Exploring the role of cultural branding strategy in brand building

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Dissertation for my MSc in Advanced Marketing Management from Lancaster University. I showed my dedication in brand management, planning and communications by choosing a related for my dissertation. The research gave me the opportunity to have a new and fresh approach to the idea of brand building, planning and brand communications. Moreover, it was a in-depth ethnographic research and has given me key skills needed to act like "fly on the wall" during the research process

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Exploring the role of cultural branding strategy in brand building

  1. 1. Exploring the Role ofCultural BrandingStrategy in Brand BuildingNaveen IftekharuddinSeptember, 2011This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the MSc in AdvancedMarketing Management degree of Lancaster University
  2. 2. Page | 2AcknowledgementThis has been an unbelievable four months journey of cultural branding. I believe Douglas Holt – thekey author, and his theory is going to have a lasting impact on my philosophy on branding. GraciasHolt!I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude, to all the respondents whoshared their knowledge with me – Gousul Alam Shaon, Sarder Saniat Hossain, Drabir Alam, AdityaKabir, Nazim Farhan Choudhury, Shariful Alam, Ashique Ul Azam Khan, Farooq Shams, KaziMohiuddin and Asif Akbar Khan. Without these people it would not have been possible for me tocomplete an original piece of academic writing.I want to express deep gratitude to my supervisor Dr. Jim Freund for his support and guidance.Moreover, for giving me the opportunity to study this topic and taking me on as his dissertationstudent even though this was not his preferred area at our first meeting. The meetings with himwere never short of ideas and often it took us to untamed areas of brand marketing. However, Ibelieve that it helped me at the end of the day to work on a topic which was not usual to the type ofbrand marketing I was accustomed to.This acknowledgment will be incomplete without the mention of my parents for their faith,inspiration, and confidence in me and more importantly, for giving me the opportunity to pursue aforeign master’s degree. I love you both very much. Without you both, I am nobody.The Dissertation has been quite the learning experience for me in last one year. I am grateful to havegained sound knowledge on some crucial brand marketing theories that will guide me in forminglogical arguments once I return to the professional field again.
  3. 3. Page | 3AbstractTraditional models and practices of branding are being extensively challenged by the growingconsumer culture. Subsequently, there happens to be an extensive gap between conventionalbranding models and its relation to the means by which consumers currently use brands. Kapferer’s(2008) approach considered that a powerful and coherent identity is vital for development of brandvalue. In Keller’s (1993, 2001) consumer-based approach, the brand is evaluated as residing in themind of the consumer as a cognitive construction. Conversely, Holt’s (2004) cultural brandingapproach includes the exchange amongst macro-level culture and brands to the picture,demonstrating the means in which marketers can utilise cultural forces to build strong brandsaltering it into brand icons. In this transformed ‘brandscape’ and with evolving consumer cultureincreasingly challenging the conventional models and practices of branding, there is lack of empiricalevidence as to whether managers in the global marketplace are conscious of pursuing a culturalapproach to branding.The purpose of this research was to discover the brand building approach employed by advertisingagencies, taking Bangladesh as the country of context. The main objective was to see whether and towhat extent they were conscious of taking a cultural approach in their branding practices. In order toexplore this, six in-depth interviews were conducted with staff representing five differing advertisingagencies. What was revealed from the study was that most were unaware of a cultural approach tobranding and hence were exercising conventional approaches to branding. Only one staff was seento consciously apply a cultural branding strategy. However, it was interesting to discover that theinitial thought process emerged from a conventional branding format. The study took this intoconsideration to suggest a revised model for cultural branding.Additionally, the study aimed to see whether these agencies promoted an organisational structurewhich facilitated taking a cultural approach to strategy. Most agencies were found to organise for acommand-and-control process wherein the client had the ‘final word’ in the development ofstrategy. Agencies did not get the opportunity to experiment with strategy and adhered to the brandguidelines developed before-hand by the clients. Only one agency, Grey, seemed to have had theopportunity to experiment with brand strategy development; even that was predominantlyattributable to the face value and industry reputation of the agency’s Managing Director.The main reason for staff or clients not being conscious or practicing a cultural approach to brandingwas because most did not have the basic grounding on brand management, let alone actuallyknowledge on mass culture. It is acknowledged that cultural branding is difficult and complicatedsince brand managers are rarely students of mass culture and are therefore not mindful of the toolsand lenses of sociology, cultural anthropology, history, and film criticism. For organisations wantingto embark on a cultural approach to branding, it would seriously require them to reconsider theirwhole policy to recruitment. Moreover, they would need to hire and train managers who shouldencompass the skills and knowledge needed for cultural branding.
  4. 4. Page | 4GlossaryAkij refers to the parent company of Fruitika, Akij Food and Beverages LimitedFruitika refers to the juice drink brandAd is the short form for AdvertisingCBBE refers to Customer-Based Brand EquityGrey refers to the advertising agency Grey BangladeshUnitrend refers to the advertising agency, which is an affiliate of McCann Erickson WorldgroupAsiatic JWT refers to the advertising agency, which is an affiliate of JWTCarrot refers to the advertising agency Carrot CommunicationAdcomm refers to the advertising agency, which is an affiliate of Lowe + PartnersCultural Icon refers to a person or thing regarded as a symbol, in particular of a culture ormovement; a person, institution, and so forth, held in high-regard.Iconic brand refers to an identity brand that move towards the identity value of a cultural icon.Identity myth refers to a dramatised story that resolves cultural contradictions; a requirement for aniconIdentity value refers to the part of a brand’s value that emanates from the brand’s contributions toself-expressionIdentity brand refers to a brand whose value to consumers (and, therefore, its brand equity)originates mainly from identity valuePopulist worlds refers to sovereign places where a person’s deeds are believed to be driven byintrinsic values and not by money or power; populist worlds act as the cultural raw materials fromwhich identity myths are developedRitual action refers to the method through which the consumers of an icon experience the identitymyth which is encompassed by the iconHolt refers to the author Douglas B. HoltHow brands become Icons relates to Holt’s book where he developed the theory of culturalbrandingJobs refers to Steve JobsCCO refers to McCracken’s notion of a new role in the organisation, that of a Chief Culture Officer.POD refers to Points-of-difference associationsPOP refers to Points-of-parity associations
  5. 5. Page | 5Contents1.0 Introduction ................................................................................................................................81.1 Research Aim ....................................................................................................................................92.0 Literature Review......................................................................................................................102.1 Conventional Models/Approaches of Branding..............................................................................172.1.1 Concept of Customer-Based Brand Equity...................................................................................172.1.2 Brand Positioning Model..............................................................................................................202.1.3 The Brand Identity Prism and the Brand Essence concept..........................................................232.2 Cultural Branding Model.................................................................................................................272.2.1 Iconic and Cultural branding – Branding in mythological dimensions.........................................272.2.2 Approach to Cultural branding ....................................................................................................292.3 Organising for Cultural Branding Strategy ......................................................................................322.3.1 Key features of a Cultural Studio .................................................................................................322.3.3 How the Brand Bureaucracy Stifles the Branding Process ..........................................................333.0 Research objective....................................................................................................................363.1 Research questions.........................................................................................................................364.0 Methodology.............................................................................................................................374.1 Research Approach.........................................................................................................................374.2 Methods of Data Collection............................................................................................................374.3 Interview Structure.........................................................................................................................384.4 Ethical Considerations.....................................................................................................................395.0 Data Analysis.............................................................................................................................406.0 Analysis of Findings.........................................................................................................................416.1 Conventional Models/Approaches of Branding..............................................................................416.1.1 Keller’s Brand Positioning Model.................................................................................................416.1.2 Keller’s CBBE Model.....................................................................................................................446.1.3 Kapferer’s Identity Prism and Brand Essence ..............................................................................496.2 Cultural Branding Model.................................................................................................................536.2.1 Holt’s Cultural Branding Model....................................................................................................546.3 Organising for Cultural Branding Strategy ......................................................................................596.3.1 Brand Bureaucracy vs. Cultural Studio.........................................................................................596.4 Photo Elicitation..............................................................................................................................637.0 Discussion and Conclusion..............................................................................................................67
  6. 6. Page | 67.1 Revised Model of Cultural Branding ...............................................................................................677.2 Problems with Holt’s theory and model for Cultural Branding ......................................................738.0 Limitations.......................................................................................................................................809.0 Further Research.............................................................................................................................81References ............................................................................................................................................82Appendices............................................................................................................................................89
  7. 7. Page | 7List of Tables and FiguresFigure 1: CBBE Pyramid........................................................................................................................19Figure 2: Sub-dimensions of Brand-Building Blocks in CBBE...............................................................19Figure 3: Brand Position Model ...........................................................................................................21Figure 4: Brand Identity Prism .............................................................................................................24Figure 5: Example of Jack Daniel’s Brand Essence ..............................................................................26Table 1 Comparison of Characteristics across Four Branding Models................................................28Figure 6: The Structure of a Myth Market...........................................................................................30Table 2: Breakdown of the Respondents from the Interviews and Agency Represented..................38Figure 7: Data Analysis Approach........................................................................................................40Figure 8: Fruitika Leverages Cultural and Political Authority to Reinvent its Myth ..........................58Figure 9: Researcher’s Revised Model for Cultural Branding .............................................................72Table 3 Why Agencies do not take a Cultural Approach to Brand Strategy ......................................78Figure 10: The Green-Movement which Brands Try to Ride on..........................................................94Figure 11: The Urban/Hip-Hop Movement which Brands Try to Ride on...........................................95Figure 12: The Five Forces that Shape Industry Competition............................................................100
