A RESEARCH PROPOSAL ON MARKETING BRAND MANAGEMENT This proposal is about one particular aspect of marketing, “Brand Management”. Marketing is a vast discipline so as a part of writing this proposal; I chose one particular aspect of it, which will provide information about several aspects of brands in global scenario. The main objectives of writing this proposal are: 1. Understanding the concept of brand and brand management 2. How brand names get evolved 3. Relationship of brand management and marketing 4. Different issues regarding brands in global scenario 5.
Branding challenges This is the age of marketing. Today the success of any organization depends on the level of its marketing ability. Marketing has gained a great deal of importance in modern organizations to achieve its goals. However the concept of marketing continue to change along with the changes in nature of competition and consumer demands. According to Kotler and Armstrong –“ Marketing is a process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want by creating and exchanging products and value with each other”. Marketing is like giving medicine to a patient.
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Patient identifies a problem within them and then the health personnel delivers specific medicine to cure the problem. Marketing is also the same. Customer has certain problems or feels some deficiency and marketing delivers them with the right product to deal with. Marketing is the process of communicating the value of a product or service to customers. Marketing might sometimes be interpreted, as the art of selling products, but sales is only one part of marketing. Actually “selling” is traditional of marketing and “marketing” is a modern form of selling.
As the term "Marketing" may replace "Advertising" it is the overall strategy and function of promoting a product or service to the customer. The concept of marketing has changed over time. Previously, people preferred only production and selling as a part of marketing. But as the competition rose, they started valuing product quality, customer relationship, societal responsibilities as well as other supply chain participants. From a societal point of view, marketing is the link between a society’s material requirements and its economic patterns of response.
Marketing satisfies these needs and wants through exchange processes and building long-term relationships. . Marketing can be looked at as an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, delivering and communicating value to customers, and managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organisation and its shareholders Major concepts related with marketing can be outlined as: a. Studying consumer behavior b. Brand management c. Selling and sales management d. Managing market intermediaries e. Service marketing f.
Identifying customer needs, wants, market segment and product positioning g. Distribution logistics and supply chain relationships h. Responsibilities towards society and customer In this proposal, we focus on one of the major aspect of marketing, Brand management. Branding has been around for centuries. The word "brand" is derived from the Old Norse brandr meaning "to burn. " Initially, branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot iron stamp, and was subsequently used in business, marketing and advertising.
A brand is the most valuable fixed asset of a Corporation. For any organization to make its identity in the market requires a specific domain name. It helps to get recognized in the market. Brand name gives identity and helps it get recognized differently in the market. A modern example of a brand is Coca Cola, which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company. Similarly, Harley Davidson, Apple, Samsung, Adidas, Nike, Britannia etc. are other examples of brand. According to American Marketing Association (AMA) –“ A brand is a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a ombination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competition. ” BusinessDictionary. com describes brand management as the process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand so that the name is associated with positive results. Brand Management is actually the process of maintaining the value of brand and revising any associated entities as per the need of situation. It plays a crucial role in the success and failure of the organization. Why is brand an important aspect of modern marketing?
The reasons are: 1. Means of identification as a unique name in the market 2. Means of legally protecting the unique features 3. Signal of quality level to customers 4. Base for competitive advantage 5. Increases level of awareness of the brand 6. Customers feel safe to negotiate with registered brands 7. Gives idea about product association 8. Brand is a promise made by the company to customer 9. It serves as a means of advertising 10. It explains what the product is associated with Several companies put their brand names based on different variables.
Some name their product on the basis of their owners. Honda motors were named after Soichiro Honda, Harley Davidson motors was found by combined efforts of William S. Harley, Arthur Davidson and Walter Davidson. TATA motors was named after Jamsedji Tata(JRD Tata), Adidas sports wear was named after Adi Dasler and Bajaj auto was named after Jamnalal Bajaj. Some have named the products after the name of places like Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, British Airways, Sanmiguel beer, hamburger named after “hamburg”, a place in Germany, Hindustan petroleums named after “Hindustan” meaning India and others.
Brand names named after names of animals and birds are Dove soap, Mustang automobiles, Greuhound buses, Panther condoms and others. Brand names has always been an important aspect of marketing strategy. Organizations spend millions searching for a valid name for the organization. They make sure that the names suit to the product or service the company is offering. They too ensure that those names do not collide with brand of other organization. Eg: World Wide Fund (WWF) filed World Wrestling Federation (WWF) a legal suit for keeping a similar name. Due to this world wrestling federation had to change its name.
