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Brand and brand management.

Brand and brand management

A brand can be likened to a ship in a fleet facing an upcoming battle. This metaphor provides some insight into the brand management problem and the cast of characters. The brand manager is the captain of the ship, who must know where his or her ship is going and keep it on course. The other brands in the firm, like other ships in a fleet, need to be coordinated to achieve the maximum effectiveness. Competitors correspond to enemy ships, knowing their location, direction, and strength is critical to achieving strategic and tactical success. The perceptions and motivations of customers are like the winds: It is important to know their direction, their strength, and possible changes. (Aaker, 1996)

Brand

I drink coca-cola and eat McDonald’s and wear U2. Ever day of our lives, each and every one of us chooses and uses brands. What is a brand?

A brand is the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies the goods, service, institution, or idea sold by a marketer. A brand name is the part of a brand that can be spoken. The brand mark also know as a logo, is part of a brand that cannot spoken When a brand name or brand trade mark is legally, protected through registration with the Patent and Trademark Office of the Department of commerce it become a trademark. (Wells, Burnett and Moriarty, 2000, P71)

A brand is a bundle of functional, economic and psychological benefits for the end user, more simply known as quality, price, and image. (Ambler, 1997)

A brand then has both physical and psychological dimensions. The physical dimension consists of the physical characteristics of the product itself and the design of the package or logo: the letters, shapes art, and colors that advertisers use to define the graphics of image. In contrast, the psychological side includes the emotions, beliefs, values, and personalities that people ascribe to the product. (Wells, Burnett and Moriarty, 2000, P164)

♥Importance of branding

The process of creating a unique identity for a product makes a product distinctive in marketplace. (Wells, Burnett and Moriarty, 2000)

Branding is about getting your prospects to see you as the only solution to their problem. (Frankel, 2000)

Branding is very important, especially for parity products. According to Russell L.Hanlin CEO,Sunkist Growers "An orange ...is an orange ...is an orange. Unless, or course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist, a name eighty percent of consumers know and trust." The products are the same in the marketplace, but according to brand image and brand personality, customers think they are different.

Branding provides benefits for both buyers and sellers. Brands help buyers identify specific products that they do and do not like, a process that in turn facilitates the purchase of items that satisfy their needs and reduce the time required to purchase the product. In addition, it may offer the psychological reward that comes from owning a brand that symbolizes status. E.g. Rolex, Rolls Royce. Sellers benefit from branding because each company’ brand identify its products, which makes repeat purchasing easier for customers. Branding also helps sellers by fostering brand loyalty. (Dibb, Simkin, Pride and Ferrell, 1997)

Brand building

Take a product, give it a distinctive name and attractive packaging and advertise it to emphasis its benefits and then create a personality for it. Then over time, build image and awareness for itself. More and more people buy the products. Product’s name might gain a reputation. Consumers will associate it with certain standards. I have built a brand! The brand has certain values and not only meet customers’ physical needs but also emotional needs. From this, we see that brand building is a continuous process.

Select a brand name

A name is first and perhaps greatest expression of a brand and important to product’s success. "An effective name is the first signal a brand can use to create a distinctive, positive positioning impression." (Knapp, 2000)

It should suggest something about the product’s benefits and qualities. E.g. Easy-Off, DieHard, Craftsman, Sunkist, Spic and Span, Snuggles, Merry Maids, NationsBank (Kotler and Armstrong, 1999)

Name should integrate product positioning such as Head and Shoulders shampoo. Good names are anchored to reality, conveyises something meaningful about the product. If the name promises something, however, it should keep that promise.(Knapp,2000)

"It should be easy to pronounce, recognize, and remember."(Kotler and Armstrong, 1999) Naming expert also recommend that a brand name be pleasing to ear. Brand name are often spoken out loud, but even when read, the mind translates words into sounds. Name should also be easy to remember and ideally.(Knapp, 2000)

"The brand should be distinctive and translate easily into foreign languages."(Kotler and Armstrong, 1999) As business has become more global, we also must consider about different culture in different countries. We also must avoid some misunderstanding.

It should be capable of registration and legal protection. A brand name cannot be registered if it infringes on existing brand name. (Kotler and Armstrong, 1999)

Another way to select a brand name is to use the name of its inventor or creator. Take for example, Mars.

