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How Can A Brand Stay Relevant Over Time? Forget Loyalty! Focus on Building Brand Affinity by Fulfilling "universal" Human Insights and Emotional/Psychosocial Desires... via Humanizing Your Brand, Emotional Bonding, and Emotional Branding including Transformational Advertising. In short: Be Likeable, By Staying Outstandingly DIFFERENTIATED in A Strong, Favorable, Unique Manner, and Relevant in The Face of Changing or Evolving Times and Ways-of-Life.

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  1. 1. EIA-MBA (Entrepreneurial Management)FINAL PROJECTTopic: How can a brand stay relevant over timeAuthor: Jon Tan 1
  2. 2. ContentsExecutive Summary…………………………………………………………………………...…41.0 Introduction……………………………………………………………………..................5 1.1 Background field and its significant position in theory and practice………...............5 1.2 Summary of previous research……………………………………………………….5 1.3 The gap, and why it is important………………………………………….................5 1.4 Purpose of this research: Main aspects and conclusions of the research, and their contributions…………………………………………………….................6 1.5 Outline of the report…………………………………………………………………62.0 Orientation: Contemporary analysis of brand relevance………………………………7 2.1 Paramount importance of brand relevance in fast changing markets………..……...7 2.1.1 Need to look beyond the idealized notion of customer loyalty ………..………..….7 2.1.2 Focus on the framework of relationships that encompasses loyalty……………….. 8 2.1.3 Build brand affinity with consumers through emotional bonding…...……….....…..8 2.1.4 Enhance brand affinity through involving with social lives of consumers…...……..9 2.1.5 Optimize brand affinity with consumers through holistic branding…...……..……..9 2.2 Case studies that are the target of the aim of the study……………………………..93.0 Research methodology and data collection………………………………………...…...114.0 Data analysis: Research findings of the case studies…..………………………………12 4.1.1 Brand affinity starts with positioning with psychosocial and emotional meanings.12 4.1.2 Create a brand personality for consumers to match or aspire to…………....…….13 Epitomize brand personality and values with brand personification………….…..14 4.1.3 Achieve strong emotional bonding through emotional branding……………...….15 4.2.1 Deepen brand affinity through ideals…..…..……………………............……..... 16 4.2.2 Deepen brand affinity through values….....…..……………….………..................17 4.2.3 Deepen brand affinity through charity…...…………………….……….................18 4.3 Ensure long-run deep brand affinity/brand relevance with Holistic Branding…...195.0 Key learning points and Recommendation………………………………………….…23 5.1 How do the main findings relate to literature……………………………………..23 5.2 Significance of the study/findings………………………………………………..23 5.3 Recommendations…………………………………..…………………………… 24 2
  3. 3. 6.0 Conclusion..…………………………………………………………………………….....27 6.1 Area that needs further research...............................................................................27 6.2.1 Summary of the case studies’ experience.…………………………………………27 6.2.2 Contribution of the case studies’ experience………………………………………27 6.3 Why the aim/objective has been achieved………………………………………....28Reference List…………………………………………………………………………………...29Appendix A……………………………………………………………………………………...34Appendix B……………………………………………………………………………………...36 3
  4. 4. Executive SummaryBrand Relevance is pivotal to the survival of a brand, and ultimately its longevity and long-termsuccess. In the face of myriad compatible choices amidst constantly-changing market conditionsand consumer tastes and trends, it is extremely challenging for a brand to remain significantlymeaningful to people’s lives, in order to feature in consumers’ brand consideration sets, as apossible solution to a particular problem or need. Hence, the aim of this research is to establish abrand relevance model, that could help brands create or sustain a long-term significant meaningfor consumers, so as to achieve brand salience (leading eventually to brand resonance). This isimportant because brands stand the risk of fading away into oblivion with the rapid emergence ofmany new competitive brands as well as new product categories and sub-categories, and the re-defining of existing categories and sub-categories. This Case Study Method research exploreshow some successful brands have managed to stay relevant to consumers through different eras.Two stages of data collection and analysis were effected: A literature review and a series of casestudies involving diverse brands. The overarching finding was, for brands to continue to stayrelevant, they must look beyond functional and utilitarian meanings/associations for consumers.They must instead focus on creating psychosocial and emotional meanings/associations, to buildBrand Affinity with consumers, so as to attain long-run emotional bonding with them. Theimplications of this research are, firstly, this case report confirms previous research that not onlyemphasized on the need for customer-focus, but to endear consumers through brand-customerrelationships, and secondly, this case report will benefit managers involved in the managing ofbrands, by helping them prevent their brands from sliding into stagnation or even extinction as aresult of not having an emotional bonding with consumers. 4
  5. 5. 1.0 Introduction1.1 Background field and its significant position in theory and practiceBrand Relevance is pivotal to the survival of a brand, and ultimately its longevity and long-termsuccess. In the face of myriad compatible choices amidst constantly-changing market conditionsand consumer tastes and trends, it is extremely challenging for a brand to remain significantlymeaningful to people’s lives, in order to feature in consumers’ brand consideration sets, as apossible solution to a particular problem or need (Booz Allen Hamilton Management Consulting,2007).1.2 Summary of previous researchTo stay relevant to people’s lives, a brand should look beyond the idealized notion of loyalty,and instead focus on the framework of relationships that encompass loyalty, so as to nurturepersonalized brand-customer relationships (Fournier 1998). It would be more effective in thelong run to build Brand Affinity through emotional bonding, by firstly crafting a brandpositioning that addresses emotional concerns, secondly creating a brand personality, and thirdlycommunicating the brand via emotional branding. Brand Affinity can also be enhanced throughinvolving with the social lives of consumers, via ideals, values or corporate social responsibility.And Brand Affinity can be optimized through the three interlinking phases of Holistic Branding,which includes fulfilling a long-run consumer insight with a Strategic Brand Platform, andInternal Branding, and consistency in communicating the unique brand experience via emotionalbranding.1.3 The gap, and why it is importantThis is important because brands stand the risk of fading away into oblivion with the rapidemergence of many new competitive brands as well as new product categories and sub-categories, and the re-defining of existing categories and sub-categories. While much researchhas been conducted on customer relationship management into areas such as purchasing patterns,not as much research has been undertaken in the area of Brand Affinity that focuses on how tocreate lasting emotional bonding with consumers (personalizing the brand). Without such Brand 5
  6. 6. Affinity, a brand would have very low Brand Relevance, and would not enjoy a high possibilityof being in consumers’ brand consideration sets, in the ever-expanding global marketplace.1.4 Purpose of this research: Main aspects and conclusions of the research, and their contributionsHence, the aim of this research is to establish a Brand Relevance model, that could help brandscreate or sustain a long-term significant meaning for consumers, so as to achieve brand salience(leading eventually to brand resonance). This aim was attained through the Case Study Method,via literature review, and critical analysis and evaluation of selected case studies. The three mainfindings are: (i) Build Brand Affinity through emotional bonding, (ii) Enhance Brand Affinitythrough ideals, values and charity (corporate social responsibility programs/initiatives), and (iii)Optimize Brand Affinity through Holistic Branding. This case report will benefit managersinvolved in the managing of brands, by helping them prevent their brands from sliding intostagnation or even extinction as a result of not having an emotional bonding with consumers.1.5 Outline of the reportThis report has six sections including this (i) Introduction. The following section (ii) is anorientation on the background field for the reader. Next, in section (iii), the choice of researchmethod is discussed. Under section (iv), case studies are then described, analysed and evaluatedto arrive at some key findings. Upon which, in section (v), comes the implications of theresearch, in relation to literature, as well as to management practices and government policy; andthe key learning points and recommendations are elucidated. The final section (vi), Conclusion,outlines the challenges and issues that remain unsolved, and also provides a summary statementof the insights gained from the case studies, as well as the contribution of those experiences. 6
