought about by the main corporate name. It is also a strategy to build up a distinct and strong image for each product in the company’s portfolio.
Multi-branding strategy is also possible when a company acquires a brand that already has established itself in the market and it wants to extract the best advantages from the acquisition.
What is Brand Management – Branding Levels and Branding Decisions (Alternatives)
Type # 1. Branding vs. No Brand Decision:
Branding is not a cost less phenomenon because it is associated with added costs like, labeling, packaging etc. Most of U.S. brand multinational companies are engaged in exporting branded products only. But it does not mean that all the exported products are branded products. Additional costs are mostly relevant to the commodities. These commodities are unbranded or undifferentiated products and are sold by grade.
For example diamond, produce and other agriculture and chemical products. There is no any uniqueness as such in these products, other than grade-differentiation that can be used to differentiate the product offer of one supplier from those of another. For example a diamond supplier determines the value of its product by its characteristics like-cut, colour, clarity and carrot weight.
It is not offered on the basis of its brand value. Further a brand less product is always in term of its quality and quantity control. It also reduces the total cost of production and other costs. The demand of an unbranded product is strictly a function of price. This is also a main limitation of it.
Up = f(P)
An unbranded product tends to be vulnerable to any level of price cut or price swing.
“A product is a value-added commodity, and this bundle of added values includes the brand itself as well as other attributes, regardless of whether such attributes are physical or psychological and whether they are real or imaginary.”
Branding leads to better identification of the products, better promotion, consumer confidence and brand loyalty among customers. Finally it makes premium pricing possible. Though branding provides some insulation from price competition, but a multinational company must find out whether it is worthwhile to brand the product or not.
The following prerequisites are considered to be met out in general:
i. Consistency in product quality and quantity.
ii. Product differentiation.
iii. Other different product attributes.
For example, Pringles’ unique quality allows the company to differentiate its brand name from others and it is one of the top accepted brand among customers of upper and upper middle income group.
It is a very important decision to be taken by the manufacturer. The manufacture is to decide, whether he will use its own brand or a buyer’s brand as to promote sale of its products. The buyers tend to use their own brand name in the international business. For example most of Japanese buyer use to put their own brands on the products while buying from U.S. based multinationals and others.
Another example may be of a famous fashion product Calvin Klein and GAP. Both the products belong to U.S. based multinational companies. They are importing the same from India and other countries under their own/private brand name.
(i) It may enable the distributors to create a unique and differentiated product by bundling the different product attributes. Further it may also be helpful in adjusting the price to reflect the proper value of the product.
(ii) It is a defensive strategy, which guarantees that the distributor has not compromised with product attributes at any level.
(iii) It will be helpful for the distributors to convert fixed production cost in to variable cost by purchasing the products from others. It will enhance the savings of the distributors.
(iv) Generally, a distributor insists on a private brand because of brand loyalty and bargaining power etc. Despite of the fact that a distributor is paying lesser price, which is followed by the ultimate customer, even then he manages to earn a higher gross margin in comparison to an offer by the manufacture for its brand.
A distributor pays only some relevant part of the total costs to the manufacturer because he is not been benefited by certain expenditures of manufacturers like promotional expenditures of manufactures. The distributor may switch over to some other brands if he has certain problems over these with the manufactures. For example GAP has switched over to some other manufactures because it was facing bit problems from earlier manufacturer.
There are several reasons which justifies that private branding is also beneficial for the manufactures.
i. No Promotional cost – There is no headache for any kind of promotional expenditures associated with private brands. It is also helpful for a manufacturer to from a suitable strategy for an unknown brand.
ii. In case the manufacturer has the apprehension that the sale of its own product is going to suffer up to certain extent by various private brands. In that case the manufacturer may cannibalize by one or two of those private brands of a manufacturer.
iii. The easy market entry of the product and thereafter the dealers acceptance may allow a manufacturer to capture overall larger market share. It may be because of reduction in total cost and to put the prices more competitive in the market. For example Pepsi and Coca Cola both have reduced their prices, as to stay competitive in the market.
There are several reasons, why private branding is not good for the manufactures.
(i) By using private brands a product becomes commodity to the distributors. Furthermore the manufacturer user is to compete on the basis of prices of its products.
(ii) There is always a fear in the mind of manufacturer that the distributors can switch over to another supplier at any time. For example, GAP, an U.S. based firm is using private brand for its products and a Ludhiana based firm Venus export is catering to the tune of 75 percent of its total annual business by supplying to GAP on the brand name of its buyer. Recently GAP has switched over its most of marketing activities to China.
The Ludhiana based Venus export may be in trouble now, because they are to search new market as to service in the market.
(iii) By using private brand, the manufacturer loses its control over the promotion of its products. For example, Mitsubishi felt that its products did not receive proper attention. Keeping in mind the Mitsubishi started to establish its own dealer network and brand identity by the name of Mitsubishi Mirage.
i. Own Brand
ii. A Private Brand.
The choice of manufacturer depends upon his bargaining power. If the distributor do have very good reputation in the market and on the other hand the manufacturer is new in the market or is unknown and also keen to penetrate the market, then the manufacturer may use the distributors brand name on the product. But if the manufacturer has a very good reputation, he can insist and negotiate with distributors to accept his brand name as a part of the product. For example Kinishiroku has a very good reputation in the market.
To take the advantages of its reputation it has planned to expand from private brand manufacturing to direct distribution under its own brand name. It is pertinent to mention here that the hypothesis of lea dependent person is applicable here to determine the strengths of both manufacturer and its dealer.
Further the stronger party is always in a position to dictate its terms in the choice of the business terms. On the other hand the weaker party needs the other party more because of its limited resources and thus it has to give it into the stronger partners. In most cases the interests of both the partners are independent in nature and none of them is having an absolute power.
If the manufacturer is strong enough and decides to use its own brand name on the product, the problem of the manufacturers does not end if he is an international marketer. The manufacturer is to decide whether he is to use only one brand name in the world market or different brands for different markets in the different world countries. To market its own brands worldwide and to market worldwide brands are two different phenomenon.
If manufactures are using a single brand name worldwide, it is known as international brand or universal brand. This kind of brand is developed by keeping in mind the inter-market similarities only in the International market. For example Euro is used as a single product brand by the European Union and other Western European countries. Coca-Cola is an international brand. It is developed on the basis of similarities in perceptions among cultures in different countries.
