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Brand management

Brand management begins with having a thorough


knowledge of the term brand. It includes developing a
promise, making that promise and maintaining it. It means
defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the
brand. Brand management is nothing but an art of creating and
sustaining the brand. Branding makes customers committed to
your business. A strong brand differentiates your products from
the competitors. It gives a quality image to your business.
Brand management includes managing the tangible and
intangible characteristics of brand. In case of product brands,
the tangibles include the product itself, price, packaging, etc.
While in case of service brands, the tangibles include the
customers experience. The intangibles include emotional
connections with the product / service.
Branding is assembling of various marketing mix medium into a
whole so as to give you an identity. It is nothing but capturing
your customers mind with your brand name. It gives an image of
an experienced, huge and reliable business.
It is all about capturing the niche market for your product / service
and about creating a confidence in the current and prospective
customers minds that you are the unique solution to their
problem.
The aim of branding is to convey brand message vividly, create
customer loyalty, persuade the buyer for the product, and
establish an emotional connectivity with the customers. Branding
forms customer perceptions about the product. It should raise
customer expectations about the product. The primary aim of
branding is to create differentiation.
Strong brands reduce customers perceived monetary, social and
safety risks in buying goods/services. The customers can better
imagine the intangible goods with the help of brand name. Strong
brand organizations have a high market share. The brand should
be given good support so that it can sustain itself in long run. It is
essential to manage all brands and build brand equity over a
period of time. Here comes importance and usefulness of brand
management. Brand management helps in building a corporate
image. A brand manager has to oversee overall brand
performance. A successful brand can only be cre
Understanding Brand - What is a Brand ?

Brands are different from products in a way that brands are what
the consumers buy, while products are what concern/companies
make. Brand is an accumulation of emotional and functional
associations. Brand is a promise that the product will perform as
per customers expectations. It shapes customers expectations
about the product. Brands usually have a trademark which
protects them from use by others. A brand gives particular
information about the organization, good or service, differentiating
it from others in marketplace. Brand carries an assurance about
the characteristics that make the product or service unique. A
strong brand is a means of making people aware of what the
company represents and what are its offerings.
To a consumer, brand means and signifies:
Source of product
Delegating responsibility to the manufacturer of product
Lower risk
Less search cost
Quality symbol
Deal or pact with the product manufacturer
Symbolic device
Brands simplify consumers purchase decision. Over a period of
time, consumers discover the brands which satisfy their need. If
the consumers recognize a particular brand and have knowledge
about it, they make quick purchase decision and save lot of time.
Also, they save search costs for product. Consumers remain
committed and loyal to a brand as long as they believe and have
an implicit understanding that the brand will continue meeting
their expectations and perform in the desired manner consistently.
As long as the consumers get benefits and satisfaction from
consumption of the product, they will more likely continue to buy
that brand. Brands also play a crucial role in signifying certain
product features to consumers.
To a seller, brand means and signifies:
Basis of competitive advantage
Way of bestowing products with unique associations
Way of identification to easy handling
Way of legal protection of products unique traits/features
Sign of quality to satisfied customer
Means of financial returns
A brand, in short, can be defined as a sellers promise to provide
consistently a unique set of characteristics, advantages, and
services to the buyers/consumers. It is a name, term, sign,
symbol or a combination of all these planned to differentiate the
goods/services of one seller or group of sellers from those of
competitors. Some examples of well known brands are Mc
Donalds, Mercedes-Benz, Sony, Coca Cola, Kingfisher, etc.
A brand connects the four crucial elements of an enterprise-
customers, employees, management and shareholders. Brand is
nothing but an assortment of memories in customers mind. Brand
represents values, ideas and even personality. It is a set of
functional, emotional and rational associations and benefits which
have occupied target markets mind. Associations are nothing but
the images and symbols associated with the brand or brand
benefits, such as, The Nike Swoosh, The Nokia sound, etc.
Benefits are the basis for purchase decision
ated if the brand management system is competent
Brand Attributes
rand Attributes portray a companys brand characteristics. They
signify the basic nature of brand. Brand attributes are a bundle
of features that highlight the physical and personality aspects of
the brand. Attributes are developed through images, actions, or
presumptions. Brand attributes help in creating brand identity.
A strong brand must have following attributes:
1. Relevancy- A strong brand must be relevant. It must meet
peoples expectations and should perform the way they
want it to. A good job must be done to persuade
consumers to buy the product; else inspite of your product
being unique, people will not buy it.
2. Consistency- A consistent brand signifies what the brand
stands for and builds customers trust in brand. A
consistent brand is where the company communicates
message in a way that does not deviate from the core
brand proposition.
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3. Proper positioning- A strong brand should be positioned so
that it makes a place in target audience mind and they prefer
it over other brands.
4. Sustainable- A strong brand makes a business competitive.
A sustainable brand drives an organization towards
innovation and success. Example of sustainable brand is
Marks and Spencers.
5. Credibility- A strong brand should do what it promises. The
way you communicate your brand to the audience/
customers should be realistic. It should not fail to deliver
what it promises. Do not exaggerate as customers want to
believe in the promises you make to them.
6. Inspirational- A strong brand should transcend/ inspire the
category it is famous for. For example- Nike transcendent
Jersey Polo Shirt.
7. Uniqueness- A strong brand should be different and unique.
It should set you apart from other competitors in market.
8. Appealing- A strong brand should be attractive. Customers
should be attracted by the promise you make.

Product Strategy
People buy brands and not products and services. Brands are
becoming more numerous and the market is more competitive. Product
life cycles are becoming shorter as a result of greater choice and new
technologies. It is important to plan and manage both
products and brands in order to survive in today's
environment.
Topics covered in the program, include: the role of the brand manager,
the development of the product plan; managing mature
products - products classifications, product mix, product life cycle
management, the new alternative life cycle model, branding and the
development of brand equity, and the introduction to the
4R's; managing new products - the new product development
process, the packaging decision, marketing metrics, brand valuation, and
customer equity
Branding challenges and opportunities
Brands build their strength by providing customers consistently
superior product and service experiences. A strong brand is a promise or
bond with customers. In return for their loyalty, customers expect the
firm to satisfy their needs better than any other competitors.
Brands will always be important given their fundamental purpose to
identify and differentiate products and services. Good brand makes
peoples lives a little easier and better. People are loyal to brands that
satisfy their expectations and deliver on its brand promise. The
predictably good performance of a strong brand is something that
consumer will always value.
The challenges to brands
1) The shift from strategy to tactics: - With the increasing pressure to
generate ever-improving profitability, it is often considered a luxury for
managers to develop long-term strategic plans. This is further
exacerbated by short-term goal setting, which is frequently designed
primarily for the convenience of the financial community.
2) The shift from advertising to promotions: - As a consequence of
the increasing pressure on brand manager to achieve short-term goals,
there is a temptation to cut back on advertising support, since it is
viewed as a long-term brand-building investment, in favour of
promotions which generate much quicker short-term results.
3) On-Line shopping: - The Internet is facilitating on-line shopping.
On-line shopping is different from traditional mail order because:
Brands are available all the time and from all over the world;
Information and interactions are in real time;
Consumers can choose between brands which meet their criteria, as a
result of selecting information which is in a much more convenient
format for them, rather than the standard catalogue format.
This poses threats to brands, some components of added value, agent or
the retail outlet which originally added value by matching consumers
with suppliers, may be eliminated.
4) Opportunities from technology: - Brand marketers are now able to
take advantage of technology to again a competitive advantage through
time. Technology is already reducing the lead time needed to respond
rapidly to changing customers need and minimizing any delays in the
supply chain.
5) More sophisticated buyers: - In business-to-business marketing,
there is already an emphasis on bringing together individuals from
different departments to evaluate suppliers new brands. As inter
departmental barriers break down even more, sellers are going to face
increasingly sophisticated buyers who are served by better information
system enabling them to pay off brand suppliers against each other.
6) The growth of corporate branding:- With media inhabiting
individual brand advertising, many firms are putting more emphasis on
corporate branding, unifying their portfolio of brands through clearer
linkages with the corporation, which clarifies the those all the line
brands adhere to. Through corporate identity programfunctional aspects
of individual brands in the firms portfolio can be augmented, enabling
the consumer to select brands through assessment of the values of
competing firms. Firms developed powerful corporate identity
programmes by recognizing the need first to identify their internal
corporate values, from which flow employee attitudes and specific types
of staff behavior secondly, to devise integrated communication
programmes for different external audiences.
Strategic Brand Management Process
The Building, Leveraging, Identifying, and Protecting Brands
(BLIP) process is a new framework for understanding, managing, and
organizing the full scope of brand management task. It emphasizes the
need to consider not just how to build and advertise brands, but how best
to leverage them, how to identify the position of that they hold, and how
to protect past brand investment. Strategic brand management is not
only a question of building brands, but also using a broader
consideration framework when managing established brands. Marketers
should consider the BLIP process when managing their brands. To
maintain healthy and vital brands, firms need to pay attention to brand
building, but should not neglect important issues related to brand
leveraging, identification, and protection.
It identifies four components of branding :
1. Building
2. Leveraging
3. Identifying
4. Protecting Brand
1. Building Brand:-
As a first step, marketers should define what they want their brand to
represent(brand identity). A brand identity can be pictured in the form of
a map with concentric circles, with the core defining elements of
thebrand in the center and secondary elements of the brand in an outer
circle. Once marketer have a clear idea of the brands identity, they can
use marketing tool to build the brand. Using a 4 Ps framework (product,
price, place, promotion), marketer can create a promotional strategy that
utilizes both promotional advertising and inventive approaches.
2. Leveraging Brands:-
Marketers want to achieve a return on their investment, and one vital
decision is how to best utilize their brand assets. Marketers may choose
to leverage some of the brands established equity to create line
extension, brand extension, or co-brand products.
a. Line Extension : Adding a new form of a product or service is
generally regarded as the easiest extension, but is likely to generate low
incremental revenue.
b. Brand Extension : This type of extension differs from a line
extension in that it consist of extending the products or services brand
into a new category. A brand extension has the benefits of real growth
opportunity, but the drawback is the potential for costly mistakes.
c. Co-Branded Products : This method of leveraging brands consist of
an alliance of complimentary brands. This can often take the form of
ingredient branding. A good marketing strategy will consider whether
co-branding is appropriate for particular situations.
3. Identifying and Measuring Brands:-
The questions of identifying brands considers: What does the brand
mean to customers? What product associations do customers have and
their attitudes toward the brand? A marketer should also consider the
non-product associations that accompany the brand. For ex. What colors
are associated with the brand? What is the brands personality and what
are the perceptions of the brands country of origin?
Monitoring customers impression of all these important elements of the
brand plays an important role in brand management.
4. Protecting the Brand:-
The area of strategic brand management has historically been short-
changed, being forgotten as the brand building bandwagon took off.
However, it is not taking its rightful place as a key element of strategic
brand management. Traditionally, protection come from legal teams
whose work with trademark remains an element of protecting the brand
but is, by no means, the entire protection needed.
designing Brand strategy
Everywhere there is revolution and disintegration. Wave after wave of
technological innovation comes upon us more rapidly, engulfing us,
confusing us more profoundly. Few marketing organizations have
successfully navigated through the disruptive forces of globalization and
commoditization.
There are two fundamental realities marketers face in this brave new
world:
- Ideas are now more valuable than process
- Move up the value chain or be cast aside
Through all this creative destruction, in the form of our current
economic reality, the dead wood is being cleared from the system,
making way for more innovative players to take hold and prosper.
Many once beloved and dominant brands have surrendered their
leadership position to scrappy startups who offer more. Amazingly, the
rules of the game change in real time even as we all play along.
Improvisation, once shunned by corporate organizations, is now
considered an essential strategic business skill.
Yet, through all this disruption and confusion, its an exciting time full
of opportunity for those big thinkers and dreamers who view it as such.
If youre a marketing executive charged with defining the perception of
competitive advantage for your brands, the implications of this
disruptive age are of significant importance to your future.
Creating relevant and differentiated value for people is less and less
derived from the attributes of product features and benefits, and more
from the quality of the experience customers have through their
association and engagement with your brand.
Brands are not things theyre emotional experiences. Creating these
experiences, and the use value they offer, is the result of an integrated
creative process of design.
A focused fanaticism to create enormous value.
Design, in all its disciplines (product, process, environment and
communication) is a strategic business imperative. For the entire
enterprise to receive its benefit in the marketplace, design is the
differentiator not a decorative act.
Design and the process of design thinking has added billions of dollars
worth of market capitalization to those enterprises that understand its
significant power and higher purpose to engage and delight customers in
ways never before possible. In every leading company, design has
become the soul of enterprise strategy.
You dont have to look very far to see brands that apply this principle
with phenomenal resultsApple, Nike, Starbucks, Google, Patagonia,
BMW, Herman Miller, Target, Gillette, Virgin every one of these
enterprises are absolute fanatics about design and its importance to
their business strategy.
Whatever the product or service enterprise, youll find design fanatics at
the very top of leading organizationsfanatics who value design as the
driver of competitive advantage.
Design leaders are not bound by the restrictions of the competitive plane
(think cost and commoditization), when they are free to grow and
expand by leveraging the love (think passion and devotion) customers
have for their offerings.
Bake your marketing into big dreams.
The stakes are ever higher for marketers. Nothing is more destructive to
success than clawing your way to the middle, to the common, to the
good enough. It takes big, uncommon dreams to design beloved
products, design beautiful environments and design rich customer
experiences
The biggest dreamers of all are designers and design thinkers. Its their
inherent nature to dream. In many ways, marketers ought to think more
like designers and dream the seeds of a bigger, brighter future regardless
of the naysayer and quantitative non-believers. Dreams require
imagination. Market leaders always have big dreams. Design lights their
way forward.
The idea economy is especially kind to the dreamers who utilize the
discipline of design as an inspiration force for manifesting much loved
customer experiences into the real-life marketplace.
The functionality or usefulness of a thing is not enough to create
devotion to it. The current battle in the smart phone category and the
demise of the original category leader proves the point.
Nowadays everything works! Everything is good! Its far better to
place resources on designing excitement, surprise, delight, passion and
uniqueness. Think about, and create beauty. Forget product and
service attributes, instead, design experiences people love and share.
Bake your marketing into your big dream.
Make your next product innovation an opportunity to design an
experience that people cant live without. Dream big. Never let the
metrics of short-term demands weaken the resolve of a big dream still in
the goo of creation. Creativity is a process not an event. There is no
more room in the marketplace for me-too anything dream dramatically
different!
Compete. Win. Learn. Together. The Un-Conference: 360 of Brand
Strategy for a Changing World
Featuring John Sculley October 17-18, 2013 in Miami Beach, Florida
A unique, competitive-learning workshop limited to 50 participants
As in Your marketplace some will win, some will lose, All will lear

