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Introduction to brand and brand management:

A brand is a product, service, or concept that is publicly distinguished from other

products, services, or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually
marketed. A brand name is the name of the distinctive product, service, or concept.
Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name. Branding
can be applied to the entire corporate identity as well as to individual product and
service names.
Brands are often expressed in the form of logos, graphic representations of the
brand. In computers, a recent example of widespread brand application was the
"Intel Inside" label provided to manufacturers that use Intel's microchips.
A company's brands and the public's awareness of them are often used as a factor
in evaluating a company. Corporations sometimes hire market research firms to
study public recognition of brand names as well as attitudes toward the brands.
In marketing, brand management is the analysis and planning on how
that brand is perceived in the market. Developing a good relationship with
the target market is essential for brand management. Tangible elements of brand
management include the product itself; look, price, the packaging, etc. The
intangible elements are the experience that the consumer has had with the brand,
and also the relationship that they have with that brand. A brand manager would
oversee all of these things.

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

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 favor 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
4) Opportunities from technology: Brand marketers are now able to take
advantage of technology to gain 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
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 programs 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 programs for different external audiences.

Brand management process:

Strategic Brand Management Process
I've selected this topic, since it's very important to understand the various aspects
in the PROCESS of strategic brand management.
The process of strategic brand management basically involves 4 steps:
1. Identifying and establishing brand positioning.
Brand Positioning is defined as the act of designing the company's offer and
image so that it occupies a distinct and valued place in the target consumer's mind.
Key Concepts:

Points of difference: convinces consumers about the advantages and

differences over the competitors
Mental Map: visual depiction of the various associations linked to the brand
in the minds of the consumers
Core Brand Associations: subset of associations i.e. both benefits and
attributes which best characterize the brand.
Brand Mantra: that is the brand essence or the core brand promise also
known as the Brand DNA.
2.Planning and Implementation of Brand Marketing Programs
Key Concepts:
Choosing Brand Elements: Different brand elements here are logos,
images, packaging, symbols, slogans, etc. Since different elements have different
advantages, marketers prefer to use different subsets and combinations of these
Integrating the Brand into Marketing Activities and the Support
Marketing Program: Marketing programs and activities make the biggest
contributions and can create strong, favorable, and unique brand associations in a
variety of ways.
Leveraging Secondary Associations: Brands may be linked to certain
source factors such as countries, characters, sporting or cultural events,etc. In
essence, the marketer is borrowing or leveraging some other associations for the
brand to create some associations of the brand's own and them to improve it's
brand equity.

3.Measuring and Interpreting Brand Performance

Key Concepts:

Brand Audit: Is assessment of the source of equity of the brand and to

suggest ways to improve and leverage it.
Brand Value chain: Helps to better understand the financial impacts of the
brand marketing investments and expenditures.
Brand Equity Measurement System: Is a set of tools and procedures
using which marketers can take tactical decision in the short and long run.
4. Growing and Sustaining Brand Equity:
Key Concepts:

Defining the brand strategy: Captures the branding relationship between

the various products /services offered by the firm using the tools of brand-product
matrix, brand hierarchy and brand portfolio
Managing Brand Equity over time: Requires taking a long -term view as
well as a short term view of marketing decisions as they will affect the success of
future marketing programs.
Managing Brand Equity over Geographic boundaries, Market
segments and Cultures:Marketers need to take into account international factors,
different types of consumers and the specific knowledge about the experience and
behaviors of the new geographies or market segments when expanding the
brand overseas or into new market segments.

Developing a brand strategy:

Dont worry: Creating a branding strategy isnt nearly as scary or as complicated as it sounds. Heres how
you do it:

Step 1: Set yourself apart.

Why should people buy from you instead of from the same kind of business across town? Think about the
intangible qualities of your product or service, using adjectives from friendly to fast and every word in
between. Your goal is to own a position in the customers mind so they think of you differently than the
Powerful brands will own a wordlike Volvo [owns] safety, says Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing
consultant and co-author of The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding: How to Build a Product or Service into a

World-Class Brand. Which word will your company own? A new hair salon might focus on the adjective
convenient and stay open a few hours later in the evening for customers who work latesomething no
other local salon might do. How will you be different from the competition? The answers are valuable
assets that constitute the basis of your brand.

Step 2: Know your target customer.