  7. 7. 2.0 Orientation: Contemporary Analysis of Brand RelevanceWhen a consumer has a perceived need or desire, firstly, how does a brand come into his/herbrand consideration set, and secondly, which brand will eventually be chosen? Brandconsideration and choice is dependent on “how personally relevant do consumers find a brand tobe” (Keller 2008, pp.78, 87). Brand Relevance is defined as “being in touch with yourcustomers’ tastes, current market conditions and trends”. “Staying relevant” is one of the tencommon attributes of the world’s strongest brands (Keller 2000, pp.147-157) and is one of thekey factors of measuring the “World’s Most Valuable Brands” (Interbrand 2009). The Oxforddictionary equates “relevant” to “being significant, having a particular meaning, connected withwhat’s happening, appropriate, pertinent, important and useful”.2.1 Paramount importance of Brand Relevance in fast changing marketsNow, more than ever, with globalization and lifting of protectionism, management must payheed to Brand Relevance, because in this knowledge and information age, consumers, beingbetter informed and more mobile than ever, are increasingly able to get precisely what they want,when they want it, and at the price they are willing to pay (Booz Allen Hamilton ManagementConsulting 2004). Due to consumers’ exacting desires, new and different products and servicesappear unceasingly. Entire new categories and sub-categories come into existence almostovernight, while existing ones change and fade away (www. 2004). “BrandRelevance” today is fundamentally different from the characteristics conventionally associatedwith a brand’s potency. Brand management in the past focused on achieving preference on themere basis of differentiation, benefits, and customer satisfaction.2.1.1 Need to look beyond the idealized notion of customer loyaltyThe Acumen Research Consumer Eyes 2002 study pointed out how fragile “loyalty” can be:Only 15 percent of customers who were highly loyal said they would never shop the competition.“The use of the term “loyalty” in CRM has fallen into disrepute as we now realize that evenapparently satisfied customers will still switch products and services for the right valueproposition, at the right time,” according to Accenture CRM Strategist, Ron Sloan (2005). The 7
  8. 8. Meriam-Webster dictionary defines “loyalty” as “unswerving in allegiance” in being faithful to aperson, cause, custom, institution or product. “The idealized notion of “loyalty” is false,”declares Miros Slodki (2007). “Brand Affinity is a more accurate term as it better reflects thenuances, the ebbs and flows of a commercial relationship where the brand delivers something thecustomer/user wants or needs, and where the brand and customer share an emotional bond whilecontinuity of purchase unfolds.”2.1.2 Focus on the framework of relationships that encompasses loyaltyInstead of feeling along a linear continuum of “loyalty”, consumers experience many differenttypes of relationships with their brands. People relate to the brands they buy in many differentways because they wish to benefit from the meanings that the brands (of products or services)add to their lives (Macrae 2007). These invariably cover emotional and psychosocialmeanings/associations and not merely functional and utilitarian meanings/associations (Fournier1996).2.1.3 Build Brand Affinity with consumers through emotional bondingBecause customers’ inner motives, emotions and psychological preferences can be very strongpurchase motivators, it would be more effective in the long run to build Brand Affinity throughemotional bonding, focusing on creating emotional and psychosocial meanings/associations(Blair, Armstrong & Murphy 2003). The first step in emotional bonding is to create a brandpositioning that appeals to emotional concerns that can satisfy emotional or psychological needs,apart from the usual addressing of rational concerns (Keller 2008, p.77). The second step inemotional bonding is to create a brand personality, by giving a brand a set of personality traits.The closer the brand personality is to the consumer personality, or one that the consumer admiresor aspires to, the greater will be the Brand Affinity (Temporal 2000, p52). The third step inemotional bonding is through emotional branding, where the brand communication taps intoconsumer emotions, by exploring the six important types of brand-building feelings, namely,warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval and self-respect (Keller 2008, p.67-68). 8
  9. 9. 2.1.4 Enhance Brand Affinity through involving with social lives of consumersBrand Affinity can also be developed through various other ways that relate to the social lives ofconsumers. These include: (i) Declaring or supporting “high ideals”, such as “freedom”; (ii)Supporting the most vital “values” of the target market (such as “education” for the Chinesecommunity); and (iii) Championing corporate social responsibility programs/events, such asbeing a “caring organization” for internal and external stakeholders, a proponent for charitablecauses, or a supporter of environment/ecology preservation ( 2005).2.1.5 Optimize Brand Affinity with consumers through Holistic BrandingHolistic Branding encompasses three interlinking phases to create and sustain a brand-drivenorganization. The three phases are: (i) Brand Mapping - Clarity of brand identity and brandpromise based on a significant consumer insight, (ii) Brand Managing - OrganizationalConviction of the brand identity and brand promise, and (iii) Brand Manifesting - Consistency incommunicating the “brand experience” via the brand identity and brand promise (BrandzConsulting 2000). The Brandz “Tri-M Holistic Branding Model” is shown in Appendix A.Before communicating the brand identity and brand promise externally, first, there must betransformation of the organization and people behind the brand, via a brand assimilation process,to become brand advocates (Davis 2005). Thus, Phase (ii) involves aligning the organizationalsystem, infrastructure and people to the brand identity, in a process known as “InternalBranding”, to create a brand culture where everyone within the brand-driven organization “livesthe brand”. On the identifying of consumer insights, David Taylor (2000) cautions that onlyconsumer insights that are built upon a deep understanding of consumers’ beliefs and needswould have the potential to remain relevant over time.2.2 Case studies that are the target of the aim of the studyThe case studies to be analysed and evaluated involve the following brands of products/services:(i) Perodua Kancil 600cc automobile, (ii) Levi Strauss range of clothings, (iii) Singapore Airlines(SIA), (iv) Nestle Milo malt chocolate beverage, (v) Marlboro cigarettes, (vi) Guiness Anchor 9
  10. 10. Berhad (GAB) alcoholic beverages, (vii) Carlsberg Malaysia/Carlsberg beer, and (viii) Hellomobile telecommunications service. 10