  8. 8. Page | 81.0 IntroductionPowerful brands construct significant images in consumers’ mind (Keller, 1993), with brand imageand reputation strengthening differentiation and then possibly leading to a favourable consequenceon their buying behaviour (Gordon et al., 1993; McEnally and deChernatony, 1999). From theperspective of ever-increasing identical product and service offerings, brands are fundamentaldrivers for choosing and using products. Accordingly, they represent a significant intangible asset forthe majority of companies. With the intention of capitalising on this asset, researchers andacademics have developed various models and approaches to branding (Keller, 1993, 2001, 2008;Kapferer, 2008; Aaker, 1991a; 1996).However, these various branding approaches and models disregard the function of the culturalcontext in the branding process, thus ignoring the added value embedded in brands in the shape ofcultural meaning utilised in shaping individuals’ identities. Holt (2002) asserted that this culturalfocus and method of identity construction is lacking in the major sections of branding theory.Although Kapferer’s (2008) identity approach regards the cultural aspects of branding; culture ishowever described at a micro level, in particular, organisational culture. Organisational culture inthis approach is conceived as a notion which offers a local perspective or outline for theorganisational identity (Heding et al., 2009).Traditional models and practices of branding are being extensively challenged by the growingconsumer culture. Consumers are being cynical towards commercial messages and their authority tocommune online is giving them more and more power to control when, where and how they desireto be contacted. Brand managers confront an environment where brand value is progressivelyproduced outside the boundaries of the company, in co-creation with other publics and socialnetworks. Subsequently, there happens to be an extensive gap between conventional brandingmodels and its relation to the means by which consumers currently use brands. New brandingtheories push for a consumer-centred approach to branding in which branding is the process ofadding identity value to customers’ identity projects (Holt, 2004).Kapferer’s (2008) approach considered that a powerful and coherent identity is vital fordevelopment of brand value. The brand must concentrate on discovering ‘who we are’ as anorganisation to facilitate conveying one consistent identity to all stakeholders. In Keller’s (1993,2001) consumer-based approach, the brand is evaluated as residing in the mind of the consumer asa cognitive construction. Conversely, Holt’s (2004) cultural branding approach includes the exchangeamongst macro-level culture and brands to the picture. Holt’s theory demonstrated the means inwhich marketers can utilise cultural forces to build strong brands altering it into brand icons.Holt (2004) took cultural theories and historical research in to play, to reconsider how consumerbrands are built. Holt’s research revealed that iconic brands are constructed by targeting symbolic
  9. 9. Page | 9cracks in the nation’s culture. Holt asserted that iconic brands performed myths that assist thenation’s citizens to govern their identities in times of challenging societal shifts. Working through thehistorical market communication efforts of six iconic brands, Holt concluded that they all followedvarious principles that summarised create the “Cultural Branding Model”.A matter of contention in this transformed ‘brandscape’ and with evolving consumer cultureincreasingly challenging the conventional models and practices of branding, there is lack of empiricalevidence as to whether managers in the global marketplace are conscious of pursuing a culturalapproach to branding.1.1 Research AimThis research seeks to question the brand building approach employed by advertising agencies,taking Bangladesh as the country of context. The main objective is to see whether and to whatextent the staffs are conscious of incorporating consumer culture in their brand communicationsstrategy or whether they simply rely on conventional approaches to brand building and brandstrategy development.
  10. 10. Page | 102.0 Literature ReviewThere has been a huge increase in the implementation of branding activity, not just limited toconsumer goods and services. Nowadays, branding is implemented in industrial and business-tobusiness sectors, the public and voluntary sectors, utilities and non-governmental organisations(Clifton and Ahmad, 2009).According to The American Marketing Association, branding is defined as...“a name, term, sign,symbol or design...intended to identify the goods or service of one seller and to differentiate them ofthose of the competition” (Keller et al., 2008, p.2). This definition emphasized identification anddifferentiation as branding’s primary purpose, and is exactly how most modern companies seek tobuild their brand. However, this definition has somewhat evolved over the years (King, 1970; King,1973; Lannon and Cooper, 1983).Stephen King of J. Walter Thompson1(JWT) suggested that brands were not just product adjunctsbut complex cognitive entities created by consumers in their total set of experiences with a product(King 1970; King 1973). A whole new language evolved to support this view of brands beingdescribed as ‘personalities’ with which we could form relationships (de Chernatony et al., 1998),they could have an inner ‘essence’ (Kapferer, 1992; Kelly, 1998; Hanby, 1999) and they could growand evolve over time (Goodyear, 1993). Other scholars describe the purpose of branding as a way toreduce perceived risk of purchase (Kapferer, 1997) increase financial performance by chargingpremium prices (Aaker, 1991b), and introduce new products without much difficulty (Aaker andKeller, 1990).A more detailed description of brands having a ‘deeper inner inspiration’ or ‘essence’ has been madeby Kapferer (1997, p.100) who developed the concept of brand identity comprising six combinedaspects of physique, personality, relationship, culture, reflection and self-image – ‘The Brand IdentityPrism’ – described more thoroughly later on. Kapferer (2008) argued that a brand’s identitycomprises of several essential traits that consumers relate with the brand. These traits acts asbrand’s identifying criteria to the consumer and are a fundamental component of a brand’s overallcomprehension.According to Kapferer (1997), the notion of brand image does not work in the present environment.“A brand image is a synthesis made by the public of the various brand signals, e.g. brand name,visual symbols, products, advertisements, sponsoring, patronage, articles...An image results fromdecoding a message, extracting meaning and interpreting signs” (Kapferer, 1997, p.94). Howevercompanies, at times, get fixated with the requirement to establish an attractive image that will bepositively perceived by all and hence brand image ends up focusing excessively on appearance andnot enough on brand essence. Kapferer (1997) and Macrae (1996) spoke about a brand’s identity as– what does the brand stand for? They declared that in brand management terms, brand identitycomes before brand image. It became common understanding that is it imperative, firstly, to have aconsistent self image of the brand, to facilitate identifying how it can be articulated, and how that1JWT is the fourth largest marketing communications network (agency) in the world (WPP.com, 2011)
  11. 11. Page | 11shapes the external view of the brand. Through the identity prism, Kapferer (2008) pursued the issueof why brand strategy and management is so vital in his published book entitled “The New StrategicBrand Management”. The author considered how brands relate to every part of our society andaffect every domain of life, comprising economic, social, cultural, sports as well as religion. Kapferer(2008) also stressed the concept of ‘Brand Essence’ in the literature stating that it emerges from thedesire to condense the brand identity and positioning. “In essence, the concept of ‘brand essence’asks in a temporal and global way: what do you sell? What key value does the brand propose, standfor? No more than three!” (Kapferer, 2008, p.197) Kapferer further asserted that the benefit of theconcept is that it allows for summarising the richness of an identity, making it simpler to project.A major contribution to branding theory was that made by Kevin Keller (1993; 2001; 2007) with hisintroduction of the concept of Customer-Based Brand Equity and the Brand Hierarchy. Keller’s(1993) article “Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity”dramatically changed the notion of brand management. The previous focus on brand managementwas on the ‘sender end’ of brand communications2. Keller (1993) outlined the ‘Customer-BasedBrand Equity (CBBE) Model’ to aid management in their brand building efforts. CBBE is based on thepremise that “the brand resides in the minds of consumers as a cognitive construal” (Heding et al.,2009. p. 84). Keller’s article established a novel brand and consumer outlook and introduced a newmethod of associating with the independent scientific discipline of brand management,comprehensively examining the fundamental terminology of brand equity. Since the instigation ofthe customer-based approach, the disposition towards it has been extensively accepted as the mostprominent outlook about brands and branding (Heding et al., 2009). Holt (2005) stated that “Keller’sexposition of the customer-based brand equity model offers the most widely accepted andcomprehensive treatment of branding in American marketing” (p. 275).According to Keller (2008), strong brands do not just happen by chance. Creating sources of brandequity to build strong brands calls for thoughtful, imaginative and meticulous planning,implementation, and measurement. In order to build and manage a brand requires the carefuldevelopment and execution of creative brand strategies.Keller (2008) further stressed that the CBBE model offers an outline for the stages in building astrong brand. In order to put the model to work, marketers have to make numerous strategicdecisions about the exact nature of the brand building blocks they will utilise (Keller, 2008). To guidethose decisions, Keller (2008) highlighted the ‘Brand Positioning Model’ which can come to greatuse when building brands and planning brand strategies.However, the aforementioned principles of branding disregard the function of the cultural context inthe branding process, thus neglecting the additional value embedded in brands in the shape ofcultural meanings utilised in shaping individuals’ identities. Holt (2002) asserted that this culturalfocus and method of identity construction was lacking in the major sections of branding theory.2The brand identity originates from the company itself indicating the brand’s value and uniqueness. It symbolises the internal desiredimage which the company tries to communicate to the target audience (Kapferer, 1997; Marguiles, 1997)
  12. 12. Page | 12Although Kapferer’s identity approach considers culture as one of the facets, it however describesculture at micro-level3. In the micro-level description of Kapferer’s (2008) identity prism,organisational culture is to be conceived as a concept that presents a local context or outline for theorganisational identity. Moreover, the organisational culture contributes with symbolic material tothe creation of corporate identity. Culture in the prism is considered as the expression of the way oflife in an organisation – the values (those ‘regarded as the truth’), the behaviour (‘the way we dothings over here’) and the official internal and external communication in addition to the morecasual communication of internal organisational stories (Hatch and Schultz, 2000). In the prism, abrand’s country of origin is also considered to affect the culture of the brand. This becomes a vitalpoint for consumers who wish to perceive the differences among the brands in competition.Moreover, there appears to be a broad disconnect between the conventional branding models andtheir connection to the means by which present consumers use brands. In contrast to customarybranding schemes4, like ‘mind-share’ highlighting the significance of “brand essence” and “onionmodel” seeking to position the product in the mind of consumers dependent on few keyassociations, new branding theories support a more consumer-centric approach to branding.Grant (2006) questioned and completely dismissed the traditional approaches to brandmanagement. Grant (2006) stated that “a brand is a cluster of strategic cultural ideas” (p.27). Grantargued that a brand is nothing abstract or a mysterious essence – it is purely the summation of thegreat ideas appropriated to build that brand. Grant argued that in due course, the brand assumesthe form of a “molecule”, made up of successive and connected ideas. Each new idea can enhance abrand’s interest and keep it active in people’s minds’. Grant stated that the method of managingbrands is through coherence, not consistency, suggesting that the “molecular” structure of brandingneeds to be coherent and ought to be guided by a singular cultural logic. From his study of brandbuilding within the new mediascape, Grant recommended his molecular approach to brands ratherthan the conventional “onion” model, which he judged as static and conservative and therefore notbeneficial to brand innovation.Grant McCracken’s theories on branding are also increasingly opposed to the conventional theoriesof branding. McCracken (1986) asserted that “consumer goods have a significance that goes beyondtheir utilitarian character and commercial value...the significance rests largely in their ability to carryand communicate cultural meaning” (p. 71). McCracken (1986) stated that consumer goods attainmeaning from their culturally constituted world and transfer it on to the consumer throughadvertising, fashion systems and exercising certain rituals.The theory of cultural branding5(Holt, 2003a; 2003b; 2004) is the cornerstone of the culturalapproach to branding and serves as the core theme of this research. Different from the other3The cultural branding approach, on the other hand, emphasises branding in the framework of the macro-level culture where data fromthe culture surrounding us all is put into use in branding practices (Heding et al., 2009).4Propagated by leading academics, for example in books by Kotler, Aaker, Zaltman, and Keller5From Douglas B. Holt’s book “How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding”, published in 2004 by the Harvard BusinessSchool Press.