Therefore choosing brand name is a very sensitive decision. For choosing a brand name, an organization has to follow given procedures: 1. Define objectives 2. Generate possible names 3. Screen initial candidates 4. Study the candidate names 5. Properly research final candidate 6. Select the final name Therefore to establish a strong brand, it has to take in consideration the following blocks of brand building: Resonance Resonance Imagery Imagery Feelings Feelings Salience Salience Performance Performance Judgements Judgements Fig: Brand Building Blocks Fig: Brand Building Blocks
Salience is the level of awareness regarding the brand to the customers. It checks the ability of a customer to recall and recognize a particular brand or its logo, symbol, name. After the customer’s awareness is identified, it checks the performance of the brand regarding how reliable and durable the brand is. It also checks the serviceability i. e. ease of repairing the product if needed. After the performance is identified, it views the imagery aspect i. e. who uses the brand, conditions of use of the product, brand personality, values etc. It is the way the people think about a brand and is more concerned with intangible aspect.
Brand judgments are customer’s personal opinions about the evaluations about the brand that consumers form by combining brand performance and imagery blocks. Customers judge the brand on the basis of quality, credibility and superiority. Another building block is feelings with the brand. They are customer’s emotional responses and reactions towards the brand. It checks what type of feeling they get by the use of the brand like feeling of warmth, fun, security, self respect, excitement status etc. Final brand building is resonance. It is the ultimate relationship with the brand.
Resonance is measured in terms of intensity of psychological bond with the brand and the degree of loyalty towards the brand. Positioning aspect of brand In marketing, positioning is the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization. Brand positioning is at the heart of marketing strategy. It is the act of designing the company’s offers and image so that it occupies a distinct and valued place in the minds of target customers. As the name implies, positioning means finding proper location in the minds of customer.
Any company cannot formulate its marketing strategy without positioning its brand in certain aspects. Positioning explains what the brand intends to provide to the customer. It reveals what the product is related to. Brand positioning describes how a brand is different from its competitors and where, or how, it sits in a particular market. The company has to keep in mind that positioning should be clear, distinct and relevant. For example, Apple and Windows both are well known brand. Consumers are aware that they both are computer brands dealing in entertainment, but Apple stands for style, cool quotient, iPod etc. here as Windows stands for world class operating system, quality etc. Consumer can easily identify point of similarities and points of difference between the two brands. This process of creating point of similarities and points of difference in consumer’s mind is called Brand Positioning. Companies position their brands in different ways so as to create a distinct image in the market. They may position it on different bases like low price, high price, size, package, quality, gender, endurance, substitution and many others. Positioning of different brands: 1. Low price brand: Wal-Mart retail store . High price brand: Rolex, Mercedes Benz 3. Quality brand: IBM, Toyota, Motorola 4. Endurance: CEAT tyres, Land rover, Honda 5. Size: Nano car, Slim Motorola mobile 6. Gender: Gillette Razor, Axe perfumes, Fair ; Handsome for men Femine magazine, Avon cosmetics, Fair ; Lovely for women 7. Substitution: Sugar free Natura has placed itself as substitution for sugar and Eveready milk powder for liquid milk Similarly Coca-Cola has positioned as a cold drink useful in summer and there are many feelings associated with it and not only as a mere drink.
On the other hand Pepsi has positioned as a cold drink for the young generations and Mountain Dew has presented its image as a drink for adventure loving customers. Sometimes, same positioning does not work out for the company in long run. It has to reposition and revitalize its brand over times either to revive or strengthen its brand. Different marketing strategies, several research plans has to be worked out and sometimes-even management structure has to be changed in order to revalue the brand. There are several Brand reinforcement strategies that the organization can adopt overtime to cope with the changing situations.
Some of them are: 1. Maintaining brand consistency: Brands should be able to provide a consistent image to occupy a shelf in the mind of customers. If not, it may fail in the market situation. For example Gateway computers applied various strategies and themes to extend the brand with mergers and portfolios. Due to this, customers confused with its positioning and its stock price reduced from USD100 to USD 3 in 2005. 2. Protecting sources of brand equity: Any organization should know its strength factor. It should identify its major source of brand equity to sustain in the market.