Forrest E Mars came to Britain in 1932 bringing with him the recipe for a new type of confectionery bar, which was made with chocolate, nougat and caramel. He gave it its, or rather his, name –the Mars bar-and the company that produced it was also, not too surprisingly, named after him. (Lury, 1998)

Marketing research is very useful for brand name selection. " Word association test which is a projective technique in which the subject is presented with a list of words, one at a time, and asked to respond with the first word that comes to mind." (Zikmund, 2000) This test frequently used to test potential brand name.

Design a logo

A picture is worth a thousand words. The word logo comes from the Greek word logos, for speech and logic. The logo speaks to viewers, but its use must also make sense. Logos must carefully balance artistic goals with the effective interpretation, differentiation, and communication of the real meaning of their brands. In other words, the question to consider is not how beautiful or creative a brand image might be, but whether it effectively and appropriately communicates the brand’s promise. (Knapp, 2000)

A good designed logo must play their part in building the image of the brand, depicting the brand’s name and character or personality.

E.g. the golden arches of McDonald’s, Camel’s camel, Marlboro’s cowboy.

♥Create a brand personality

In a world where the advance of technology means that it is now easier for copy and to do more quickly than before. Brand personality distinguishes it from the competition, leading to customer loyalty.

Image adverting has become more and more popular and is used as main idea to create brand personality. The adverting can be effective or ineffective depend on the advertiser’s message. "If the right message has gone forward in the right fashion, the desired communications effect occurs."(Govoni, Eng, Galper, 1993) Researches that ask potential customers what do they like or dislike. Understanding customers’ attitude enables it to develop a message and brand image. The most important to image advertising is creative.

E.g. the sports apparel company No Fear uses this type of advertising to create a unique image for the brand as representing the outer limits of human performance. (Belch and Belch, 2001)

Brand equity

Brand equity is a assets (and liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service to a firm and /or that firm’s customers. The major asset categories are: brand name awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, brand associations. (Aaker, 1996)

Brand equity allows a brand to earn greater sales volume and /or higher margins than it could without the name, providing the company with a competitive advantage. The strong equity position a company and / or its brand enjoys is often reinforced through adverting. (Belch and Belch, 2001)

Brand management

"Brand management really is an operating system. It is a way to build equity in your brand." Said by Stedem, Director of Brand Management at Ford. (Davis, 1996)

Managing brand name awareness

Awareness refers to the strength of a brand’s presence in consumer’s mind. (Aaker, 1996)

The manager may choose TV and newspapers to achieve reach and frequency advertising strategy. Advertising is an effective way to raise and maintain awareness in marketplace attempts to attract target customers to the brand. According to brand strategy, the manager may face certain following situations:

1 Creating the awareness of existing brand to existing target market.

2 Creating the awareness of new brand to existing target market.

3 Creating the awareness of existing brand to new target market.

4 Creating the awareness of new brand to new target market.

Awareness is measured according to the different ways in which consumers remembers a brand, ranging from recognition to recall to "top of mind" to dominant. (Aaker, 1996)

Marketing research is helpful to search the target customer for the awareness of the advertising and brand.

♥Managing brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is a preference for a particular brand that results in its repeated purchase. (Belch and Belch, 2001)

Achieving customer loyalty can be very rewarding for many organizations and businesses. It is well known that it is usually more profitable to maintain an established client than continually be searching for new ones. (Griffin, 1998)

The loyalty of existing customers also represents a substantial entry barrier to competitors in part because the cost of enticing customers to change loyalties is often prohibitively expensive. (Aaker, 1996)

To low-involvement or convenience products, the decision-making process for such products is very simple. The consumers may have a mental shopping list that includes certain brand names. A high level of awareness may be sufficient to product phase. "They use reminder advertising to keep their brand names in front of consumers, maintain prominent shelf positions and displays in stores, and run periodic promotions to deter consumers from switching brands." (Belch and Belch, 2001)

To high-involvement product, advertising only can get customers attention and provide information. The major role of advertising is to reduce dissonance and give them confidence after purchase. Build relationship with customers is more important. "One should consider the lifetime profitability of a customer, not the profit on many particular transaction."(Amlber, 1997) Service is core component of building relationship with the customers.