  13. 13. Page | 13publications with a cultural perspective (McCracken, 1986; Alden et al., 1999; Klein, 2000; Thompsonand Arsel, 2004; Thompson et al., 2006; Askegaard, 2006), Holt’s theory concentrates more on themanagement of brands. In a broad empirical study of iconic brands, Holt developed a new approachof perceiving and managing brands. Cultural branding is the strategic principles regarding how tobuild and manage a brand and transform it into an icon. Cultural branding mainly concerns whatculture can do for brand value creation. Holt’s theory demonstrated the means in which marketerscan utilise cultural forces to build strong brands altering it into brand icons, providing a detailedexamination into the creation of the inspired and talented brand communication behind iconicbrands such as Mountain Dew, Volkswagen and Budweiser, to name a few. The basis is similar toMcCracken’s (1986) theory in terms of brands or products perceived as enriched with culturalmeaning, but Holt’s theory is more specific and demanding. Holt highlighted the importance oftackling certain “powerful cultural issues and contradictions before one is able to create myths thatare so powerful and resonant that the brand becomes iconic” (Heding et al., 2009, p.217). Heding etal (2009) further noted that “How Brands Become Icons is the first comprehensive research onbranding in a cultural perspective” (p.217).Holt (2004) builds his theory from extended case studies of a number of American iconic brandsfrom various industries, different company histories, competitive scenarios and consumer bases. Forhis study, Holt analysed a collection of advertisements of numerous major brands, covering mediaplacements along with five decades of American political, economic and social trends. Moreover,Holt examined other cultural texts such as movies, films and TV shows. Regardless of the differences,the iconic brands portrayed definitive similarities that had brought about their success. Holtconcluded that these successful brand cases were the foundation of the “Cultural Branding Model”,the theory of how brands become icons. However, it is worth mentioning that the theory of culturalbranding by Douglas B. Holt was introduced in a book published by the Harvard Business SchoolPress and is therefore not peer-reviewed6.Grant (2006), McCracken (1986) and Holt’s (2004) cultural approaches to branding are based onexamining brands and branding with regards to cultural influences. In this approach the brand isdeemed as a significant part of and contributor to mainstream culture. Heding et al (2009) notedthat a drawback to this approach was that the literature mainly focused on brands characterisingcorporate America.Holt (2004) applied his model by examining brands that are directly rooted in a single nation’ssymbols – the Mexican beach for Corona and rural Appalachia for Mountain Dew. Moreover, thetheory is built from case studies rather than actual implementation on a particular brand.Conversely, cultural referents in different places and nations and whether managers’ consciouslytake a cultural approach to branding have been ignored. There has been no empirical study as tohow branding managers in Asia7contribute to the creation of a cultural branding strategy. Dobranding managers in Asian nations map out the myth markets currently active in popular culture?Are they aware of the emerging cultural contradictions and the demand for myths that form aroundthese contradictions? Do they integrate cultural ideologies while developing brand strategies, which6In order to devote his full attention to cultural strategy work, Holt decided to leave academia in the fall of 2010 to form a consultancygroup called the Cultural Strategy Group.7Specifically, South-East Asia
  14. 14. Page | 14consumers’ can resonate with? Do they have something equivalent of a cultural branding model orare they currently using more conventional branding models?Consumer researchers have widely explored the sociocultural processes and practices through whichconsumption activities, material goods, and brands become channels for marketplace myths (Caylaand Eckhardt, 2008; Giesler, 2008; Holt, 2004; Holt and Thompson, 2004; Kozinets, 2001;McCracken, 2005; Schouten and McAlexander, 1995; Thompson and Tian, 2008; Zhao and Belk,2008). These studies have mainly concentrated on analytic cases where consumers are partiallyengaged to a consumption activity or brand by a marketplace myth and consecutively resort to thesecommercially mediated meanings to further their personal and collectively shared identity projects(Arnould and Thompson, 2005).Most consumer research studies have only examined the means through which consumers acquiretheir positions in consumer culture thus neglecting the other side of the coin, specifically, the role ofmarketers in structuring these positions.Cayla and Eckhardt (2008) investigated how brand managers developed regional Asian brands andillustrated how they endeavoured to build new networks of interconnectedness through thecreation of a transnational, imagined Asian world. All the previous studies and ongoing focus issurrounded on how to leverage the cultural branding model to studying brands that are directlyrooted in a single nation’s symbols or how consumers negotiate their position in consumer culture.There has been no empirical study as to whether and to what extent branding managers, in practice,are conscious of taking a cultural approach to branding.Various academics such as Aaker and Joachimsthaler (2009), Kapferer (2008), Keller (2008),Temporal (2002) and de Chernatony (1998; 1999; 2006) have offered various approaches andmodels to brand building over the years. All these approaches and models have ignored the culturalcontext and the method of identity construction in the branding process. McCracken (1986), Holt(2004) and Grant’s (2006) theories on branding are all increasingly opposed to the conventionaltheories/models of branding. However, there seems to be no empirical study as to whether and towhat extent brand managers are mindful of taking a cultural approach to brand building and brandstrategy development or whether they predominantly rely on conventional approaches to brandbuilding. This study examined the cultural branding model proposed by Holt (2004) and theconventional branding models proposed by Keller (2001; 2008) and Kapferer (2008), in order toidentify whether a cultural or a conventional approach to branding was taken by the staff in thevarious advertising agencies in the Bangladesh market. Additionally, the study aimed to investigatewhether the staff made use of an alternative approach to brand building so as to gain valuableinsight.