Examples of Brand-Positioning Strategy
Your company brand is the lifeblood of the business: It is a statement of
your company's personality and a declaration of company values. With
the right positioning strategy, branding creates an indelible impression
that allows consumers to engage with a company on a more personal,
emotional level. What's more, strong branding elevates awareness of
both the company and the products or services it offers. To create this
degree of awareness, you can using one of a number of positioning
strategies to which you can anchor your brand.

Quality Positioning
The quality of a given product is one of the most important components
of a company brand, and can be combined with other positioning
strategies rather easily. Since every business is trying to emphasize its
commitment to quality, a good way to distinguish yourself from
competitors is to narrow your focus to one area of expertise, thereby
branding the company as a high-quality and trusted specialist.
Value or Price Positioning
There are two ways to approach value or price positioning, both of
which are crucially dependent on quality. One approach is to use a high-
end tack, which exploits the psychological belief that the more
expensive something is, the more intrinsically valuable it must be.
You can also cement your brand as the provider of high-quality, value-
priced products or services. A good example of this strategy
is Southwest Airlines. In a tough economy, its policy of offering
affordable flights as well as promising free checked luggage has allowed
it to flourish while other airlines struggle.
Related Reading:
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Benefit Positioning
Communicating the unique benefits of a product or service has long
been a popular brand position. With this strategy, the goal is to highlight
your company's most powerful attributes attributes no competitor can
claim and that are valuable to the consumer. Consider the popular and
ever-bored Maytag repairman: Maytag built its brand on the benefits of
owning a machine that almost never requires repair. Similarly, Colgate
toothpaste uses a benefit strategy with an effective message: Brush with
Colgate and prevent cavities and gingivitis, a benefit promise that
appeals to consumers.
Problem and Solution Positioning
Positioning a brand as the solution to a consumer's problem is also a
powerful strategy. The idea is to demonstrate that your company has the
power to relieve customers of whatever problem they may be facing,
both quickly and efficiently. For example, prepackaged chopped
vegetables solve the consumer's problem of time-consuming food
preparation in a snap.
Competitor-Based Positioning
Business is nothing if not competitive. Therefore, with this positioning
strategy, a company takes aim at one or several competitors to
demonstrate its superiority among others offering the same type of
product or service. Car insurance companies often employ this strategy
to establish a powerful brand by comparing their rates or service to those
of other companies. The message is that consumers should cancel their
old policies and purchase their coverage from a different and better
insurer.

Celebrity-Driven Positioning
Hiring celebrities as spokespeople or to endorse a company's product or
service is a popular way to position a brand. The goal is to garner brand
awareness and recognition by associating your company with a
glamorous individual. While this is an expensive route to take, the
consumer tends to trust celebrities implicitly because she's familiar with
their faces. This familiarity inspires buyers to follow the celebrity's lead
or to emulate him, making this strategy ideal for selling luxury goods or
athletic apparel
Implications of brand building
1. Brand building drastically reduce marketing investment-
A strong brand needs lower and lower levels of incremental investment
to sustain itself over time. A new, unknown player will have to spend
tow or four times the market leader to achieve the same share of mind.
Given the huge difference in business volumes, the pressure of
the bottom line is much higher for an un-established player.
2. Brand building facilitates long range planning-
Ask any business manager at Hindustan Liver (HLL), Nestle or even
home grown organisation like Wipro, Hero Cycle, or TVS Group. In an
average year his ability to target and budget primary sales would be
infinitely simpler than for someone responsible for a relatively un-
established brand. The latter gentlemen would be targeting merely on
desired volumes-almost always dictated by top management. Strong
brand always account for more stable businesses.
3. Brand Building commands a premium-
As long as there is a distinct value attach to your offering, the consumer
will always be willing to pay more for it. That is the only reason why an
unknown brand called Titan could command substantial premium over
HMT. That is the same reason why a brand like BPL at a higher cost
beat the stuffing out of companies like Akai in a T.V. wars last years.
4. Brand Building builds entry barrier-
Human being as a species love status quo. Therefore, a brand, which is
entrenched in the consumers mind, is very difficult to displace. If for
nothing else, the sheer inertia will override any cooing and wooing
noises that the new entrant would create. This consequently implies
stability of business and therefore stability of revenue.
5. Brand Building increases cash flow efficiency-
Today, an HLL distributor leaves signed cheque-books with the
company to be filled in on material dispatch. This is for most brands
with strong franchises even if they be in the agarbatties or Hawai
chappal businesses. What more can a small business ask for?
6. Brand Building increases value of the business-
Examples abound internationally and today even in India of businesses,
which were sold for several time their book value. Phillip Morris bought
Kraft from General Force in 1991 for US $13 billion. More than its book
value. A little later at home, Coca-Cola paid US $60 M to aquire
Thumps-up from Parles. Neither Buyer had any lacunae in
manufacturing, finance or human resources. They merely bought
business with very powerful brand equities and therefore paid more than
the net worth of the businesses.

Role of CRM in building brands

In today's competitive market environment, effective brand management
becomes imperative in enhancing market share and to attain sustainable
growth. To complete the stupendous task, the Indian companies are
using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) as an effective tool.
The companies have to retain their loyal customers and also have to
attract brand switchers. In the long run, they have to convert the brand
switchers into their own brand loyals. To meet this objective and to
retain the loyal customers, relationship marketing plays the pivotal role.
The effective use of CRM will ensure customer loyalty and convert them
into lifelong consumers of the product. Today, most of the companies
are using Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tools with two important
modules like CRM and SCM (Supply Chain Management). The
successful companies in India like HLL and Asian Paints have been
reaping the fruits of CRM. This paper attempts to bring out the emerging
trends and changing dimensions in using CRM as a catalyst for building
successful brands in India.
In the post-liberalization era, Indian business environment has become
very competitive and dynamic. Businesses spend around six times more
to acquire new customers than retaining existing customers. Therefore,
the companies have to come out with strategies to enhance their
customer care and thus keep their customers happy and make them loyal
customers. Many of the successful companies have achieved that status
by caring about their customers and having clear procedures and training
to ensure this. The customer care begins with an understanding of
customer need and formulating the marketing strategies to satisfy this
need on a continuous basis.


