Branding challenges and opportunitiesBrands build their strength by providing customers consistently superior product and serviceexperiences. A strong brand is a promise or bond with customers. In return for their loyalty,customers expect the firm to satisfy their needs better than any other competitors.Brands will always be important given their fundamental purpose – to identify and differentiateproducts and services. Good brand makes people’s lives a little easier and better. People are loyal tobrands that satisfy their expectations and deliver on its brand promise. The predictably goodperformance of a strong brand is something that consumer will always value.The challenges to brands1) The shift from strategy to tactics: - With the increasing pressure to generate ever-improvingprofitability, it is often considered a luxury for managers to develop long-term strategic plans. This isfurther exacerbated by short-term goal setting, which is frequently designed primarily for theconvenience of the financial community.2) The shift from advertising to promotions: - As a consequence of the increasing pressure on brandmanager to achieve short-term goals, there is a temptation to cut back on advertising support, sinceit is viewed as a long-term brand-building investment, in favour of promotions which generate muchquicker short-term results.3) On-Line shopping: - The Internet is facilitating on-line shopping. On-line shopping is different fromtraditional mail order because:• Brands are available all the time and from all over the world;• Information and interactions are in real time;
• Consumers can choose between brands which meet their criteria, as a result of selectinginformation which is in a much more convenient format for them, rather than the standardcatalogue format.This poses threats to brands, some components of added value, agent or the retail outlet whichoriginally added value by matching consumers with suppliers, may be eliminated.4) Opportunities from technology: - Brand marketers are now able to take advantage of technologyto again a competitive advantage through time. Technology is already reducing the lead time neededto respond rapidly to changing customers need and minimizing any delays in the supply chain.5) More sophisticated buyers: - In business-to-business marketing, there is already an emphasis onbringing together individuals from different departments to evaluate suppliers’ new brands. As interdepartmental barriers break down even more, sellers are going to face increasingly sophisticatedbuyers who are served by better information system enabling them to pay off brand suppliersagainst each other.6) The growth of corporate branding:- With media inhabiting individual brand advertising, manyfirms are putting more emphasis on corporate branding, unifying their portfolio of brands throughclearer linkages with the corporation, which clarifies the those all the line brands adhere to. Throughcorporate identity program functional aspects of individual brands in the firm’s portfolio can beaugmented, enabling the consumer to select brands through assessment of the values of competingfirms. Firms developed powerful corporate identity programmes by recognizing the need first toidentify their internal corporate values, from which flow employee attitudes and specific types ofstaff behavior secondly, to devise integrated communication programmes for different externalaudiencesBranding is a process that is used by the businesses to utilize marketing strategies to enhance their product orservice image so that it is more readily recollected by the customer. Branding helps the product or service tomake a favorable impact on the target customer while the branding concepts help in outlining the guidelines thatshould be followed during the branding process.Branding of any product and service should follow some constants that help in establishing a brand in the longrun. The internet branding strategies should have the following constants in your branding formula:Branding should be simpleThe most popular brands in the world have very simple, easy to remember logos. The reason behind this conceptis, we tend to remember and associate ourselves with simple things and choose to ignore or forget complexideas.Branding should be differentYour brand should have individuality, should be different. The brand should stand out from other similar product
or service; otherwise the whole idea of branding is lost. Only an individualistic brand makes a mark on the psycheof the target customer and he remembers it when he makes a buying decision. This is why most of the MNCstake strict action on trademark violations.Branding should be safePlay safe and do your research if you are catering to international audience. If you are using symbols in your logomake sure they do not offend the target market in any way or you can chances of shutting your shop beforemaking any sales. Therefore keep the regional and cultural sensibilities in mind during the branding process.The three most important branding concepts that are the basis of all branding processes are brand promise,brand attributes and brand personality.A brand promise is a promise or commitment the company makes to its customers. The promise should beclearly stated and tells about the most important benefit of the product or customer.Brand attributes are the features that describe the customerï¿½s experience like quality, innovation or customerservice. The attributes help the company to deliver the brand promise. Brand personality is the characteristic thecustomer experiences when they experience the brand. Thus the essence of the brand is a symbiosis of all three.Branding is assembling of various marketing mix medium into a whole so as to give you anidentity. It is nothing but capturing your customers mind with your brand name. It gives animage of an experienced, huge and reliable business.It is all about capturing the niche market for your product / service and about creating aconfidence in the current and prospective customers’ minds that you are the unique solutionto their problem.The aim of branding is to convey brand message vividly, create customer loyalty, persuadethe buyer for the product, and establish an emotional connectivity with the customers.Branding forms customer perceptions about the product. It should raise customerexpectations about the product. The primary aim of branding is to create differentiation.Strong brands reduce customers’ perceived monetary, social and safety risks in buyinggoods/services. The customers can better imagine the intangible goods with the help of brandname. Strong brand organizations have a high market share. The brand should be given goodsupport so that it can sustain itself in long run. It is essential to manage all brands and buildbrand equity over a period of time. Here comes importance and usefulness of brandmanagement. Brand management helps in building a corporate image. A brand manager hasto oversee overall brand performance. A successful brand can only be created if the brandmanagement system is competent.Following are the important concepts of brand management: Definition of Brand Brand Name Brand Attributes Brand Positioning Brand Identity Sources of Brand Identity
Brand ImageBrand Identity vs Brand ImageBrand PersonalityBrand AwarenessBrand LoyaltyBrand AssociationBuilding a BrandBrand EquityBrand Equity & Customer EquityBrand ExtensionCo-brandingBrand Equity is the value and strength of the Brand that decides its worth. It can also bedefined as the differential impact of brand knowledge on consumers response to the BrandMarketing. Brand Equity exists as a function of consumer choice in the market place.The concept of Brand Equity comes into existence when consumer makes a choice of aproduct or a service. It occurs when the consumer is familiar with the brand and holdssome favourable positive strong and distinctive brand associations in the memory.Brand Equity can be determined by measuring: Returns to the Share-Holders. Evaluating the Brand Image for various parameters that are considered significant. Evaluating the Brand’s earning potential in long run. By evaluating the increased volume of sales created by the brand compared to other brands in the same class. The price premium charged by the brand over non-branded products. From the prices of the shares that an organization commands in the market (specifically if the brand name is identical to the corporate name or the consumers can easily co-relate the performance of all the individual brands of the organization with the organizational financial performance. OR, An amalgamation of all the above methods.Factors contributing to Brand Equity 1. Brand Awareness 2. Brand Associations 3. Brand Loyalty
4. Perceived Quality: refers to the customer’s perception about the total quality of the brand. While evaluating quality the customer takes into account the brands performance on factors that are significant to him and makes a relative analysis about the brand’s quality by evaluating the competitors brands also. Thus quality is a perceptual factor and the consumer analysis about quality varies. Higher perceived quality might be used for brand positioning. Perceived quality affect the pricing decisions of the organizations. Superior quality products can be charged a price premium. Perceived quality gives the customers a reason to buy the product. It also captures the channel member’s interest. For instance - American Express.5. Other Proprietary Brand Assets: Patents, Trademarks and Channel Inter- relations are proprietary assets. These assets prevent competitors attack on the organization. They also help in maintaining customer loyalty as well as organization’s competitive advantage.