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Branding The Company

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  • 1. Branding the Company Maximize Marketing Potential Arun Kottolli
  • 2. Corporate Brands
    • IBM, Citibank, Federal Express, UPS etc.
    • These are examples of excellent Corporate Brands, company name is the Brand
    • Service firms like Accenture, EDS, Unisys, KPMG have only one main brand – their Corporate Brand
    • Brand consists of Name, symbols, Slogans and other distinguishing elements
    • To provide customers an efficient mechanism of identifying a particular service
  • 3. Branding the Firm
    • In Service sector, Brand impact shifts to the company brand
    • Corporate Brand can significantly influence service customers as they rely more heavily on service
      • Customers are more likely to choose FedEx for sending critical documents
      • “ Nobody got fired for buying from IBM”
  • 4. Model of Services Branding
    • Principal elements, influences in service branding are:
      • Presented Brand
      • Brand Media
      • Brand Meaning
      • Service, Concept, Quality & Value
      • Choice Behavior of customers
    • Brand Elements has different levels of influence on new customers and for experienced customers
  • 5. New Customers Trial Presented Brand Brand Media Service Concept Quality & Value Brand Meaning Choice Behavior
  • 6. Experienced Customers Presented Brand Service Concept Quality & Value Brand Media Brand Meaning Choice Behavior Repeat Buy
  • 7. Elements of Brand
    • The Core of the Presented Brand is the Company’s name – accompanying words, symbols, sounds etc
    • The ‘Brand’ the company presents is not necessarily the brand the customer perceives
    • Brand Meaning is the customer’s impression and classification of the firm
      • One customer may see IBM as a reliable, cutting edge service provider
      • Other customer may see IBM as an expensive service firm
  • 8. Elements of Brand
    • Brand Meaning is a function of brand presentation and service concept, quality and value, i.e., how well it performs the service
    • Service’s value influence customer interpretations of the presented brand
      • Managers cannot shield a brand from customers’ actual brand experiences
      • Mangers can create a service that reinforces the intended brand image
    • Customers’ experience based beliefs are powerful, diminishing the effects of company controlled communication that contradict actual experience
  • 9. Customer Choice Behavior
    • In case of new or inexperienced customers, Brand media or company communication has a big influence on Choice Behavior (leading to a trial)
    • For experienced customers, Service Concept, Quality & Value are the major influence determining Choice Behavior
    • Excellent Branding strategy, intensive advertising cannot make-up for weak service or bad customer experience
    • Customers’ negative experience with a service can close the doors that branding helps to open
  • 10. Branding & Marketing Edge
    • An effective brand provides a marketing edge to service companies:
      • When customers perceive competitors to be similar in service concept, quality & value
      • When customers have little or no experience with competing firms and respond to the strongest presented brand
      • When a firm introduces a new service category
      • When a firm enters a new market
      • When a firm changes its marketing strategy
  • 11. Branding & Marketing Edge
    • Strong service brands help customers to understand & believe in its service
    • Strong brand help to reduce customers’ perceived monetary, social or safety risk
      • Buying IBM service is risk free
    • Strong brand reassures customers while purchasing intangible “black box” service
      • While buying a new type of service, customers often go by Company reputation and Branding
  • 12. Name – Core of Service Brands
    • The company name is the core element of the presented service brand
    • Four Elements of a strong Brand Name
      • Distinctiveness : Distinguish from competitors
      • Relevance : Convey the benefit of the service
      • Memorability : Name can be used, understood and recalled easily
      • Flexibility : The name accommodates the inevitable strategies in organizations
      • E.g: Dell Corp is better than Dell Computers
  • 13. Brand is More Than Words
    • Brand’s effectiveness depends on integration of words, colors, symbols, and consistent application of these elements all across brand media
    • Blend all communication elements into cohesive image, and fidelity in their use – to overcome the intangible, amorphous nature of services
    • “ Develop a consistent presentation of all the visible elements of the service”
  • 14. Branding & Consistency
    • Consistency has a powerful influence on human behavior
    • The more consistent a company’s “appearance” is to customers, the stronger the brand identity
      • E.g: McDonalds, Pizza Hut maintain a common image everywhere
      • UPS turned its fleet of 20,000+ trucks into rolling billboards also reinforced by employee uniform
    • Graphic symbols reinforces the Name
      • MGM, 20 th Century Fox, IBM, Dell etc
    • Consistent slogans reinforce the brand name
  • 15. Building a Brand
    • Service quality is the foundation for services marketing and services branding
    • Company can create Brand Meaning via building a brand
    • Company can only do Image Management
    • Some guidelines for building a powerful company brand:
      • Start with Research
      • Select the right medicine
      • Build on what exists
      • Internalize the Brand
  • 16. Start with Research
    • Brand Development relies heavily on research, research identifies things to be done
      • What is the company’s current brand meaning to customers, employees and owners?
      • How does the company’s brand meaning compare with that of competitors?
      • How well do brand elements compare with that of competitors?
      • What are the relative effects of service concept, quality and value on brand meaning?
      • What is important about the company’s service offering that could be conveyed by the brand?
  • 17. Research Cont’d
    • Services marketers should build a brand that expresses the firm’s strongest qualities, its “reason for being” in a compelling way for customers & stakeholders
    • Research involves:
      • Interviews with customers, executives, frontline employees
      • Monitor the consistency & fidelity of brand presentation across media, specific services & markets
      • Dynamic nature of brand influences makes research an ongoing process
  • 18. Select the Right Medicine
    • Branding is often misused to solve operational problems – asking it to do more than it can
    • Poor service offering cannot be overcome with excellent branding – irrespective of the budget
    • If existing mediocre name, though flawed may still provide familiarity, comfort & credibility for customers – then don’t change the brand name
      • E.g: Delta Airlines is an average name, but has huge customer base, goodwill & reputation
      • Allegheny Airlines changed its name to USAirways
    • New name is a risky & Expensive medicine
      • Through Research & clear strategic intent is needed to change brand name
  • 19. Build on What Exists
    • Changing a brand name is usually a bad idea
      • Huge investments needed to build & sustain brand awareness
      • Datsun to Nissan : A branding blunder
    • If existing strategy is incompatible with brand name & old name has strong negative feeling – Change name
      • E.g: Anderson consulting to Accenture
    • Opt for brand continuity by double-branding, co-branding e.g: Courtyard by Marriot, IBM Global services
  • 20. Internalize the Brand
    • Service company employees are the most powerful medium for conveying the brand to customers
    • On-the-Job interaction converts verbal brand into verbal-action brand
    • Internalizing involves involving employees in the care & nurturing of the brand
    • Make employees understand and believe in the company’s brand
    • Employees visualize the brand for customers
  • 21. Manager’s Checklist
    • Are we proactive in presenting a strong company brand to our customers?
    • How does our company name rate on tests of distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, & flexibility?
    • Do we use to full advantage branding elements other than the company name?
    • Is out presented brand cohesive?
    • Do we apply our brand consistently across all media?
    • Do we use all possible media to present our brand?
  • 22. Manager’s Checklist
    • Do we recognize the influence of the service offering on brand meaning?
    • Do we base our branding decisions on research?
    • Are we respectful of what exists when we change our brand or add new brands?
    • Do we internalize our branding?

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