  15. 15. Page | 15Various authors’ have stressed the need for a new organisational structure, role, staff and skills inorder to promote a cultural approach to branding and strategy.Holt (2004) stated that, presently, big marketing companies – such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever,and The Coca-Cola Company – are extremely efficient at day-to-day marketing, however equallyinept in taking a cultural perspective to branding. According to Holt (2004), these organisations aregoverned by spreadsheets, income statements, clusters of market data, and feasibility reports. Therationality and practicality of the day-to-day business of marketing stifles cultural advocacy.Additionally, Holt (2004) noted that MBA programmes provide the initial training for some brandmanagers, and therefore paves the way for some managers, into a psycho-economic domain thatruns completely against the cultural viewpoint required for identity brands. Most business schoolsborderline social issues as the province of non-profit ventures and regard the texts of the culturalindustries, if at all, carelessly. The majority of MBA’s leave their programmes lacking even a basiccapability to assess an advertisement from a cultural angle (Holt, 2004).Holt (2004) stated that the brand cases (Volkswagen, Budweiser, etc.) he examined while developingthe theory of cultural branding were successful in connecting with the nation’s culture. However,Holt assumed that it was mainly driven by the hunches of ad agency creatives (mainly copywritersand creative directors) and the occasional nonconventional marketing professional. The reasonbeing, leading consumer goods companies have not fostered a cultural viewpoint and the talent thatcompliments it. According to Holt (2004) “cultural thinking normally originates from the brand teamrepresentatives with the most cultural competencies...cultural strategies, therefore, have beenhaphazardly developed through the casual engagement of gifted creatives, rather than through theconsistent employment of a brand strategy” (p.220). However, that is not to say that this can alwaysbe the case. If we take Apple and Steve Jobs as an example, then Apple is one brand that has beenvery successful in connecting with American and global culture. There is not much debateconcerning the level of success that Apple’s branding strategy has enjoyed since the return of SteveJobs as the CEO in 1997. Jobs had an influence over everything Apple did. In other words, everyApple product released was done through the influence of Jobs rather than any ad agency creativeor brand team representative. Nonetheless, Holt (2004) believed that the challenge remained infostering a Cultural activist organisation for brand owners who aim to build iconic brands.A similar view was presented by cultural anthropologist Grant McCracken. McCracken (2010)offered the task of establishing cultural insight at the heart of a business in his book Chief CultureOfficer.The author advocated a new candidate into the already crowded corporate ‘C-Suite’, suggesting thatevery company needs a Chief Culture Officer, someone who is constantly learning about the latest
  16. 16. Page | 16changes in the society along with being mindful of cultural history. McCracken (2010) argued thatcorporations should concentrate on understanding what is going on in the culture surrounding them– a job the author believed is done extremely well by Steve Jobs (Apple), Martha Stewart(Omnicom), A.G. Lafley (P&G), Mary Minnick (Coca Cola) and Silvia Lagnado (Unilever). McCrackenidentified number of companies (Snapple, Levi Strauss, PepsiCo) that had suffered the consequencesof having neglected explicit cultural instances which they could have benefited from.McCracken (2010) does not promote the idea of companies outsourcing their knowledge of cultureto alleged cool hunters, marketing experts, consulting firms, design agencies or interns. McCrackennoted that it could prove to be dangerously costly to rely solely on the gut feel of copywriters andcreative directors. That is not to say that all companies face this problem. Many managers do workquite closely with product innovators, research agencies and designers while developing brandstrategies. McCracken (2010) recommended that companies need a new professional and proposedthe title of the Chief Culture Officer (CCO) to deliver this sort of cultural intelligence.Although McCracken provided plenty logical vigour and brilliant insight in his book, it is somewhatineptly directed towards the notion of the CCO as the highly professional expert, superior innovationagent inside the corporation. The top-down organisational politics of this suggestion, the notion thatcultural insight occurs within a corporate setting, seems particularly skewed. This sort oforganisational structure would seem to derail cultural innovation rather than foster it. Alternatively,Holt and Cameron (2010) proposed a new way for companies to organise for promoting culturalinnovation.In their research to develop a new socio-cultural model for market innovation, Holt and Cameron(2010) were surprised to learn that most of the leading consumer goods companies they workedwith had minimal capability for cultural innovation. The author’s aimed to address vitalorganisational questions such as: what prevents large consumer-marketing companies frominnovating? How should companies and managers organise to practice cultural strategy? How doesthis organisational structure vary from conventional organisation structures?The world’s top consumer marketing companies are under extreme pressure from stockholders toimprove their performance, and senior managers strongly push to install operations that willimprove the ROI of marketing investments. Holt and Cameron (2010, p.294) discovered that theorganisational structure at the leading companies organises to employ a very command-and-controlmanagement style which often causes the logical stripping-out of culture in the research andconceptual stages. The author’s stated that designing innovative cultural expressions was a verydifferent task from developing the usual brand strategy.Holt and Cameron (2010) illustrated that cultural strategy demands a different way of organising.The author’s developed an organisational critique indicating the impractical institutional philosophythat discourages cultural strategy at most companies, which they term the ‘Brand Bureaucracy’.Weber (1978) stated that bureaucracies have ‘technical excellence’ since they work like a machine,maximising precision and speed while extenuating uncertainty. Weber prominently characterisedthe institutional languor of bureaucracies as an “iron cage”. Even though many facets of themarketing function can garner huge benefits from bureaucratic norms, when it involves culturalbranding strategy, it can be extremely disadvantageous. Holt and Cameron (2010) adapted Weber’s
  17. 17. Page | 17main principles so as to form their concept of how brand bureaucracies stifle cultural branding. Thisis explained in further detail later onward.Holt and Cameron (2010) discovered the solution to this impoverished branding potential which theyterm as the ‘Cultural Studio’. From their various studies, Holt and Cameron discovered this informalalternative organisational structure prospering in the gaps and chasms of the marketplace wherebrand bureaucracy had less authority. Most of their cases constituted of entrepreneurial start-ups(ESPN and Snapple) and from companies that rejected professional marketing management duringtheir successful moments. Holt and Cameron (2010) declared that cultural studios could also bepresent in large marketing firms (Levi’s, Volkswagen, Tango), but they are organised as secretprojects by rebellious managers who are capable of averting the power of the brand bureaucracy.Holt (2004), McCracken (2010) and Holt and Cameron (2010) have all acknowledged the need fordiffering roles and organisational structures which will facilitate a cultural approach to brandstrategy. However the author’s have primarily based their research on case studies of a selection ofcompanies which they thought had an alternative organisational form or roles that cultivatedcultural strategy. Do firms, in reality, organise for a ‘Cultural Studio?’ There seems to be noempirical study as to whether the alternative organisational structure, in the form of a ‘CulturalStudio’, as suggested by Holt and Cameron (2010) is operating in practice. On account of this, thestudy further examined whether a cultural studio flourished in the big advertising agencies inBangladesh or if the notion of the brand bureaucracy had more influence over their routineoperations.2.1 Conventional Models/Approaches of Branding2.1.1 Concept of Customer-Based Brand EquityCustomer-based brand equity is rooted in the principle that the brand exists in the minds ofconsumers as a cognitive construction. Keller (2008, p.53) noted that “Customer-based brand equityoccurs when the consumer has a high level of awareness and familiarity with the brand and holdssome strong, favourable and unique brand association in memory.” In most cases, brand awarenessis not adequate in order to generate favourable consumer responses; the strength, favourability,and uniqueness of brand associations represent a vital ingredient in shaping the differentialresponse that constitutes brand equity. Establishing a positive brand image in consumers minds –strong, favourable, and unique associations – goes simultaneously with building brand awareness tobuild customer-based brand equity (Keller, 2001).Customer-Based Brand Equtiy (CBBE) ModelKeller’s (2001) Customer-Based Brand Equity Model (CBBE) was formulated to explain whatconstitutes a strong brand and how to build a strong brand. CBBE is regarded as the mostcomprehensive brand building model as it incorporates concepts and measures from prominentbranding models and therefore offers considerable value and insights (Keller, 2001).
  18. 18. Page | 18According to Keller (2001), building a strong brand can be considered as a chronological series ofsteps, wherein each step is dependent upon effectively completing the preceding step. Every stepentails achieving particular goals with both existing and prospective customers8.Keller (2001, p.5) stated that these four steps characterise a collection of basic questions thatcustomers generally enquire about brands – at least implicitly if not even explicitly (with the relatedbrand steps in tangent):1. Who are you? (brand identity)2. What are you? (brand meaning)3. What about you? What do I think or feel about you? (brand responses)4. What about you and me? What kind of association and how much of a connection would I like tohave with you? (brand relationships)According to this model, performing the four steps means creating a pyramid of six ‘brand buildingblocks’ with customers, as exemplified in Figure 1 below.8The first step involves certifying recognition of the brand with customers and an association of the brand in customers’ minds with aspecific product class or customer need. The second step is to strongly ascertain the entirety of brand meaning in the minds of customers,by tactically connecting numerous tangible and intangible brand associations. The third step is to extract the appropriate customerresponses to this brand identity and brand meaning. The fourth step entails translating brand response to generate an intense, activeloyalty relationship between customers and the brand (Keller, 2001)
  19. 19. Page | 19Figure 1: CBBE Pyramid (Adapted from Keller, 2001, p.7)Figure 2 examines key content of each building blocks in more detail.Figure 2: Sub-dimensions of Brand-Building Blocks in CBBE (Adapted from Keller, 2001, p.8)A few elements of each step are discussed here which will be needed for further analysis:Brand Salience refers to conditions of the awareness of the brand i.e. how easily and oftencustomers imagine the brand under different purchase or usage situations (Keller, 2001).