  11. 11. 3.0 Research MethodologyThis research explores how some successful brands have managed to stay relevant to consumersthrough different eras. Two stages of data collection and analysis were effected: A literaturereview and a series of case studies involving diverse brands.The Case Study Method was used to collect information pertaining to the topic of BrandRelevance. The case study research approach which investigates a contemporary phenomenonwithin its real-life context, through an in-depth study of people, events or organizations, need notalways include direct, detailed observations as a source of evidence (Yin, R. 1994).This is a case study report. To write this report, I have combined literature review with a criticalanalysis and evaluation of a varied number of case studies that are related to this topic, using myreal world knowledge and work experience in this field. Only secondary data is researched.There was no gathering of primary data through physical involvement with entrepreneurs ororganizations. The sources for secondary data included books, journals, industry reports,company publications and documents, newspaper articles, and internet information, as well asweb-based case reports and published case studies. 11
  12. 12. 4.0 Data analysis: Research findings of the case studiesThe overarching finding was, for brands to continue to stay relevant, they must look beyondfunctional and utilitarian meanings/associations for consumers. They must instead focus oncreating psychosocial and emotional meanings/associations, to build Brand Affinity withconsumers, so as to attain long-run emotional bonding with them.The three main findings are: (i) Build Brand Affinity through emotional bonding, (ii) EnhanceBrand Affinity through ideals, values and corporate social responsibility such as charity, and (iii)Optimize Brand Affinity through Holistic Branding.There are numerous ways to build Brand Affinity with customers, to sustain Brand Relevance inthe long run. The following are the findings produced by the study.4.1.1 Brand Affinity starts with positioning with psychosocial and emotional meaningsBrand positioning should go beyond functional and utilitarian associations to appeal to thepsyche of the consumers, so as to create an emotional bonding. Introduced in 1993, the 600ccPerodua Kancil car came in the wake of the popularity of Malaysia’s first “national car”, 1300ccProton Saga, the lowest-priced automobile then. With only a few thousand Malaysian Ringgitprice-differential, the challenge was how to make the much smaller Perodua Kancil an attractivebuy versus the Proton Saga. The Perodua Kancil was targeted primarily at first-time price-conscious car buyers, and secondarily at those looking for a nifty second or third car. The usualroute of car makers was to take the “pretentious” approach of exaggerating spaciousness andperformance ability. However, after three rounds of debate, the car maker’s CEO was finallyconvinced by the advertising agency to adopt a brand positioning that gives a positivepsychological meaning and association. The brand promise tagline was: “Smart like you” (Tan1994).The advertising agency had urged the car maker to be truthful about the performance and size ofthe car. Being a small car with an unmatchable small turning radius, the Perodua Kancil actuallyallowed for easy manouevring and parking, and was very nippy on the road. On busy congested 12
  13. 13. city roads such as Kuala Lumpur and other Malaysian cities, it was the “smart” way to drive. Butinstead of praising the car’s ability, the tagline, “Smart like you” was in praise of the potentialbuyer/user. This use of “reversed psychology” was to provide a feel-good factor to the first-timecar buyers who could only afford the cheapest car available then.All advertising and other brand communication consistently projected this reassuring brandpromise. The launch was so successful that the waiting list ran into six months. I think theconversion of the rational and utilitarian advantages into an empowering emotional andpsychosocial brand positioning and brand promise, was a clever way to initiate a positive BrandAffinity with target consumers and the public at large. The positioning tagline is running into itsfifteenth year.4.1.2 Create a brand personality for consumers to match or aspire toBrand Affinity with target customers can be created by fitting the brand to their self-concepts ofwho they are or who they desire to become. The long-term objective of Levi’s, owner of manyfamous global brands, has always been to create a positioning that transcends fashion and hasclassic status. Coming through a turbulent 1970s, the brand now carries a diverse portfolio ofbrands and sub-brands ranging from cheap basics to high-priced fashion. Backed with fastidiousconsumer research, Levi’s has created different brand personalities for each of its diverse brands.The method of creating a brand personality, as adopted by Levi’s, is to match as closely aspossible the brand personality of its target consumers, or to create a brand personality that thetarget consumers would aspire to have. (Temporal 2003, pp.52-57).The brand personality of the Levi’s master brand, comprising eight characteristics or values withemotional associations is: (i) original, (ii) masculine, (iii) sexy, (iv) youthful, (v) rebellious, (vi)individual, (vii) free, and (viii) American. In addition to the brand personality, a set of fiverational associations also has to be communicated as part of a left-right brain strategy. Creativeexecution must reflect the decided brand personality and desired consumer associations,including consumer insights. From combining the brand’s personality and values, and its rationalassociations, the derived brand positioning for Levi’s is: “The original and definitive American 13
  14. 14. jeans (rational) that celebrates all the great things about being young (emotional). The ultimateanti-fashion statement.”The great success that Levi’s has garnered is due to the brand staying true to its brand personalitywhile exploring fresh and innovative creativity to portray the brand personality. The brand valuesare rotated over a period of time as part of an integrated brand communication strategy.Alongside the global brand positioning, Levi’s projects the most relevant or appropriatepersonality trait/s according to the different target segments. For instance, “sexy” visual andcopy communication would be played up in certain more liberal countries and downplayed incountries with cultural sensitivities; and being “rebellious” would be more relevant in Germanythan in certain parts of Asia. The other reason for Levi’s brand personality approach has beentheir wise use of brand research as an aid to judgement, and not as a substitute. Through thestrong emotional and psychosocial associations linked to the consumer profile of the targetpurchasers/users, Levi’s has continued to generate high Brand Affinity in their diverse marketsaround the world. Epitomise brand personality and values with brand personificationBrand personification is a great way to generate Brand Affinity by personalizing the brandexperience for consumers. Throughout its history, the premium Singapore Airlines (SIA) brandhas stayed true to its core brand attributes of service and quality excellence. While staying at theforefront with technology by maintaining the youngest fleet of aircraft amongst major aircarriers, and being the first to take delivery of new and bigger aircraft types, SIA has chosen tofocus on one single aspect of the experiential brand strategy: Innovative in-flight hospitality andwarmth. And this is gracefully personified by the “Singapore Girl”. The flight stewardesses(known as Singapore Girls), are garbed in a haute couture version of the Malay sarong kebaya,designed by Pierre Balmain. The Singapore Girl, who has become a successful brand icon with amythical aura and status, epitomizes Asian values and hospitality – caring, warm, gentle, elegantand serene (Roll 2006).The brand personification of SIA’s commitment to service and quality excellence through theSingapore Girl, was a brilliant way to stand out from the clutter of major and premium airlines 14
