Branding and its importance to consumers and organizations

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Branding and its importance to consumers and organizations

  1. 1. Branding and Its Importance to Consumers and Organizations The most powerful brands don’t come from mktn, but from the xprnc of customers. Pdct qulty, consistency, creativity, performance, value, features, design and style which are the main drivers of today’s conspicuous customer. Consumers require branding as it helps them differentiate a product from da thousands available In the mkt. The consumers are so overwhelmed by the variety of products available to them that marking the rt choice on the basis of qual, price, stylishness became diff. This is where branding comes into play and solves da problem of the customers by differentiation. “Google has perfectly executed a branding strategy which has proven to b one of da most brilliantly effective branding strategies witnessed by man” The strategy that google has been seen to use is the “I’m ur frnd” strat. Where it is seen to b the most doubted approach to branding it has wkd for google. Since consumers want to feel spl n derive emotional value frm everything they spen don. Branding is one of the main platforms where this is made poss. and no matter what way the companies do it.it is never too good for the customers and this makes it the driving force of corporate branding in the race for excellence where brand value can change overnight if the customer backlashes. Imp of Branding to Orgnsts. “A company’s brand is its def. in the world the name that identifies it to itself and the mkt place”. Strong cmpny reputations can contribute to the prdct being a safe choice. Toyota might not use xtodnry appr. to branding itself. But its investment in most ethical practices and culture reflects in the quality of the pdtc n serv., Here the value of the brand can easily exceed an orgns assets, more n more companies are investing in branding activities than even before. If a triple bottom model sustainability is followed, people, planet and profits are the main proponents of growth through branding .companies cater to the 3 aspects , growth is inevitable. Projecting the rt. Image can get the cmpny to higher levels than any other strategy.
  2. 2. Building brands doesn’t happen quickly. It requires a lot of planning and patience. But your future profits and mkt share are likely to b far greater by putting the effort into branding frm the start. Branding challenges and opportunities Brands build their strength by providing customers consistently superior product and service experiences. A strong brand is a promise or bond with customers. In return for their loyalty, customers expect the firm to satisfy their needs better than any other competitors. Brands will always be important given their fundamental purpose – to identify and differentiate products and services. Good brand makes people’s lives a little easier and better. People are loyal to brands that satisfy their expectations and deliver on its brand promise. The predictably good performance of a strong brand is something that consumer will always value. The challenges to brands 1) The shift from strategy to tactics: - With the increasing pressure to generate ever-improving profitability, it is often considered a luxury for managers to develop long-term strategic plans. This is further exacerbated by short-term goal setting, which is frequently designed primarily for the convenience of the financial community. 2) The shift from advertising to promotions: - As a consequence of the increasing pressure on brand manager to achieve short-term goals, there is a temptation to cut back on advertising support, since it is viewed as a long-term brand-building investment, in favour of promotions which generate much quicker short-term results. 3) On-Line shopping: - The Internet is facilitating on-line shopping. On-line shopping is different from traditional mail order because: • Brands are available all the time and from all over the world; • Information and interactions are in real time; • Consumers can choose between brands which meet their criteria, as a result of selecting information which is in a much more convenient format for them, rather than the standard catalogue format. This poses threats to brands, some components of added value, agent or the retail outlet which originally added value by matching consumers with suppliers, may be eliminated. 4) Opportunities from technology: - Brand marketers are now able to take advantage of technology to again a competitive advantage through time. Technology is already reducing the