At certain times, brand have to revitalize itself since there many forces acting in the market to rule out other brands. Companies might have to adapt to following Brand Revitalization strategies to resurrect itself: 1. Expanding brand awareness: Brand awareness can be expanded through: a) Identify new usage opportunities Charles Revlon introduced nail polish not only as a matter of covering nails but as a match for dress, style sense and beauty. b) Identify completely new ways to use the brand Wrigley’s chewing gum introduced itself as not only a gum but as an alternative for smoking. 2. Improving brand image:
Different ways of improving brand images are: a) Repositioning the brand Harley Davidson’s motorbikes were previously believed to be used by rowdies. The riders who rode Harley had some rough like character like long hairs, big muscular arms, and tattoos painted on their bodies and moustache and beards. Those made people perceive that only rowdies rode those motors. Later Harley Davidson relaunched itself as a bike for gentlemen leaving apart its previous image. Similarly Harley encouraged lady riders to take the riders edge by introducing a poster of a lady rider with a tagline –“I am not a back rest”. b) Changing brand elements
Kentucky Fried Chicken changed its name (brand element) to KFC (although, it is only short version of the full name) to perceive a healthier image. Also, Federal Express (a courier company) changed its name to FedEx to sound more professional. c) Entering new markets Brunswick Billiards introduced new strategy to pool market to enforce its sales targeting female customers. Initially wives would not approve the purchase of billiard board in their home as it was called a male type of game. Later it introduced elegant designs targeting design conscious women who would now purchase a pool table on aesthetics ground and a showpiece to room.
Lets take an example of a company who adopted Brand revitalization strategy to resurrect its brand position after being at height at its low: Lacoste sportswear, founded in France, 1933 became a style icon by selling polo shirt featuring a crocodile logo in it. In 1980, when it was owned by General Mills (cereal makers), it failed to keep up with fashion trends and sales began to drop. Company cut prices and started to sell it to discounter’s like Kmart and Wal-Mart that further damaged brands image. Then in 2002, Robert Siegel, former Levi’s executive was appointed to oversee the brand in United States.
He withdrew Lacoste products from all non-luxury stores and discounters. It regenerated its fashion trends by introducing tight fitting shirts for women that raised revenues of women wear from 7% to 33%. It opened own brand boutiques in fashionable shopping areas. Due to this, Lacoste’s US revenues rose more than 280% between 2003 and 2005. There are several challenges to products today sometimes because of the competition and sometimes due to the implementation of wrong product strategy. An organization has to keep in mind the nature of product and suitable marketing strategy.
Marketing campaigns has to be launched depending upon what class of customer it is intending to serve, gender of customer, objectives of campaign whether it is market penetration or improving market share or survival mode. Appropriate strategy at the right time invites fortunes and mistimed marketing strategy might backfire the organization. Therefore right plan for the right brand is always critical. Marketing strategies for effective brand building 1. Selecting brand elements like name, logo, symbols, slogans, and packaging. 2.
Adopting proper product strategy like achieving a satisfactory level of customers perception towards the quality of the product and relationship marketing 3. Adopting pricing strategy like improving consumers price perception towards the brand and relevant price setting 4. Promotion through marketing communication options and integrating marketing communication programs like advertising, direct selling, public relation, and trade promotion etc. 5. Leveraging secondary associations: brands may be linked to other entities that have their own knowledge structures in the mind of customers.
When brands are linked to these entities customers assume that those characteristics that they hold about those entities also may be true with the brand. For example when Adidas brand was endorsed by tennis star Roger Federer (then No. 1 rank), then people who knew Federer as best tennis player also developed similar attitude towards the features of Adidas brand. There are certain strategies for building a strong brand. Some of them are: Licensing: Licensing creates contractual arrangements whereby firms can use names, logos, and characters of other brands to market their brands for some fixed fee.
People pay fees to use popular names such as Harry potter, Spider-Man, SpongeBob, Angry Birds or any famous celebrity in their products so that they too gain popularity easily. For example, when you buy a copy of Microsoft Office you are not actually purchasing Office--you are entering into a license agreement that allows you to use the product under the specified terms and conditions they have outlined in the license agreement. Similarly designer such as Calvin Klein command large royalties for the right to use his name in variety of merchandise. Franchising:
A franchise is a license issued to someone to operate a business using a common brand name, a common operating support system and involving the payment of initial and/or ongoing fees. A franchise also offers the franchisee with the ability to capitalize on the know-how and systems that have been proven to be successful. . Small-business owners pay companies for the rights to use their trademarks, services and products in return for support and company guidelines on how to run their particular businesses. Many industries have companies using the franchise model, including food, lodging and business services.