(i) A worldwide brand is associated with reputation and prestige of the company.
(ii) An International brand is helpful to recognize the product easily.
(iii) When a worldwide brand do have good reputation in the market, it may be helpful to extend the same to other product line as to get maximum benefits. The use of multiple brand is also known as the domestic approach and is used more commonly. For example, most of the Japanese firms are adopting this strategy by introducing their product in their local markets before going for its exports to U.S. markets and other developed nations.
(i) Perception about International Brands:
In most of the developing nations, there is resentment about international brands. They presumed that goodwill of these brands of multinational companies is created only by their advertisement budgets, which is much higher than the research and development cost of these product brands.
The local customers are to pay higher price for the products because of higher advertisement costs and goodwill. It is beneficial for the multinational companies only and results no benefits for the local economies. For example, countries like South Korea and India are limiting the use of such brands. Recently India has rejected the demand of proposed share of Pepsi owned joint venture with India.
(ii) Lack of Uniform Product Quality:
Whenever a multinational company failed to ensure uniform product quality in the international market, it must go for the consideration of domestic brands.
(iii) Difficulty to Pronounce Existing Brand:
In case it is difficult to pronounce the existing brand, it should consider the new brand strategy. Sometimes the customer wants to avoid the embarrassment of a wrong pronunciation and avoid buying a certain brand.
A domestic brand is always helpful to avoid a negative connotation. For example, Pepsi has introduced a non-Cola line under the patio name in U.S. market. It introduced the same product under the brand name Mirinda in other markets. It may be because of the unpleasant connotation of patio in other markets.
Sometime multinational companies use to acquire domestic brands for a quick market penetration. It is also useful to save the time.
“Multiple brands may have to be used, not by design but by necessity, because of legal complication. One problem is restrictions placed on the usage of certain words. Diet Coke in countries that restrict the use of the world diet becomes Coke Light. The decree forced Braun to create the Eltron brand, which had little success”.
(vii) Domestic Brand may be Introduced, because of Price Control:
The price variation is the phenomenon which is prevailing among different nations. Further the price control is also one reason, which is responsible for the gray marketers. A domestic buyer can buy the same product from those countries where the prices are comparatively low in comparison to local brand.
It is very difficult for the manufacturer to restrict the importation of gray market products. It becomes more challenging in those countries where products are supposed to move freely. The trading can be restricted only by having different domestic brands instead of having only one worldwide or international brand.
It is important to mention here that no strategy, whether global brand or domestic brand is superior or inferior to each other. Each of both has its own characteristics and benefits. It depends upon the managerial judgements that which strategy is to be adopted. The managerial judgments is always based upon various factors like common tastes, needs etc.
Type # 4. Single Brand vs. Multiple Brands:
A company can use single brand strategy or multiple brand strategy for its products. If a single brand strategy is being marketed by the manufacturer, the particular brand is assured of getting full concentration for the maximum benefits out of it. The company may choose many brand strategies with in a single market.
It is based on the assumption that market is heterogeneous and it should be segmented on the basis of different workable variables. A specific brand is required to be designed for a particular market segment. For example, many watch companies like Citizen, Seiko etc. has adopted this strategy of using multiple brands in a single market for different market segments. They are also adopting this strategy as to capture all the market segments.
The multiple brands strategy is suitable when the company is willing to trade up or trading down. In both the circumstances the business of the company can be hampered. For example, if a company very good reputation in the market and also doing well in terms of its business, trading down without creating a new brand may be harmful far the image of the company.
On the other hand, if company is known for its mass production at lower price, trading up without creating new brand may be hurt by the image of existing products. IBM may be a good example of multi brand strategy. The company has adopted multiple brand strategy and separate sales strategies for different groups of customers.
What is Brand Management – Brand Policies and Strategies
Brand policies and strategies can be divided into three parts:
1. Brand Policies and Strategies adopted by Manufacturers,
2. Brand Policies and Strategies adopted by Middlemen, and
3. Other Brand Policies and Strategies.
Details in this regard are given below:
1. Brand Policies and Strategies Adopted by Manufacturers:
It includes the following brand policies and strategies:
(i) Marketing under the Own Brand of Manufacturer:
Under this brand policy and strategy, a manufacturer sells all his products under the brand name of his own. There are various policies under this category and a manufacturer can select any of these policies. Main policies of this category are as under— (a) Individual brand; (b) Product line brand; (c) Family brand; (d) Local brand; (e) Provincial brand or State brand; (f) Regional brand; (g) National brand; (h) International brand; (i) Fighting brand, and (j) Competitive brand.
Main advantages of this brand policy and strategy are — (a) It increases the goodwill of manufacturer, (b) It facilitates in the implementation of advertisement and sales promotion programmes of the enterprise, (c) It helps in bringing stability in the prices of products of the enterprise, (d) It helps in controlling the marketing activities of the enterprise, (e) It helps in adopting a suitable policy regarding product mix of the enterprise.
Main disadvantages of this brand policy and strategy is that middlemen do not find any existence of their own.
(ii) Marketing under the Brand of Middlemen:
Under this policy and strategy of brand, a manufacturer does not use any brand for his products. The manufacturer sells his products to the middlemen without any brand. Under this situation, the middlemen are free to use any brand for their products.
Main advantages of adopting this policy are — (a) The manufacturer has no need to concentrate upon the marketing of products, (b) The manufacturer can invest his resources in the best possible manner to produce the best quality of the goods at most reasonable costs.
Disadvantages of this brand policy are—(a) The manufacturer has to depend upon the marketing policy and efficiency of middlemen, (b) The middlemen may create unhealthy competition among the manufacturers because if they get products from any of these manufacturers at cheap rate, they stop to sell the products of earlier manufacturer, (c) If the middlemen are not efficient enough or they do not take appropriate interest in marketing the products of an enterprise, the enterprise may have to face a very critical situation.
2. Brand Policies and Strategies Adopted by Middlemen:
It includes the following brand policies and strategies:
(i) Use of the Brand of Manufacturer Only:
Under this brand policy and strategy, the middlemen sell all the products of a manufacturer under the brand name of the manufacturer. They do not use any independent brand name for the products.
Main advantages of this policy are – (a) Middlemen have not to make special efforts for selling the products, (b) The middlemen get full advantage of the goodwill of manufacturer, (c) It increases the sales of the middlemen.
Main disadvantages of this policy is that middlemen do not find any existence of their own.