In today’s environment, training for front-line and support staff need to cover such aspects as product knowledge, appropriate skills, customer-focused attitudes, teamwork, empowerment, process improvement and problem-solving. Customer service training should not be restricted purely to front-line staff but should include support staff ― these often become front-line staff with appropriate development. If competitive success is achieved through people, then the development of the skills of these people is critical. Product knowledge and services skills must be continually refreshed and updated. (Anonymous, 1998)

Manager may use telephone or mail to maintain Long-term customers contact. Databases provide a lot of information about customers. Manager can reward loyal customers by given them more benefits such as VIP card, membership, and some promotions. An good example of how Virgin can build relationship with their customers

Virgin Mobile will give away $3worth of Virgin Blue flights to reward its existing customers, and to give new customers "something to look forward to". New Virgin Mobile customers will get a $150 voucher to fly with Virgin Blue if they buy and connect to the mobile phone carrier before October 31, and spend $50 a month for the first three months. Virgin Mobile’s high-spending customers will automatically get the opportunity to fly free up to the value of $150 with Virgin Blue.(Sinclair, 2001)

In the UK, Tesco’s customers are finding it easier to form a better, more cost-effective relationship with their grocer than with their bank, Collecting customer information, then spending him or her pertinent, timely information about merchandise and offers on a one-to-one basis means that the retailer currently has the edge. (Williams, 1998)

♥Managing brand association

Managing brand equity emphasized that brand equity is supported in great part by the associations that consumers make with a brand. (Aaker, 1996)

These associations are very complex and intangible which include brand image, brand personality, brand position, attitude, logo, spokesperson and organization. Advertising plays a important role in building and maintaining brand image, brand personality, position which are the components of brand association.

E.g. Nike’s advertising use Michael Jordan’s intense competitiveness, Tiger Woods’s cool confidence, Jackie Joyner Kersee’s gritty endurance, Ken Griffey Jr.’s selfless consistency, or Michael Jordan’s blurring speed to build brand image.(Kotler and Armstrong,1999)

♥Managing perceived quality

Perceived quality is usually at the heart of what customers are buying, and in that sense, it is a bottom-line measure of the impact of brand identity. When perceived quality improves, so generally do other elements of customers’ perception of the band. (Aaker, 1996)

Consumer’s value is not just in the eye of the beholder. Most of the time it is created through a superior product or service a fact sometimes ignored by brand marketers. Nescafe, easily the world’s best-known brand of instant coffee, has reached the summit of its category through continuous product improvement. Since 1938, when the brand was born, it has undergone no fewer than seven metamorphoses, each time improving its taste and aroma, and thereby delivering a superior to consumers. (Kashani, 1997)

Customer may lack of knowledge and information to judge the actual quality. So manager can use advertising or publicity to emphasis the benefits of the product or service. That is more related to perceived quality.

♥Notice

Brand Management should start from internal.

The primary reason that CEOs fail, after financial performance, is their inability to articulate a clear vision for the business that they lead. Failure to provide staff with clear leadership and vision leads to internal unrest, the establishment of factions and general disharmony. It also fosters and ‘us’ and ‘them’ culture where staff can become openly hostile to change and change management. (Hamer, 2001)

Development and Management of the corporate brand is one of the most potent tools available to ensure the viable execution of the corporate vision. It provides the organization with the highest level of functional control and it is one of the most powerful strategic marketing weapons in the corporate arsenal. (Howard, 1999)

When staff understand what is expected from them, and the benefit that will arise their performance, both corporately and individually, they in effect develop a performance charter with the business they work in. The benefits to the organization of positive cultural change are immense. Staff who Know where they are heading, what is expected of them and what will occur if they deliver, are, by and large, focused, motivated and happy! They are less likely to switch the jobs, ensuring huge savings in recruitment costs and retraining. They will be working at highly productive levels and will be interested in what they are doing, and therefore open to ideas about job improvements. In short, they’re likely to develop an ‘us’ attitude. (Hamer, 2001)

The corporate image from internal has developed and will affect external. It is good for developing corporate brand.



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