  15. 15. all communicating the whole gamut of brand benefits. SIA also took on a very personalized andsometimes romantic image by featuring the iconic Singapore Girl in touristic or business-likethemes and scenarios in various locations around the world, with a certain elegance and withoutever being frivolous. This has been ensured by the rigorous training regimen by SIA.In recent years, premium airline brands have been subject to fierce competition by low-costcarriers, which are gradually gaining acceptance by business travellers for its short and medium-haul routes. However, SIA has avoided diluting its premium brand. Instead, it has launched itsown low-cost carrier, Tiger Airways, for local and short-haul routes. Meanwhile, the tagline of“Singapore Airlines/Singapore Girl – A great way to fly” will continue to uphold the originalbrand promise, as encapsulated by the brand personification of the “Singapore Girl”. Andpremium class travelers would certainly treasure such assuring brand affinity.4.1.3 Achieve strong emotional bonding through emotional brandingIn communicating the brand identity and brand promise, it is useful to project a brand experiencethat resonates emotional or psychosocial meanings for the consumer, such as fulfilling innerpersonal desires or attracting favourable acknowledgement/endorsement of other people.Nestle’s Milo malt chocolate beverage has been around in Malaysia for over 50 years. In the1960’s, another competitive brand, Ovaltine, was the market leader by far. Then in the 1970’s,Milo started to catch up and eventually captured so much of the market share that Ovaltineforcibly opted out. The winning formula? While Ovaltine stuck to their traditional approach ofprojecting functional and utilitarian meanings in their brand communication through mundaneechoing of their attributes of “the best ingredients”, Milo sported a deeply motivating andinspiring approach – emotional branding and transformational advertising (Blair, Armstrong &Murphy 2003).The core of Milo users are schoolchildren. Their personal development is of course a dearconcern of their parents. Milo Malaysia extended the Milo’s international positioning as anenergy-and-health drink into an emotive brand promise of “energy to be your best in the game oflife” / “energy to succeed in the game of life”. The brand communication strategy opened up aworld of “self-discovery” as well as discovering the world, for the target users. 15
  16. 16. What makes the Milo brand resonate in many consumers’ lives, is that Milo offers optimism toeveryone around, fuelling the hopes and aspirations, and imagination of children, and offeringtheir mums, the promise of a good life for them. And this is via emotional branding andtransformational advertising whereby the goodness of the product has been morphed into visualimages of desirous “be your best” brand experiences, either through sporting or other scenariosrelating to the human desire of wanting to excel in the game of life. Such emotional brandingdefinitely generates a very positive Brand Affinity with consumers.4.2.1 Deepen Brand Affinity with consumers through idealsOne of the numerous other ways to build Brand Affinity is to promote shared ideals, such as“freedom”. The mythical Marlboro Country visual concept, first introduced in 1964, was anevolution of the Marlboro Man. The universal and timeless Marlboro Man appeals to both menand women because underneath the cowboy clothes is an authentic man who possesses all thequalities both men and women desire, that is, strength, independence, adventure, freedom andheroism. The inviting vast expansive landscape of open grassy fields helps the viewer escapefrom the pressures, stresses and routine of mundane life (Jaffe 2001).Set as a backdrop for the Marlboro Man, representing the “last free American” returning to theAmerican original heritage, the Marlboro Country was akin to a paradise of the West. It alsopermeated the attractive values of the cowboy, namely independence, adventure and heroism.The imagery of the whole advertising campaign allows the audience to project their innermostdesires and fantasies into the scenarios, creating and enhancing a very personalized brandexperience.I feel the breakthrough success of Marlboro cigarettes is their adopting a larger-than-lifeapproach that transcends the typical portraying of pleasures arising from the functional andutilitarian meanings of smoking. The vast openness of space and “endless” country, with thecowboy (Marlboro Man) in heroic autonomous control of the environment transports theconsumer into a different world – a world of “freedom”. Relating positively to the emotional andpsychosocial associations, consumers who could identify with such powerful imagery of a sharedideal, would naturally develop a Brand Affinity for the brand. Also, the promise of such an ideal 16
  17. 17. and all its imagination perhaps helps to subconsciously counteract against the health warningmessages about the ill-effects of smoking.4.2.2 Deepen Brand Affinity with consumers through valuesA most effective way to build Brand Affinity is through supporting a specific paramount value ofthe target market segment of a brand, such as education for the Chinese community. AnchorBeer, a Malaysian home-grown brand, launched the “Dragon Mission” in 2008, a festivecollaboration with coffee shops and supermarkets nationwide. The brand donated a percentage ofall sales of the product, towards the awarding of scholarships for enrolment into the nation’s 60independent Chinese secondary schools. More than RM2 million was raised over the six-weekChinese New Year period. It set a new record for the highest-ever collection by the brand withinsuch a time frame for a single initiative. The phenomenal success has turned the “DragonMission” into a yearly initiative (GAB website 2009).Anchor’s strategy is two-fold. Firstly, capitalize on the most important value among the Chinesecommunity in Malaysia, which is education, in general, and Chinese-medium education, inparticular. More so, because Chinese-medium education in Malaysia is self-funded and does notreceive government financial aid. As such, generous supporters towards funding this causewould be warmly acknowledged by the Chinese community. Secondly, this Brand Affinityinitiative would also expose school going-age Chinese to the Anchor brand. As the Chinesecommunity is the primary target market for beer, Brand Affinity with the Anchor brand isinitiated at a young impressionable age.The phenomenal success of Anchor’s “Dragon Mission” is due to two key factors: (1) Thetraditional among the Chinese community in Malaysia are extremely protective of preserving theprovision of Chinese-medium education. Malaysia is among the few countries in the world thatoffers a fully-integrated Chinese-medium education system, nationwide, which requires verymassive funding. By empathetically embracing this shared value of preserving Chinese-mediumeducation with the Chinese community, Anchor has generated strong and favourable BrandAffinity towards the Anchor brand. (2) Such “noble” community projects by Anchor Beer couldcreate a psychological effect among the Chinese-speaking community, that patronizing Anchor 17
  18. 18. Beer is not only a socially-acceptable activity, but is “the right thing to do”. The emotionalbonding can be very endearing indeed, leading to increased Brand Affinity.4.2.3 Deepen Brand Affinity with consumers through charityAnother most effective way to build Brand Affinity is via corporate social responsibility, such asdriving a charitable cause. Carlsberg Malaysia has the honour of hosting the “longest-runningChinese charity show” in Malaysia, since 1987, as part of its corporate social responsibilitystrategy. The concert-style road shows, which traverse the whole country, are held withinChinese primary schools. The “Top Ten Charity Campaign” featuring new up-and-comingChinese aspiring singing and musical talents, has to date raised over RM320 million. Theconcerts are free of charge. Those attending have the optional choice of donating money for thedevelopment of Chinese institutions and the betterment of Chinese-medium schools (StarPublications 2009).Carlsberg Malaysia’s strategy is to act as a catalyst for a charity cause for the primary targetmarket segment for Carlsberg Beer, which are the Chinese-speaking Chinese. In the name ofcharity, Carlsberg Malaysia manages to get free media advertising through collaborating withtwo local Chinese daily newspapers, as well as free concert venues, courtesy of participatingChinese primary schools all over the country. In return, Carlsberg Malaysia only foots the lowperforming fees for new up-and-coming Chinese aspiring singing and musical talents, and thespartan staging of the concerts.The brand image of Carlsberg Beer has been very positive all these years with the Chinese-speaking Chinese community, thanks to the brand’s synonymous association to a charity causethat is highly cherished by the Chinese community. Lots of charity funds are needed for thedevelopment of Chinese institutions and advancement of Chinese education. In championing thischarity cause for the development of Chinese institutions and advancement of Chinese education,Carlsberg Beer has also been synonymous with the unearthing of and development of aspiringChinese singing and musical talents; some of whom have since become international stars inTaiwan and Hong Kong. Through these two parallel initiatives, Carlsberg Beer has generatedsubstantive Brand Affinity with the Chinese-speaking Chinese community. 18