(ii) Joint Use of the Brand of Manufacturer and the Brand of Middlemen:
As is evident from the heading, under this policy, the products of two brand names are marketed — the products of the brand of manufacturer and the products of the brand of middlemen.
Main advantages of this policy are — (a) Middlemen feel that they have their own existence, (b) It increases the sales of the product very high because of the use of brands of both the manufacturer and middlemen, (c) The middlemen get full advantage of goodwill of manufacturers and their own goodwill, (d) The middlemen feel assured that they do not depend upon the manufacturers.
Main disadvantages of this policy is that this policy is not appreciated by the manufacturers because they feel that the middlemen will concentrate upon the sale of the products of their own brand and will not pay due attention towards the sales of their brand.
3. Other Brand Policies and Strategies:
Other brand policies and strategies may be as under:
(i) Multiple Brand Policy:
Under this brand policy and strategy a business and industrial enterprise uses different brands for its different products.
(ii) Product Line Brand Policy:
Under this brand policy the enterprise uses a single brand for all the product items of a product line. Brands for all the product lines of the enterprise are different.
What is Brand Management – Brand Image
Brand image refers to the set of beliefs that customers hold about a particular brand. It is a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for. It is a set of beliefs held about a specific brand. These are important to develop well since a negative brand image can be very difficult to shake off. The brand image is the consumer perception of the brand. It ensures favorable associations of the brand in the minds of consumers.
The brand image typically consists of:
a. Perception – The consumers perceive the brand image.
b. Cognition – The brand is cognitively evaluated in the market place.
c. Attitude – The perception and cognition of consumers results in the formation of attitudes about the brand.
Features of Brand Image:
It is the current view of the customers about a brand. It can be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for.
Brand image is a set of beliefs held about a specific brand. In short, it is nothing but the consumer’s perception about the product. It is the manner in which a specific brand is positioned in the market. Brand image conveys emotional value and not just a mental image. Brand image is nothing but an organizations character.
It is an accumulation of contact and observation by people external to an organization. It should highlight an organization’s mission and vision to all. The main elements of positive brand image are unique logo reflecting organizations image, slogan describing organizations business in brief and brand identifier supporting the key values.
Brand image is the overall impression in consumer’s mind that is formed from all sources. Consumers develop various associations with the brand. Based on these associations, they form brand image. An image is formed about the brand on the basis of subjective perceptions of association’s bundle that the consumers have about the brand.
Example – Volvo is associated with safety. Toyota is associated with reliability.
The idea behind brand image is that the consumer is not purchasing just the product/ service but also the image associated with that product/service. Brand images should be positive, unique and instant. Brand images can be strengthened using brand communications like advertising, packaging, word of mouth publicity, other promotional tools, etc.
Brand image develops and conveys the products character in a unique manner different from its competitor’s image. The brand image consists of various associations in consumers mind – attributes, benefits and attributes. Brand attributes are the functional and mental connections with the brand that the customers have. They can be specific or conceptual.
Benefits are the rationale for the purchase decision. There are three types of benefits – Functional benefits – what do you do better than others, emotional benefit – how do you make me feel better and rational benefits/support – why do I believe. Brand attributes are consumers overall assessment of a brand.
Brand image has not to be created, but is automatically formed. The brand image includes products appeal, ease of use, functionality, fame and overall value. Brand image is actually brand content. When the consumers purchase the product, they are also purchasing its image. Brand image is the objective and mental feedback of the consumers when they purchase a product. Positive brand image is exceeding the customers’ expectations. Positive brand image enhances the goodwill and brand value of an organization.
Importance of Brand Image:
Today’s generation is quite impressionable and hence in order to enhance their personality, or to meet social standards, they gravitate towards branded products that are creating a stir in the market. This brand image is simply an impression or an imprint of the brand developed over a period of time in the consumer’s mind-set.
This image of a brand is ultimately a deciding factor that determines the product sales. The brand image is very important, as it is an accumulation of beliefs and views about that particular brand. The character and value of the brand is portrayed by its image, as it is the main component in the scheme of things.
The brand image is eventually the mirror through which the company’s key values are reflected.
Example of Brands with Strong Brand Image:
Every brand tries to create an image that will take its company and products forward and for this, they spend lots of money and implement many creative ideas.
For example – Colgate is a brand name known in every Indian household. The brand has been able to create an image that defines trust, hope and belief. The consumer is convinced that the usage of Colgate products will give satisfactory results.
The mindset of customers is set that using Colgate toothpaste will take care of their teeth and using the product will result in better health and oral care. Thus, when in the
market, the consumer will mostly buy Colgate, as the brand Colgate has been synonymous with trust. Similarly, if there is another brand image etched in the consumers mind, he will buy that particular product.
Other brands with strong brand image are:
3. Adidas and many others
Even advertisements related to a brand try to build a strong image of the brand so as to get across the fact that the brand can be trusted and hence people can rely on them. A branded product that has an encouraging reputation and image saves a consumers time and energy.
As the brand is an established one, the clients are sure that, the products have already been tested and approved and now the company will provide them the best possible service and merchandise.
Advantages of Building a Strong Brand Image:
1. The perception of a consumer towards a particular brand is in direct relation to the image of the brand.
2. Having a strong brand image directly impacts the consumer buying behavior and hence premium brands as well as top brands have a target of building a strong and positive image of the brand.
3. A positive brand image can make the decision process easier, thereby promoting a lot of repeat purchases as well as primary purchases.
4. A promising brand image conveys the success of the product and gives results with increased sales and revenues.
5. A positive image gives confidence to the customers as they feel that the brand is sincere and clear in its vision to create the best.
6. It is possible to build brand image with strong advertisements because of which companies are promoting their products through various famous personalities to enhance their image of brand.
The main advantage is that a customer is secure in the knowledge that the brand is dependable and will provide him/her maximum benefits. The honor of a company is replicated by its brand image and it is this image that a person looks towards at. Hence, brand and its image are very important for the success of a company.
Disadvantages of Brand Image:
1. If an organization is unable to depict a satisfactory brand image, then the consequences can be felt quickly. The brand might fail in the short term itself if the brand image created is negative.
2. The product is principally dependent on its brand image and unfavorable or negative image results in the disgrace of the company and later on bringing the same brand becomes difficult.
3. The main disadvantage of a brand image is that the brand and its products will always be identified with the image until further changes in the brand image are impelled.