  3. 3. lead time needed to respond rapidly to changing customers need and minimizing any delays in the supply chain. 5) More sophisticated buyers: - In business-to-business marketing, there is already an emphasis on bringing together individuals from different departments to evaluate suppliers’ new brands. As inter departmental barriers break down even more, sellers are going to face increasingly sophisticated buyers who are served by better information system enabling them to pay off brand suppliers against each other. 6) The growth of corporate branding:- With media inhabiting individual brand advertising, many firms are putting more emphasis on corporate branding, unifying their portfolio of brands through clearer linkages with the corporation, which clarifies the those all the line brands adhere to. Through corporate identity program functional aspects of individual brands in the firm’s portfolio can be augmented, enabling the consumer to select brands through assessment of the values of competing firms. Firms developed powerful corporate identity programmes by recognizing the need first to identify their internal corporate values, from which flow employee attitudes and specific types of staff behavior secondly, to devise integrated communication programmes for different external audiences Branding is a process that is used by the businesses to utilize marketing strategies to enhance their product or service image so that it is more readily recollected by the customer. Branding helps the product or service to make a favourable impact on the target customer while the branding concepts help in outlining the guidelines that should be followed during the branding process. Branding of any product and service should follow some constants that help in establishing a brand in the long run. The internet branding strategies should have the following constants in your branding formula: Branding should be simple The most popular brands in the world have very simple, easy to remember logos. The reason behind this concept is, we tend to remember and associate ourselves with simple things and choose to ignore or forget complex ideas. Branding should be different Your brand should have individuality, should be different. The brand should stand out from other similar product or service; otherwise the whole idea of branding is lost. Only an individualistic brand makes a mark on the psyche of the target customer and he remembers it when he makes a buying decision. This is why most of the MNCs take strict action on trademark violations.
  4. 4. Branding should be safe Play safe and do your research if you are catering to international audience. If you are using symbols in your logo make sure they do not offend the target market in any way or you can chances of shutting your shop before making any sales. Therefore keep the regional and cultural sensibilities in mind during the branding process. The three most important branding concepts that are the basis of all branding processes are brand promise, brand attributes and brand personality. A brand promise is a promise or commitment the company makes to its customers. The promise should be clearly stated and tells about the most important benefit of the product or customer. Brand attributes are the features that describe the customers experience like quality, innovation or customer service. The attributes help the company to deliver the brand promise. Brand personality is the characteristic the customer experiences when they experience the brand. Thus the essence of the brand is a symbiosis of all three. Branding is assembling of various marketing mix medium into a whole so as to give you an identity. It is nothing but capturing your customers mind with your brand name. It gives an image of an experienced, huge and reliable business. It is all about capturing the niche market for your product / service and about creating a confidence in the current and prospective customers’ minds that you are the unique solution to their problem. The aim of branding is to convey brand message vividly, create customer loyalty, persuade the buyer for the product, and establish an emotional connectivity with the customers. Branding forms customer perceptions about the product. It should raise customer expectations about the product. The primary aim of branding is to create differentiation. Strong brands reduce customers’ perceived monetary, social and safety risks in buying goods/services. The customers can better imagine the intangible goods with the help of brand name. Strong brand organizations have a high market share. The brand should be given good support so that it can sustain itself in long run. It is essential to manage all brands and build brand equity over a period of time. Here comes importance and usefulness of brand management. Brand management helps in building a corporate image. A brand manager has to oversee overall brand performance. A successful brand can only be created if the brand management system is competent.