For example McDonalds has over 75 percent of its worldwide restaurants independently owned. Business owners can purchase a new or existing restaurant. An initial down payment is required, and the rest of the cost can be financed for up to seven years. During the terms of the franchise agreement, ongoing fees include rent and service fees. It is one of the world’s famous franchises. Some challenges in Brand Management: 1. Brand switching customers 2. Media fragmentation i. e. introduction of several medias for promotion that may lead to increase cost and cluttering of information 3. Increased competition 4. Growing need for customer concern . Sometimes socio-cultural issues also leads to create problems in brand management. For example nudity in advertising are strictly banned in South Asia. Due to this, advertisements of brands of apparels, innerwear, and lingerie may not produce the desired response. 6. Sometimes the brand name themselves may imply different meanings in several countries. Some of the global branding Mishaps are presented below: a. When Braniff translated a slogan touting its upholstery, “Fly Leather”, it came out in Spanish as “Fly Naked”. b. Coors put its slogan, “Turn it Loose”, into Spanish, where it was read as “Suffer from Diarrhea”. c.
Chicken magnate Frank Perdue’s line, “It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken”, sounds much more interesting in Spanish: “It takes a sexually stimulated man to make a chicken affectionate”. d. Why Chevy Nova never sold well in Spanish-speaking countries: No Va means “It doesn’t go” in Spanish. e. When Pepsi started marketing its product in China, they translated their slogan, “Pepsi brings you back to life”, pretty literally. The slogan in Chinese meant “Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From The Grave”. f. When Coca-Cola first shipped to China, they named the product something that when pronounced sounded like, “Coca-Cola”.
The only problem was that the characters used meant, “Bite the wax tadpole”. They later changed to set of characters that mean “Happiness in the mouth”. g. A hair products company, Clairol introduced the “Mist Stick”, a curling iron, into Germany only to find out that Mist is slang for manure in German. h. When Gerber first started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the United States, with the cute baby on the label. Later they found out that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what is inside because most people cant read. i.
Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors had to rename its Pajero in Spanish-speaking countries because the term related to masturbation. j. Toyota Motor’s MR2 model dropped the number in France because the combination sounded like a French swearword. Here is a list of Top ten Brands in year 2012 1. Coca-Cola : It’s brand value raised by 9% than last year. Last year too it was Ranked as number one. 2. Apple : Despite Steve Jobs passed by, its brand value rose by 129% from last year. Last year it was at number eight. 3. IBM : It’s brand value rose by 8%. Last year it was at number two. 4.
Google : It’s brand value rose by 26%. 5. Microsoft : It’s market value went down by 2%. Last year it was No. 3. 6. GE : General Electric’s brand value rose by 2%. last year, it was No. 5. 7. McDonald : It’s brand value rose by 13% than last year. 8. Intel : It’s brand value increased by 12%. 9. Samsung : It’s brand value rose to 40% from last year. 10. Toyota : It’s brand value rose to 9% from last year. Source: International Business Times. Conclusion In the above-mentioned information, we have seen that brand management is really an essential element in marketing.
No company can thrive towards success if it is not able to choose the right branding strategy according to the market situation. Global competition has made it even more complex. Brand name is the one that identifies the company in the market and if not careful, brand name may be solely responsible for causing downfall of the company. I chose this topic, “Brand Management”, because in my Bachelors Degree, I studied Marketing as my course of specialization in last two semesters. I am very interested in studying marketing because it a dynamic subject and I like studying more about Companies, their Branding Strategies and the easons why they succeded or failed. I am very much interested to do the marketing course in my Masters Degree. This will give me more exposure to the complex business structure and as well as help me guide my career in this field. References Websites www. wikipedia. com www. google. com www. BusinessDictionary. com www. managementstudyguide. com www. whatis. com www. slideshare. com www. entreprenuer. com www. bigkerbang. com www. internationalbusinesstimes. com Books Strategic Brand Management, Keller, Kevin Lane Fundamentals of Marketing, Agrawal, Dr. Govind Ram
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