Brand Revitalization strategies

Rule 1: Refocus the organization
Refocusing the organization begins with redefining the brand and
business purpose and goals. The brand purpose should be aspirational.
At McDonald's, where I held the post of global CMO, we defined the
long-term ambition "to be our customer's favorite place and way to eat
and drink." For the first three years, the primary focus was on becoming
the "favorite place and way to eat." As Jim Cantalupo, McDonald's
CEO, liked to say, we would "be bigger by being better." How would we
accomplish that?
Rule 2: Restore brand relevance
The brand promise is an articulation of the relevant and differentiating
experience that the brand will deliver to every customer, every time.
Brand revitalization means defining where you want the brand to be and
then deciding how to get there.
Over the years, the essence of the McDonald's brand was the perception
that it was an affordable, convenient brand for families with kids. There
were those who said that equity could not and should not be changed.
But McDonald's set out to change people's perceptions and go from
appealing to the child in your heart to appealing to those with a young-
adult spirit at heart.
Rule 3: Reinvent the brand experience
To revitalize a brand, we need to bring the redefined brand promise to
life. This is what the five action P's are all about. The five action P's are
people, product, place, price and promotion.
People come first. Building employee commitment to the new direction,
employee confidence, and organizational and employee capabilities are
critical factors that influence future success.
And it's imperative to inspire those in the organization to believe that the
new brand future will happen and that they can help. At McDonald's a
new on-boarding communication was created called "Learnin' it. Livin'
it. Lovin' it."
Product is the next P. Products and services are the tangible evidence of
the truth of the promise. When we redefine the promise, product and
service renovation and innovation are imperative.
A disciplined approach to brand extension can revitalize and strengthen
a brand. McDonald's extended its product range to include products such
as salads, yogurt parfaits and coffee. The Crest revitalizations included
extensions beyond cavity prevention to include tartar control, whitening,
breath freshening, dental floss, mouthwash, tooth whiteners and
toothbrushes.
The place is the face of the brand. Whether a store, a website, a retail
display, a kiosk or wherever the "place" may be, the experience must be
consistent with the intended brand direction. For example, McDonald's
embarked on a very ambitious retail reimaging program. It also updated
the brand website.
Price comes next. The launch of the McDonald's Dollar Menu created an
everyday-low-price list of items and enabled the brand to significantly
reduce marketing emphasis on on-and-off discounting. Overemphasis
on deals and discounts builds deal loyalty rather real loyalty.
Promotion comes next. In September 2003, a new global campaign was
launched in 119 countries. The common signature theme was "I'm lovin'
it," supported by a distinctive set of five musical notes. The character of
the communications was designed to reflect the new young-adult spirit
of the brand. The following year, McDonald's adopted its first global
packaging approach. It's the longest-running theme in the history of
the brand.
Whether advertising, special events, public relations, online, cause
marketing, sponsorships, Olympics, World Cup or other forms of
communication, the goal was to be consistent with the new McDonald's
brand promise. Disconnected, monthly promotional messages and tactics
destroy brands.
Rule 4: Reinforce a results culture
Measuring and managing performance is the eighth P. The McDonald's
Plan to Win included three-year, measurable milestones.
Creating a results culture means it is important to produce the right
results the right way. A balanced brand-business scorecard should
include measurable elements such as brand familiarity, brand reputation,
employee pride, customer-perceived value, brand loyalty, sales, share
and profit.
Rule 5: Rebuild brand trust
In this skeptical, demanding, uncertain world, trust is a must. As part of
revitalizing a brand, rebuilding trust is critical. Investment in rebuilding
trust is an important, challenging marketing imperative. There is demand
for more openness, more social responsibility and more integrity. Over
the years McDonald's invested in building trust -- Ronald McDonald
House, environmental responsibility, commitment to employee diversity,
local community activities. As the concern with healthful living has
grown, so has McDonald's commitment to providing appropriate choices
-- for example, salads, apple slices, yogurt parfait, water, juices and
milk.
Rule 6: Realize global alignment
The power of alignment is awesome. During brand revitalization, we
often talk about the need to get everyone on the same page. But we
rarely, if ever, define the page we want everyone to be on. That's the
purpose of the one-page Plan to Win, the one-page document that
summarizes the eight P's and the desired outcomes.
Brand revitalization needs the courage and perspective of strong leaders.
Jim Cantalupo was a decisive, committed leader providing clear
direction and priorities. Charlie Bell, chief operating officer, was not
only a great communicator, his positive attitude was infectious. They
were the leaders who led the creation and launch of the far-reaching
McDonald's Plan to Win. The vision and positive momentum initiated
by Cantalupo and Bell continues to produce results even in a difficult
economic environment
Brand Personification
Brand Personification is an interesting research technique for
understanding how a Brand is perceived.
As detailed elsewhere in this weblog, Brands are multi-faceted
Theyre a collection of many separateperceptions about a company or
product. These perceptions may include attributes like quality,
reliability, value-for-money, trustworthiness, prestige, etc.
Asking people to detail their perceptions of a Brand is fraught with risk.
For starters, many people have difficulty putting into words ethereal
concepts. And if you ask them to rate a Brand on a pre-determined set
of attributes, youre pre-supposing possibly incorrectly- that those
attributes factor at all in their perceptions. You may also potentially
miss other key perceptions you didnt think to include in your list.
Brand Personification leverages the fact that people usually find it far
easier to talk about something they have words and images for such as
people, or makes of cars than ethereal concepts like Brands.
Its a simple technique to employ. Essentially, you ask your
constituencies: If (Company X) were a person, what type of person
would they be? Can you describe them to me?
Responses to these question will often reveal by proxy the attributes
of the Brand. For example, if Company X is described as a kindly 50
year old father figure, wearing a well-worn cardigan and slippers, we
can deduce that Company Xs Brand attributes will include maturity,
comfort and familiarity, perhaps unfashionable, etc. But if Company X
is described as a trendily-dressed, attractive 18 year old female, then we
can infer that the Brand is fashionable, youth-oriented, etc.
To use these inferences further, we can consider whether constituencies
will be attracted to, or distanced by, their personification of the Brand.
For example, banks would likely be delighted if certain segments of
their customer base personified them as a kindly and mature father
figure. However, a clothing label targeting cashed-up fashion-forward
18-year-olds would have a very different reaction to such a
personification!
A variation of the personnification technique is to ask consitutencies to
describe a Brand as a make of car, or some other set of products with
which they are familiar. The Brands they respond with can be just a
revealing. For example, if a Brand is described as being like a BMW,
we can infer the Brand has attributes which include performance,
precision, prestige and quality.
As a research technique, personification is useful, but it does have its
limits. While it sheds light on Brand attributes now, it doesnt help us
much in understanding what a Brands attributes should be
The Big Five Personality
The Big Five was originally propounded way back in 1961, but only
came into broader use in the 1980s. Since then, it has become a hallmark
of marketing and psychology. Everyone who ever took a personality
test at work has experienced an expression of the Big Five. The Big
Five attributes are:
Openness to experience (inventive/curious vs.
consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure,
unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience. Openness
reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a
preference for novelty and variety. Some disagreement remains
about how to interpret the openness factor, which is sometimes
called intellect rather than openness to experience.
Conscientiousness (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless).
A tendency to show self-discipline, act dutifully, and aim for
achievement; planned rather than spontaneous behavior; organized,
and dependable.
Extraversion (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy,
positive emotions, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the
tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and
talkativeness.
Agreeableness (friendly/compassionate vs. cold/unkind). A
tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than
suspicious and antagonistic towards others.
Neuroticism (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The
tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger,
anxiety, depression, or vulnerability.
Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and
impulse control, and is sometimes referred by its low pole
emotional stability.
So much for the history lesson. Now for the 64-dollar question for
modern Social brand communities: Do brand personalities all derive
from The Big Five, as if brands were themselves people? Or, does each
brand create its own unique universe, with its own unique set of core
behavior elements driving the brands personality?
What researchers have found falls in the middle ground. Brands
personality, in fact, is not derived directly from The Big Five, but neither
does it stem from random, unique brand universes. Rather, there appears
to be a separate set of universal markers that delineate brand
personalities. People dont react to brands as people, but do, if appears,
react to brands in a consistent, measurable way, call it the Brand Five.
Branding challenges and opportunities
Brands build their strength by providing customers consistently superior
product and service experiences. A strong brand is a promise or bond
with customers. In return for their loyalty, customers expect the firm to
satisfy their needs better than any other competitors. Brands will always
be important given their fundamental purpose to identify and
differentiate products and services. Good brand makes peoples lives a
little easier and better. People are loyal to brands that satisfy their
expectations and deliver on its brand promise. The predictably good
performance of a strong brand is something that consumer will always
value.
The challenges to brands
1) The shift from strategy to tactics: - With the increasing pressure to
generate ever-improving profitability, it is often considered a luxury for
managers to develop long-term strategic plans. This is further
exacerbated by short-term goal setting, which is frequently designed
primarily for the convenience of the financial community.
2) The shift from advertising to promotions: - As a consequence of
the increasing pressure on brand manager to achieve short-term goals,
there is a temptation to cut back on advertising support, since it is
viewed as a long-term brand-building investment, in favour of
promotions which generate much quicker short-term results.
3) On-Line shopping: - The Internet is facilitating on-line shopping.
On-line shopping is different from traditional mail order because:
Brands are available all the time and from all over the world;
Information and interactions are in real time;
Consumers can choose between brands which meet their criteria, as a
result of selecting information which is in a much more convenient
format for them, rather than the standard catalogue format.
This poses threats to brands, some components of added value, agent or
the retail outlet which originally added value by matching consumers
with suppliers, may be eliminated.
4) Opportunities from technology: - Brand marketers are now able to
take advantage of technology to again a competitive advantage through
time. Technology is already reducing the lead time needed to respond
rapidly to changing customers need and minimizing any delays in the
supply chain.
5) More sophisticated buyers: - In business-to-business marketing,
there is already an emphasis on bringing together individuals from
different departments to evaluate suppliers new brands. As inter
departmental barriers break down even more, sellers are going to face
increasingly sophisticated buyers who are served by better information
system enabling them to pay off brand suppliers against each other.
6) The growth of corporate branding:- With media inhabiting
individual brand advertising, many firms are putting more emphasis on
corporate branding, unifying their portfolio of brands through clearer
linkages with the corporation, which clarifies the those all the line
brands adhere to. Through corporate identity program functional aspects
of individual brands in the firms portfolio can be augmented, enabling
the consumer to select brands through assessment of the values of
competing firms. Firms developed powerful corporate identity
programmes by recognizing the need first to identify their internal
corporate values, from which flow employee attitudes and specific types
of staff behavior secondly, to devise integrated communication
programmes for different external audiences
Advantages of brand extension strategy

1.Consumer knowledge
: the remaining strong brand used to promote a new
productmakes it less critical to create awareness and ima
gery. The association with the main brand
is already done and the main task is communicating
the specific benefits of the new
innovation Taylor (2004, p1)
2.Consumer trust
: the existing well-known-strong brands represent apromise
ofquality,
useful features etc. - for the consumer. Thus, the extension will
benefit from this fameand this good opinion about the brand to
create a
compelling value proposition in a newsegment or markets
=If the general opinion
about the brand is favourable, the behaviour regard
ing the extension should be the positive as
well. She adds that a successful brand extension c
an enable to get the customer loyalty. A
satisfied customer by an extension will be more wil
ling to repurchase the same brand. For
8
example in the sport field, a customer will more li
kely prefer a brand offering a complete
equipment-shoes, outfit and accessories.
3.Lower cost
: compared to launching a new brand, brand extensio
n strategy is cheaper
especially because the new product use the name of
an already well-known brand.
Taylor (2004, p2) said that Studies show that cost
per unit of trial is 36 % lower and that
repurchase is also higher with an extension
Indeed, Smith & Park (1992, p296) confirm this idea
when suggesting that regarding the
advertising effectiveness, it seems for same market
share, the advertisement budget for brand
extension are smaller than for new brands.
Aaker (2004, p194) gives some advantages more or le
ss close to Taylor or C. Viot (2007)
beliefs:
4.Enhancement of brand visibility
: when a brand appears in another field it can be
a
more effective and efficient brand-building approac
h than spending money on advertising In
addition, he suggests that the relationship with lo
yal customers will be strengthen because
they will use the brand in another context and it
is expected as well that they will rather this
brand to the competitors one.
5.Provide a source of energy for a brand
: the brand image-especially when the brand is
a bit tired- is expected to be reinforced by the ex
tension. Indeed, this latter gives energy to the
brand because it increases the frequency with which
the brand is associated with good quality,
innovations and large range of products. In additio
n, the customer sees the brand name more
often and it can strengthen his idea that it is a g
ood one.
Thus, C. Viot states that the presence of the brand
on a wider number of products should
improve the popularity of the brand. The probabilit
y of being in contact with the brand both
in the communication and in the supermarkets is m
ore important and then should improve
the brand memorization.
6.Defensive strategy
: an extension can
prevent competitors from gaining or exploiting a
foothold in the market and can be worthwhile even
though it might struggle according to
Aaker (2004).
Microsoft for instance has decided to operate in di
fferent areas with the aim of limiting the
ability of competitors to encroach on core busines
s areas
Brand Personality.
Its part of how consumers perceive the brand and how the brand
differentiates itself from the competition. Accurately understanding
brand personality is important to brand success. Thats why we created a
vocabulary for quantifying and describing brand personality. Recently
weve added a related visual language called Brand Toys.
Being able to measure something as importantbut as intangibleas
brand personality enables brand owners to ask important questions that
can strengthen competitive advantage:
What is the brands personality?
Is it unique and can it become more unique?
Is the personality consistent worldwide? If not, how does it vary?
Understanding brand personality also helps select the most appropriate
message and media, or more effective and suitable sponsorships or
partnerships. Ultimately, understanding a brand personality enables the
brand owner to deliver a consistent brand experience that connects with
consumers and leaves a deeper and more sustainable impression.
Brand personality characteristics often suggest a brands latent appeal.
When identified and cultivated they can effectively guide the creative
tone of communications. For example, Mercedes is relatively assertive
and in control, while BMW is more sexy and desirable. The
brands have different and differentiating personalities. Mercedes
confidently plays on its heritage with the fitting tagline, The Best or
Nothing. In contrast, The Ultimate Driving Machine accurately
captures the BMW personalit
Brand Loyalty
Brand Loyalty is a scenario where the consumer fears purchasing and
consuming product from another brand which he does not trust. It is
measured through methods like word of mouth publicity, repetitive
buying, price sensitivity, commitment, brand trust, customer satisfaction,
etc. Brand loyalty is the extent to which a consumer constantly buys the
same brand within a product category. The consumers remain loyal to a
specific brand as long as it is available. They do not buy from other
suppliers within the product category. Brand loyalty exists when the
consumer feels that the brand consists of right product characteristics
and quality at right price. Even if the other brands are available at
cheaper price or superior quality, the brand loyal consumer will stick to
his brand.
Brand loyal consumers are the foundation of an organization.
Greater loyalty levels lead to less marketing expenditure because the
brand loyal customers promote the brand positively. Also, it acts as a
means of launching and introducing more products that are targeted at
same customers at less expenditure. It also restrains new competitors in
the market. Brand loyalty is a key component of brand equity.
Brand loyalty can be developed through various measures such as quick
service, ensuring quality products, continuous improvement, wide
distribution network, etc. When consumers are brand loyal they love
you for being you, and they will minutely consider any other
alternative brand as a replacement. Examples of brand loyalty can be
seen in US where true Apple customers have the brand's logo tattooed
onto their bodies. Similarly in Finland, Nokia customers remained loyal
to Nokia because they admired the design of the handsets or because of
user- friendly menu system used by Nokia phones.
Brand loyalty can be defined as relative possibility of customer
shifting to another brand in case there is a change in products
features, price or quality. As brand loyalty increases, customers will
respond less to competitive moves and actions. Brand loyal customers
remain committed to the brand, are willing to pay higher price for that
brand, and will promote their brand always. A company having brand
loyal customers will have greater sales, less marketing and advertising
costs, and best pricing. This is because the brand loyal customers are
less reluctant to shift to other brands, respond less to price changes and
self- promote the brand as they perceive that their brand have unique
value which is not provided by other competitive brands.
Brand loyalty is always developed post purchase. To develop brand
loyalty, an organization should know their niche market, target them,
support their product, ensure easy access of their product, provide
customer satisfaction, bring constant innovation in their product and
offer schemes on their product so as to ensure that customers repeatedly
purchase the product.
Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the probability that consumers are familiar about
the life and availability of the product. It is the degree to which
consumers precisely associate the brand with the specific product. It is
measured as ratio of niche market that has former knowledge of brand.
Brand awareness includes both brand recognition as well as brand
recall. Brand recognition is the ability of consumer to recognize prior
knowledge of brand when they are asked questions about that brand or
when they are shown that specific brand, i.e., the consumers can clearly
differentiate the brand as having being earlier noticed or heard.
While brand recall is the potential of customer to recover a brand from
his memory when given the product class/category, needs satisfied by
that category or buying scenario as a signal. In other words, it refers that
consumers should correctly recover brand from the memory when given
a clue or he can recall the specific brand when the product category is
mentioned. It is generally easier to recognize a brand rather than recall it
from the memory.
Brand awareness is improved to the extent to which brand names are
selected that is simple and easy to pronounce or spell; known and
expressive; and unique as well as distinct. For instance - Coca Cola has
come to be known as Coke.
There are two types of brand awareness:
1. Aided awareness- This means that on mentioning the product
category, the customers recognize your brand from the lists of
brands shown.
2. Top of mind awareness (Immediate brand recall)- This means
that on mentioning the product category, the first brand that
customer recalls from his mind is your brand.
The relative importance of brand recall and recognition will rely on the
degree to which consumers make product-related decisions with the
brand present or not. For instance - In a store, brand recognition is more
crucial as the brand will be physically present. In a scenario where
brands are not physically present, brand recall is more significant (as in
case of services and online brands).
Brand Image
Brand image is the current view of the customers about a brand. It can
be defined as a unique bundle of associations within the minds of target
customers. It signifies what the brand presently stands for. It is a set of
beliefs held about a specific brand. In short, it is nothing but the
consumers perception about the product. It is the manner in which a
specific brand is positioned in the market. Brand image conveys
emotional value and not just a mental image. Brand image is nothing but
an organizations character. It is an accumulation of contact and
observation by people external to an organization. It should highlight an
organizations mission and vision to all. The main elements of positive
brand image are- unique logo reflecting organizations image, slogan
describing organizations business in brief and brand identifier
supporting the key values.
Brand image is the overall impression in consumers mind that is formed
from all sources. Consumers develop various associations with the
brand. Based on these associations, they form brand image. An image is
formed about the brand on the basis of subjective perceptions of
associations bundle that the consumers have about the brand. Volvo is
associated with safety. Toyota is associated with reliability.
The idea behind brand image is that the consumer is not purchasing just
the product/service but also the image associated with that
product/service. Brand images should be positive, unique and instant.
Brand images can be strengthened using brand communications like
advertising, packaging, word of mouth publicity, other promotional
tools, etc.
Brand image develops and conveys the products character in a unique
manner different from its competitors image. The brand image consists
of various associations in consumers mind - attributes, benefits and
attributes. Brand attributes are the functional and mental connections
with the brand that the customers have. They can be specific or
conceptual. Benefits are the rationale for the purchase decision. There
are three types of benefits: Functional benefits - what do you do better
(than others ),emotional benefits - how do you make me feel better (than
others), and rational benefits/support - why do I believe you(more than
others). Brand attributes are consumers overall assessment of a brand.
Brand image has not to be created, but is automatically formed. The
brand image includes products' appeal, ease of use, functionality, fame,
and overall value. Brand image is actually brand content. When the
consumers purchase the product, they are also purchasing its image.
Brand image is the objective and mental feedback of the consumers
when they purchase a product. Positive brand image is exceeding the
customers expectations. Positive brand image enhances the goodwill and
brand value of an organization.
Brand Knowledge
Brand Knowledge Basics
Why is creating brand-knowledge important?
The Coca-Cola brand was worth $68 billion in 2009, according to
Interbrand. This amounted to more than 50% of the value of The
Coca-Cola company. Creating valuable brands is extremely
important to the companys shareholders.