  5. 5. Following are the important concepts of brand management: Definition of Brand Brand Name Brand Attributes Brand Positioning Brand Identity Sources of Brand Identity Brand Image Brand Identity vs Brand Image Brand Personality Brand Awareness Brand Loyalty Brand Association Building a Brand Brand Equity Brand Equity & Customer Equity Brand Extension Co-branding Brand Equity is the value and strength of the Brand that decides its worth. It can also be defined as the differential impact of brand knowledge on consumers response to the Brand Marketing. Brand Equity exists as a function of consumer choice in the market place. The concept of Brand Equity comes into existence when consumer makes a choice of a product or a service. It occurs when the consumer is familiar with the brand and holds some favourable positive strong and distinctive brand associations in the memory. Brand Equity can be determined by measuring: Returns to the Share-Holders. Evaluating the Brand Image for various parameters that are considered significant. Evaluating the Brand’s earning potential in long run. By evaluating the increased volume of sales created by the brand compared to
  6. 6. other brands in the same class. The price premium charged by the brand over non-branded products. From the prices of the shares that an organization commands in the market (specifically if the brand name is identical to the corporate name or the consumers can easily co-relate the performance of all the individual brands of the organization with the organizational financial performance. OR, An amalgamation of all the above methods. Factors contributing to Brand Equity 1. 2. 3. 4. Brand Awareness Brand Associations Brand Loyalty Perceived Quality: refers to the customer’s perception about the total quality of the brand. While evaluating quality the customer takes into account the brands performance on factors that are significant to him and makes a relative analysis about the brand’s quality by evaluating the competitors brands also. Thus quality is a perceptual factor and the consumer analysis about quality varies. Higher perceived quality might be used for brand positioning. Perceived quality affect the pricing decisions of the organizations. Superior quality products can be charged a price premium. Perceived quality gives the customers a reason to buy the product. It also captures the channel member’s interest. For instance - American Express. 5. Other Proprietary Brand Assets: Patents, Trademarks and Channel Inter-relations are proprietary assets. These assets prevent competitors attack on the organization. They also help in maintaining customer loyalty as well as organization’s competitive advantage. Strategic Brand Management Process The Building, Leveraging, Identifying, and Protecting Brands (BLIP) process is a new framework for understanding, managing, and organizing the full scope of brand management task. It emphasizes the need to consider not just how to build and advertise brands, but how best to leverage them, how to identify the position of that they hold, and how to protect past brand investment. Strategic brand management is not only a question of building brands, but also
  7. 7. using a broader consideration framework when managing established brands. Marketers should consider the BLIP process when managing their brands. To maintain healthy and vital brands, firms need to pay attention to brand building, but should not neglect important issues related to brand leveraging, identification, and protection. It identifies four components of branding : 1. Building 2. Leveraging 3. Identifying 4. Protecting Brand 1. Building Brand:As a first step, marketers should define what they want their brand to represent(brand identity). A brand identity can be pictured in the form of a map with concentric circles, with the core defining elements of the brand in the center and secondary elements of the brand in an outer circle. Once marketer have a clear idea of the brand’s identity, they can use marketing tool to build the brand. Using a 4 P’s framework (product, price, place, promotion), marketer can create a promotional strategy that utilizes both promotional advertising and inventive approaches. 2. Leveraging Brands:Marketers want to achieve a return on their investment, and one vital decision is how to best utilize their brand assets. Marketers may choose to leverage some of the brand’s established equity to create line extension, brand extension, or co-brand products. a. Line Extension : Adding a new form of a product or service is generally regarded as the easiest extension, but is likely to generate low incremental revenue. b. Brand Extension : This type of extension differs from a line extension in that it consist of extending the products or services brand into a new category. A brand extension has the benefits of real growth opportunity, but the drawback is the potential for costly mistakes.
  8. 8. c. Co-Branded Products : This method of leveraging brands consist of an alliance of complimentary brands. This can often take the form of ingredient branding. A good marketing strategy will consider whether co-branding is appropriate for particular situations. 3. Identifying and Measuring Brands:The questions of identifying brands considers: What does the brand mean to customers? What product associations do customers have and their attitudes toward the brand? A marketer should also consider the non-product associations that accompany the brand. For ex. What colors are associated with the brand? What is the brand’s personality and what are the perceptions of the brand’s country of origin? Monitoring customer’s impression of all these important elements of the brand plays an important role in brand management. 4. Protecting the Brand:The area of strategic brand management has historically been short-changed, being forgotten as the brand building bandwagon took off. However, it is not taking it’s rightful place as a key element of strategic brand management. Traditionally, protection come from legal teams whose work with trademark remains an element of protecting the brand but is, by no means, the entire protection needed.

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