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Why this topic? - increasing use of the Internet, brand managers realized that online communications are as important as traditional communications in order to build brand equity* *Brand equity emerges after consumers have positive, strong and unique associations towards the brand (Keller 2001).
Why do we build brands? - Brands offer several advantages to the companies:- higher customer loyalty, less vulnerability to competitors marketing efforts, higher margins, higher ROMI (return on marketing investment), a chance of licensing, a chance to build brand extensions, lower perceived risk of purchase (Keller 2008)- higher trust! The research question is: Which are the most common challenges of brand managers when they try to build brands online?
brands should be managed and built through a model: strategic brand analysis, brand identity system, and brand identity implementation system(Aaker 1996)
- Online brand management: setting the context for the brand, deciding on brand objectives and message, developing a brand design, creating communications, launching and promoting the brand, building the brand experience, and finally, reviewing, evolving and protecting the brand (Rowley 2004)
What can go wrong? The research question is: Which are the most common challenges of brand managers when they try to build brands online? ”Many organizations recognize the need for integrated marketing communications across offline and online channels. This makes it difficult to differentiate, both practically and theoretically, between online and offline branding.“ (Rowley 2004) Traditional brand building & online brand building: poor marketing communications, failure to create a brand image and monitor it, inability to offer a link between brand and target market, negative secondary associations, low brand awareness, promoting attributes that consumers do not care about, not paying attention to competitors and customers, etc.
What can go wrong in the online environment? - message capacity of Web pages, the need to integrate branding and marketing communications across different channels, the trend towards organizational value propositions, brands as search keys, and the opportunity to link and develop brand positions, globalization, and the increased engagement of the public sector with branding (Rowley 2004) - when individuals gain more experience using the Internet, they are more likely to search for alternative sources for information and be less reliant on product branding, quality of products and service will eventually have to increase, and because of more and more available information, only the best alternatives (e.g. organizations) will survive at the end (Ward and Lee 2000) prof. Mihael Kline, however, dissagrees with Ward and Lee's statement. He strongly believes that keywords are brand associations and therefore there is no risk of loosing brands online.
Further research? Many opportunities! How and how strongly are traditional and online brand management interrelated?Can and to what extent can online brand management replace traditional brand management?Which challenges of brand building/management can be identified as a result of online brand building/management exclusively?What is the difference in the role and impact of online branding, between those businesses that are using the Internet solely for marketing communications, and those businesses that are using the Internet for both marketing communication and service delivery?