  20. 20. Page | 20Brand Meaning is comprised of two key categories of brand associations that reside in customers’minds involving performance and imagery, with a group of explicit subcategories inside each.Brand performance relates to how well the product or service meets customers’ functional needs.Whereas brand imagery describes the extrinsic properties of the product or service, together withthe manners in which the brand tries to accomodate customers’ psychological or social needs. Thesebrand associations can be explicitly created (from a customer’s personal experiences and intercoursewith the brand) or implicitly (through the brand representation in advertising or through othersource of advice, such as word-of-mouth). These associations act as the foundation for thepositioning of the brand and its points-of-parity and points-of-difference (Keller, 2001)Keller (2001, p.12) further stated that irrespective of the types of association linked to the brand,either performance or imagery, the brand associations constituting the brand image and meaningcould be considered and summarised according to three key dimensions that provide the means tobuilding brand equity: Strength – How strongly is the brand identified with a brand association? Favourability – How important or valuable is the brand association to customers? Uniqueness – How distinctively is the brand identified with the brand association?Brand Responses pertains to how customers react to the brand and all its marketing programs andother sources of information i.e. what customers think or feel about the brand. Brand responses canbe differentiated in relation to brand judgments and brand feelings, namely, relating to if they occurfrom the “head” or from the “heart.” (Keller, 2001)Brand judgments address customers’ own views and assessments relating to the brand. Brandjudgments entail how customers assemble all the diverse performance and imagery associations ofthe brand to generate different types of opinions (Keller, 2001).Brand feelings involves customers’ emotional responses and reactions relating to the brand.Additionally, brand feelings considers the feelings that are stimulated by the marketing activities forthe brand or by other methods (Keller, 2001).Brand Resonance refers to the nature of the relationship customers’ have and the degree to whichthey consider that they have a connection with and feel “in unison” with the brand. Resonance isdistinguished in terms of intensity or the depth of the psychological bond that customers’ have withthe brand including the level of activity created by this loyalty (e.g. repeat purchase, the extent towhich customers seek out brand information, events, other loyal customers) (Keller, 2001).2.1.2 Brand Positioning ModelKeller (2008) noted in order to put the CBBE model to work, marketers have to make numerousstrategic decisions about the exact nature of the brand building blocks they will utilise. To guidethose decisions, Keller (2008) highlighted the Brand positioning model which can come to great use
  21. 21. Page | 21when building brands as well as assist marketers to develop branding strategies and campaigns toaugment profits and long-term brand equity and follow their development along the way.Brand Positioning ModelBrand positioning is at the core of marketing strategy. Keller (2008) stated that it is the “act ofdesigning the company’s offer and image so that it occupies a distince and valued place in the targetcustomer’s minds” (p.98). A sound brand positioning facilitates in directing marketing strategy byelucidating what a brand is concerned with, how is it distinctive and how is it comparable tocompetitors’ brands, and why consumers must procure and make use of it (Keller, 2008).Keller (2008) declared there to be three main elements to a superior competitive positioning:1) A competitive frame of reference in terms of the target market and nature of competition;2) The points-of-difference in terms of strong, favourable, and unique brand associations; and3) The points-of-parity in terms of brand associations that cancel out any existing or likely points-of-difference by competitorsFigure 3: Brand Position Model (Adapted from Keller, 2008)Competitive Frame of ReferenceBrand positioning begins with establishing a frame of reference, which indicates to consumers thegoal they can anticipate in accomplishing by using a brand. Selecting the appropriate frame is vital asit determines the kinds of associations that will perform as points-of-parity and points-of-difference.The competitive frame of reference describes which other brands a brand is up against and thuswhich brands have to be the centre of analysis and investigation (Keller, 2008).SuperiorCompetitivePositioningIdentify competitveframes of reference-Well defined targetmarket-Clearly understood natureof competitionDevelop unique brandpoints-of-difference-Desirable (to consumer)-Deliverable (by the brand)-Differentiated (fromcompetition)Establish shared brandpoints-of-parity-Negate competitor points-of-difference-Demonstrate categorycredentials
  22. 22. Page | 22Target marketIdentifying the target market is significant since various consumers might have varying brandknowledge compositions and therefore varying perceptions and preferences for the brand. It couldbe hard for marketers, without this understanding, to claim which brand associations should bestrongly held, favourable, and unique. Marketers need to, firstly, define and segment the marketand thereafter choose which market segment they want to target (Keller, 2008).Nature of CompetitionPlanning to target a certain kind of customer, at least inherently, often describes the nature ofcompetition, since other firms have also planned to target that segment in the past or plan on doingso in the future, or because consumers in that segment may by now conceive of other brands intheir purchase decisions. Competitive analysis considers multitude of factors, such as the resources,capabilities, and probable intentions of other firms, so that marketers can select markets whereconsumers can be profitably served (Keller, 2008).Points of Parity and Points of DifferenceOnce marketers have set the suitable frame of reference for positioning by identifying the customertarget market and nature of competition, they can classify the basis of positioning itself. In order toachieve the appropriate positioning entails establishing the proper points-of-difference and points-of-parity associations (Keller, 2008).Points of Difference AssociationsPoints-of-difference (PODs) are traits or benefits consumers strongly link with a brand, positivelyassess, and deem they could not find these traits and benefits to the same degree with acompetitive brand. Examples in the automobile market are Volvo (safety), Toyota (quality anddependability), and Mercedes-Benz (quality and prestige). Although there is the potential fornumerous different types of associations, according to the customer-based brand equity concept,categorisations can be made as either functional, performance-related considerations, or abstract,imagery-related considerations (Keller, 2008).The concept of PODs are quite similar to other renowned maketing concepts, for example theconcept of unique selling proposition9(USP). The idea being that advertising should presentconsumers with a convincing motive to purchase a product, something which could not be matchedby the competitors (Keller, 2008).Keller (2008) stated that there are three prime conditions that decide if a brand association cangenuinely function as a point-of-difference:9Established by Rosser Reeves and the Ted Bates advertising agency in the 1950s (Keller, 2008)
  23. 23. Page | 231. It has to be desirable to consumer2. It has to be deliverable by the company3. It should be differentiating from competitors offeringsPoints of Parity AssociationsPoints-of-parity (POPs), in contrast, are associations that are not fundamentally unique to the brandbut might actually be shared with other brands. There are two types of POPs: category andcompetitive (Keller, 2008).Category points-of-parity characterise essential – but not essentially adequate – clauses for brandselection. They reside moderately at the basic product level and are most likely at the expectedproduct level10. Category POPs could change eventually owing to technological advancements, legaldevelopments, and consumer trends (Keller, 2008).Competitive points-of-parity are associations intended to cancel out competitors’ points-of-difference. Specifically if consumers can see a brand “break even” in those areas where thecompetitors are trying to find an advantage and attain advantages in other areas, the brand shouldbe in a strong, quite possibly supreme, competitive position (Keller, 2008).Therefore once choosing an initial frame of reference, one needs to work out the points-of-paritythat must be adhered to, if consumers are to recognise the brand as a genuine and credible playerwithin that frame (Keller et al.,2002).2.1.3 The Brand Identity Prism and the Brand Essence conceptAccording to Kapferer (2008), inner deep inspiration is the answer for turning into a ‘passion brand’or ‘love mark’. Namely, the brand should not be hollow, but instead have character and its ownbeliefs, and thus facilitate the consumer in realising his or her personal identity.Kapferer (2008) proposed a brand identity model from managing brands and to facilitate inexplaining and codifying brand identity. The brand identity model has six dimensions, represented by“the identity prism” (see below), at the middle one comes across the brand essence, thefundamental value it stands for. Moreover, the model methodically entails both the sender,considered as the company and recipient (receiver), considered as the customer.10For example, consumers might not regard a bank as truly a “bank” unless or until it offered a number of checking and savings plans;made safety deposit boxes available, provided travellers checks, and other similar services; and had suitable hours and automated tellermachines (Keller, 2008, p.109).
  24. 24. Page | 24Figure 4: Brand Identity Prism (Adapted from Kapferer, 2008, p.182)Physique Facet: The first facet is about the brand’s physical specialities and qualities – called thebrand physique. The brand physique comprises of a mixture of either salient objective features11oremerging ones. Furthermore, the physique is the chief constituent and its tangible added value.Nonetheless, the initial step in forming a brand is to form its physical aspects. This underlinesquestions such as: what is it concretely? and what does it look like? This facet consists of the brand’sprototype as well i.e. the flagship product that is symbolic of the brand’s qualities (Kapferer, 2008).Personality Facet: When the company and brand communicates, it gradually builds up a brandcharacter. The personality facet illustrates what kind of person the brand would be if it were ahuman being. According to Kapferer (2008) the concept of brand personality has been the key focusof brand advertising since the 1970’s. Accordingly, numerous American agencies have made it aprecondition for communication and was open to the idea of getting famous characters to be theface of brands. The simplest method of forming an instant personality is to attach a spokesperson tothe brand, whether real or figurative (Kapferer, 2008).Culture Facet: Kapferer (2008) noted that “There is no cult brand without a brand culture” (p.184).The brand should develop its own culture from which its products originate. However, the productsare not the only actual illustration of the brand culture, but also a mode of communication. Besides,in this facet, culture typifies the set of values, which feeds the brand’s inspiration. Moreover, itrefers to the basic principles governing the brand in the way of outward signs – through productsand communication. Kapferer (2008) further stated that “this essential aspect is at the core of thebrand” (p.184). The brand culture should, as well, be the main point for the consumers to perceivethe differences between brands in competition. “Brand culture plays an essential role in11Those which instantly come to mind when the brand is mentioned in a survey (Kapferer, 2008, p.182)
  25. 25. Page | 25differentiating brands. It indicates the ethos whose values are embodied in the products and servicesof the brand” (Kapferer, 2008, p.187) When the consumers select between brands, the culture isoften of high significance, for example, brands with counties of origin or brands differentiating onculture when it involves relationships could bring fundamental value to the consumer (Kapferer,2008).Relationship Facet: The relationship depicts the manner in which the brand acts towards its targetaudience i.e. what kind of relationship is created with the target audience. This facet is the one thatdefines the manner of conduct that categorises the brand the most. It also characterises the way thebrand contributes to the consumer’s experiences and feelings12.Reflection Facet: As a product communicates and gets built over time, the brand constantly tries tobuild a reflection or image of the consumer which it appears to be speaking to. Kapferer (2008)noted that there is always a confusion between reflection and target. The target describes theprospective buyers and consumers of the product. Reflection, in contrast, should be related to theway the customer wishes to be perceived on account of using the brand. Reflection is the image ofthe consumers that the brand portrays in, for example, advertisements. For instance, a luxury-clothing brand will, in its advertisements, demonstrate wealthy, sophisticated people.Self-image Facet: Kapferer (2008) stated that reflection is the target’s outward mirror and thus self-image defines the target’s personal internal mirror. The self-image typifies how the brand makes youfeel about yourself. In other words, when people purchase a piece of a high fashion design forinstance, they create an attitude towards that certain brand and sort of lifestyle and may convincethemselves that they have the capability to purchase such high-priced products. Other examplescould be the prestige the product offers or a connection to particular communities.Kapferer (2008) stated that all the six facets in the prism are interrelated, and the main notion of thebrand identity prism is communication. Kapferer believed that a silent brand is an obsolete brandand the facets characterise the boundaries within which the brand is free to change and expand. Theprism is separated into two sections – one social and one that incorporates within the brand itself,within its spirit. As a result, there are three externalization facets: physique, relationship, reflection,and three internalization facets: personality, culture and self-image. The facets of physique andpersonality constitute the sender of the identity, whilst the facets of reflection and self-image definethe recipient. The two facets relationship and culture help close any gap there might be betweenthe sender and the recipient. A sound identity prism is recognised by facets with a handful ofpowerful words (Kapferer, 2008).Brand EssenceMost advertising agencies use the phrase ‘brand essence’. According to Kapferer (2008) the conceptof ‘brand essence’ asks the questions: what do you sell? What key value does the brand propose,stand for? Besides it should, ideally be, not more than three words. Some of the debate consists of12For example, the Nike brand has a provocative relationship with its consumers that encourages them to “Just do it” (Kapferer, 2008).