  19. 19. 4.3 Ensure long-run deep Brand Affinity/Brand Relevance with Holistic BrandingThe holistic (complete) approach to branding focuses on continual emotional bonding with thetarget customers, by firstly ensuring right match of the brand’s Strategic Brand Platform(Strategic Brand Positioning and Brand Essence-Brand Personality) to a significant long-runconsumer insight, via a Brand Audit; and secondly ensuring that the organization “lives” theStrategic Brand Platform, through Internal branding; and thirdly ensuring that the Externalbranding projects the Strategic Brand Platform with consistency via “emotional branding”.Prior to 2007, after a few years in the Cambodian market, Hello brand mobile telco, majority-owned by Telekom Malaysia International (TM International), now renamed Axiata, was a farthird in market position. It had no unique point of distinction, and had no semblance of BrandAffinity with the target customers, being locked in a price and offer market. To revitalize thebrand with the aim of substantively increasing its market share, Hello embarked upon HolisticBranding. And within one year of rebranding, with the emphasis on building Brand Affinity withthe primary target segment, Hello brand closed the wide gap with the market leader, and movedup to second in market position (Tan 2007).Creating Brand Affinity with the target customers, through the Brandz “Tri-M Holistic BrandingModel”, entails the three Phases of Brand Mapping, Brand Managing and Brand Manifesting.Under Brand Mapping, the Strategic Brand Platform (combining the Strategic Brand Positioningand the Brand Essence-Brand Personality) is crafted. Then, under Brand Managing, theorganization is aligned to the Strategic Brand Platform, via system and processes, infrastructureand people (Brand Culture). Thirdly, Brand Manifesting is the phase of communicating theStrategic Brand Platform.Phase 1 (Brand Strategy Mapping) started with a “Brand Workout” with the appointed BrandTeam and Brand Management Work (BMW) Council, to gain acceptance of Holistic Branding,as well as to take on the role of being key drivers of the impending brand-driven organization. Abrand audit followed. The internal audit covered internal perception of the Brand Team andmanagement and staff. The external audit covered brand awareness and brand image perceptionvis-à-vis the competitive frame and market trends and expectations. 19
  20. 20. Upon crystallization of the findings, the most important part of the Brand Strategy, the StrategicBrand Platform (which is the blueprint for action) was developed, in line with the identifiedconsumer insight. The research earlier had revealed the frustration of the Cambodian masses oflagging behind their more prosperous South-east Asian neighbours like Singapore or Malaysiaand Thailand; and they harboured the desire to taste a better life, after years of being in a war-torn economic doldrum. The Strategic Brand Platform, focusing on emotional and psychosocialassociations, and driven by the Brand Essence of “Life-Enriching”, was created, as a blueprintfor building and enhancing Brand Affinity with the primary target segment. Arising from theBrand Strategy, the handy-size Brand Book was issued to every individual of the organization, asa daily reference tool to ensure consistent delivery of the Brand Promise and Desired BrandExperience. The rationale for the Strategic Brand Platform for Hello brand appears inAppendix B.The Brand Architecture was also rationalized. This served as a relationship guide for the MasterBrand and all Sub-Brands.Phase 2 (Brand Managing) was to align the organization, infrastructure, system and processesand people to the Strategic Brand Platform, to create a new Brand Culture, a whole new way ofthinking, feeling and doing to deliver the new “brand experience” to fulfil the new brandpositioning and brand promise. As the implementing and executing of the Brand Strategy(including the Strategic Brand Platform) was mainly an operations-driven activity, effectivemanagement of people and business processes was given the highest consideration, to ensure fullfruition (Thomson, Strickland III & Gamble 2007).The following were implemented:(i) New revitalized Brand Culture guided by a Brand Essence, supported by a set of rationalBrand Values and a set of emotional Brand Personality traits.(ii) Brand-oriented SHRM, with the Human Resources Director represented at the Board leveland in the Brand Team, to ensure full Brand Enculturation and long-run sustainability of the newrevitalized Brand Culture, which is linked to a Brand Scorecard with Brand KPIs. 20
  21. 21. (iii) Structure of Responsiveness involving the whole organization, to address market andconsumer trends and expectations at all touch-points. The organization was also “flattened”, toallow for faster decision-making, to propagate a “Service-Excellence” Brand Culture.(iv) A pool of Brand Ambassadors among selective exemplary staff was created as brandadvocates, while all other staff were trained to “live the brand”.(v) Internal Brand Communication System through Corporate Intranet for the whole organizationfor Hello brand-related sharing, as well as inform about competitive brands’ major activities.(vi) A Strategic Brand Management System, to build, measure and manage the brand equity(intangible net asset), via a brand charter, and supported by constant brand research to keeptouch with the market pulse - brand audits for long-term decision-making, and brand tracking forshort-term decision-making – to optimize brand valuation.Phase 3 (Brand Manifesting) encompasses the consistency of external communication of theHello brand. For protection of the brand image, the brand manual and brand ID (identity guide)served as the authoritative reference by all stakeholders. An over-arching Brand CommunicationStrategy was crafted, incorporating long-term strategy and tactical strategy, to oversee all brandcommunications, such as:(i) Communicating the Strategic Brand Platform, through Emotional Branding, with focus onbuilding and enhancing Brand Affinity with target consumers and the general public.(ii) Integrated Brand Communication (to maximize effectiveness and efficiency), through macromodes (advertising, public relations and publicity, events & experiences, and sales promotions)and micro modes (direct marketing and personal selling). This also included strategic leveragingon other brands.(iii) Brand CRM System to address Brand Affinity/Brand Loyalty of the customer base. 21
  22. 22. (iv) Brand Community (Brand Club) to inculcate deep Brand Affinity, turning customerseventually into Brand Advocates.The success of the rebranding of Hello mobile telecommunications service was due to the “Life-Enriching” Brand Essence that drives the Hello organizational processes and service excellenceof its workforce. Every encounter by a member of the target segment was transformed into a“Life-Enriching” Brand Experience. This was in line with fulfilling the identified consumerinsight. The brand also resonated with target consumers through the Brand Culture founded on aset of (rational) Brand Values and vibrating with a youthful Brand Personality that is in rhythmwith the mostly under-35 years target segment. And the use of emotional branding thatempathises with the target segment’s inner desire for new levels of economic success, hadmotivated and inspired them to reinforce the growing Brand Affinity with the Hello brand.The underlying factor was of course, the whole organization “living the brand” that gave theHello brand an emotional and psychosocial effect of “Life-Enriching Brand Experiences” fortarget consumers at all Hello touch points – a unique point of distinction that not only resonatedwith the target consumers, but created a symbiotic emotional bonding with them for the long run.The Hello brand was no longer a “commodity” brand to the target consumers; it hadmetamorphosed into a “personalized brand” that they could emotionally and psychosociallyidentify with, as it holistically fulfilled their “consumer insight”. Another key success factor wasthe flattening of the organization and infrastructure, that facilitated a high level of speedyresponsiveness, as well as simplicity of operational processes for the target customers. 22
