Strategy

Strategy

2007/2008 Marketing Management Brand is everything Made by: A successful brand is an identifiable product, service, person our place, augmented in such a way that the buyer or user perceives relevant, unique, sustainable added values, which match their needs most closely. (De Chernatory and Mc Donald,1988) A brand is highly powerful tool, because I t provides a balance of functional benefits and performance values. The term branch is used to describe the personality of a particular company’s products.

The brand concerns use of design, color, typography, the quality that brand portrays and the actual identity of a product or service as the customer sees it. The brand is not just a name, the brand is a multifunctional concept. There are many well _ known brands throughout the various segments that have built up reputations as providers of good quality produce or services. For example, Nokia, Coca _ Cola, Nike, Reebook, BMW are well known brands or reputable quality. Branding is of primary importance to the organization, as it provides the organization and its product portfolio with an identity, something that people can associate with.

It essentially the key to successfully diffentiating the organization and its products from the competion. However, to develop a

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successful brand will require a considerable investment in both time and money, an investment, which if properly planned and managed, should reap significant rewards. The brand plays a number of roles from an input perspective, output perspective and tie perspective. Brands are complex, but ultimately they rest in the minds of customers as a basis on which to identify with a product, quality and image that is portrayed. These points realistically need little explanation.

However, it is essential that you are aware that the input perspective relates to everything that is put into the brand to actually make it a brand and, from the perspective of the organization, what are the inputs that make the brand successful. This means the way in which the brand is managed, i. e, the resources required to ensure that the brand is of significant value, both rationally and emotionally, to the customer. From an external perspective, the brand will be perceived and interpreted by the customer: how it impacts upon the customer, motivates them, fulfils them and actually achieves some purpose for them.

Time based is something of a radical component in branding. How long is a piece of string, some might say, but it is indeed an important factor. It may appear that some brands, such as Ford for example, might go on into perpetuity. However, this would be a complacent and dangerous strategy to follow, one with likely catastrophic results. BRAND VALUES Brand values are often difficult to define. However, they represent KSF o the organization and its products. Rokeach (1973), in the Nature of Human Values, suggested that: A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end_state of xistence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state existence. Values are essential in any organization, both from the internal perspective, where values will define the basis on which the organization does business, but also from the external perspective, where values essentially become meaningful and often the source of “added value”. For example where quality is a value, quality is a perspective benefit to the customer. Brand values, therefore, become the basis of an organization being perceived as different.

However, while they might form the basis of differentiation, the organization must be clear as to why they arrived at these values in the first place, and what they might mean to the future vision of the business. As a customer it is likely that you will be drawn to brands that hold values compatibles to your own personal ones, and by the same token employees are often drawn to organizations that are associated with core principle values very much in line with their own. Where are values former? Values are formed as a result of a range of influences one each individual from childhood through to adulthood.

Key influencers in our lives, parents, peers, and colleagues, a value is a belief, something we believe in, see as important, and allow to shape and form our behavior. As a result of the key components that define values, organizations therefore are challenged to specifically develop values that are akin to their customer groups, their target markets, which makes the segmentation process all the more complex. However, not only is the segmentation process complex, but the expectations of the organization in the minds of the customers as a result of their brand values are highly demanding and need careful planning.

An excellent example of brand values is that of the Virgin brand. Richard declared that the qualities associated with Virgin are: • Quality • Innovation • Value of money • Fun • A sense of challenge. These are more formally known as a cluster of values. These core values will, therefore, be at the core or heart of whatever Virgin do in the future. If they continue to extend the brand, as they have done on many occasions before, the values should continue to be the core of all of the businesses, not just exclusively one.

Branson used five values to demonstrate the ethos of this organization, five being an appropriate number and sufficiently challenging to deliver. Many organizations develop brands for an external perspective and with the “external” customer in mind. However, more and more organizations are moving towards making the brand values the focus point of the whole business, both for internal customers and external customers; actually making them a core rather than peripheral activity. CORE AND PERIPHERAL VALUES While developing and defining corporate values is an essential activity, there are two levels of values which a company can focus on.