It is a knowledge economy. Brands are the currency of the
knowledge economy. Brands are neither physical products nor
actual services brands are knowledge products. Successfully
creating brands is a knowledge creation process.
What is brand-knowledge? Where is brand-knowledge?
Kevin Keller defined brand knowledge as awareness of the brand
name and belief about the brand image. Valuable beliefs are
authentic beliefs consistent and durable. In addition to belief,
consumer experience is an important part of brand knowledge.
Consumer experience includes emotions, sensations, and activity.
Using the terminology of philosophy, beliefs are explicit
knowledge meaning they can be put in words, and experience is
tacit knowledge meaning it cannot be put in words.

Brand-knowledge both explicit and tacit brand-knowledge
primarily is created by both the consumers and the marketer.
Other players in brand-knowledge creation include researchers,
advertising agencies, marketing consultants, distribution channel
partners, and others. Brand- knowledge is created and held both
by individual people and by groups.

So, brand-knowledge includes two dimensions:
beliefs (explicit) - experience (tacit) dimension
individual group dimension

How to create brand-knowledge successfully?
Creating brand-knowledge is a process of transforming beliefs to
experiences and experiences to beliefs. In addition, creating
brand- knowledge requires that marketers exchange information
with consumers and that brand-knowledge is transferred between
individuals and groups within the organization.

Activating and guiding the brand-knowledge creation process
requires five factors.

Context
Context is the culture of the organization. It describes what is
important to the brand-knowledge creating organization. This
factor represents the purpose of the organization in creating
brand-knowledge. An example of a broad context is build brand
equity, and an example of a more specific context is adidas
corporate mission of help athletes achieve peak performance
(adidas, 2010).

Context must be shared by all the individuals and groups across
the brand-creation process. Shared context provides a reason
and a motivation to interact and advance the brand-knowledge
creation process.

Vision
Vision defines the character of the brand-knowledge that the
organization aims to create. Context is the energy that drives the
brand-knowledge creation process, vision is the compass that
keeps each brand-knowledge creation stage aligned.

Vision applies to both the beliefs and the experiences of brand-
knowledge. To be an effective guide across both types of the
brand-knowledge, vision includes both a literal element (for belief)
and a metaphorical element (for experience). Examples of
effective brand-knowledge visions that include literal and
metaphorical elements are human healthcare (Eisai) and the
third place (Starbucks).

Activists
Activists are the people who direct the brand-knowledge creation
process. Activists interpret the overall context and vision in ways
that are relevant for each group in the process in order to create
vital links across groups. Activists maintain a focus on the brand-
knowledge assets in order to control the scope of the brand-
knowledge creation process.

Activists have a deep knowledge of their own groups knowledge
assets and capabilities. In addition, activists energetically and
skillfully communicate with other groups in the process. Brand
managers are important activists in brand-knowledge creation.

Assets
Assets are the brand-knowledge inputs and outputs of the brand-
knowledge creation process. Assets include both beliefs (explicit)
and experiences (tacit). The output from one stage of the process
becomes the input for the next stage of the process. Activists
manage these assets to ensure that they are appropriate in scope
for the following stage.

It is obvious that assets include all the specifications that go into
planning for a brand, as well as the creative output such as
designs and advertising. However, assets also include the
experiential brand-knowledge of all participants, such as their
loyalty or engagement with the brand.

Media
Media is the location where the brand-knowledge is created or the
path by which the brand-knowledge is transferred. It also
includes the social rules that govern how the media is used.

Media includes places where participants meet as well as the
social rules that govern the meetings. Media also includes the
way knowledge is transferred, such as through an intranet
Brands vs Products
Companies Make Products and Consumers Make Brands
A product is made by a company and can be purchased by a consumer in
exchange for money while brands are built through consumer
perceptions, expectations, and experiences with all products or services
under a brand umbrella. For example, Toyotas product is cars. Its
umbrella brand is Toyota and each product has its own more specific
brand name to distinguish the various Toyota-manufactured product
lines from one another. Without a product, there is no need for a brand.
Products Can Be Copied and Replaced but Brands Are Unique
A product can be copied by competitors at anytime. When Amazon
launched the Kindle e-reader device, it didnt take long for competitors
to come out with their own branded versions of an e-reader product.
However, the brand associated with each e-reader device offers unique
value based on the perceptions, expectations, and emotions that
consumers develop for those brands through previous experiences with
them.
Similarly, a product can be replaced with a competitors product if
consumers believe the two products offer the same features and benefits.
Products with low emotional involvement are typically easily replaced.
For example, do you really care what brand of milk you buy or do you
primarily just care that the milk you buy is fresh and includes the fat
percentage that you want?
Products Can Become Obsolete but Brands Can Be Timeless
Remember VHS players? With the introduction of DVD players and
more recently DVR devices and streaming video services, VHS players
have become obsolete. The same thing happened to 8-track tapes, vinyl
records, cassettes, and CDs. Today, most people buy their music in
digital format and listen to it on their iPods. The Elvis Presley brand is
timeless, but no one buys Elvis music on cassettes anymore.
Products Are Instantly Meaningful but Brands Become
Meaningful over Time.
When you launch a new product, its easy to make that product instantly
meaningful and useful to consumers because it serves a specific function
for them. However, a brand is meaningless until consumers have a
chance to experience it, build trust with it, and believe in it. Thats why
the 3 steps to brand building include consistency, persistence, and
restraint. It takes time and effort to convince consumers to believe in
your brand.
Consider Google as an example. When Google first hit the Internet
scene it offered a simple product a search engine. That product was
instantly meaningful to consumers because it helped them find
information online quickly. However, the Google brand didnt become
meaningful to consumers until people had a chance to use the Google
search engine product and see for themselves that it really was a better
search engine. Through those experiences, consumers began to trust that
the Google brand could deliver faster and better information online.
Today, when Google launches a new product (like Google+ recently),
people are quick to try those products because they trust the Google
brand.
Five strategies for a successful global brand

A new generation of global brands is emerging. Globalisation used to
mean identikit high streets, May Day protests and a Starbucks on every
corner. But with an international business suggesting strength and
stability in the fragile economic markets, global brands are no longer
being seen as dominating bogeymen.
In April, Forrester Researchs Steve Noble called for companies to
create an adaptive global organisation to deal with post-recession
pressures. It seems that being global is back on the boardroom agenda.
Coca-Cola seems to be taking note, scrapping its local UK marketing
director position in May, in favour of a more regional strategy. Kraft has
been quick to follow suit. While it will leave a UK marketer position, it
has also said it will lead its strategy more centrally from Europe.
For brands seeking to join the new set of global brands, there are five
strategies that companies need to take into account. These involve
creating a strong and consistent brand culture, borderless marketing,
internal hubs, a new glocal structure and co-creating with consumers.
Marketing Week sets out these five strategies that can help companies
embrace the new business of globalisation.
1 Build a strong, consistent brand culture
In the past, a rigid corporate structure was an important element of the
global brand. Local markets were in charge of developing their own
brand strategies.
However, in recent years building a consistent and strong brand culture
that remains familiar to consumers wherever it is in the world has
become a priority. Tony Effik, chief strategy officer at Publicis Modem,
explains: A brand needs a single view of the world, a single
philosophy.
The rise of digital channels has shifted the brand emphasis from
structure to culture, believes Neil Taylor, creative director at language
consultancy The Writer. He notes: Social media and viral marketing
stop brands doing what they used to do, which was to manage brands in
a command-and-control sort of way.
It becomes more important that your brand reflects your culture, rather
than your guidelines. The brands that have done it well are those that
have a strong culture of their own, says Taylor. ASmallWorld is an
example of a business that has created a brand which is consistent
around the globe (see case study below).
Language is an important element in ensuring a consistent brand culture,
he adds, citing Innocent Drinks as a good example of a company that has
successfully retained a distinctive tone of voice across markets. You
read Innocent Drinks in French and it feels just as playful and cute as
Innocent in English. Its the same personality.
Now anyone can see the companys Facebook page, or videos on
YouTube Its forcing brands to question: how do we get a single
content story that works across all of those markets
Tony Effik, Publicis Modem
Compromising your brand culture in a world which is becoming
increasingly borderless can have damaging consequences a fact that
Google discovered when it launched a self-censored search engine in
China in 2006. Its previous search engine in China was subject to
government blocks because of the countrys new media policy
restricting internet access. Googles mission is to make the worlds
information universally accessible and useful. But how does a brand
with values like Google set up something in China that sticks to those
values?
Taylor says: If youre operating in China, the Chinese government
doesnt want you to make information universally accessible and useful
and it [Google] has naturally ended up compromising.
The consumer backlash against Google in other markets was significant.
Not surprisingly, customers around the world went: well hold on, we
thought you were about this, how can you possibly run that business
over there? News will travel and start to damage your brand even in
your home market. Since late March 2010, Google has resorted to
redirecting search requests from mainland China to Hong Kong, which
doesnt have the same restrictions.
He suggests that if your culture really is about making information
universally accessible then maybe this is something Google shouldnt
compromise on.
2 Be borderless in your marketing
With the abundance of digital platforms, it is no longer possible for
brands to follow different brand strategies in different countries.
Companies are being forced to adopt a more unified marketing
approach.
Marketers need to rethink the term glocal, explains Publicis Modems
Tony Effik. Theodore Levitts think global, act local slogan doesnt
work in a digital age in the same way, he argues. The way we do global
campaigns had to change because digital doesnt respect borders,
particularly now with social media. What were finding is that as content
moves across borders, brand stories are crossing over internationally.