4. If in any circumstances the image is compromised, then sales and revenues will also be hampered and therefore it is necessary to gather a right team that will create and regularly maintain the brand image of a product.
What is Brand Management – Brand Reinforcement
The Brand Reinforcement majorly focuses on maintaining the Brand Equity by keeping the brand alive among both the existing and new customers.
This can be done through consistently conveying the meaning of brand in terms of:
a. What are the products under the brand? What are its core benefits and how it satisfies the demand?
b. How is the brand different from other brands? How it enables a customer to make a strong, unique and favorable association in their minds?
Brand reinforcement includes regular monitoring of a product at all the levels of product life cycle viz. Introduction Stage, Growth Stage, Maturity Stage and Decline Stage to keep a check on the changes in the tastes and preferences of customers.
The marketers adopt this strategy to remind customers about the brand and its long- lasting benefits. In order to keep the brand in the minds of the customer, several innovations, researches and creative marketing programs are made in line with the changing marketing trends.
Apart from innovation and research the brand reinforcement can be done through various marketing programs such as:
1. Advertising is one of the most common and easy tool of brand reinforcement. By showing the ads frequently on TV, Internet, Bulletins, Billboard, Radio, etc. can make the brand deep-rooted in the minds of the customer.
2. Exhibition provides a vital platform to the brands where the product with any new feature can be demonstrated to the customer. Products seen in real gives an experience to the customer and some image gets created in their minds.
3. Event and Sponsorship act as an aide to the brand reinforcement. The companies sponsor big events like sports, political rallies, education, award functions, etc. with the objective of reminding the customer about their product and creating the positive image in the minds of new prospects.
4. Showroom layout also plays a vital role in strengthening the brand image in the minds of the customer. The way the brands are placed in the retail outlets or stores reminds the customer about the product and also influences new users through its appeal.
5. Promotion is the most frequently used tool of brand reinforcement. Several companies adopt this strategy wherein some special offers, freebies, discounts, gift packs, etc. are given along with the product. This is done with the intention to retain the existing customers and attract new customers simultaneously.
Few brands that have been built over half a century are still stealing the show. Brands like Coca-Cola, Time Magazine, Mercedes Benz, Disney, etc. still maintain their leadership category despite strong competition from challenging brands in their respective categories. One reason why this is so is their ability to constantly revaluate research and reinforces their brand equity.
They equally strive to improve their dominance by constantly measuring their brand equity to help them ascertain brand performances within the market place. No matter how small the brand is, a little effort should be devoted to continuous evaluation and reinforcement of the brand.
The ability of high flying brands to measure their brand equity has given them the opportunity to ascertain the necessary innovations and slight adjustments needed to re- empower their brands. This helps them avoid some sort of reduction of the total financial value accrued to their brand. This notion however calls for careful and effective management of brands.
The power of a brand can be re-enforced by consistently communicating the essence of the brand its representation, relevance, benefits and superiority, etc. This obviously, is can be done through creative marketing actions or programs.
A successful brand remains a successful brand provided it continuously dominates its market category and continually reinforces what makes it stand out as a leader amongst other brands. Nothing fails like success. For a brand to continually maintain its lead or possibly take over the leadership in its category, successful, it must continually and stylishly reinvent itself in the right direction as a better solution provider as against other brands.
This is made evidence as it makes effective moves in coming out renewed with new and compelling market offerings and ways it markets them. A brand that however fails to reevaluate and reinforce eventually lost its market leadership to the more serious ones.
How to Reinforce the Brand?
To reinforcing the brand, come out with creative marketing programs that have the ability to fortify the brand by reinforcing the brand essence and worth. This enables the brand generate more awareness hence strengthening its image and presence in the market place.
Apart from research and development or product innovation, such mix of marketing programs can help breathe more life into the brand equity.
Some of the mix of strategic marketing programs may include but not limited to:
b. Trade shows,
c. Events and sponsorship,
d. Talent hunting and development,
e. reality TV shows,
g. Exhibitions, etc.
a. Advertising – Brand advertising plays a cogent role in reinforcing brands within the marketplace. It has a unique ability to simplifying brand worth through broadcast & narrowcast, online & offline, on pack and off pack advertising messages.
b. Exhibitions – Exhibition is also a vital platform through which a brand can be reinforced through exhibitions the brand is demonstrated and tested as buyers and shoppers come in contact with the brand as showcased.
c. Events and Sponsorship – Events and sponsorship is another viable medium used in strengthening the brand. Virtually all brands targeted audiences can be reached via event sponsorship. The obvious areas of sponsorship are sports, arts & culture, music and entertainment, education, community festivals and broadcast, etc.
d. Merchandising – This is another platform for brand reinforcement. Merchandising techniques such as display and store designs are vital communications tools that can guide customers, buyers and prospects towards making purchases.
e. Promotions – Promotional activities for brands are also a viable technique in reinforcing brands. Brand Promotions goes a long way to strengthen brand attraction, relationship and loyalty. Rewarding customers, providing additional incentives encourage customers to maintain their bond with the brands.
What is Brand Management – Brand Revitalization (With Examples)
The Brand Revitalization is the marketing strategy adopted when the product reaches the maturity stage of product life cycle and profits have fallen drastically. It is an attempt to bring the product back in the market and secure the sources of equity i.e. customers.
Mountain Dew, A Pepsi product, was launched in 1969 with the tagline “Yahoo Mountain Dew” that flourished in the market till 1990. After that the sales of mountain dew declined due to which it was re-positioned, its packaging was changed and the tagline was changed to “Do the Dew”.
It targeted the young males showing their audacity in performing the adventurous sports. This led the Mountain Dew to the fifth position in the beverage industry. Despite a good reinforcement strategy, a product has to be revitalized because of some uncontrollable factors such as competition, the invention of new technology, change in tastes and preferences of customers, legal requirements, etc.
The brand has to be revitalized because of the following reasons:
1. Increased competition in the market is one of the major reasons for the product to go under the brand revitalization. In order to meet with the offerings and technology of competitor, the company has to design its brand accordingly so as to sustain in the market.
2. The brand relevance plays a major role in capturing the market. The brand should be modified in accordance with the changes in tastes and preferences of customers i.e. it should cater the need of target market.
3. Globalization has become an integral part of any business. In order to meet the different needs of different customers residing in different countries the brand has to be revitalized accordingly.
4. Mergers and acquisitions demand the brand revitalization. When two or more companies combine, they want the product to be designed from the scratch in a way that it appeals to both and benefits each simultaneously.