Core values are those values that the brands will always uphold, regardless of the external drivers of change, which are here to stay. On the other hand peripheral values are those that are of secondary importance to the brand, and those that might change with market forces and conditions. Therefore, while quality might always be a core value, a peripheral value might be related to an activity or service level that the organization changes in line with market cores. In essence, establishing brand values provides a robust basis for ascertaining appropriate behavior on the part of the organization.

Values contribute in part to the vision and mission of the organization and ultimately establish a culture based upon which the organization can do business, meet customer needs and actually make a difference to customer experiences and customer achievements. BRAND LOYALTY One of the benefits of defining corporate values is that there can be a brand association between the customer and the organization. This brand association can often be the basis of a long and loyal relationship. Brand loyalty is a hot topic in today’s competitive environment, with significant pressure on brand switching to gain market share from competing organizations.

In achieving brand association the brand should be tightly targeted and assist customer achievement, so that brand loyalty and customer retention can be achieved. Brand loyalty, brand preference and brand recognition are objectives of branding and form the structure and basis upon which brands are develop. However, in this context there is a significant difference between brand recognition and brand preference. Brand recognition is a measurement of customer awareness: the case study on Egg in Unit 1 or easy Jet both make reference to the level of brand recognition.

The more important measures of success will indeed be brand loyalty and brand preference; they will form a very vital part of the brand planning process. BRAND PLANNING Planning in relation to brands is an essential activity, as it determines the future behavior of the organization and provides a SMART basis on which the organization is to operate. Planning ensures delivery of brand values and the whole brand experience to the marketplace. Typically there are long-term and short-term objectives relating to the brand, as with any other marketing activity.

Long-term objectives are often perceived as being particularly stretching on the part of the organization, where they form part of the greater vision for the future. For example, back in the 1960s, IBM set themselves a brand objective of “reshaping the computer industry’ while Boeing set a long term brand objective of launching a commercial jet aircraft, which they ultimately achieved through the launch of the Boeing 707, bringing jet travel to the commercial market. Short–term objectives, however, relate to the more immediate future, whereby sub-sets of objectives need to be defined to underpin the longer-term vision.

Therefore, they will relate to ways of achieving the long–term goals. For example, Boeing determined that they would: • Be the airlines’ first choice • Show strong profitability and meet investors’ expectations • Have a global network and a global outlook • Delight customers In many ways, brand planning will be quite a strategic role. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the implications of brand planning, as in a product management role or marketing management role, responsibility will lie with you in terms of the overall implementation of the plan and the tactical activities involved.

BRAND STRATEGIES It is important at this early stage to examine closely the importance of brand naming strategies for naming products and services across the organization. The focal point for decision-making in relation to brands is on the emphasis an organization wishes to place on creating a ‘distinctive’ offering in the market against the weight it wishes to place on the origin of the product or service. There are several options open to the organization, which we will now explore. CORPORATE BRANDS

This is where organizations would use one corporate name across all products, for example organizations such as Heinz do this. Individual products carry a descriptive name under the corporate umbrella of the Heinz brand, for example Heinz Tomato Ketchup, Heinz Soups and, of course, Heinz Baked Beans. The linking of these products by the use of the name Heinz enables the organization to create a strong overall image, whilst at the same time potentially creating economies of scale in marketing communications and distribution.

Clearly this is an advantage to organizations such as Heinz. However, in their book Strategic Marketing : Planning and Control, Drummond, Ensor and Ashford (2003) suggest that there is a clear danger and on some occasions disadvantage in this approach in that if there is a problem with an individual product the reputation of all of these products may suffer. A clear example of this would be the Mercedes A Class, where back at the early stage of its launch it became known for a variety of problems relating to its stability on the road.