Open territory: Cokes Open Happiness campaign has a relevance in
every country
Brands that dont adopt a borderless approach risk becoming
marginalised, warns Stephen Woodford, chairman and CEO at DDB
UK. People are much less aware of international boundaries than
before. Digital channels are borderless media and therefore brands that
operate across such media feel more pervasive and part of the world. If
you look at brands like Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and McDonalds, they
are everywhere and have local strength and identity, but also consistency
across markets.
Having a single identity is important to the success of Santander on a
global level, explains Keith Moor, brand director at Santander (see
Viewpoint above). The banks UK acquisitions Abbey and Bradford &
Bingley have been rebranded so that the Santander brand has a
presence across Britain as well as its domestic Spanish market.
We wanted the Santander brand to be very well known, to have a single
identity globally, so that we can capitalise on other markets and global
sponsorships like F1, explains Moor.
The recent Nike football advert, timed to coincide with the World Cup,
is a good example of borderless marketing, thinks DDBs Woodford.
The ad has taken footballers from around the world and weaved them
into one story. Its just great stars from around the world, all united by
one thing. Its a great example of not a multinational brand, but a
transnational brand. It doesnt have any boundaries; its truly global.
This process is especially difficult for FMCG brands notes Publicis
Modems Effik. In the past, a brand could have one target audience in
one country and a different positioning in another. Now anyone can see
the companys Facebook page or its Twitter stream or videos on
YouTube, as things start to pass from border to border. Its forcing
brands to question: how do we see our market? How do we get a single
content story that works across all of those markets?
If we talk about a new way of operating or a new global brand, it will be
a brand that is asking for opinion, that listens to consumers and asks for
co-creation
Anna Valle, Durex
With this increased interconnectivity, markets that were previously seen
as second or third tier must now be treated in the same way as top tier
ones, he explains. You had a global brand operating in Uganda and you
never really paid much attention to them because they didnt really
matter in the grand scheme of things.
Somewhere like Uganda really does matter now because a bad
interpretation of the brand or a human rights issue affects what you do in
London, New York and Tokyo. Now every market is a tier one because
tier three markets can come around and bite you on the bottom.
The marketing focus for global brands has moved away from division to
cohesion, thinks Richard Huntington, Saatchi & Saatchi director of
strategy. Instead of looking for what divides consumers up, brands
should be looking at what unites them.
He says: Marketing traditionally has been focused on differences and
segmentations between markets and consumers. If brands start caring
about the things that real people care about then those differences seem
to disappear.
3 Build yourself an internal hub
The need for a unified marketing team is more important than ever.
Involving marketers from across the global brand in the overall
marketing strategy will engender overall cohesion, says Kip Knight,
president of Knight Vision Marketing, who has set up marketing
academies for global heavyweights such as PepsiCo and eBay while
working at those companies.
He says: It doesnt work to simply hand somebody a strategy and say,
well good luck with that. They have to feel like theyve had a chance
to vet it, to debate it, ideally in person, with others that are equally
responsible for the brand. Ultimately, theyve got to feel like they own
it. Its not my strategy; its our strategy.
By taking this approach, marketers are much more likely to focus on the
same goals for the brand, as opposed to feeling like theyve got to go
and create their own version of this brand in the market, he adds.

What Is Standardization And Customization In Marketing

Standardization and customization are polar opposites of each other.
standardization means "one size fits all." It refers to the tailoring of a
marketing program or campaign in such a way that there are enough
elements to appease everybody. The target audience is vast.
Standardization helps keep the costs low of reaching out to many people.
It is employed typically in situations where the product in question is for
mass consumption. These products are typically low volume products
that makes it economically unfeasible for customization.

Customization on the other hand refers to the tailoring of the campaign
according to the needs of an individual or groups of individuals. These
are high margin products where the volumes are low and the buyers are
few. E.g. If an expensive luxury yacht was on sale then the company
selling it could go to the extent of tailoring the marketing efforts
according to the needs of specific buyers
nternational brand management is dealing with different type of
problems. If your company is working in different countries, you have to
catch up the customer needs and learn about market characteristics of
each country. If you want to be succesful in different countries either
you stardardize your product or adapt it for that market.
Lets have a look what can be the reasons of
product standardization and customization.
Reasons of Product Standardization
Economies of Scale
Common Consumer Behaviour
Consumer Mobility
Home Country Image
Reasons of Product Customization
Climate
Biological Differences
National Consumer Habits
Government Regulations
As we can see there can be number of reasons forces us to choose one of
the strategies.Now we will look for the example of these strategies.
One of the succesful example of standardization strategy is Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola is making business nearly all over the world and they never
think about changing their products formula. They have a good
advertisement policy and they did it well for each country still they did
not change the product.Anywhere in the world the coca-cola has same
taste.
For customization the best example is Barbie which is icon of America.
In product history in 50 years they change Barbie for good. Barbie toys
started to produced not only American but also Indian, Jamaican,
Japanese, Korean and Italian.
The Advantages of Global Branding and Advertising
Consistency
A primary reason companies position brands in the same way around the
world is consistency. The logic is that if brands and products are
perceived the same around the world, that position is stronger compared
to brands whose perceptions of value vary in different countries. As
people travel to different countries, they should hear the same messages
they hear about the brand in their home markets.
Lower Costs
Global advertising is typically a lower cost approach relative to
customizing brands for each country. This is especially important to
small businesses, which typically don't have huge advertising budgets.
Since you don't have to constantly redesign and redevelop your brand,
you benefit from sameness in strategy and messaging. You do have to
adapt the language to fit each country, but the message strategies and
concepts can remain constant. Often, the development of ad messages is
as expensive, or more so, than the costs of placing ads.
Related Reading: What Is Brand-Based Advertising?
Synergy
Global branding allows for synergy that is not possible through
individualized approaches in each country. In social media, for instance,
global consumers might discuss your products on Facebook and Twitter.
With a consistent brand, this synergy of marketplace communication
helps your products become more viral thanks to word of mouth. With
competing perceptions of your brand and products, this synergy wouldn't
exist as customers couldn't as easily discuss your products across the
globe. You also have customers that travel and look for global brands in
countries they visit.
Global Teams
Global brands make it easier to set up virtual work teams where
advertising employees in each country work together using software
tools and forums. This enables sharing of ideas and a wider perspective
on what would work and what wouldn't work in positioning the brand on
a global basis. In more fragmented, country-by-country branding, this
collaboration would produce few fruits
How to Build a Brand Internationally: What You Need to Expand
When businesses try to expand their brand globally, those goals don't
change. But there are several steps you should take to make sure that
your products or services will have a market overseas, that you can
maintain quality in delivering and/or distributing your goods or services,
and that your business or product branding meets cultural expectations --
and doesn't insult anyone -- in different parts of the world.
"The secret is doing your homework," Williams says. "Like any long
distance relationship, it's got to be managed and needs more work than
something you can see and physically touch, but it's not impossible."

The following steps may help you in building an international brand:
Make sure you have a market. "Proven success with your current
target audience doesn't automatically mean that your new target
will connect in the same way with your products or services,"
Williams says. "Ask your new market the questions you used to
build your initial business plan." First and most important, he says,
you'll want to determine if a market exists for your product. If so,
make sure the want or need isn't already being well met by
someone else. If there are existing competitors, what (in the
perspective of your potential customers) makes you remarkably
different? If there is a market and there are no competitors, make
sure you find out why -- are there laws against distributing your
products or can consumers buy them through other means?
Make sure you can deliver. Make sure you can get your product
to, or manufactured within, the new market. "Import and
manufacturing laws vary from country to country," Williams says.
"Ensure you can make your products reliably and consistently
available to your new target markets." Investigate the local laws.
You need to make sure your products meet the local standards for
construction of components, use of chemicals, disposal of goods,
proper labeling of products, etc.
Re-examine your business and/or product names. In choosing a
name for your business or product, you need to be culturally
sensitive if you intend to sell in foreign markets. Make sure
product names make sense to customers in your new markets, both
in English and in the local translation. Williams, who has done
international branding work with Starbucks, recalls how a holiday
favorite in the U.S., the Gingerbread Latte, didn't sell well in
Germany even though gingerbread was a favorite holiday cookie in
that country. Sales of the drink increased dramatically when
Starbucks began using the German word for gingerbread and
rebranded the drink, the Lebkuchen Latte. If you are considering
translating names, don't rely on computer translation. "You don't
want what you think is an effective name to mean something
opposite or offend potential customers," Williams says. "Work
with someone locally who can help make sure you communicate
what you intend."
Give your logo another look. Similarly, review your logo to make
sure that you don't use any wording or symbols that would offend
in a foreign market. "Ensure that any logos or symbols you use
make sense and don't offend," Williams says. "Do an international
search to make sure your logo isn't similar to that of another
international company." For example, if you are selling products in
some Middle Eastern markets, a logo featuring the face of a
woman might not be appropriate. The best way to understand
these cultural sensitivities is to consult a branding or design firm --
either a local one or an international firm that can research cultural
sensitivities.
Understand packaging requirements. If you're selling a product,
you need to consider the laws and customs and packaging
requirements in your new markets before deciding on packaging
for your products. Your packaging may use a clear plastic shell
that hangs from a rod, but your competition may package their
product in a box that can go on a shelf, Williams says. This may
put you at a disadvantage. "If you're selling a packaged product
around the world there are incredible hurdles," Roth adds.
Shipping food across borders may require you to provide more
nutritional information on packaging, in more languages, and there
may be laws prohibiting the use of certain products in some
markets -- even New York City has a ban on trans fatty acids, for
example. Learn the local standards and ensure your packaging
includes any necessary regulatory information and meets
transportation standards.
Register trademarks and domain names. Follow the process in
your new market to ensure you preserve patent and trademarks.
Thanks to the NAFTA Treaty your marks should already be
protected in Mexico and Canada, Williams says. If you're doing
business in the European Union filing for a Community Trade
Mark (CTM) will protect you. Another consideration is making
sure the Internet domain name for your company and product are
available. You still want to register a dot-com, which is the most
popular domain worldwide for businesses. But you may also
consider registering domains using specific country codes -- .nl for
the Netherlands or .br for Brazil -- if you are targeting only one or
two local markets and plan on providing up-to-date translations of
your websites into the local languages.
In taking these steps to building a brand internationally, it almost always
helps to find local resources to help you understand and enter new
foreign markets. You might consider entering into business with a local
distributor or retailer in this new market. "It is nearly impossible to
understand local culture simply by visiting a country," Williams says.
"Find local customers, local translators. Just because you took two years
of French in high school doesn't make you qualified to understand the
French market nor do French translations. Just as consumers' needs are
different in Rhode Island from those in Florida and California, so are the
needs of consumers in Paris different from those in Marseille."
How To Revitalize Your Brand
Revitalizing your brand is not often easy and means assessing where you
came from, where you are now, and where you want to go from here. It
can often feel like you are starting your branding process over from the
beginning, and though it will be a lot faster this time around (there is a
lot you already know), you still want to ask yourself the hard questions
and begin...well at the beginning. They say it is a very good place to
start.
1. What are the core values of your business/organization? What are
some key words, short phrases, and descriptions that best depict what
you do or want to be doing? What do you want your brand to "feel"
like? Your brand has a personality and so needs to be thought about like
you would a person. It will have a distinct way it talks, sense of humor,
things it cares about, positions it agrees or disagrees with, etc. If you are
stuck here, sometimes doing a visual exercise like creating a mood or
vision board is helpful.
2. What is the purpose of your work? Has this changed over time?
What was it when you started and what is it now? What makes you
unique and different from your competitors? What role do you provide
in your partnerships with others? (ie. key
stakeholders/constiuents/clients/fans, etc. depending on what type of
business we are talking about) This information is what becomes your
new mission statement and/or company description.
3. What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish over the next
1, 3, 5, 10 years? Think big and keep referring back to your core values,
being reminded of what you value and will keep you interested in your
work are they same things that will be engaging to other people. Make
sure to also think about tangible and actionable goals, ie. things you can
quantify and "check-off" when complete. Asking yourself these
questions are the beginings of a new strategic plan.
4. Who are your key stakeholders/constiuents/clients/fans,
etc.? What are their demographics? (likes, dislikes, places they
go/events they attend, other organizations they are a part of, etc... be
specific on gender, age, social/political/cultural activities) Have these
people changed since you began, if so, how? Are the people you market
to now the same people you want 1-5 years from now? These questions
will help you identify your target market(s) and in turn how you want to
communicate your brand moving forward.
5. Does your brand identity still "look" and "feel" right? Is the way
you talk about yourself (written and visually) still inline with your core
values and goals? Are your marketing materials consistent? Do they
share the same basic theme and information, and are these clear to your
readers/viewers? Either way, if you are considering a brand
revitalization, something probably feels off to you, so taking a look at
the fonts, colors, imagery, and textures you are using is probably a good
idea. This will help you create a new visual language and identity. For a
more in-depth exercise than what is listed below see 4 Quick Tips For
Visual Consistency: A Quick and Dirty Guide to Unifying Your
Marketing Materials.
Fonts: If your company/organization were a font, which one
would it be? Visit Myfonts.com or Google Webfonts and type in
your core values/key words and see what comes up.
Color Palette: In general, what kind of colors are you drawn to
and would best portray your core values? Try playing around
with Colourlovers.
Textures: Do you prefer smooth and clean vs. tactile and layered?
See SubtlePatterns.
Imagery: What kind of imagery are you drawn to? What imagery
do you think best portrays your core values? Visit istockphoto.
Once you have finished going through the steps above, I think you will
find you have already revitalized your brand. It is not one simple action
that changes things, it is a transformation in how you are thinking about
your company/organization and then choosing words and a new visual
language that "feels" in alignment. Try to stay focused on your core
values before you focus on who you are trying to reach. If you stay
grounded in what you value, your purpose, and goals, you will attract the
right people to your community. Then it is just a matter of choosing the
right marketing channels for sharing and broadcasting. (print, web,
social, email, etc
brand hierarchy
A brand hierarchy is a means of summarizing the branding strategy by
displaying the number and nature of common and distinctive brand
elements across the firms products, revealing the explicit ordering of
brand elements. By capturing the potential branding relationships among
the different products sold by the firm, a brand hierarchy is a useful
means of graphically portraying a firms branding strategy. Specifically,
a brand hierarchy is based on the realization that a product can be
branded in different ways depending on how many new and existing
brand elements are used and how they are combined for any one
product. Because certain brand elements are used to make more than one
brand, a hierarchy can be constructed to represent how (if at all)
products are nested with other products because of their common brand
elements. Some brand elements may be shared by many products (e.g.,
Ford); other brand elements may be unique to certain products (e.g., F-
series trucks).
As with any hierarchy, moving from the top level to the bottom level
typically involves more entries at each succeeding levelin this case,
more brands. There are different ways to define brand elements and
levels of the hierarchy. Perhaps the simplest representation of possible
brand elements and thus potential levels of a brand hierarchyfrom
top to bottommight be as follows:
1. Corporate (or company) brand (e.g., General Motors)
2. Range brand (e.g., Chevrolet)
3. Individual brand (e.g.. Lumina)
4. Modifier (designating item or model) (e.g., Ultra)
The highest level of the brand hierarchy technically always involves
one brandthe corporate or company brand. For legal reasons, the
company or corporate brand is almost always present somewhere on the
product or package, although it may be the case that the name of a
company subsidiary may appear instead of the corporate name. For
example, Fortune Brands owns many different companies, such as
Titleist, Footjoy, Jim Beam, Master Lock, and Moen, but does not use its
corporate name in any of its lines of business. For some firms, the
corporate brand is virtually the only brand used (e.g., as with General
Electric and Hewlett-Packard). Some other firms combine their corpo-
rate brand name with family brands or individual brands (e.g.,
conglomerate Siemens varied electrical engineering and electronics
business units are branded with descriptive modifiers, such as Siemens
Transportation Systems). Finally, in some other cases, the company
name is virtually invisible and, although technically part of the
hierarchy, receives virtually no attention in the marketing program (e.g.,
Black & Decker does not use its name on its high-end DeWalt
professional power tools, and Hewlett-Packard created a wholly owned
subsidiary for its low-priced Apollo ink-jet printers).
Protecting Brand Equity
The marketing mix should focus on building and protecting brand
equity. For example, if the brand is positioned as a premium product, the
product quality should be consistent with what consumers expect of the
brand, low sale prices should not be used compete, the distribution
channels should be consistent with what is expected of a premium brand,
and the promotional campaign should build consistent associations.
Finally, potentially dilutive extensions that are inconsistent with the
consumer's perception of the brand should be avoided. Extensions also
should be avoided if the core brand is not yet sufficiently strong.
Managing Multiple Brands
Different companies have opted for different brand strategies for
multiple products. These strategies are:
Single brand identity - a separate brand for each product. For
example, in laundry detergents Procter & Gamble offers uniquely
positioned brands such as Tide, Cheer, Bold, etc.
Umbrella - all products under the same brand. For example, Sony
offers many different product categories under its brand.
Multi-brand categories - Different brands for different product
categories. Campbell Soup Company uses Campbell's for soups,
Pepperidge Farm for baked goods, and V8 for juices.
Family of names - Different brands having a common name stem.
Nestle uses Nescafe, Nesquik, and Nestea for beverages.
Brand equity is an important factor in multi-product branding strategies.
Building and Managing Brand Equity
In his 1989 paper, Managing Brand Equity, Peter H. Farquhar outlined
the following three stages that are required in order to build a strong
brand:
1. Introduction - introduce a quality product with the strategy of using
the brand as a platform from which to launch future products. A positive
evaluation by the consumer is important.
2. Elaboration - make the brand easy to remember and develop repeat
usage. There should be accessible brand attitude, that is, the consumer
should easily remember his or her positive evaluation of the brand.
3. Fortification - the brand should carry a consistent image over time to
reinforce its place in the consumer's mind and develop a special
relationship with the consumer. Brand extensions can further fortify the
brand, but only with related products having a perceived fit in the mind
of the consumer.
What is Brand Equity?
Brand equity is an intangible asset that depends on associations made by
the consumer. There are at least three perspectives from which to view
brand equity:
Financial - One way to measure brand equity is to determine the
price premium that a brand commands over a generic product. For
example, if consumers are willing to pay $100 more for a branded
television over the same unbranded television, this premium provides
important information about the value of the brand. However, expenses
such as promotional costs must be taken into account when using this
method to measure brand equity.
Brand extensions - A successful brand can be used as a platform to
launch related products. The benefits of brand extensions are the
leveraging of existing brand awareness thus reducing advertising
expenditures, and a lower risk from the perspective of the consumer.
Furthermore, appropriate brand extensions can enhance the core brand.
However, the value of brand extensions is more difficult to quantify than
are direct financial measures of brand equity.
Consumer-based - A strong brand increases the consumer's attitude
strength toward the product associated with the brand. Attitude strength
is built by experience with a product. This importance of actual
experience by the customer implies that trial samples are more effective
than advertising in the early stages of building a strong brand. The
consumer's awareness and associations lead to perceived quality,
inferred attributes, and eventually, brand loyalty.
Strong brand equity provides the following benefits:
Facilitates a more predictable income stream.
Increases cash flow by increasing market share, reducing
promotional costs, and allowing premium pricing.
Brand equity is an asset that can be sold or leased.
However, brand equity is not always positive in value. Some brands
acquire a bad reputation that results in negative brand equity. Negative
brand equity can be measured by surveys in which consumers indicate
that a discount is needed to purchase the brand over a generic product.