5. Technology is something that is changing rapidly. In order to meet with the latest trend, the companies have to adopt the new technology due to which the product can go under complete revitalization.
6. Legal issues may force a brand to go under brand revitalization such as copyrights, bankruptcy, etc. In such situations, the brand has to be designed accordingly and the branding is to be done in line with the legal requirements.
In order to overcome the problems following are some ways through which brand revitalization can be done:
1. The usage of a product can be increased by continuously reminding about the brand to customers through advertisements. The benefits of the frequent use of a product can be communicated to increase the consumption.
Example – the usage of Head & Shoulders on every alternate day can reduce dandruff.
2. The untapped market can be occupied by understanding the needs of the new market segment. The brand revitalization can be done to cater to the needs of new customers.
Example – Johnson n Johnson is a baby product company but due to its mild product line the same can be used by ladies to have a soft skin and hair.
3. The brand can be revitalized by entering into an entirely new market.
Example – Wipro, who has entered into a baby product line.
4. Another way of getting the brand revitalized is through the re-positioning. It means changing any of the 4 Ps of marketing mix viz. product, price, place and promotion.
Example of re-positioning is Tata Nano. On its launch, it was tagged as the “cheapest car” that hurt the sentiments of customers and the sales fell drastically. To revive the sales, the new campaign was launched “Celebrate Awesomeness” that re-positioned its image in the minds of the customer.
5. A brand can be revitalized by augmenting the product and services. The company should try to give something extra along with the product that is not expected by the customer. Some additional benefits can revive the brand in the market.
Example – A plastic container comes with a surf excel 1 Kg pack that can be used for any other purpose.
6. The brand can be modified through the involvement of customer. The feedback about the product and services can be taken from ultimate consumer and changes can be made accordingly. Customer’s involvement is best seen in service sector wherein feedback forms are filled in at the time of availing the services such as hotels, restaurants, clubs, flights, trains, etc.
This shows that brand revitalization is an essential to the success of any product. The firm takes all the necessary steps to keep its product very much alive in the market.
What is Brand Management – Brand Activation
Meaning and Definitions:
Brand Activation is a new science in the brand management process. It helps in providing a holistic approach so as to register the brand in the consumer’s mind in as many ways as possible. Brand Activation uses the 360 degree branding approach and tries to connect with the end user with numerous ‘touch points’.
It includes above the line (ATL) and below the line (BTL) activities and also the new innovations in media like digital media and social media. Band Activation helps in the launch of a new brand, taking on competition, in generating awareness on the brand usage, highlighting the hidden benefits which cannot be done through traditional advertising and sometimes also used for creating impact even at the trade level.
Brand Activation is ‘a holistic process of connecting the brand to the end user by using below the line activities (BTL) so as to make the brand more relevant to the consumer’. – Dr Y. RamKishen
From the above mentioned definition, it can be inferred that:
i. Brand Activation solely depends on BTL activities.
ii. Brand Activation is a strategy to connect the brand with the consumer.
iii. It is a holistic process.
Brand Activation can be enhanced by using brand advocates. Brand Advocacy means how to use the partners who are directly or indirectly involved in promoting the brand in the market place.
Brand Activation can be done by the employees. It has to be a policy of the company. The employees are asked to live the Brand. Like the employees of Infosys have its logo on its T-shirts as well as bags, cups, etc. If we take the example of Pepsi, the Vice President of Pepsi will wear the Pepsi logo on his t-shirt. Employees are looked after carefully so that they will talk positive about the brand.
In Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai most of the employees stayed in the hotel during the terrorist attack and saved the lives of many guests in the hotel. This dedication even in the times of terror was due to the Brand-Tata and how it takes care of its employees.
Channel Partners are the distributors, dealers, and retailers, wholesalers or redistribution stockists for the brand. They play a pivotal role in pushing the brands, as most of these do not work with the main stream advertising. If the Channel Partner is motivated they will push the brand. This will also lead to incremental sales and it can become a competitive edge in the future. Companies try to activate their brand for more sales through channel partners.
Brands often use opinion leaders for activating themselves. Existing users, friends and relatives, experts, etc., are some examples of Opinion Leaders. In rural markets, the village headman (Sarpanch), the school teacher, the barber, the postman are all examples of opinion leaders.
For example, Sony Entertainment Television started their serial ‘Jassi jaisi koi nahi’ by paying money to the Opinion Leaders. Thus, there were people travelling in the local trains, talking about the show with the public, travelling in these compartments. It helped in creating a buzz for the show and excitement among the people much before it was aired on television.
How Brand Activation Helps in Branding Process?
Brand activation helps in the branding process in the following ways:
1. Introducing an Innovative Product to the Market Place:
In such circumstances, the consumer is unaware of the brand and the awareness levels have to be generated by activating the brand. For example, Red Bull energy drink uses promotional executives and generates sampling by engaging the customer in tasting of the product.
2. It Helps in Creating Value Proposition to the Brand:
In this type of strategy the brand has some unique features/attributes which cannot be explained to the market by the main stream media i.e. advertising, print media, etc. In such instances, brand activation plays an immense role in making the features comprehended by the target market.
3. Existing Tools Can Sometimes Create a Negative Impact on the Brand:
Sometimes due to over positioning the brand tends to create excitement in the consumer’s mind. However, when the consumer purchases the brand, he is dejected, as his expectations are not matching with the offering. In such cases brand activation comes into the picture and by using BTL tools, the brand can rejuvenate itself.
Brand Activation is done when all other tools for connecting with the consumer seem to fail or may not be effective. Advertising is done to increase top of mind recall and brand activation is done to increase sale. Brand Activation includes a lot of below the line activities and sales promotions as well. It also includes giving free samples for use or demonstrating the product.
Before the movie ‘The Dark Knight’ was released, people on streets were demonstrating against the ‘Joker’ the villain of the movie. Websites were speaking of the joker and the police commissioner James Gordon’s struggle. The movie hit a record number of advanced tickets and also one of the five movies to earn more than $1 billion. The movie had used Viral Marketing for activation and it worked tremendously for the movie.
Strategic Framework for Brand Activation:
If a brand wants to get activated, a lot of strategic thinking goes into it. The brand teams of the organization along with the advertising agency and the brand consultant’s brainstorm on how to go about with the strategy. Given below is a strategic framework to explain how the companies can implement the Brand Activation strategy.