OTHER BRAND NAMING STRATEGIES INCLUDE Multi branding – Manufacturers introduce a number of brands that all satisfy very similar product characteristics for example in the detergents market Procter and Gamble have several brands all fulfilling the same purpose it also means that anyone trying to enter the market for the first time would have to launch several brands at one in order to compete again they are many advantages and disadvantages associated with this approach.

For example, and advantage is that this approach allows for individual differentiation of the brand and also allows products to occupy different position in the same market premium and discount brands from the same company however, this is countered by disadvantages. Disadvantages for multi-branding include factors such as each brand requires a separate promotional budget in order to promote it and sell it effectively. However, a side point here is that of course these products are therefore dependent on the market containing enough potential to support more han one brand. Company and individual brand –Unilever used to practice a multi-brand approach with its washing powder but has been moving closer to the strategy of linking a company name to an individual brand name. There products now have lever bros as high profile endorsement on individual brands such as Persil and Surf. This main advantages of this approach is that the product can clearly be supported by the reputation of an existing corporate brand while at the same time the individual characteristics of the specific offering can be emphasized.

However this is countered by two clear disadvantages. First, the product failure has the potential to cause some damage to the company brand and secondly, the positioning of the company brand constrains decisions on quality and pricing of the individual products Range brand-some organizations use different brand names for different range of products, in effect creating a family of products. Ford has done this to an extent, using Ford for its mass-market car range and jaguar for the up market executive car range.

Volvo, Fords latest acquisition, has its own distinct brand values to appeal to a particular market segment and therefore will become another brand family for the Ford group. Of course there are some advantages and disadvantages of this approach. For example, an advantage would be that the strength of the brand would be conveyed. Across all of the products in the range and that promotional costs are spread across all of the products in the range also. However, this is countered by any new product failure damaging the range, also positioning the brand constrains decisions on quality and pricing for individual products.

Private brand Private brand -This is better known as the distributors own brand. An organization may decide to supply private brands, in particular retail brands. In this case the private brand is controlled by the distributor who will make decisions regarding the products position in the market. The distributor is likely to use company or individual brands for its products. The advantages of this are that the promotional spend by the producer is quite small and this therefore enables them to concentrate on gaining costs efficiency through volume production.

However; the downside is that marketing decisions then tend to be controlled by the distributer which can then remove the producer from direct contact with the market. Brand threats-Brands are no exception when it comes to threats from external forces, as attacking a brand, particularly a well known brand, can reap rewards in terms of high levels of publicity, as in the case of British Airways and Virgin and indeed Camelot and Virgin but it can also impact upon marketing share. Typical threats Competition-This component has just been covered. Brands do need to protect themselves against high level of competitor’s threat.

The key to success in overcoming brand threats is to enter the branding strategy relates to uniqueness, differentiation, robust corporate identity and strong core brand values. Brand names-The key threat here is the potential misuse or copying of brand names . Some organizations use brand names in order heighten awareness of their brand, Or to give it a comparable position with another brand . For example, Kleenex is a brand of paper handkerchiefs in the UK, while in Morocco, if you wish to purchase a box of tissues it does not brand what the brand name is, tissues are known as synonymously as “Kleenex”.

Therefore, in Morocco this has diluted the power of the actual Kleenex brand and its associated products. Copyright-A major infringement of intellectual property rights is the use of the trademarks designs and logos that have been legally protected against misuse and copy. If they are not legally protected, then other organizations can use them and benefit from them. Branding is an absolute minefield, and is a subject in its own rights. We have only touched upon some of the generic issues associated with branding.

Branding is a core activity, a differentiating activity and one that that enables the organizations to establish a corporate identity and identity and vision based around clearly defined brand values. To ensure that the brand is successful and there is synergy between the branding strategy and the remainder of the product, and the marketing mix, is essential that the brand be carefully managed. www. wikipedia. org www. brand. com www. buildingbrands. com www. prophet. com www. brandstrategy. org www. sonorusbrand. com www. globalbrandstrategy. com www. whisperbrand. com www. graveryandgramann. com www. businessweek. com