Sources of Brand Identity
1. SYMBOLS- Symbols help customers memorize
organizations products and services. They help us
correlate positive attributes that bring us closer and make it
convenient for us to purchase those products and services.
Symbols emphasize our brand expectations and shape
corporate images. Symbols become a key component of
brand equity and help in differentiating the brand
characteristics. Symbols are easier to memorize than the
brand names as they are visual images. These can include
logos, people, geometric shapes, cartoon images,
anything. For instance, Marlboro has its famous cowboy,
Pillsbury has its Poppin Fresh doughboy, Duracell has its
bunny rabbit, Mc Donald has Ronald, Fed Ex has an arrow,
and Nikes swoosh. All these symbols help us remember
the brands associated with them.
Brand symbols are strong means to attract attention and
\
enhance brand personalities by making customers like
them. It is feasible to learn the relationship between symbol
and brand if the symbol is reflective/representative of the
brand. For instance, the symbol of LG symbolize the world,
future, youth, humanity, and technology. Also, it represents
LGs efforts to keep close relationships with their
customers.
2. LOGOS- A logo is a unique graphic or symbol that
represents a company, product, service, or other entity. It
represents an organization very well and make the
customers well-acquainted with the company. It is due to
logo that customers form an image for the product/service in
mind. Adidass Three Stripes is a famous brand identified
by its corporate logo.
Features of a good logo are :
a. It should be simple.
b. It should be distinguished/unique. It should differentiate
itself.
c. It should be functional so that it can be used widely.
d. It should be effective, i.e., it must have an impact on the
intended audience.
e. It should be memorable.
f. It should be easily identifiable in full colours, limited
colour palettes, or in black and white.
g. It should be a perfect reflection/representation of the
organization.
h. It should be easy to correlate by the customers and
should develop customers trust in the organization.
i. It should not loose its integrity when transferred on
fabric or any other material.
j. It should portray companys values, mission and
objectives.
The elements of a logo are:
11. Logotype - It can be a simple or expanded name.
Examples of logotypes including only the name are
Kelloggs, Hyatt, etc.
12. Icon - It is a name or visual symbol that
communicates a market position. For example-LIC
hands, UTI kalash.
13. Slogan - It is best way of conveying companys
message to the consumers. For instance- Nikes slogan
Just Do It.
3. TRADEMARKS- Trademark is a unique symbol, design, or
any form of identification that helps people recognize a
brand. A renowned brand has a popular trademark and that
helps consumers purchase quality products. The goodwill of
the dealer/maker of the product also enhances by use of
trademark. Trademark totally indicates the commercial
source of product/service. Trademark contribute in brand
equity formation of a brand. Trademark name should be
original. A trademark is chosen by the following symbols:
(denotes unregistered trademark, that is, a mark used to
promote or brand goods);
SM
(denotes unregistered service mark)
(denotes registered trademark).
Registration of trademark is essential in some countries to
give exclusive rights to it. Without adequate trademark
protection, brand names can become legally declared
generic. Generic names are never protectable as was the
case with Vaseline, escalator and thermos.
Some guidelines for trademark protection are as
follows:
. Go for formal trademark registration.
i. Never use trademark as a noun or verb. Always use it
as an adjective.
ii. Use correct trademark spelling.
iii. Challenge each misuse of trademark, specifically by
competitors in market.
iv. Capitalize first letter of trademark. If a trademark
appears in point, ensure that it stands out from
surrounding text
Brand Identity vs Brand Image

Brand Identity Brand Image
1 Brand identity develops
from the source or the
company.
Brand image is perceived by
the receiver or the consumer.
2 Brand message is tied
together in terms of brand
identity.
Brand message is untied by
the consumer in the form of
brand image.
3 The general meaning of
brand identity is who you
really are?
The general meaning of brand
image is How market
perceives you?
4 Its nature is that it is
substance oriented or
Its nature is that it is
appearance oriented or
strategic. tactical.
5 Brand identity symbolizes
firms reality.
Brand image symbolizes
perception of consumers
6 Brand identity represents
your desire.
Brand image represents
others view
7 It is enduring. It is superficial.
8 Identity is looking ahead. Image is looking back.
9 Identity is active. Image is passive.
10 It signifies where you want
to be.
It signifies what you have
got.
11 It is total promise that a
company makes to
consumers.
It is total consumers
perception about the brand.
Brand Promise - Our brand is a promise of what we deliver
Brand evokes the responses. There are many people who love
their Apple iPod or love their car etc. There are certain feelings
that come to your mind when you think about your favorite
brands. People expect that these brands should demonstrate
brand promises every time whenever they are, encountered.
Inconsistencies in the performance of services can lead to
damage in further relations. This can cause a customer to select
some other brand.
Brand promise is what you say to the customer and what is
to be delivered. If you are not able to meet the expectations of
the customer, your business will either flounder or die. If you are
not able to deliver the brand promise you will not be able to meet
the expectations that have been created in the customers mind.
There are three major mistakes that the business leaders
make while executing and developing the brand promise:

The first mistake is when you refuse to recognize the
customer expectations that are created in customers mind
before it comes in contact with that particular brand. The
customers are very easily able to realize your brand promise
by the business you are dealing with. For example, if you have
a gourmet restaurant then the customers will have a image in
their mind that it will different from the local restaurant. This is
one of the major reason, why one should work for every
smallest detail. For example, the image of a gourmet
restaurant does not include plastic menus or paper placemats.

The second major mistake is to implement a system which
gives a negative experience to the customer. Business
leaders work on creating efficient results for saving time and
money. Human beings are self-centered creatures with a
thought in their mind to save money and time for us. For
example, a customers asks do you accept credit card? Do you
accept all credit cards or only master card and visa? If you
dont accept these cards, does it make any difference in the
cost? Its just that you are losing sales. Then what are the other
services you are giving to the customer in place which is the
attraction for the customers. Any small inconvenience which
will force the customer to say that you are not completely
service oriented and encourages the customer to some other
brand.