Once youve defined your product or service, think about your target customer. Youve probably already
gathered demographic information about the market youre entering, but think about the actual customers
who'll walk through your door. Who is this person, and what is the one thing he or she ultimately wants
from your product or service? After all, the customer is buying it for a reason. What will your customer
demand from you?

Step 3: Develop a personality.

How will you show customers every day what youre all about? A lot of small companies write mission
statements that say the company will value customers and strive for excellent customer service.
Unfortunately, these words are all talk, and no action. Dig deeper and think about how youll fulfill your
brands promise and provide value and service to the people you serve. If you promise quick service, for
example, what will quick mean inside your company? And how will you make sure service stays
speedy? Along the way, youre laying the foundation of your hiring strategy and how future employees will
be expected to interact with customers. Youre also creating the template for your advertising and
marketing strategies.

In the Loop
Many companies large and small stumble when it comes to incorporating employees into their branding
strategies. But to the customer making a purchase, your employee is the company. Your employees can
make or break your entire brand, so dont ever forget them. Here are a few tips:
Hire based on brand strategy. Communicating your brand through your employees starts with making the
right hires. Look to your brand strategy for help. If your focus is on customer service, employees should
be friendly, unflappable and motivated, right? Give new hires a copy of your brand strategy, and talk about
it with them on a regular basis.
Set expectations. How do you expect employees to treat customers? Make sure they understand whats
required. Reward employees who do an exceptional job or go above and beyond the call of duty.
Communicate, then communicate some more. Keeping employees clued in requires ongoing
communication about the companys branding efforts through meetings, posters, training, etc. Never, ever
assume employees can read your mind.

Your branding strategy doesnt need to be more than one page long at most. It can even be as short as
one paragraph. It all depends on your product or service and your industry. The important thing is that you
answer these questions before you open your doors.

Customer based brand equity:

Customer-based brand equity (CBBE) is a way of assessing the value of a brand in
customers' minds. Branding can increase profitability in large and small-scale
businesses by filling in gaps in customers' knowledge and by offering assurances.
The CBBE model centers that value in the minds of customers. It compels
businesses to define their brands according to a defined hierarchy of qualitative, or
common-sense, customer impressions. These impressions are often laid out in
pyramid-shaped levels; they consist of salience, performance, imagery, meaning,
judgments, feelings, and resonance.
Equity can be considered the sum total of values associated with a brand. These
might include awareness, loyalty, and recognition. The greater the equity, the more
likely customers will trust and choose the company's product or service.
Additionally, equity capitalizes on normal psychological tendencies, such as the
sometimes longer memory about negative experiences or the cognitive laziness
that creates loyalty through a customer's unwillingness to choose unfamiliar
products over familiar brand products.

Brand positioning:
Brand positioning refers to target consumers reason to buy your brand in
preference to others. It is ensures that all brand activity has a common aim; is guided,
directed and delivered by the brands benefits/reasons to buy; and it focuses at all points of
contact with the consumer.
Brand positioning must make sure that:

Is it unique/distinctive vs. competitors?

Is it significant and encouraging to the niche market?

Is it appropriate to all major geographic markets and businesses?

Is the proposition validated with unique, appropriate and original products?

Is it sustainable - can it be delivered constantly across all points of contact with the

Is it helpful for organization to achieve its financial goals?

Is it able to support and boost up the organization?

Brand Resonance:
Definition: The Brand Resonance refers to the relationship that a consumer has
with the product and how well he can relate with it.
The resonance is the intensity of customers psychological connection with the
brand and the randomness to recall the brand in different consumption situations.

Brand value chain:

The brand value chain is a structured approach to assessing the sources and
outcomes of brand equity and the manner in which marketing activities create
brand value. The brand value chain is based on several basic premises.
The brand value creation process begins when the firm invests in a marketing
program targeting actual or potential customers. Any marketing program that can
be attributed to brand value development, either intentional or not, falls into this
category product research development, and design; trade or intermediary
support; and marketing communications.
The marketing activity associated with the program affects the customer with
respect to the brand. The issue is, in what ways have customers been changed as a
result of the marketing program? This mind-set, across a broad group of customers,
then results in certain outcomes for the brand in terms of how it performs in the
marketplace. This is the collective impact of individual customer actions regarding
how much and when they purchase, the price that they pay, and so on.
Finally, the investment community considers market performance and other factors
such as replacement cost and purchase price in acquisitions to arrive at an
assessment of shareholder value in general and the value of a brand in particular.