1. Why brands have to get activated?
Brands have to get activated when the main stream advertising seems to be ineffective.
The reasons could be many:
a. The customer may not connect with the brand message.
b. Main stream advertising not effective.
c. Customer may not observe all the aspects of the brand through ATL.
d. The ultimate objective of any organization is to generate sales and if this does not happen then any kind of advertising spent becomes wasteful and futile. So, companies will have to look for ways to attract the customer and induce trail of the product.
2. Brand Connect:
The companies look for ways to establish Brand Connect with the consumer; it can be formed either by connecting with the emotions of the consumer (example, Airtel) or equity (example, Tata) or an experience (example, Cafe Coffee Day) which the customer takes home along with him.
It is one of the successful ways to create loyalty among the brand users, brands use the emotional approach in their advertising as well to demonstrate their emotional quotient. British Airlines play on the emotions of the customers and try to connect with the emotions of their passengers by linking their flying experience with the most cherished moments of their lives.
Mostly brands try to create an Experience as it gets registered much easily and quickly. For example, Colgate the leading oral care brand in the world uses a unique strategy in the rural markets of India. Christened ‘Operation Jagruti’ the activation is done in the primary schools where the demonstration of the tooth powder is shown on a transparent glass.
On the other side of the glass, the charcoal powder is displayed; the demonstrator rubs both the powders on the glass. On the side of the charcoal powder smudges appear on the glass and on the tooth powder side the glass doesn’t have any scratches and then the reinforcement is done by comparing the glass with the enamel of the teeth.
After the demonstration each kid is given a sample of tooth powder tin. The brand is further activated through a television advertisement by using Sunil Shetty as the brand ambassador for instant recall. Usually superior experiences work best, airlines like Emirates and Lufthansa cash on their superior flying experience.
It can also help in connecting with the consumer. The more value the brand is able to generate the more cherished it becomes which increases its equity. For example, Paramount Airways provide value to their flyers.
3. 360 Degree Approach:
Using multiple touch points like PR, sales promotions, direct marketing, personal selling, interactive media, in-film promotions, POP displays, events and road shows and sometimes even on the brand itself. In this way, the brand will not miss tracking the consumer and will influence him/her in as many ways as possible and this approach is called 360 degrees.
4. Holistic Approach:
Brand activation has taken an approach for building the brand experience in a multifaceted manner. 360 degree approach followed to activate the brand integrates the potential of the entire universe of options ranging from mobile, online, social media to ground activities.
5. Incremental Returns to the Company:
Companies are taking the concept of Brand Activation to all together new level, blending the creativity along with revenues to generate enhanced ROI (Return on Investments). The companies are looking for options to integrate ROI with Activation activities. Such methods will enable companies to calculate effectiveness and response of each Activation activity done.
If the companies effectively implement the strategic framework for their Brand Activation strategies, the brand can break through the clutter and generate more value proposition to the consumer and would also be useful in generating awareness for the brands in the marketplace.
Advantages of Brand Activation:
1. Effective Brand Connect:
Saffola Gold is costly refined oil, compared to the other refined oils available in the market. So, the normal advertisement would not have worked for it. Customers have to believe the worth of using the brand and also why is it good for health. Thus, they used doctors to recommend this refined oil to their patients as it has a low cholesterol level and is good for health.
2. Creates a Huge Impact:
Activation leads to more sales as the customers have experienced the brand start believing in the product. Thus, they form a positive attitude about the brand which leads to sales. Chik shampoo did activation by washing the hair of school children to show cause the benefits of a shampoo.
3. To Ward Off Competition:
Brand activation sometimes can be used to attack competition and gain a significant market share in a short duration, For example, Red Bull relies on heavy sampling to activate its brand in order to ward off competition from the cola region.
4. Helps in the Launch of New Products:
Activation helps in building and establishing a new category for example, wine tasting ceremony in 5 star hotels is a brand activation tool to generate interest in wines. People learn through experience and this is what is used in activation exercises.
Disadvantages of Brand Activation:
1. Costly Process:
Use of too many tools for activating a brand may only increase cost and may end up with no extra results/sales increase, for example, Vodafone used too many tools for activating its brand, they spent heavily though the brand recall increased because of the Zoo-zoo’s but as such the brand failed to register more users to its user base.
2. Lack of Synchronization:
If all the tools of brand promotion are not used in synchronization it can kill the whole campaign. Brand Activation is based on the 360 degree approach which means that the tools used should convey the same message and should target the same customer profile. If at all there is a discrepancy in any of the following it might lead to failure.
Future of Brand Activation:
Digital platforms are re-shaping individual’s mind sets with the advent of new technologies. Social networking, browsing and chatting have become the new trends in the consumer thinking.
Brands understand this changing phenomenon and are using this platform for brand activation, for example, M&M uses twitter for activating their brands and Tata group uses networking sites for Brand Activation. Tata Nano was the first Indian brand for aggressively using all the available digital platforms at the time of its launch.
What is Brand Management – Product vs. Brand
The concept of brand is wider than that of product as the attributes of a brand give it a distinguishing identity as compared to the other products meant for the same purpose. Brands help the companies achieving market leadership and gaining competitive advantage, which is why several globalized firms try to develop a brand out of their products. This helps the business firms to establish and keep their brand image in the market with the help of their products and services.
Following are the basic difference between a product and a brand:
Difference between a Product and a Brand:
Difference # Product:
1. A product is a physical and tangible item which serves the purpose of satisfying a physical or functional need.
2. Product refers to what the organisation is selling with profit motive (by utilising its face value)
3. Product stands for specific things (e.g., mobile phone, car, laptop, etc.).
4. Product refers to the things which can be introduced in the market for serving the desires or requirements of people or the market.
5. The existence of the product is always objective. It is produced and then it is introduced in the market.
6. Product refers to the things which can be offered for the purpose of selling.
7. Some of the examples of products are cream, cold drink, pizza, etc.
Difference # Brand:
1. A Brand is an emotional identity. It satisfies an emotional need, for being recognised and associated with some specific people.
2. Brand refers to the image of the organisation.
3. Brand stands for assurance of good quality practicability, etc., for products that comes under the brand (e.g., Samsung, Toyota etc.)
4. A brand refers to the symbolic meaning associated with an organisation, products, services, etc. It consists of the logo, tagline, colour, etc., which helps in creating image in the minds of the possible consumers.