The third major mistake is that when you are not able to hire
the best candidate. You easily hire anyone who applies and
dont even put some efforts to train them gives a really terrible
experience to the customers. Brand promises are delivered by
the staff. If your goal is to be a business leader you will invest
time to train the staff. If you select a person who is very polite
and does not even know how to dress up for an interview then
you competition should send a thank you card for all the
business you will send his way.
People who want to become the business leader understand they
are a great product brands. They are authentic, dependable and
reliable. Their icon is their name. Delivering the best of
themselves is their brand promise. Do you want to become winner
at working? Then, deliver the brand promise.
Brand Association
Brand Associations are not benefits, but are images and symbols
associated with a brand or a brand benefit. For example- The
Nike Swoosh, Nokia sound, Film Stars as with Lux, signature
tune Ting-ting-ta-ding with Britannia, Blue colour with Pepsi, etc.
Associations are not reasons-to-buy but provide acquaintance
and differentiation thats not replicable. It is relating perceived
qualities of a brand to a known entity. For instance- Hyatt Hotel is
associated with luxury and comfort; BMW is associated with
sophistication, fun driving, and superior engineering. Most popular
brand associations are with the owners of brand, such as - Bill
Gates and Microsoft, Reliance and Dhirubhai Ambani.
Brand association is anything which is deep seated in
customers mind about the brand. Brand should be associated
with something positive so that the customers relate your brand to
being positive. Brand associations are the attributes of brand
which come into consumers mind when the brand is talked about.
It is related with the implicit and explicit meanings which a
consumer relates/associates with a specific brand name. Brand
association can also be defined as the degree to which a specific
product/service is recognized within its product/service
class/category. While choosing a brand name, it is essential that
the name chosen should reinforce an important attribute or benefit
association that forms its product positioning. For instance -
Power book.
Brand associations are formed on the following basis:
Customers contact with the organization and its employees;
Advertisements;
Word of mouth publicity;
Price at which the brand is sold;
Celebrity/big entity association;
Quality of the product;
Products and schemes offered by competitors;
Product class/category to which the brand belongs;
POP ( Point of purchase) displays; etc
Positive brand associations are developed if the product which
the brand depicts is durable, marketable and desirable. The
customers must be persuaded that the brand possess the
features and attributes satisfying their needs. This will lead to
customers having a positive impression about the product.
Positive brand association helps an organization to gain goodwill,
and obstructs the competitors entry into the market
Co-branding - Meaning, Types and Advantages and
Disadvantages

What is Co-branding
Co branding is the utilization of two or more brands to
name a new product. The ingredient brands help each
other to achieve their aims. The overall synchronization
between the brand pair and the new product has to be
kept in mind. Example of co-branding - Citibank co-
branded with MTV to launch a co-branded debit card.
This card is beneficial to customers who can avail
benefits at specific outlets called MTV Citibank club.
Types of Co-branding
Co-branding is of two types: Ingredient co-
branding and Composite co-branding.
1. Ingredient co-branding implies using a renowned
brand as an element in the production of another
renowned brand. This deals with creation of brand
equity for materials and parts that are contained
within other products. The ingredient/constituent
brand is subordinate to the primary brand. For
instance - Dell computers has co-branding strategy
with Intel processors. The brands which are
ingredients are usually the companys biggest
buyers or present suppliers. The ingredient brand
should be unique. It should either be a major brand
or should be protected by a patent. Ingredient co-
branding leads to better quality products, superior
promotions, more access to distribution channel
and greater profits. The seller of ingredient brand
enjoys long-term customer relations. The brand
manufacture can benefit by having a competitive
advantage and the retailer can benefit by enjoying
a promotional help from ingredient brand.
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2. Composite co-branding refers to use of two renowned
brand names in a way that they can collectively offer a
distinct product/ service that could not be possible
individually. The success of composite branding depends
upon the favourability of the ingredient brands and also upon
the extent on complementarities between them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Co-branding
Co-branding has various advantages, such as - risk-sharing,
generation of royalty income, more sales income, greater
customer trust on the product, wide scope due to joint advertising,
technological benefits, better product image by association with
another renowned brand, and greater access to new sources
of finance. But co-branding is not free from limitations. Co-
branding may fail when the two products have different market
and are entirely different. If there is difference in visions and
missions of the two companies, then also composite branding
may fail. Co-branding may affect partner brands in adverse
manner. If the customers associate any adverse experience with
a constituent brand, then it may damage the total brand equity.
Brand Extension - Meaning, Advantages and Disadvantages
Brand Extensionis the use of an established brand name in new
product categories. This new category to which the brand is
extended can be related or unrelated to the existing product
categories. A renowned/successful brand helps an organization to
launch products in new categories more easily. For instance,
Nikes brand core product is shoes. But it is now extended to
sunglasses, soccer balls, basketballs, and golf equipments. An
existing brand that gives rise to a brand extension is referred to
as parent brand. If the customers of the new business have
values and aspirations synchronizing/matching those of the core
business, and if these values and aspirations are embodied in the
brand, it is likely to be accepted by customers in the new
business.
Extending a brand outside its core product category can be
beneficial in a sense that it helps evaluating product category
opportunities, identifies resource requirements, lowers risk, and
measures brands relevance and appeal.
Brand extension may be successful or unsuccessful.
Instances where brand extension has been a success are-
i. Wipro which was originally into computers has extended into
shampoo, powder, and soap.
ii. Mars is no longer a famous bar only, but an ice-cream,
chocolate drink and a slab of chocolate.
Instances where brand extension has been a failure are-
i. In case of new Coke, Coca Cola has forgotten what the core
brand was meant to stand for. It thought that taste was the
only factor that consumer cared about. It was wrong. The
time and money spent on research on new Coca Cola could
not evaluate the deep emotional attachment to the original
Coca- Cola.
ii. Rasna Ltd. - Is among the famous soft drink companies in
India. But when it tried to move away from its niche, it hasnt
had much success. When it experimented with fizzy fruit
drink Oranjolt, the brand bombed even before it could
take off. Oranjolt was a fruit drink in which carbonates were
used as preservative. It didnt work out because it was out of
synchronization with retail practices. Oranjolt need to be
refrigerated and it also faced quality problems. It has a shelf
life of three-four weeks, while other soft- drinks assured life
of five months.
Advantages of Brand Extension
Brand Extension has following advantages:
1. It makes acceptance of new product easy.
a. It increases brand image.
b. The risk perceived by the customers reduces.
c. The likelihood of gaining distribution and trial increases.
An established brand name increases consumer
interest and willingness to try new product having the
established brand name.
d. The efficiency of promotional expenditure increases.
Advertising, selling and promotional costs are reduced.
There are economies of scale as advertising for core
brand and its extension reinforces each other.
e. Cost of developing new brand is saved.
f. Consumers can now seek for a variety.
g. There are packaging and labeling efficiencies.
h. The expense of introductory and follow
up marketing programs is reduced.
2. There are feedback benefits to the parent brand and the
organization.
a. The image of parent brand is enhanced.
b. It revives the brand.
c. It allows subsequent extension.
d. Brand meaning is clarified.
e. It increases market coverage as it brings new
customers into brand franchise.
f. Customers associate original/core brand to new
product, hence they also have quality associations.
Disadvantages of Brand Extension
1. Brand extension in unrelated markets may lead to loss of
reliability if a brand name is extended too far. An
organization must research the product categories in which
the established brand name will work.
2. There is a risk that the new product may generate
implications that damage the image of the core/original
brand.
3. There are chances of less awareness and trial because the
management may not provide enough investment for the
introduction of new product assuming that the spin-off effects
from the original brand name will compensate.
4. If the brand extensions have no advantage over competitive
brands in the new category, then it will fail.
Why Do Brands Have Extensions ?
As the business environment is changing, the profile of the
organizations as well as the way of conducting business is
changing too. Use of technology andglobalization has changed
everything about business.Marketing is no longer what it used to
be. Online marketing has changed the face of conventional
marketing and both are incomparable by any standards.
When we look at the job profile of brand managers, we find that
over the past few years, there have been several changes.
Todays brand managers are not only planning product promotion
and marketing services, but work as business managers
responsible for the brand. They are in fact responsible for the
sales, growth as well as the profits of the brand in Multinational
companies. A strong brand may have a team of brand managers
working on the brand across several geographic locations and
countries. With the global brands being present in various
markets, there arises the need for local factors and
sensibilities to be built into the brand and into the brand
management as well. Therefore it makes it imperative to build
a brand management team or structure that can work through
micro and macro levels.
Take a look at the shelf in the super market when you visit next
time and you will be surprised to see that each of the leading
brands be it in the medical section, soft drink or grocery item,
there are likely to be multiple variations of the same brand with
little difference. Of course we are talking about the brand
extensions that have become the latest strategy adopted by brand
managers to exploit the brand value. Coke is perhaps the best
and the most common example where you get to see variations of
coke in the shelf today. Brand extensions have become the norm
of the day. The question that one needs to ask is whether such
brand extensions are really required and worthwhile?.
In the market place, where competition is very high and
intense amongst brands, the brand managers are always
under pressure on multiple fronts. First and foremost, for a
brand to grow or retain market share, there has to be continual
effort to deliver incremental value through the brand. Secondly,
managements have increased expectations from the brand in
terms of revenue growth, market share as well as the bottom line.
Brand managers therefore are forced to opt for brand extension
strategies in order to create product differentiation and to increase
revenue streams. Sometimes, brand extensions become
necessary to reign in some of the niche segments which may not
be addressed by the parent brand and thus the brand extension
helps gain incremental market share.
Brand extensions are also considered to be the most natural
progression for brands. When organizations spent a lot of
investments into manufacturing and technology for launching the
parent brand, they would not like to leave out any opportunity to
capitalize on the capacity that they have created and
maximize returns on investment.
The next logical question that one asks is whether such brand
extensions are useful and beneficial for the brand. What is the
effect of brand extensions on the parent brand?. It is difficult to
predict what the exact result would be for, the results in the case
of such brand extensions have been mixed in the market.
Brand Extension - A Success or Failure ?
Brand management has become quite a challenge for brand
managers as well as the Organizations today. Intense
competition and the decreasing product life of a brand add
further dimensions to the brand management problem. Brand
managers by and large opt for brand extensions now days.
You can check any shelf in the super market and you will see
variants of the same brand occupying the shelf space. This is true
in all cases be it with a soft drink brand leader like Coke to a
cream, shampoo or toiletry.
Brand managers are always under pressure to grow the market
share and increase revenue. Under constant pressure and
intense competition, they find it easier to bring out brand
extensions in order to provide continual change and an increased
value perception to the consumers. Brand extensions also help
them to capture the niche segments in the market that have not
be covered by the parent brand. On the part of the management,
brand extensions prove to help in maximizing capacity utilization
and stretching resources to the maximum.
However, the question that bothers every brand manager is
whether such brand extension is good for the parent brand or
whether it is a mistake that one is committing in the long run.
There is no straight answer to this question. In some cases,
brands like GE, Proctor & Gamble, Spencers etc have been
hugely successful in making foray into new businesses using the
parent brand and stretching the brand. Brand extensions too have
worked well for brands like Nivea, Dove and Loreal etc. In many
cases, the brand extensions and stretching exercises have failed
too.
There is definitely a case for brand extensions in the market for
various reasons. There is nothing wrong in a firm exploiting the
brand image or brand value when they have strived to build the
parent brand over a period of time. Economically too it makes
sense for the company to resort to brand extension which is far
cheaper than introducing and promoting a new brand. If
successful, brand extensions can help strengthen the parent
brand as well as capture the niche market segments no doubt.
However, the thinking behind the brand extension and the
strategy is what makes the brand extension a failure or a
success. In cases where the brand extension is planned to auger
short term revenue, it may not withstand the test of times. The
danger of brand extension is something that should be accounted
for before jumping into brand extensions. The failure of a brand
extension can affect the perception of the consumers with regard
to the parent brand and damage the brand value. In Some cases,
the brand extension products may not generate new revenue but
eat into the parent brands market share itself.
What works for brand extension is difficult to say. Depending
upon the product, one can perhaps map the market and arrive at
a good judgment. Categories like biscuits, soft drinks, chewing
gum, sauces and jams etc generally do well with brand
extensions. The same does not hold good in terms of all products.
Branding experts opine that though there is no guaranteed
formulae for success in brand extensions, when the same is
carried out as a part of a well identified and planned strategy, it
can be successful. A well identified and planned strategy involves
identifying the core brand value and perception and building
brand extension by retaining the same values but delivering
increased value through brand extension.
What is Brand Value
Branding has emerged as a corporate strategy in the recent
times. All business organizations in all sectors have embraced the
strategy of building their identity through their corporate brands
besides the product related brands. Branding is definitely
a marketing strategy. However the strategy of investing into brand
building and managing the reputation of the corporate brand goes
beyond marketing. Branding is considered to be a strategy that is
driven and managed by the CEO or the organization along with
the senior management as well as marketing heads. Over the
recent years, we see new concepts of brand value, brand power
and brand equity etc. being coined and measured.
If marketing professionals found it difficult to justify and obtain
sanctions for the brand promotional activity, today they no longer
need to worry. Brand value and expenses towards brand building
have become an accepted part of the balance sheet. Capitalizing
the brand value and the expenses towards meeting the brand
promotion are budgeted and accounted for in the balance sheets
and in many cases the ROI of a brand is also calculated to reflect
the brand value status over time.
Brand management has gained prominence in recent times. The
fact that we have global brands that have been well established
for over fifty years goes on to prove the fact that brands certainly
have the power to make or break in the markets. Goodyear, Coco
Cola, Gillette, Nestle, Kelloggs, Schweppes, Brooke bond etc
have been around for a very long time and have gained certain
brand power to drive growth through brand reputation and
relationship with the consumers.
Marketers have realized the growing power of brands and
have begun to nurture the brand image and cultivate value
through brand ambassadors. Most of the lifestyle and luxury
brands globally and locally have well known actors and sports
persons etc as brand ambassadors. Through the persona of the
brand ambassadors, the marketers derive the power to connect
with the consumers and build brand loyalty. Realizing the brand
power also calls for working on the product quality and continuous
modification both in the product as well as in the promotion of
brand ambassadors. Building and growing strong brand at a
global level calls for the entire organization to be brand oriented.
The best example of building and realizing strong brand power
and unleashing the brand value is Apple. If you think that the
entire world outside is an Apple fan, you are right. But the entire
organization within also worship their brand too. All of the
strategies, decisions as well as day to day business decisions at
all levels are directed towards promotion of and strengthening of
the apple brand. The entire organization believes in the brand and
all business processes are driven to build the brand and deliver
superior customer experience through the brand. Apple as
a global brand is perhaps the best example of a successful
corporate brand.
As much as the corporate strategy has got to account for the
branding strategy, the marketing has also to ensure that they
work on the different aspects of the brand packaging, design, etc
and keep working on the brand so that it is consistent with the
changing times, markets, consumer expectations and taste etc.
The brands have their own value. The market leadership and
profitability of a certain product or business is realized
through the brand value. Growing the brand power and using
the brand value as a driver to increase profitability as well as the
market calls for expert management of branding. Maintaining the
leadership of a brand calls for strategic planning in the long term
perspective.
Brand Value Measurement
Brands have a certain value in the market as well as in the
balance sheets of the organization that owns the brand. This is a
matter that has been agreed upon by the industry. The
accounting of the brand value and the methodology for
calculation of the brand value is widely debated. When
organizations pay a huge premium or goodwill to acquire a brand,
it becomes a strategic decision. However accounting for the
premium paid is a matter that is discussed and debated by many
in the industry.
No doubt accountants would like to assign a tangible value to
every asset owned by the company and brand value paid to
acquire a particular brand and the business is also considered to
be an asset. One of the systems followed by UK based business
organizations is that they capitalize the entire value paid for
acquiring the business and the same is depreciated over a period
of time.
Interbrand, the branding company has proposed a different
method of accounting for the brand value. This method as well as
the other methods that are proposed by industry experts take into
account the future sales potential of the brand as well as its
current market share to arrive at a definitive figure in terms of
brand equity or brand power.
Accordingly one of the models followed by the industry
accounts for the net profit earned by the brand in the last
three consecutive years in terms of value. To this, is added a
score that is derived out of measuring certain key factors
associated with the brand like brand leadership, market share,
trend, loyalty etc. Certain weight age is given to each of the
factors and the total score is then converted into a certain value
with the help of a multiple that is again derived out of a market
study conducted for that particular sector.
Similarly there are several other models and methods that have
been proposed by experts in the industry. All of the models use
a combination of qualitative and quantitative factors to arrive
at a measurable value in terms of Brand Equity. Some of the
well known models are Brand Equity Index, Consumer Brand
Equity Brand Asset by Longman Moran and Leo Burnett,
Conversion Model Equity Monitor etc. The factors included in the
above vary from Quality of the brand to Customer attitude,
perception, market share, price band, durability etc.
A reasonable model to measure brand equity becomes
essential not only for the accountants but for the business
Organization that is looking out to buy a brand. Valuation of a
brand and fixing the right price or premium for the brand needs a
proven methodology and model that can guide the decision
making. It is also true that one model cannot satisfy
thefinance and accounts personnel as well as the business
managers, for each ones perceptions and purpose of evaluation
is different. When brands are key to the growth and business
strategy of the Organizations, the decision makers would
definitely need proven and strong models to guide them for
decision making. Besides the models they would need to analyze
the brand equity from many other points of view of product
portfolio, growth potential of the brand to see if a particular brand
is the right choice for them. If there exists a strategic synergy
between the brand and the buyers business needs, then the
brand value is likely to change and the buyer might find that he is
required to pay a premium over and above the perceived brand
value. At what price does it make sense to acquire the brand is a
decision that is critical to the buyer. Brand value models can
certainly aid him in this decision making process.
Brand Categories
Every marketing management student would have heard the story
about origin of branding, that it was initially used to identify and
isolate a particular stock of cattle in the west. From the Wild West,
branding as a concept has grown and changed beyond its original
purpose. Today brands have become the common tool for us to
differentiate and recall various products and services.
Branding in the current times is not limited to products and
services alone. In fact you will find every type of organization and
business stream using brand as a tool for differentiation, recall
and identity. The fact that the brand identity that includes the
visual logo also comprises of and represents a particular set of
characteristics, values and the core culture of the brand owner.
Branding is today used for a lot many purposes other than just to
offer products and services to the consumers.
Of course when we think of brands, the first category that comes
to our mind is that of product and service brands. These are
mostly stand alone brands that are strongly product centric.
Kelloggs, Coco Cola, Lays, Johnie Walker etc, are strong product
brands. The immediate recall in the consumers mind is that of the
particular product that it represents. Xerox originally became such
a very successful and strong brand that people started calling
photocopier machines as Xerox machine. Even today this brand
name continues to be used to refer to the photocopiers.
There are also the Line brands comprising of a exclusive set of
product lines under a brand name. Take a look at the computer
industry, all the different types of laptops and desktops are
bundled under a particular series or a particular line brand. Dells
Studio series meant for digital and multi- media as well as
animation and graphic users and Inspira series for computing are
the best examples of line brands. Loreal studio line of products is
another good example of line brands.
When experts talk about brand extension and line extensions as
well as product extensions, it becomes difficult to
compartmentalize each category. Take the case of diet coke.
Some experts call it a brand extension, while the others feel it is a
product or line extension. Ultimately, the marketing professionals
who have worked out the strategy for the brand know it the best.
Range brands are the next best type of branding used especially
in the retail industry. Oral B is perhaps of the best known global
brands comprising of several range of products related to dental
care. This concept is also used exclusively in the automotive
industry too. Toyota has a series of models and cars under its
Range Brand Lexus.
Umbrella branding is another highly successful methods of
building different product lines under single brand image that
emphasizes a standard core value proposition across the
products under its brand. Nivea, Sony, Virgin are possible the
most visible and successful global umbrella brands with several
product lines developed under the strong brand image.
Corporate brand has been adopted as a successful branding
strategy by Organizations to build their Corporate identity. Global
multi-national giants like GE, Phillips, Samsung, IBM, HP, P&G,
Nestle, etc have successfully built a strong corporate identity.
Similarly the banks and insurance companies etc like HSBC,
BOA, Citi bank, AIG, etc have are strong corporate brands that
represent the organization. It is another matter that they have
product brands that are equally famous and well known in their
product offering. P&G and Nestle deal with various products each
having their own successful product labels and brands. Similarly
GE has varied business interest in different fields. The corporate
GE brand is perhaps the best known identity for the organization
globally.
Industry academicians and experts have listed several more
types of brands that are categorized exclusively as designer
labels, exclusive store or boutique brands as well as family
brands etc. There are also media brands as well as e brands
that are the new additions to the brand wagon. In many cases
the brand categories have a thin line of boundary between
them and sometimes the products can also be categorized
under multip
le brand cate
gories depending upon the brand and product category etc.