  26. 26. Page | 26the idea of value – some talk about benefit, whilst the remainder talk about higher order ideals. It isindeed possible for the essence to be closely synced with the product experience for some brands,whilst it might not be possible for others. Kapferer (2008) further stated that in order to find abrand’s essence one needs to first specify a brand’s identity by exploring the identity prism to findthe key values of the brand.So what exactly is the benefit of having the brand essence concept? It has managerial value in asense that it allows for condensing the amplitude of an identity, making it simpler to project. Theproblem with the concept is that the significance of words is extremely culturally specific. Thereforesimple words like ‘natural’ will mean different things in different regions. Accordingly, to conceive abrand requires utilising the entire identity prism, where words attain their meaning in rapport withothers (Kapferer, 2008).Kapferer (2008) stated that the brand essence can basically be noted in the centre of the brandidentity prism, describing essence, values, personality and attributes (see figure below).Figure 5: Example of Jack Daniel’s Brand Essence (Adapted from Kapferer, 2008, p.199)
  27. 27. Page | 272.2 Cultural Branding Model2.2.1 Iconic and Cultural branding – Branding in mythological dimensionsAccording to Holt (2004), myths and experience take on a more vital role in cultural branding, than inthose of more conventional models of branding. Consumers buy the product to experience the mythembedded in it. The product alone is purely a medium for storytelling. A powerful cultural strategydelivers a storied product, a product that embraces distinct branded features by means of whichcustomers bear identity myths (Holt, 2004).Holt (2004) asserted that conventional methods of branding such as - mind-share branding,emotional branding and viral branding, could support other forms of branding, but do not aid incrafting iconic brands. Holt (2004) emphasised that iconic brands employ advertising to dramatisestories that assist the nation’s citizens to govern their identities in times of challenging societalshifts. The leading distinctive differences of the three conventional models weighed against thecultural branding model are demonstrated below, in Table 1.
  28. 28. Page | 28Table 1 Comparison of Characteristics across Four Branding Models (Adapted from Holt, 2004, p.14)Whilst examining Table 1 it becomes clearly obvious that cultural branding entails substantial iconicand myth making compared to mind-share branding, emotional branding and viral branding. Theconventional models as accentuated by Keller (2001; 2008) and Kapferer (2008) suggests that abrand is made up of a range of abstract associations, and therefore managers become infatuatedover which abstractions the brand should own. On the contrary, with cultural branding the brand
  29. 29. Page | 29value exists in the particulars of cultural expressions associated with the brand i.e. the distinctcultural constituents of the brand’s myth and the distinct expression of these constituents in thecommunication (Holt, 2004).2.2.2 Approach to Cultural brandingHolt (2004) conducted systematic historic research on six American iconic brands so as to describehow iconic brands are developed and eventually maintained. Holt concluded that they all followed arange of principles that summarised create the “Cultural Branding Model”, which are completelydissimilar from the principles observed in conventional models of branding.Holt (2004) stated that this model is based on certain key principles outlined below:1. Iconic brands address acute contradictions in society2. Iconic brands perform identity myths that address these desires and anxieties3. Identity myths reside in the brand, which consumers experience and share via ritual action4. These identity myths are set in populist worlds5. Iconic brands perform as activists, leading culture6. Iconic brands rely on breakthrough performances, instead of consistent communications7. Iconic brands enjoy a cultural halo effect(Holt, 2004, p. 6-10)For more details as to the axioms of cultural branding, please refer to Appendix-4.The first step in cultural branding is to outline the myth markets13currently functioning in popularculture and to aim for the myth market which is most suitable for the brand (Figure 6 shows thetypical structure of a myth market). In order to do this, managers ought to have knowledge of thethree fundamental constituents of a myth market: national ideology, cultural contradictions, andpopulist worlds.13“Contradictions in national ideology create myth markets. A huge range of cultural products compete to offer the most compellingmyths: stories that will provide symbolic sustenance to shore up the contradiction.” (Holt, 2004, p.59)
  30. 30. Page | 30Figure 6: The Structure of a Myth Market (Adapted from Holt, 2004, p.58)National IdeologyHolt (2004) stated that nations need a moral consensus to function. Citizens need to identify withthe nation, accept its institutions, and work toward its betterment. Nations are organized around aset of values that defines what is good and just. These moral imperatives propel people to pursuenational goals as they strive to meet society’s definition of success and respect. This is nationalideology, a system of ideas that creates linkages between daily life – the aspirations of individuals,families, and communities – and those of the nation. National ideology is normally the most potentroot of consumer demand for myth (Holt, 2004).Cultural ContradictionsAccording to Holt (2004), Americans do not naturally inhabit the nation’s ideology just because theyare citizens of the United States. It somewhat requires work to develop these identifications and lifeconditions can make it easier or difficult to do so. Lots of people seek for the nation’s ideals;however face difficulties in considering how it corresponds to their lives. These contradictionsamong ideology and individual experience generate intense desires and anxieties, stimulating theneed for symbolic pledges that ease over the tensions. National ideologies construct models forliving. The gap between that model and daily life works as a cultural engine, generating demand formyths that resolve these differences (Holt, 2004).Populist WorldsHolt (2004) stated that myths depend on populist worlds as natural ingredients. Populist worlds aregroups that express a distinctive ideology through their activities (a non-commercial place; e.g. folk
  31. 31. Page | 31culture, subculture or a social movement). They are powerful cultural parasites since the peoplebelieve that populist world ideologies are reliable and dependable14.In Holt and Cameron’s (2010) “Cultural Strategy: Using Innovative Ideologies to Build BreakthroughBrands”, the author’s used the term ‘source materials’ to reference these pockets of alternativeculture which brands exploit as raw ingredients to develop their myths. They mentioned that thissource material comes in three forms: subcultures, media myths, and brand assets.For the purpose of this research, consideration was given to ‘media myths’ as it related to the brandthat was being analysed (i.e. Fruitika). For this reason, it is worthwhile to provide a description of theterm media myths. Media myths: The mass media are generally faster than other forms of commerce to borrowfrom subcultures in order to promulgate fresh cultural expressions. Media myths comepackaged in all types of popular culture products – in newspapers, television programs,films, music, books, magazines, sports, politics; even in the news (Holt and Cameron, 2010).It can be a difficult task to target a myth market as they keep changing from time to time. Mythmarkets are, in truth, consistently undermined by cultural or social disruptions which can destroythe value of existing myths and spur the development of new ones. Iconic brands do not just targetthe most suitable myth market but are also perceptive to cultural disruptions. This causes them toshift their target whenever there is an opportunity presented to them. Successful iconic brands riseswiftly across cultural disruptions by cracking the new myth markets produced by the disruption andzero in on a new target (Holt, 2004).Holt (2004) stated that conventional brand models maintains that brand’s equity emerges from theuniqueness and strength of the brand essence and that equity is developed by constantly repeatingthese associations over time (Keller, 2008; Aaker, 1991a; Aaker, 1996; Aaker and Joachimsthaler,2009). Iconic brands, conversely, violate the rules of conventional models by changing their brandessence to address the fundamental shifts in society and culture which create desires and anxietiesamong the nation’s citizens.Holt (2004) maintained that when a social disruption occurs, iconic brands do not just start againfrom scratch. Whilst the brand’s myth loses steam, what remains untouched is the collectivememory of the brand’s previous stories and what these stories achieved for the people who usedthem. The success of a brand’s earlier myths creates a reputation. The brand becomes celebrated fortelling particular types of stories which are valuable in addressing specific social desires andanxieties. In explicit terms, the brand’s prior myths give rise to two types of assets – culturalauthority and political authority15(refer to Appendix-5 for the example of Budweiser as given byHolt). Holt (2004) stated that identity brands thrive when their brand owners employ these twokinds of authority to recreate the brand’s myth. However, these do not naturally give credibility to14The populist worlds provide the raw materials that iconic brands rely on to create their myths (Holt, 2004).15When a brand authors myths that people consider useful, it earns the right to tell similar kinds of myths (cultural authority) to addressthe identity desire of a similar constituency (political authority) in the future (Holt, 2004).