  23. 23. 5.0 Key Learnings and RecommendationThe impact of this study and key learnings of the main findings are presented here, in terms ofhow the main findings relate back to literature, the significance of the study, and my set ofrecommendations.5.1 How do the findings relate back to the literature?The main findings of this case report confirm the major revelations of previous research (aspresented under the literature review) that not only emphasized on the need for customer-focus,but more crucially, to endear consumers through “emotional bonding” brand-customerrelationships.The results of this current study are consistent with the works/studies of Blair, Armstrong &Murphy (2003), Keller (2008), Temporal (2000) who strongly advocate the building of BrandAffinity with consumers through emotional bonding, via a brand positioning that addressesemotional concerns, a brand personality, and the use of emotional branding.The results are also consistent with the works/studies of Brandz Consulting (2000), Scott Davis(2005) and David Taylor (2000) who had affirmed that the way to optimize Brand Affinity isthrough the implementation of Holistic Branding, which includes fulfilling a long-run consumerinsight through a Strategic Brand Platform, and Internal Branding, and consistency incommunicating the unique brand experience via emotional branding.As well, the results are in support of the work of (2005), which stated that brandscould enhance Brand Affinity through involving with the social lives of consumers, via ideals,values, and corporate social responsibility strategies.5.2 Significance of the study/findingsThis study has been relevant as follows : 23
  24. 24. (A) Towards my enterepreneurial interestsIt has helped me gain an insightful understanding and application of pertinent aspects of myMBA subjects, notably Marketing Management (in particular, Strategic Brand Management) andStrategic Management.(B) Towards the management of entrepreneurial activitiesIt could provide insights towards more effective Strategic Brand Management. This case reportwill benefit managers involved in the managing of brands, by helping them prevent their brandsfrom sliding into stagnation or even extinction as a result of not having an emotional bondingwith consumers.(C) Towards the practice in my organization or other organizationsIt would provide the impetus for organizations to ‘‘live the brand’’ (Internal Branding), so as notonly to better deliver the Brand Promise to impact consumers’ lives and thereby enhance thefinancial value of their respective brands, but also to ensure that they sustain Brand Relevance inthe long run.5.3 RecommendationsBased on the findings, I have come up with a Brand Relevance model for sustaining BrandRelevance in the long run. This is the framework:(A) Focus on ‘‘emotional bonding’’ with consumers, through continuous building of Brand Affinity :The idealized notion of “loyalty” is false, as consumers would switch products and services forthe right value proposition at the right time. Thus, for a brand to stay relevant over time, it isimperative to look beyond functional or utilitarian meanings/associations, and instead focus onpsychosocial and emotional meanings/associations for the consumers, to sustain a personalizedemotional bonding link/relationship. 24
  25. 25. (B) Optimize brand affinity with consumers through the three interlinking phases of personalized holistic branding (to sustain long-run emotional bonding) :(I) Personalized Strategic Brand Platform : Create a Strategic Brand Platform (with a BrandEssence that fulfils a long-run consumer insight), incorporating a Strategic Brand Positioningthat addresses both emotional and rational concerns, a set of Brand Values (rational) and a BrandPersonality (emotional).(II) Personalized Brand-Driven Organization : Align the organization and infrastructure, systemand processes, and people with a Brand Culture linked to a Brand Scorecard with Brand KPIsand an accompanying Rewards & Performance System. Apart from Internal Branding to foster aBrand Culture, where everyone ‘‘lives the brand’’, an Internal Brand Communication Networkshould be in place, to inform the whole organization of the brand’s and its competitor brands’performance and other key brand activities.Also, to design a Structure of Responsiveness to firstly, optimally relate to market trends with asharpness to differentiate trends from fads, and secondly, to not only provide service excellencebut also speedy responsiveness to consumers, via a flattened organizational network, whichencourages individual responsibility and empowers fast customer-focus decision-making.(III) Personalized Brand Communication : Drive all Brand Communications with ‘‘emotionalbranding’’, so as to constantly achieve the desired outcome of creating and enhancing BrandAffinity through emotional bonding. Parallel to that, is of course the cardinal rule of ensuringconsistency in projecting the Strategic Brand Platform, as well as the brand manual & brand ID(identity guide). As well, to maximize efffectiveness and efficiency to build Brand Affinity,through Integrated Brand Communication and a CRM System that focuses on the framework ofrelationships that govern ‘‘loyalty’’, and to enlarge the emotional-bonding Brand Community tofoster the continuous transformation of customers into brand advocates.(C) Enhance brand affinity through ideals, values and corporate social responsbility strategies, on a sincere long-term basis (enshrined within the Strategic Brand Platform), not ad-hoc : 25
  26. 26. It is preferable to hold onto a highly-treasured ideal (within a certain target country/regionmarket) and value, as well as a suitable social cause that the brand can be synoymous with in thelong-run. 26
  27. 27. 6.0 Conclusion6.1 Area that needs further researchIn summary, Brand Relevance is vital to the success of a brand in the long run. To resonate withconsumers, brands should focus on creating and maintaining emotional and psychosocialmeanings/associations with consumers. Thus, the area that requires further continuous research isthe concept of brand-person relationships (in line with relational one-to-one marketing replacingmass marketing as the dominant model). Up to the recent past, much research into customerrelationship management had zeroed in to ‘‘loyalty’’ alone. However, the focus should be on theframework of relationships that encompass loyalty, and not on loyalty alone. “Too many firmsstill find themselves paying the price for lacking a customer focus,” according to Kevin LaneKeller (2007). “Companies must take their customers’ point of view into account…employingthe proper human touch is as important as installing the best technology-driven CRM (customerrelationship management) system.”6.2.1 Summary of the case studies’ experienceThe data gathered through literature review and case studies analysis revealed the importance ofdeveloping “emotional bonding brand-customer relationships” (Brand Affinity), so as to sustainBrand Relevance in the long run. This is in line with the overarching goal of marketing, which isto foster long-term high-intensity consumer-brand bonds (Kotler et al 2006). The study alsoidentified the crucial need to have a deep understanding of consumers’ beliefs and needs, inorder to identify those consumer insights that have the potential to remain relevant over time.6.2.2 Contribution of the case studies’ experienceFor a brand to continuously stay relevant, it has to change with the times, and people’s thinking.In other words, a brand together with its organization and people need to continuously evolve.The advent of creating a Strategic Brand Platform plus the practice of Internal Branding andInternal Brand Communication, and the progression towards crafting emotional branding are asign of the changing times. Brands that do not evolve their out-of-synch strategies to fosterbrand-customer relationship, would eventually lose their brand relevance over time. 27
  28. 28. 6.3 Why the aim/objective has been achievedIn conclusion, this research project (which had set out to explore how brands can attain brandrelevance over time), has been successful in achieving the aim, which is to establish a BrandRelevance model, that could help brands create and sustain a long-term significant meaning forconsumers, by firstly achieving brand salience, leading eventually to brand resonance, whereconsumers feel “in synch” with the brand, which is characterized in terms of intensity, depth ofpsychological bond between the customers and the brand, and the level of activity generated bythis Brand Affinity (Keller 2007). 28