Do Brands Happen or are they Made
Are brands built or do they just happen over a period of time?.
Well, this is a difficult question to deal with for, both are true. One
of the essential characteristics of successful brands being the fact
that they withstand the test of time, we should agree that in many
cases the brands actually become successful due to the
customers and the achieve a cult status over a period of time.
Look around some of the most famous brands that have not
only created a cult and global fan following, but have become
closely associated with the lifestyle and social culture of
individuals and society. Brands like Marlboro, Harley Davidson,
Apple, Mont Blanc etc have become a part of the psyche and
culture of communities across the world. Most often you will find
that the individual pegs his success by owning a Harley Davidson
or a Merc. Only when he has purchased and possessed one of
these brands does he consider that he has made it in life or has
arrived.
Ask the owners of these brands whether they had thought of
building the successful brand at the beginning of their success
story and in all probabilities, they would never have expected to
do so. In the natural course off business, these Organizations
have rolled out products to further their business. In order to build
loyalty and deliver increased value to the customers, they would
have invested in enhancing the value proposition continually and
focused on promoting the brand. Over a period of time, the
promotional activities and the product would have matched with
the aspirations and expectations of the customers leading to
intense loyalty on the part of the consumers with the particular
brand. Thus the brand acquires the power and status. We must at
this point of time recognize that the empowerment of the brand
has happened from the customers end. Realizing the
phenomenon of increased brand power, the Organizations would
have engaged in building the brand and advertising to increase its
reach and acceptance. Slowly with more and more customers
enlisting their loyalty to the brand, it becomes a cult.
When a brand commands huge popularity and becomes a cult,
you will note that the organization has been involved in sustaining
and growing the brand. They invest into the brand interms of its
utility, features, quality and promise as well as build some of the
implied values or soft values that appeal to the customers and
makes the brand endearing. Harley Davidson promises a certain
kind of adventure, freedom and spirit, thus appealing to that
adventurous streak in men who begin to identify with it and thus
form communities and groups to celebrate the brand. Take the
case of Mac, you will find techies being die hard apple fans
across the world. The product is distinctly different from the rest of
the computers in the form of itsoperating systems and
capabilities. Customers are hooked to Macs not only for the ease
of use, but for the technical capabilities, superior performance and
unmatched quality. The brand comes with a guarantee and no
Mac user ever thinks of comparing Mac with others or even
contemplates doubting the capabilities of a Mac. You can see in
this case, that the brand is backed by the superior product quality
and performance as well as contains an unsaid promise from the
brand owners.
Corporate Branding A Discussion
Today branding as an image building and identity building
process has been adopted by virtually every segment of the
society. Though we are more aware of branding in the products
and services sectors, corporate branding as well as branding by
different sectors such as sports, NGO, Cultural and religious
organizations including country and regional brand building by
nations can be witnessed in different fields. Branding and image
building has become an important exercise for all Organizations
as well as institutions.
As far as the organizations go, brand building has become a
strategic move, one that is not owned and crafted by
their marketingdepartments. It is the CEOs and the senior
management who own and manage the corporate brand identity.
In fact in some cases, the promoters of the Organizations have
their own individual brand identity coupled with having to build
and manage their Business or corporate identity as well. Richard
branson is perhaps the best example where he is a brand in
himself as well as owns the corporate brand of Virgin Group.
Corporate brand is not just a brand identity for the
organization. It is actually representative of the core values,
ethics and the value proposition that the organization stands
for in relation to its business and its customers. To a large
extent the corporate brand is also the ambassador of the culture
and value system of the Organization and its reputation.
Brand value or measure of a corporate brand has to be evaluated
in terms of its relevant to the customers, its value proposition to its
customers as well as its value as perceived by the investors as
well. The stock market sentiments are perhaps reflectors of the
brand image and value of a corporate brand. As far as the
investors are concerned, they measure the companys
performance in terms of brand value too, besides the balance
sheet performance. Industry experts have created models to
measure the brand equity of an organization as well as to
measure the brand value in the eyes of investors etc.
Maintaining the core brand value, the brand image lies with the
management of the Organization. Creating and delivering the
brand value experience is an activity that encompasses the entire
Organization including all business processes and employees of
the Organization.
In the changing market environment, the customer perceptions
and requirements keep changing as well. The Corporate branding
has got to be managed keeping in line with the new developments
as well. There has got to be continuous enhancement of value
offering by the Corporate brand keeping in line with the changing
markets and consumer perceptions. Take the case of IBM. The
corporate brand image took a beating for some time when the
Organization which was a leader in its industry segment lost touch
with the changing environment and failed to keep up with the
changing needs. It took a while for the Organization to realize its
mistake and make the required changes to divest certain
businesses and strengthen their focus on the key
business segment and once again rise to the challenge of
becoming a leader in its segment. Though the corporate brand did
take a beating, the brand image and value certainly helped the
organization charter its new course and make that course
correction without losing its reputation in the market.
Todays consumers and customers are highly aware and
make their informed choices. To be able to build customer
loyalty and sustain the leadership position in the long run,
the organization has got to work on its corporate brand value
and deliver superior brand experience at all times. The brand
experience is a mixture of real time experience that is the
outcome of interaction with the customer as well as his perception
of the brand experience which is a cumulative impression of his
past and present experience, knowledge as well as the perception
of the Organizational value and reputation