  32. 32. Page | 32the brand. Managers need to deduce the new myth market created by the disruption and revise thebrand’s myth market to target the new contradiction that is produced. They also need to reinterpretthe two assets to align with the important social changes to optimise the brand’s myth (Holt, 2004).2.3 Organising for Cultural Branding StrategyWhy do the world’s top consumer marketing companies have such a consistently average profile incultural strategy? Holt and Cameron (2010) found out that these organisations are entangled in amanagement model that consistently hinders cultural branding. They termed it as the ‘brandbureaucracy’. The author’s discovered the solution to this indigent branding potential which theyterm as the ‘cultural studio’.2.3.1 Key features of a Cultural StudioHolt and Cameron (2010) stated that cultural studios usually develop as a kind of corporateunderground – a secret operation in the middle of a firm governed by the brand bureaucracy. Theyhighlighted three prime characteristics which differentiate cultural studios from brandbureaucracies.I. Brand Community of Practice Accelerates Cultural LearningThe cultural studio is a cultural alternative of an idiosyncratic organisational structure – a communityof practice16– commonly acknowledged by management professionals as vital for other types ofinnovation. Communities of practice can surface in conditions where members are ultimatelycapable of collectively working on a particular problem. Cultural studios depend on flat collectiveteams, deliberately vague assignments based on formal expertise and title, which logically inspires amethod of analysis wherein the group members encourage one another to advance thecollaborative project (Holt and Cameron, 2010).II. Emergent Strategy through Iterative ExperimentationCultural studios are dependent on the iterative improvements that follow from collectiveimprovisation. The task of the studio fundamentally rests in bouncing off each other’s ideas,developing on them, pushing against them, improving them with new suggestions. The moreamendments, the more improved the idea. The work process focuses on chasing impulsive ideasestablished on vague and often disoriented ideas, rather than relying on brand guidelines. Thisprovides for valuable learning, so that with time the group can hone in on a potent cultural strategy(Holt and Cameron, 2010).16This concept originated in cognitive anthropological studies of apprenticeship, which indicated a certain kind of learning (situated) andknowledge (tacit) which arises in groups of practitioners who are extremely fixed on applying certain skills to an impending problem (Laveand Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998)
  33. 33. Page | 33III. Decision-Making Authority Rests with the StudioHolt and Cameron (2010), gave the example of Bob Rockey (ex-president of Levi Strauss) and how heallowed his agency, BBH, and their team complete responsibility to develop the best work, anddemanded full accountability.To be exact, the client places trust in the studio to make all the important calls with regards to thebrand. Therefore instead of having to wait for the “final approval” from the client side, the studiohas the power to take important decisions regarding the brand.Holt and Cameron (2010) further noted that at the large professional marketing firms governed bythe bureaucratic structure, cultural studios often cultivate ‘underground’ when a well-placedmanager is capable of creating sufficient independence within the organisation in order for theproject team to form into a cultural studio. However, for smaller firms and start-ups which arewithout a proper MBA guided marketing function, cultural studios can form organically ‘aboveground’, as members emphasise on the ideal organisational structure to further their culturalbranding objectives (Holt and Cameron, 2010).2.3.3 How the Brand Bureaucracy Stifles the Branding ProcessAccording to Holt and Cameron (2010), the brand bureaucracy dominates the branding process inmost professional consumer marketing companies. These firms organise for a more command-and-control and conventional approach to brand strategy development. Holt and Cameron (2010)highlighted three ways in which the brand bureaucracy smothers cultural innovation.I. Brand Bureaucracy’s Siloed Assembly LineHolt and Cameron (2010) noted that the siloed assembly line preferred by brand bureaucracies, onthe contrary, efficiently obliterates any prospect of swift collective learning necessitated. In brandbureaucracies, branding practices are structured to obey three distinct and definite stages – at firstresearch insights, then strategic planning, and lastly creative development. A dedicated team withthe precise qualifications is officially designated ‘authority’ of each stage. There are marketresearchers who gather the insights, brand managers and planners who devise and implementstrategies, and creatives who produce the actual design of the branding endeavour. Although theyhypothetically comprise a team, their positions, in reality, are quite specific. Each assignment is
  34. 34. Page | 34finished in sequence and offered as a finished product to the next group to embrace and forgeahead – research leads to strategy leads to designs.The siloed assembly line model depends on a rigid deadline – additions to the branding endeavourmust appear completely formed and on a timetable, straightforward to elucidate for the other teammembers at the bottom of the assembly line. Since the subsequent members have not been part ofthe earlier process and as the insight and idea have to be officially presented, typically in the shapeof a PowerPoint presentation, what is conveyed at each phase is basically a condensed description ofthe large collection of tacit insights and ideas that remain within each silo (Holt and Cameron, 2010).Holt and Cameron (2010) further stated that the detailed insights and unorthodox conclusions thatrise from the rigorous labours of a community of practice could never handle the assembly line,because they would create barriers and confusion. The siloed assembly line does not regard thequick aggregation of tacit knowledge that is crucial for cultural branding strategy.II. Brand Bureaucracy’s Literal Enforcement of Static BlueprintsBrand bureaucracies, firstly, dedicate massive resources to market research that is deemed toprovide detailed scientific measurement of the market opportunity and the type of branding that isessential for that market. Brand bureaucracies consider their branding concept – normally acollection of abstract phrases that emerges from the research process – as a rigid blueprint.Strategies always lead creative development and, once they have been consented by seniormanagement, become the bible for the branding effort and, despite everything, have to bemaintained (Holt and Cameron, 2010).According to Holt and Cameron (2010), brand bureaucrats are authorised to coordinate the brandingprocess, to make sure that all decisions taken by otherwise impulsive creative talent directlycommunicate the concept. “These managers regularly intervene in the design process to enforcetheir abstract phrases upon the many dozens of decisions that must come together to make thebranding effort successful” (Holt and Cameron, 2010, p.333). Hence, instead of fostering anenhanced strategy through creative exploration, brand bureaucrats consider it as their duty toguarantee that their initial and only strategy stays unchanged.In cultural studios, strategy is developed resulting from a long period of design expeditions. Strategy,in the cultural studio, is regarded as an interim outline of the studio’s thinking, which membersbelieve will become outdated and need modification as the studio cultivates a better understandingthrough its continuous cooperation (Holt and Cameron, 2010).III. Command and Control ManagementThe roles, responsibilities, and ownership a certain project or campaign are highly fragmented andtemporary in brand bureaucracies. Very often, sufficient ownership is authorised eventually to thebrand bureaucrat with the most influence (Holt and Cameron, 2010, p.335).
  35. 35. Page | 35Holt and Cameron (2010), stated that brand bureaucracies imposes a command-and-controlapproach that is dictated by the ‘last word’ of senior management, even though official allocation ofcertain assignments is given to mid-level managers and their creative partners. The brandbureaucracy, therefore, looks to create branding opportunities, concepts, and executions thatsupport the biases of senior managers. “Since senior manager have no time to delve into thecontextual details of the branding effort, this means in practice that the work is edited to favourstereotypes, conventional opinions, and platitudes, hardly the stuff of cultural branding strategy.”(Holt and Cameron, 2010, p.335)Brand bureaucracies suppose that the more authority they exercise over the branding practice, itwill further improve their chances of getting a positive outcome. Conversely, the cultural studiopromotes an empowering management style wherein the client bestows trust in the studio to makeall the vital and necessary calls related to the branding efforts. The organisation model keeps thebrand bureaucracies command-and-control process on the low, allowing for broad decision-makingpower to the studio (Holt and Cameron, 2010).
  36. 36. Page | 363.0 Research objectiveUsing the Bangladesh market as the context of study, the aim of the research was to investigate theapproach of brand building and brand strategy employed by staff in advertising agencies. Thebranding model(s) that is predominantly employed by them while developing brand communicationsto demonstrate whether cultural branding themes and conventional branding themes were present.In this instance, Keller’s (2008; 2001) Brand Positioning and CBBE model and Kapferer’s (2008) BrandIdentity Prism are considered to be representatives of conventional branding models whereas Holt’s(2004) Cultural branding model will represent the cultural approach to branding. Furthermore, theresearch intended to examine the significance of the cultural branding model proposed by DouglasHolt and further will take into consideration Kapferer’s brand identity prism to suggest a revisedmodel for cultural branding. The final aim of the research was to identify if the organisationalstructure in the advertising agencies allowed any form of a cultural studio to flourish or whether theconcept of the brand bureaucracy was more prevalent.3.1 Research questions1. What is the branding model currently used for brand communications in the advertisingagencies?2. How do they currently carry out brand strategy development?3. Are there any cultural branding themes present in their current model, brandcommunications and branding practices?4. Are there any conventional branding themes present in their current model and brandcommunications and branding practices?5. Do they have something equivalent to a cultural studio or is the organisational setting thatof a brand bureaucracy?