5. A brand is the perception about the product. The dimensions of the products can be understood through its components.
6. Brand refers to the trade name associated with goods and services. It comprises of logo, pattern, colour, symbol, sound, etc., associated with the brand name; which stands for the values, noting, and people associated with the brand. Its primary purpose is to establish the relationship of trust with the consumers.
7. Some of the examples of brands are Ponds, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, etc.
What is Brand Management – Challenges in Branding Commodities
The commodity market is generally driven by price consideration, besides, consumers, by and large show no involvement in the selection of a commodity. Under such conditions, to make them insensitive to price itself is very difficult task.
And later to create a preference for a specific option calls for a more sustained effort on the part of any marketer. Of course, the shift is slowly taking place in the cities and big towns where consumers are able to appreciate the benefits of buying a branded commodity.
Branding a commodity is a marketing task at a very fundamental level. Unlike in a consumer goods market where the marketer can play around with consumer perception, brand differentiation, etc., in a commodity market, branding is about going to the basics or exploring at the grassroots level.
To quote, David Aaker, “It involves overturning the rules of .the market, establishing new selling propositions in the market which so far has been driven largely by price. And everything from positioning, pricing, brand value and packaging takes on a new sensitivity.”
Brand building involves cost, apart from additional cost incurred in packaging labelling, advertising, legal protection — and a risk that if the brand should prove unsatisfactory to the user, the company’s image would suffer and it may even effect market for other products of the company. Thus the challenges involved are formidable.
Still any marketer prefers to brand it because of many unique advantages as stated below:
1. The brand name makes it easier for the marketer to process orders and track down problems associated with the brand.
2. The marketer’s brand name and trademark provide legal protection (patent or copyrights) of the unique features, which would otherwise be copied by competitors.
3. Branding gives the market the opportunity to attract loyal and profitable segment of customers. Loyalty created over time offers the unique advantage of having assured customer base against competition and greater control in their marketing programme.
4. It is wrong to assume that any commodity market is a homogeneous mass. Instead the task lies in skillfully identifying the different segments and understanding their specific needs. Branding helps marketer to form suitable segmentation of the market. Different brands can be aimed at different segment of customers.
5. In long run it helps to build a strong association with the consumers as well as’ the trade. By highlighting the same name, they could project their quality and image of the company.
6. Last, but most important, to derive the first mover’s advantage and tap the huge market potential.
From the customer’s viewpoint, a branded commodity assures him/her of a standard quality and minimizes the risk associated with choosing from a wide variety of similar product options.
Hence the process of branding achieves different things:
1. An easy identification process
2. Highlights special attributes or benefits
3. Distinct value and personality behind same usage
4. Connotes some association with type of users.
Special Consideration in Branding of a Commodity:
Brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one marketer. In particular, to differentiate an option from those of the competitors.
The major issues involved in the branding of any commodity are:
1. Offering sufficient value to the customer to induce change from a commodity to a branded option.
2. Role and degree of consumer involvement in buying decision.
3. Segmenting the market, selecting a target segment and positioning of the product to match with the target segment characteristics.
4. Communicating price-quality position offering sufficient turnover and long- term growth.
5. Selecting suitable packaging
6. Channelizing marketing investment for brand building.
What is Brand Management – Brand Challenges and Opportunities
Challenges of Brand:
The brand challenges are as follows:
Technology has played major role affecting all parts of the economy, politics as well as markets. Online trading and buying, online payments, mobile banking etc. have empowered the customers to make their choices and buying decisions at their discretion. The company needs to overcome technological challenges.
Globalization and opening of markets has changed the way business is conducted and organizations are structured. It results in changed structure of consumer economy. It has impacted the consumer’s buying habits. The companies should adapt to the global changes very quickly. They need to ensure appropriate strategies to overcome all types of challenges.
3. Target Audience:
A target audience that plays a major role in purchase decisions is called primary target audience. A target audience that plays a less significant role is called secondary target audience. In the process of defining a target audience, the companies often examine and specify the actual size of a target audience. Knowing the actual size helps them to estimate the potential buying power of the target audience.
4. Customer Relationship:
The challenge is to nurture and expand the customer relationship in order to extend the business potential beyond the natural growth of the initial product-based relationship to a broader relationship that allows for additional revenue from related products and services.
5. Brand Switching:
The customers with no brand preference for a given product category are called Brand switchers. They choose a brand on the basis of situational factors. An analysis of the brand usage pattern is helpful for the identification of the appropriate target audience. The companies need to have appropriate strategies to avoid brand switching.
The companies need to be developing effective strategies to overcome challenges. The companies need to have the overall impression in consumers’ mind that is formed from all sources. The marketer needs to ensure the consumers develop various associations with the brand. For example – Volvo is associated with safety.
7. Quality Improvement:
The company needs to convert the core product into enhanced brand quality. The core product must achieve the basic functional requirements expected of it. Higher quality brands achieve greater and higher profitability than their inferior rivals. It is vital for the company to understand how customers judge the quality of a product. During purchase most customers do not do detailed evaluations of the product performance. They categorize a product to be of high quality when they find it performing well on the parameters that are important to them. The company need offer as per customer requirement.
The brand theme needs to be reinforced by advertising, salespeople, sponsorship, public relations and sales promotion campaigns. Brand positioning shapes customer perceptions. A brand needs to communicate its positioning to its target market. Awareness needs to be built, brand personality projected and favorable attitudes built and reinforced among customers.
Companies have often relied on advertising in the mass media to communicate brand positioning. The purpose of brand communication is to make customers feel attached to the brand. The ultimate purpose is that customers should start considering the brand to be an important part of their being.
1. Brand opportunities to customers are as follows:
a. Source of product.
b. Lower risk.
c. Reduced search cost.
d. Quality symbol.
e. Symbolic device.
f. It helps in satisfying their needs.
g. Awareness of brand to customers.
h. It provides knowledge to customers.
i. It ensures consumer loyalty to a brand.
j. Brands simplify consumers purchase decision.