  29. 29. Reference ListBooksBlair, M., Armstrong, R., Murphy, M. 2003, The 360 Degree Brand in Asia, ‘Pyramid ofaffinity’, John Wiley & Sons, Singapore, p.88.Blair, M., Armstrong, R., Murphy, M. 2003, The 360 Degree Brand in Asia, ‘Orientating arounda brand challenge’, John Wiley & Sons (Asia), pp.48-51.Davis, S. 2005, Building a Brand-Driven Organization, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NewJersey.Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 2 : Customer-Based BrandEquity, ‘Brand Feelings: Personality’, p.67-68Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 2: Customer-Based BrandEquity, ‘Brands Should Have a Duality: Rational and Emotional’, p.77Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 2: Customer-Based BrandEquity, ‘Brand Resonance Provides Important Focus : Relevance’, p.78, 87Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 3: Brand Positioning, ‘InternalBranding’, p.125-126, and Chapter 8: Developing A Brand Equity Measurement AndManagement System, ‘Maximizing Internal Branding’, p.338-339 29
  30. 30. Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 2: Customer-Based BrandEquity, ‘Creating Customer Value’, pp.79-80.Keller, K.L. 2008, Strategic Brand Management : Building, Measuring and Managing BrandEquity, Third Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall, New Jersey, Chapter 2: Customer-Based BrandEquity, ‘Brand Resonance’, p.72.Kotler, P., Keller, K.L., Ang, S.H., Leong, S.M., Tan, C.T. 2006, Marketing Management, AnAsian Perspective, Prentice Hall, Singapore.Roll, M. 2006, Asian Brand Strategy, How Asia Builds Strong Brands, ‘Successful Asian BrandCases’, Palgrave Macmillan, New York, p.130-138.Temporal, P. 2000, Branding in Asia: The Creation, Development And Management of AsianBrands For The Global Market, ‘How Brands Are Built: Why Brand Personality’, John Wiley &Sons (Asia), Singapore, p.52-57Thomson, A. Jr., Strickland III, A.J., Gamble, J.E. 2007, Crafting & Executing Strategy, Chapter11: ‘Building an Organization Capable of Good Strategy Execution’, Chapter 12: ‘ManagingInternal Operations’, and Chapter 13: ‘Corporate Culture and Leadership’, McGraw-Hill,International Edition, New York.Yin, R. 1994, Case Study Research – Design and Methods, Sage, Newbury Park.Journals/ArticlesFournier, S. 1996, ‘Understanding Consumer-Brand Relationships’, Harvard Business SchoolWorking Paper 96-018.Fournier, S. 1998, ‘Consumers and Their Brands : Developing Relationship Theory in ConsumerResearch’, Journal of Consumer Research, March 1998, p.343-373. 30
  31. 31. Keller, K.L. 2000, ‘Brand Report Card’, Harvard Business Review, 1 Jan, 2000, p.147-157.Taylor, D. 2000, ‘Drilling for Nuggets: How to Use Insight to Inspire Innovation’, BrandStrategy, March 2000.ReportsThe Acumen Research Consumer Eyes 2002.Other Sources / DocumentsSloan, R. 2005, CRMA white paper on customer experience and CRM strategy, design andimplementation.Tan, J. 1994, ‘Positioning the Second Malaysian National Car, Perodua Kancil’, Angsana-Standard (Japan) advertising group.Tan, J. 2007, Brandz Consulting (Malaysia), ‘Rebranding of Hello Mobile Telco Service’.Newspapers/MagazinesStar Publications 2009, ‘Corporate Responsibility Watch: Carlsberg’s 22-year devotion toeducation’, Starbizweek, p12.Electronic referencesAngel, R. 2003,, ‘Knowing your customer’ of viewing: 29 January 2009) 31
  32. 32. Booz Allen Hamilton Management Consulting 2007, ‘Changing Markets and the Importance ofBrand Relevance’ of viewing: 19 December 2008)Booz Allen Hamilton Management Consulting 2004, ‘New category dynamics’ of viewing: 19 December 2008)Brandz Consulting 2000, ‘Tri-M Holistic Branding : Brand Mapping, Brand Managing andBrand Manifesting’ of viewing: 19 December 2008)GAB website 2009, ‘Dragon Mission: 2008’ of viewing: 27 February 2009)Interbrand 2008, ‘Interbrand Brand Strength Formula’ (World’s Most Valuable Brands) of viewing: 22 December 2008)Jaffe, J. 2001, ‘The Imagery, Fantasy and Symbolism of the Marlboro Man’, Anthropology 226 –Culture, Consumption and Consumerism, Spring of viewing: 27 February 2009)Macrae, C. 2007, ‘The role of brands in people’s lives: Research by Susan M. Fournier’ of viewing: 22 December 2008) 32
  33. 33. Slodki, M. 2007, ‘Brand Affinity Dynamics’ of viewing: 24 January 2009) 2005, ‘Developing Brand Affinity through Social Activities’, Business of viewing: 24 January 2009) 33
  34. 34. Appendix ABrandz “Tri-M Holistic Branding Model”Brandz “Tri-M Holistic Branding Model” Method operates through three interlinked phases:(I) Brandz Mapping. (II) Brandz Managing. (III) Brandz Manifesting.I. Brandz Mapping: This module conducts in-depth research-based Brand audits and analysis ofthe external market and internal brand drivers. The ultimate objective is to determine gapsbetween brand delivery and customer needs and wants, spot new and undercurrent market trendsand make recommendations to ensure a powerfully competitive brand. The most vital part of theBrand Strategy, the Strategic Brand Platform (comprising Brand Essence, Strategic BrandPositioning, Brand Values and Brand Personality), is crafted to fulfil an identified long-runConsumer Insight. 34
  35. 35. II. Brandz Managing: The penultimate aim of this module is to ensure that your organizationthinks, feels and acts consistently as a Brand. Through customized implementation, the wholeorganization, infrastructure, systems and processes, and people are aligned to the Brand Strategy(incorporating the Strategic Brand Platform), to create a new Brand Culture, where everyone“lives the brand”. Brand-oriented SHRM linked to a Brand Scorecard with Brand KPIs is alsoimplemented with a Rewards-to-Performance System. A Strategic Brand Management system isalso put into place to build, measure and manage the Brand Equity.III. Brandz Manifesting: The manifestation of your brand is driven through this module. Theprogrammes in this module focus on brand building and the public presentation of your brand.This involves developing, evolving and enhancing your brand’s identity (logo, symbol,wordmark, colours, etc), and crafting an overarching Integrated Brand Communication Strategythat focuses on emotional branding, to drive holistic brand communication. The end-objective isto project the Strategic Brand Platform of your brand,to consistently deliver the unique brandexperience via the brand identity and brand promise, in a most effective and efficient manner. 35
  36. 36. Appendix BStrategic Brand Platform for Hello BrandTMIC HELLO BRANDSTRATEGIC BRAND PLATFORMUpdated 10 October 2007Prepared by Jon Tan for:Telekom Malaysia International (Cambodia) Co., Ltd56-58 Preah Norodom Blvd, Sangkat Chey Chumneah,Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh,Kingdom of Cambodia. 36
  37. 37. Proposed Strategic Brand PlatformFor TMIC Hello BrandSources and Points of Reference for this Exercise:1. Hardiman’s Report Findings.2. Discussion of the Hardiman’s Report with TMIC Key Officers.3. TMIC Website: Corporate Vision & Mission.4. Cross-Reference: Telekom Malaysia’s Brand Vision/Mission and Brand Personality.5. TMIC’S key Competitors’ Positionings.Primary Target AudienceBrief Demographics Profile:Age-Group: 18-35 Years. Gender: Male/Female. Geographic: Urban Lifestyle.Brief Psychographics Profile:Youthful Cambodians, in general, hunger for progress and success. They are willing towork hard for it. So much so, they are willing to slog through two jobs, or more, and takeup English lessons, and so forth. In other words, they are doing all they can, and trying tomuster whatever tools/etc to lead them to the path of progress (self-betterment), and tastethe sweet allure of success.Brandz’ inference from the above PsycheThe Cambodian people do realize and appreciate that a supportive hand (such as atrustworthy, helpful telco that can provide them with quality communication, and toolslike dependable mobile communication and success-leading VAS), would be verydearly treasured.In their journey towards progress and success, they do not want to be short-changed…andcannot be short-changed. Money does not come easy for them. (Wage-rate is comparablyvery low, and so forth.) See below: “Summary: The Socio-Political Economy of Cambodia”. 37