  37. 37. Page | 374.0 MethodologyThe aim of this research was to identify the branding model currently employed by the staff workingin the advertising agencies in Bangladesh, to discover if cultural branding themes were present intheir current practice to brand building and brand strategy development.To research the significance of the cultural branding strategy, the researcher travelled to the officesof the top five advertising agencies in Bangladesh – Asiatic JWT, Grey, Adcomm (Lowe + Partnersaffiliate), Unitrend Limited (McCann Erickson affiliate), and Carrot Communication (Market AccessGroup) – who were predominantly responsible for developing branding strategies for local andglobal brands. The study was based on a single city i.e. Dhaka, since it is the capital city and most ofthe agencies had their offices based there.4.1 Research ApproachIt is significant to explain the researcher’s philosophical stance to reinforce and rationalise thechosen methodology. Easterby-Smith et al (2002, p.27) stated that establishing the philosophicalstance distinctly at the outset can facilitate in “clarifying research designs” as well as facilitate indetermining “which designs will work and which will not”. The researcher followed aConstructionism epistemology where “meaning is not discovered, but constructed” (Crotty, 1998,p.9). This kind of approach is relevant when the epistemological view deems “...meaning comes intoexistence and out of our engagement with the realities of the world” (Crotty, 1998, p.8). Byinteracting with the respondents in the research, the researcher deemed to construct meaning aswell as contribute to existing knowledge.4. 2 Methods of Data CollectionThe research was conducted with an exploratory interpretivist approach. A discussion guide wascomposed of key questions to ask the interviewees (see Appendix-2). Semi-structured in-depthinterviews were carried out with the participants, over a period of three weeks, because it wasparticularly adapted to qualitative research (Saunders et al., 2009) and “allows much deeperprobing” (Hair et al., 2011, p.194) than other methods. This is crucial so as to gain relevant insightsregarding the concerned research and minimises prejudice through open-ended questions (Thorpeet al., 2008). All interviews were conducted face-to-face in the participants’ offices. The samplingmethod for the research was “convenience sampling”, involving the selection of the most accessiblesubjects (Marshall, 1996). The sample encompassed six key personnel17. These informants werechosen because they were involved in developing regional and global campaigns, whether asstrategic planners, account directors, creative directors or managing directors. These personnel wereall based in Dhaka city. The interviews lasted for approximately one hour. The following step was to17These relate to the key personnel responsible for brand strategy development, brand building, brand planning and creative execution attheir relative agencies.
  38. 38. Page | 38transcribe every interview so as to derive a reliable material out of the interviews and identify thecultural and conventional branding themes as well as the current organisational setting.Additionally, the interview also utilised the photo elicitation technique (the stimulus materials arepresented in Appendix-3). Photo elicitation is the “simple idea of inserting a photograph into aresearch interview” (Harper, 2002, p.14). The principle of this research method was that visualimages (e.g. photos, drawings, graphics, etc) draw out different types of memories, sensations andinformation than verbal ones (Whyte, 1984; Johnson and Griffith, 1998; Harper, 2002). The imagescan either be produced by the respondents or the researcher (Banks, 2001, p.87-99; Pink, 2001,p.68). In this study the researcher offered the interviewees’ with the relevant images. The techniquehas been considered helpful in studies that are empirical, and can possibly add reliability and validityto a word-based survey (Harper, 2002).4.3 Interview StructureDuring the three weeks spent in Dhaka, Bangladesh, ten in-depth interviews were conducted. Thename, company represented, and designation of the interviewee, the duration and language inwhich the interview was carried out are highlighted below in Table 2.However, due to the time constraints and excessive data, only six out of the ten interviews werecoded and utilised for this research. The interviews which were finally used for this research is alsostated below. The six interviews which were coded are all presented in Appendix- 9.Table 2: Breakdown of the Respondents from the Interviews and Agency represented in Dhaka, Bangladesh
  39. 39. Page | 394.4 Ethical ConsiderationsAiming to carry out a research in a professional and ethical manner, from the beginning of researchthe researcher followed a self-regulatory code of conduct as suggested by the Market ResearchSociety (MRS, 2010). According to that the researcher ensured a transparent data collection andconfidential handling.All respondents were informed at the beginning of the interview that they were being recorded andhad granted permission to do so. The researcher also made the respondents aware that: “All of yourresponses will be kept confidential” in order to make them fully aware of the confidentiality of theiranswers and additionally made them conscious of the purpose of the research. Moreover theinterviews conducted were on a voluntary basis and it was guaranteed that respondents wouldnever be in risk of being affected by harmful or adverse activities. Due to the sensitivity of the natureof this research, the researcher made certain to receive the informed consent of the respondents soas to use their real names and the organisations they represented (McGivern, 2009).Furthermore, it was emphasised that the data collected and utilised in this research will not beexploited for any other purpose besides this research, unless prior consent is granted of themembers involved in the research.
  40. 40. Page | 405.0 Data AnalysisThe interviews were firstly conducted in Bengali and then transcribed into English. Data weredecoded to “reflect on a passage of data to decipher its core meaning” (p.4) according to Saldana’s(2009) Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Additionally, the researcher tried to identifysimilar themes and patterns among the findings, so as to develop categories which could be appliedto different sections of each transcript to recognise the theory. The categorisation was significantbecause not only was it descriptive but also be an appropriate method of identifying relationshipsbetween categories (Gibbs and Gibbs, 2008). To identify the existing branding models of the Keller(2008; 2001), Kapferer (2008) and Holt (2004) and Holt and Cameron’s (2010) notion of theorganisational structure in the form of a ‘brand bureaucracy’ or a ‘cultural studio’ present in thetranscripts, a deductive approach was undertaken. Following from that an inductive approach wasapplied in order to identify emergent extensions or any anomalies of Holt’s (2004) cultural brandingmodel. All the steps discussed above, can also be observed through the following chart, which isbased on Chris Hart’s (1998) paper; “Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social ScienceImagination in Research”.Figure 7: Data Analysis ApproachThe photo elicitation technique was expected to stimulate more substantive and comprehensivematerial from the respondents (Collier, 1967; Collier and Collier, 1999; Ziller, 1990), which theresearcher hoped to draw on to see whether the respondents were conscious of the idea of what acultural branding strategy is. This would help in identifying whether the strategy was beingconsciously employed in the concerned agencies. Furthermore, this insight would add morereliability and validity to the word-based interview.Data Collection•Lengthy semi-structured interviews•Focus: whether and to what extentstaff were conscious of taking acultural approach to branding;branding model currently utilitsedby staff; current process of brandstrategy development;did the stafforganise for a cultural studio or wasthe setting more bureaucratic.Data Analysis -Deductive/Inductive Approach•Coding the data•Themes, patterns and categoriesidentified•Applying findings to Kellers brandpositiong and CBBE model, Kapferersidentity prism, Holts cultural brandingmodel and Holt and Cameronsalternative organisational structure•Extension and anomalies to Holtscultural branding model identifiedInterpretation•Verification of models andorganisational structure•Modifications to the culturalbranding model
  41. 41. Page | 416.0 Analysis of FindingsThis section presents the primary data that the researcher had obtained from the in-depthinterviews of the six personnel in five differing advertising agencies. These data included relevantinformation on brand strategy development in the various agencies, current mode of organising andviews and consciousness on cultural branding. The intention being to analyse them to discover whichbranding model is exercised in practice, whether there were themes of the conventional and thecultural approach to branding in their practices, whether the organisational setting facilitated orsmothered cultural branding and respondents’ consciousness about the idea behind culturalbranding.6.1 Conventional Models/Approaches of BrandingExploration of the current brand building model used by the ad agencies is a key objective of thisresearch. For this research, Keller’s (2008) Brand Positioning Model will be used to examine this as itbetter relates to the different branding tools used by different agencies. Moreover, Keller’s (2001)CBBE Model and Kapferer’s (2008) Brand Identity Prism will also be examined to identify the processof brand strategy development taken by the agencies. This will help to identify themes of theconventional approaches to branding. Therefore literature review and findings regardingconventional approaches to branding will be based on the key constructs of Keller’s (2008) BrandPositioning Model, Keller’s (2001) CBBE Model and Kapferer’s (2008) Identity prism.6.1.1 Keller’s Brand Positioning ModelThe initial aim was to learn about the branding model that was currently used by the five differentagencies interviewed. What was revealed from the interviews was that five personnel were applyinga model which related to Keller’s (2008) brand positioning model.As noticed from Saniat’s comment above, the model applied by his agency basically looked atchoosing a specific angle to attack a market with the brand i.e. designing the company’s offering andimage to occupy a distinctive place in the minds of the target market (Keller et al., 2002). Saniat’scomments on studying the ‘target group’s lifestyle’ and doing a ‘competitor analysis’ relates to thefirst component of defining a superior competitive positioning – identifying a competitive frame ofreference, in terms of the target market and the nature of competition. Keller et al (2002) noted thatbrand positioning begins with establishing a frame of reference, which indicates to consumers theaspiration they can anticipate accomplishing by using a brand.After defining the basis of positioning through establishing the suitable frame of reference forpositioning, Saniat’s comments further revealed the second component of defining a superior
  42. 42. Page | 42competitive positioning – developing unique brand points-of difference in terms of strong,favourable, and unique brand associations.Saniat spoke about developing a ‘Chinese’ car brand in Bangladesh and stated how he has todevelop a unique points-of-difference association that is: Desirable to consumers (fact that it is a Chinese car brand); Deliverable by the company (Chinese car brand); and Differentiated from competition (not as good as a Japanese product)Keller (2008) stated these as the three prime conditions that determine whether a brand associationcan truly function as a point-of-difference.Keller et al (2002), further noted that once a frame of reference is correctly identified, even theseemingly conflicting points of difference can be compelling. Furthermore, according to Keller et al(2002) strong, favourable, unique associations that differentiate a brand from others in the similarframe of reference are essential to efficacious brand positioning.Moreover, Saniat’s thought process about brand building also related to Keller’s brand positioningmodel, in the sense that the brand should create a unique point-of-difference which is desirable bythe customer, deliverable by the brand and more importantly differentiated from the competition.A similar case was evident in Adcomm, where the initial thought process commenced withidentifying a superior competitive positioning for the brand as can be noticed from Farhan’scomment below.

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