How to choose Branding Elements to build Brand Equity

There are 6 integral criteria for choosing your brand elements:












1. Memorability: Brand elements that help achieve a high level of brand awareness
or attention to the brand, in turn facilitate the recognition and recall of a brand
during purchase or consumption.

2. Meaningfulness: Here a marketer needs to ensure that brand elements are

descriptive and suggesting something about the product category of the brand. This
is important to develop awareness and recognition for the brand in a particular
product category.
Secondly, the brand elements also need to have a persuasive meaning and suggest
something about the particular benefits and attributes of the brand. This is
necessary for defining the positioning of the brand in a particular category.

3. Likability: Brand Elements need to be inherently fun, interesting, colourful and not
necessarily always directly related to the product.
A memorable, meaningful and likable brand element makes it easier to build brand
recognition and brand equity, thus reducing the burden on the marketer and
thereby reducing the cost of marketing communications.

The above 3 criteria constitute the "Offensive Strategy" towards building brand

4. Transferability: is the extent to which brand elements can add brand equity to
new products of the brand in the line extensions. Another point, a marketer needs
to keep in mind is that the brand element should be able to add brand equity across
geographical boundaries and market segments. For example, brand names like

Apple, Blackberry represent fruits the world over, thus as a brand name it
doesn't restrict brands and product extensions.

5. Adaptability: Consumer opinions, values and views keep changing over a period
of time. The more adaptable and flexible brand elements are the easier it is to keep
up changing and up to date from time to time to suit the consumers liking and
views. For example, Coca -Cola has been updating it's logo over the years to keep
up with the latest trends, fashions and opinions.

6. Protect ability: the final criteria in choosing a brand element is that it should be
protectable legally and competitively. Brand elements need to be chosen in such a
way, that they can be internationally protected legally, legally registered with legal
bodies. Marketers need to voraciously defend their trademarks from unauthorized
competitive infringements.

Brand elements:

Brand Equity:
A brand's power derived
the goodwill and name
recognition that
has earned over time, which translates into higher sales volume and higher profit
margins against competing brands.
The value premium that a company realizes from a product with a recognizable
name as compared to its generic equivalent. Companies can create brand equity for
their products by making them memorable, easily recognizable and superior in
quality and reliability. Mass marketing campaigns can also help to create brand
equity. If consumers are willing to pay more for a generic product than for a branded
one, however, the brand is said to have negative brand equity. This might happen if
a company had a major product recall or caused a widely publicized environmental

Integrated marketing:
Strategy aimed
different marketing methods such
as mass
marketing, one-to-one marketing, and direct marketing. Its objective is to
complement and reinforce the market impact of each method, and to employ the

market data generated

pricing, distribution, customer service, etc.


in product


Integrated marketing is a marketing strategy that stresses the importance of a

consistent, seamless, multi-dimensional brand experience for the consumer. This
means that each branding effort across television, radio, print, Internet, and in
person is presented in a similar style that reinforces the brands ultimate
Consider, for example, the Apple computer brand. Their advertising strategy is
simple showcase a sleek, modern product that works faster, smarter and in ways
that the competitors never thought possible. This no gimmick strategy is carried
across all aspects of the Apple brand. Their products are packaged in crisp, white
boxes with almost no text. Their stores are white, clean and minimalist with
products on display for intuitive use. Their commercials are stark, smart, and
infectious. By branding their products as elite, intuitive, and futuristic, Apple is able
to charge prices above those of their competition and still dominate the hardware

Product strategy:
Product strategy is often called the roadmap of a product and outlines the end-toend vision of the product and what the product will become. Companies utilize the
product strategy in strategic planning and marketing to identify the direction of the
company's activities.

The product strategy is composed of a variety of sequential processes to effectively

achieve the vision. The company must know where they would like the product to
take them in order to identify and plan for the necessary activities to reach that
destination. This is similar in nature to a strategic vision of how a company wants to
achieve its goals.

Pricing strategy:
Pricing strategy refers to method companies use to price their products or services.
Almost all companies, large or small, base the price of their products and services
on production, labor and advertising expenses and then add on a certain
percentage so they can make a profit. There are several different pricing strategies,
such as penetration pricing, price skimming, discount pricing, product life cycle
pricing and even competitive pricing.

Activities aimed at finding a products optimum price, typically including

overall marketing objectives, consumer demand, product attributes, competitors'
pricing, and market and economic trends.

Channel strategy:
A channel strategy is a vendor's plan for moving a product or a service through the
chain of commerce to the end customer.