  38. 38. Summary: The Socio-Political Economy of CambodiaIn summation, Cambodian citizens/residents had suffered enough in recent history.From the “slums” period (residual effect of a war-torn country), the nation has straggled toa “revived economy” climate. Thankfully. However, their economy and quality of lifeare, unfortunately, still years behind other better-off Third World countries, let alonecompared to neighbouring progressive nations like Malaysia.And so, they desire to get a taste of further economic progress…onward to experiencing beinga “well-to-do” Third World country…and onward to (eventually in the future), being inthe company of First World economies.For this arduous journey, the Cambodian people would dearly treasure HELP. To beexact: SINCERE HELP. They had enough of being short-changed by the previous rulingregime, and whoever (corporate or otherwise) not in-tandem with their burningemotional need.The Role of Malaysia, Telekom International and TMICAnd the good news is…Factually, Malaysia, already moving towards an industrialized-nation status (Vision 2020),and a reputable Malaysian MNC, in the entity of Telekom International, and TMIC, cansincerely help, through professional transfer of knowledge/technology andeffective communication.Of course, we have to strategically reach out to the Cambodian populace. 38
  39. 39. The Brandz’ CONSUMER INSIGHT For This Re-Branding ExerciseIndividually, our Target Audience of Cambodians share this common yearning forContinuous Progress, to taste Success (which has eluded them for years). They hungerto overcome their current disadvantaged socio-economic position.How can TMIC Organization and the TMIC Hello Brand contribute?We can light up the lives of Cambodians with the fire of Hope and Optimism, through aStrategic Brand Platform that encompasses:(i) Empathise with them that TMIC is desirous of wanting to SINCERELY HELPthem go forward, to constantly advance, to experience a better Quality of Life thatthey desirously deserve.(ii) Match their Youthful personality and aspirational needs: Being young and hopefulof success, they are full of energy and vigour; eager to try new things.(iii) Provide Uncompromising Quality Communication* (plus innovative VAS andother Customer-Focused packages) for them to build meaningful, successfulrelationships, from social to family to business.* Continuous network-service reception, no drop-calls, crisp sound, and so forth.Cutting-edge technology and breakthrough VAS, ahead of competitor brands. 39
  40. 40. BRAND ESSENCE OF TMIC HELLO BRAND“Life-Enriching”“Enriching” means: “To make somebody/something rich or richer”;or, “To improve the quality of somebody/something”.“Life-Enriching” thus means: “To make another person’s Life rich or richer”;Or, “To improve the quality of another person’s Life”.The TMIC Organization and TMIC Hello Brand magnanimously is committed to being a trustingpartner to all aspirant Cambodians who are living their dream of wanting to advance from aneconomic dire-straits era, to a now “revived economy”, and then to a thriving prosperouseconomy. In the personal context: From poverty to subsistence-living, then to a “slightly-comfortable” quality of life, and then to a middle-class affluent life, and beyond.Driven and motivated by this “Life-Enriching” Brand Essence, the TMIC Organization andTMIC Hello Brand shall propagate, through a loving empowering sense of Hope andOptimism with a helping hand of Empathy, TMIC’s desire to foster a Hand-in-Handlong-term relationship with Cambodians, to transform** their Quality of Life; tocontinually elevate to higher levels of income and lifestyle.Via Constant Continuous Progress (through Technology and VAS), TMIC Hello Brand willhelp Cambodians to create, build and enhance Relationships, be it social, family orbusiness, leading to the next level of Personal Success and Wealth Creation.** “Transform” equals to “Complete change in a person, from a previous state/conditionto an entirely new state/condition”. 40
  41. 41. RationalBrand ValuesRationale for Strategic Selection of Rational Brand Values, as follows:1. Congruent to and in support of the Brand Essence (“Life-Enriching”).2. Congruent to the Brand Mission, to realize the Brand Vision.3. (i) To be in-tandem with Core Competencies relating to: (a) Operational Performance Efficiency and Effectiveness, and Systems. (b) Work Culture/Day-to-Day Work Activities. (ii) At the same time, these can be aspirational benchmarks for TMIC to excel to a higher standard and/or to ensure operation-wide competency.4. Correlate with all the other components of the decided Strategic Brand Platform. That is, the Brand Essence, Brand Personality, and Strategic Brand Positioning Statement, inclusive of the Brand Promise. 41
  42. 42. TMIC HelloRational Brand ValuesCustomer-FocusDefinition: Introducing Innovations without being in touch with the current readiness ofthe market will make us detached from Customers. We shall constantly be Listening toand Feeling for Customers’ emotional needs and wants, and to be Responsive at theRight Timing. We shall also be dedicated to nurture a Hand-in-Hand Relationshipwith Customers.InnovativenessDefinition: To achieve Life-Enriching results, TMIC Hello has to provideimmaculate technology, to keep Customers Informed, and to Stay Ahead. To gain marketshare, we shall not engage in price-war strategy. We will instead break away from thecompetitors, by holding on to our Superior Technology and Human Expertise. Not only to beinnovative. But to be the Front-Runner in Innovation, to distance ourselves from the pack(competitors).SimplicityDefinition: Complexity and slow turn-around time will put us at a disadvantage againstour competitors; as well as turn away Customers and potential inductees. We shallcontinuously improvise to eliminate bureaucracy. We are focused on being User-Friendly,Fast Decision-Making, and Transparent in Communication within and outside ofthe Organization, and to our Customers.TrustworthinessDefinition: Not being open to others promote an air of distrust, and affects our individualand team effectiveness. Because we choose to nurture long-term mutuallybeneficial relationships, we shall project ourselves as Reliable, Dependable, Responsibleand Ethical people, dedicated to upholding Integrity of Operations and Character. 42
  43. 43. TMIC HelloEmotional Brand Personality TraitsBoldDefinition: To be Life-Enriching, we have to be Progressive and Forward-Going in ourStrategic Thinking. We embrace the role of being Trend-Setters, in touch with currentand possible future market needs. We shall not practise a “Follower-Mentality”.Displaying smart professionalism, we are fully-aware of what we are doing and quick to actand respond. Being the emerging Leader in Asia Pacific, we are knowledgeable yet humbleas Asians.EmpatheticDefinition: We believe in Close-Bonding relationships and Flexibility that fosterstogetherness and mutual supportiveness. We care enough to feel the aspirations andemotional needs of others: Desirous to grow others as we grow ourselves. We are willingto professionally share and impart knowledge, technology and expertise to others. Customersare not homogenous: they are individuals. We therefore respect each Customer as who he/sheis, without being judgemental.YouthfulDefinition: We celebrate the Freedom of youthfulness: Vibrant, full of vigour and energy, we aredriven by Optimism and a Passion for Life. We are Open to Change. Not only that. We welcomeand embrace change, because we have a Creative mind and heart to keep on growing; fromsuccess to success.InspiringDefinition: We are a beacon of Hope to others: Showing the courage to lead, by being an agentof positive motivation and good influence. We choose to be refreshing; to think and do things indifferent new ways, because intrinsically we enjoy continuous-improvement and life-longlearning to excel to new levels of progress. 43
  44. 44. STRATEGIC BRAND POSITIONING STATEMENTLife-Enriching experience (RATIONAL)…to achieve new levels of success (EMOTIONAL).______________________________________________________________________BRAND VISION(THE “BEING”)We are focused on being the Catalyst to realizeLife-Enriching Dreams.BRAND MISSION(THE “DOING”)To deliver Superior Customer-Focused Mobile Communications(that expedite the Life-Enriching process for everyone).______________________________________________________________________ 44