2. Brand Opportunities to Seller:
The brand opportunities to sellers are as follows:
a. It provides competitive advantage.
b. It is a process of presenting products with unique associations.
c. It provides identification to easy handling.
d. It is a way of legal protection of products’ unique traits and features.
e. Branding widens the market for the products and improves reputation of the concern.
f. Branding ensures constant demand for the product.
g. It is helpful in formulating future production policies properly.
h. Branded products and their prices are under the direct control of the manufacturer.
i. Branded articles require lesser time to sell.
j. Branding helps in introducing a new product in cases where a concern is already selling one or more products.
k. It is a sign of quality to satisfied customer.
l. It means financial returns.
m. It helps in enhancing sales volume.
n. It helps in enhancing market share.
o. Branding is essential for carrying on an effective advertisement campaign.
p. It is greatly helpful in eliminating middlemen, particularly wholesalers.
q. Popular branded goods can be easily sold by the manufacturers by establishing their own retail shops.
r. Branding simplifies the purchasing process of the retailer.
What is Brand Management – Advantages/Benefits of Branding
1. Benefits to Marketers:
Marketer prefers to brand a product because of many unique advantages as stated below:
a. The brand name makes it easier for the marketer to process orders and track down problems associated with the brand.
b. The marketer’s brand name and trademark provide legal protection (patent or copyrights) of the unique features, which would otherwise be copied by competitors.
c. Branding gives the marketer the opportunity to attract loyal and profitable segment of customers. Loyalty created over time offers the unique advantage of having assured customer base against competition and greater control in their marketing programme.
d. It is wrong to assume that any commodity market is a homogeneous mass. Instead, the task lies in skillfully identifying the different segments and understanding their specific needs. Branding help marketer to form suitable segmentation of the market. Different brands can be aimed at different segment of customers.
e. In the long run it helps to build a strong association with the consumers as well as the trade. By highlighting the same name, they could project their quality and image of the company.
f. Last, but most important, to derive the first mover’s advantage and tap the huge market potential.
2. Benefits to Customers:
From the customer’s viewpoint, a branded commodity assures him/her of a standard quality and minimises the risk associated with choosing from a wide variety of similar product options.
a. Branding helps in an easy identification of products.
b. It highlights special attributes or benefits of the product.
c. It creates distinct values and personality for customers with the repeated usage.
d. It connotes some association with type of users.
Problems in Branding:
Some of them are:
(1) Some countries put restriction on the use of foreign brands.
(2) Branding decisions becomes complicated because of difference in the cultural and other factors.
(3) Because of very heavy cost of brand promotion, it is very difficult for a small firm to promote their brand.
(4) The established foreign importers and distributors prefer to see the products under their own brand name so they discourage the exporter’s brand.
(5) Sometimes world famous brands have already been registered by somebody else in a country when multinational company is now entering.
What is Brand Management – Guidelines to Build a Strong Brand
i. While building any brand, first of all ensure that the following are aligned:
a. A product or service that satisfies some needs of a customer.
b. Identification of the unique promises which the brand can fulfill to the customer.
c. Communication of these promises, benefits and value to the customer.
d. The visual elements representing the brand.
e. The customer experience as promised.
ii. Be true. Focus on being true to your product’s promised features and benefits which it can really deliver. Don’t make false claims.
iii. Don’t lie. Communicate wisely and correctly. Writing “the best quality” in advertisements does not make our product best. It has to perform the best.
iv. Don’t ignore conscious branding practices. If we don’t say anything about our brand, the brand will get created as per word of mouth and we won’t have any control over it. We must take the responsibility of the communication of our brand.
v. Don’t copy any other brand. Never. Create your own unique brand property.
vi. Be patient. Great brands are not created overnight.
vii. Be consistent with the brand message. Make sure every advertisement, web page, email and letter helps reinforce the same message.
viii. If you have a logo, use it wherever appropriate, but make sure the graphic and visual quality is consistent.
ix. Be consistent in brand communication frequency. A few weeks of noisy campaign in every medium and then silence for months will not create long-lasting brand awareness.
x. Also, involve your employees. Make sure they believe in what your brand promises. If our people don’t believe or behave as per the brand promise, how will it reflect to the customers?
xi. Rejuvenate the brand from time to time. Don’t let it get obsolete. Keep it relevant.
xii. While designing any customer interaction with our brand, focus first on the customer’s experience with us. If we do great advertising, create our lovely jewelry showrooms, but if our employees are rude and behave badly with our customers, our brand will never flourish because in spite of all the outwardly visible right things, the customer does not get the desired experience. That has to be corrected first.
xiii. The ideal position for our brand in the customer’s mind must be at the top. So, we must build and manage our brand with that intention in mind.
xiv. Always remember that when a customer buys some of our products, she is not buying only that product, but she is buying the entire experience of buying and using that product. It is more of an emotional transaction than a logical one.
xv. Also, be consistent in performance. Make sure that every customer touch point within your business should make customers feel the same way about your brand as it has been promising. For this, you may have to check all the systems and processes of your company and ensure that they are aligned to deliver the brand promise.
xvi. Every point where our existing or prospective customers interact with our business must reflect and reinforce the brand values of the company’s products or services. List down all the interaction points where a customer has some sensory experience with our brand (where she sees, hears, touches, smells or tastes our brand). We must ensure a coherent, unified and consistent brand experience throughout all the points.
Following are some of those customer interaction points, update the list as per relevance to your company’s products or services:
a. The name of the company
b. The names of our products or services
c. Logo of the company or the product
d. Any slogan or tag line
e. Product packaging or outer packaging material (cartons, boxes, bags, tapes, straps etc.)
f. Visiting card
g. Letterhead o Envelopes
h. Other stationery elements (Invoices, Receipts, Challans etc.) o Price lists, Menu cards etc.
i. Company premises (Reception, Showrooms, Service centers etc. where the customer visits)
k. Company vehicles
l. Uniforms or dress code of everybody in the company
m. Sign boards
n. Web site of the company
o. Marketing collaterals (Brochures, Catalogs, and Pamphlets etc.)
p. Any communications (Email, SMS, Instant Messages)
xvii. Get regular feedback from customers, employees or other people with whom the brand interacts to understand the brand’s reputation and to know whether there are any changes necessary in our branding approach.
xviii. Assign the responsibility of managing the company’s brands to somebody in the company. If there are more than one big brands, assign the brands individually to people, but the overall brand portfolio management must be supervised by someone.
xix. Also, if the company has more than one product or service, the brand promises of the entire range must be aligned to each other and must not contradict with each other, even if they are targeted towards different customer segments.
xx. Provide a suitable budget for brand building.
xxi. Remember- brand develops or gets destroyed in the customer’s mind. That is exactly where your brand resides. In the efforts for brand building, focus only on that important place. Nothing else matters more.