Paper On Marketing And Brand

3807 words - 16 pages

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MARKETING AND BRANDS1.0 IntroductionCoca-Cola is an example of high value brand. Brands are among the most important assets of a firm. It takes a huge amount of resources over along period of time to build strong brands in the marketplace. A strong brand has a loyal customer base that stick to the brand in good and bad times. A strong brand also commands a high acceptance rate in the market place at a premium price compared to weaker brands. Former chairman of Quaker Oats Ltd., stated, "If the business were split up, I would take the brands, trademark and goodwill, and you could have all the bricks and mortar - and I would fare better than you".Brand equity has been defined as a set of brand assets and liabilities linked to a brand. It is the name and symbol, that add to or subtract from the value provided by a product or service to a firm and/or to that firm's customers. Brand equity thus refers to the differential effect of brand knowledge as a result of the marketing of the brand. Brand knowledge, in turn, consists of brand awareness (brand recall and recognition) and brand image or associations. One of the most important associations is quality. Brand management therefore includes the key tasks of selecting a viable brand name, surrounding the brand with appropriate symbolism and associations, and enhancing consumers' perceptions of quality.Brand knowledge is conceptualized as consisting of a brand node in memory to which a variety of associations are linked. The relevant dimensions that distinguish brand knowledge and affect consumer response are the awareness of the brand. This is in terms of brand recall and recognition and the favorability, strength, and uniqueness of the brand associations in consumer memory. Brands exist in the minds of their potential consumers and that what those consumers associate with a particular brand determines the value it has to its owner. A brand's foundations are, therefore, composed of peoples' intangible mental associations about it.Brand awareness is the essential initial step of building the brand knowledge. It indicates the strength of the brand connection or trace in memory, as reflected by consumers' ability to identify the brand under different conditions. Brand awareness relates to the likelihood that a brand name will come to mind and the ease with which it does so when a consumer makes certain purchase considerations. Brand awareness consists of brand recognition and brand recall performance. Brand recognition relates to consumers' ability to identify a brand when given the brand as a cue. In other words, brand recognition requires that consumers correctly discriminate the brand as having been seen or heard previously. Brand recall relates to consumer's ability to retrieve the brand when given the product category. In other words, brand recall requires that consumers correctly come up with the brand themselves from their memory. Existing research suggests that brand recognition and recall are important for consumer's choice of brands.Brand attitudes are consumers' overall evaluations of a brand. Brand attitudes are important, because they are related to beliefs about brands. The overall belief of a brand is the basis for the overall brand image that is stored in consumer's memory. The presence of strongly held, favorably brand image will make the brand more readily accessible and retrievable from the consumer's mind. The strong brand image will help consumers to differentiate the brand from its competitors and will be more likely to be chosen as the final purchase item.According to the theory of brand choice, consumers have an awareness set of brands.That is all the brands that they are aware of and this awareness set comprises the most number of brands. Among the awareness set, there are brands that are regarded the best in quality in the mind of consumers, such as Sony in the consumer electronics. However, in the market place, the best quality brand often charges the highest premium price. Most average individuals can not afford to buy this brand even they are aware of it. Thus, in the actual deliberation of which brand to buy, consumers often have a set of brands called consideration set. In the actual purchase, consumers would balance between their financial resources and the price that a brand charges. Often they end up buying the brand that is not the most ideal in their mind.Firms, both foreign and local, invest resources to build brands through the product quality enhancement and brand image. Consumers, on the other hand, actively engage in a learning process to acquire knowledge about brands. Within a short period of time, the gap between brands widened, and consumers know which brands are ideal in most product categories. At the same time, the majority of consumers see their disposable income rising in a much slower fashion than their knowledge about brands. They may know which brand is of the highest quality, but their income does not allow them to buy that brand. They have to balance between quality and price to achieve the best value for their money.How expensive a product is to average consumers plays a role. The more expensive a product is, the more involved a consumer will be in pursuing the knowledge, and searching for the brand that best fits the needs. As consumers spend more time and resources investigating the brands in a more expensive product category, they will become more expert in choosing among brands. In other words, their choice will be less driven by overall perception that exists in brands only. They will be able to compare the specifications of brands and choose the brand that satisfies their needs the best.2.0 Global NamingFor any company introducing its products to a foreign market, the choice of a local brand name is extremely important to brand equity. Past missteps in local naming for foreign markets have been disastrous and costly; so companies today typically commit substantial resources to brand name selection for international markets. Yet research to date has not yet developed a conceptual yet practical framework for global naming. By focusing on English name creation only, it has limited its applicability to other languages, and failed to address critical issues of how to write a brand name in a foreign writing system.Translations between languages using phonographic systems, which use characters to represent sounds, e.g., the Latin alphabet used for English, German, French or Spanish, Cyrillic, and Arabic alphabets face two main challenges: maintaining accurate pronunciation, and avoiding negative meanings from associations to different words in the new language. In the case of translations of brand names to the Chinese writing system--the world's one remaining logographic system, employing characters that symbolize ideas rather than sounds-there are serious additional complications in translation which offer unique challenges and opportunities for naming and brand equity.Two approaches are used in translating names for the huge Chinese market: to translate a name purely for phonetic effect, using pre-existing characters bereft of their original meanings; or to translate for both phonetic likeness and effective employment of the meanings of the Chinese characters. Examples of the former include: Motorola (moutuo-luo-la) and Exxon (Ai-ke-sen), whose translations are a sequence of characters that sound like the original name but do not have a sensible meaning in Chinese, and are thus read only as a sound. Examples of the latter include: Coca-Cola (ke-kou-ke-le, "tasty and happy") and Colgate (gao-lu-jie, "very clear and clean"), whose translations carry a selected meaning in Chinese, as well as sounding an approximation of the English original.Which approach is more effective? Common sense among many industry managers is that "sound plus meaning" should be more effective than "sound alone." However, this fails to take into account the importance of the context within which the brand translation is taking place. That context includes three recurrent issues that shape the consumer's perception and interpretation of an newly introduced brand translation: the relative degrees of prominence of the English and Chinese names in advertising; the presence in the local market of previously translated names in the same type of business; and consumer perception of the success or failure of past translations approaches.Drawing on relevant psychological and consumer research and theory, Professors Schmitt and Zhang have carried out a series of research tests of the salience and impact of these three parameters on the interpretation of translated Chinese names. The results provide clear lessons about the use of phonetic vs. phono-semantic translations, and about the choice of prominence in display between the translated Chinese and the original English. The research in total provides a means by which to evaluate a Chinese-translated brand name in its entire consumer context.3.0 Brand and CelebritiesThe billions of dollars spent per year on celebrity endorsement contracts show that celebrities, like Liz Hurley, Britney Spears and Tiger Woods, play an important role for the advertising industry. For instance, female athlete Venus Williams, tennis player and Wimbledon championship winner in 2002 has signed a five-year $40 million contract with sportswear manufacturer Reebok International Inc. Theory and practice prove that the use of super stars in advertising generates a lot of publicity and attention from the public.The underlying question is, if and how the lively interest of the public in 'the rich and famous' can be effectively used by companies to promote their brands and consequently increase revenues. Companies frequently use spokespersons to deliver their advertising message and convince consumers of their brands. A widely used and very popular type of spokesperson is the celebrity endorser. Celebrity endorser is defines as an individual who is known by the public for his or her achievements in areas other than that of the product class endorsed.The cosmetics manufacturer Elizabeth Arden, for example, uses the actress Catherine Zeta-Jones to endorse its perfume. The reason for using celebrities as spokespersons goes back to their huge potential influence. Compared to other endorser types, famous people achieve a higher degree of attention and recall. They increase awareness of a company's advertising, create positive feelings towards brands and are perceived by consumers as more entertaining. Using a celebrity in advertising is therefore likely to positively affect consumers' brand attitudes and purchase intentions. However, in order to ensure positive results, it is critical for advertisers to have a clear understanding of the 'black box' of celebrity endorsement.Catherine Zeta-Jones endorsing Elizabeth ArdenA central goal of advertising is the persuasion of customers. It is the active attempt to change or modify consumers' attitude towards a particular brands. In this respect, the credibility of an advertisement plays an important role in convincing the target audience of the attractiveness of the company's brand. Pursuing a celebrity endorsement strategy enables advertisers to project a credible image in terms of expertise, persuasiveness, trustworthiness, and objectiveness.To create effective messages, celebrity advertisers also have to consider the attractiveness of the spokesperson. Source attractiveness refers to the endorser's physical appearance, personality, likeability, and similarity to the receiver, thus to the perceived social value of the source. The use of attractive people is common practice in television and print advertising, with physically attractive communicators having proved to be more successful in influencing customers' attitudes and beliefs than unattractive spokespersons. This behavior mainly goes back to a halo effect, whereby persons who perform well on one dimension, e.g. physical attractiveness, are assumed to excel on others as well, e.g. happiness and coolness.Literature reveals that a spokesperson interacts with the type of brand being advertised. A famous relative to a 'normal' spokesperson is more effective for products high in psychological or social risk, involving such elements as good taste, self-image, and opinion of others. Several research studies have examined the congruency between celebrity endorsers and brands to explain the effectiveness of using famous persons to promote brands. Results show that a number of celebrity endorsements proved very successful, whereas others completely failed, resulting in the 'termination' of the respective celebrity communicator. This is depicted in the following table:
Celebrity endorser

Company/Product

Success (Yes/No)

Liz Hurley

Estee Lauder

Yes

Cindy Crawford

Revlon
PepsiCo

Yes
Yes

Bruce Willis

Seagrams

No

Micheal Jordan

Nike
WorldCom

Yes
No

Whitney Houston

AT&T

No

Jerry Seinfeld

American Express

Yes

Mila Jovovich

L'Oreal

Yes

Simply assuming that a person just has to be famous to represent a successful spokesperson, however, would be incorrect. There are considerable numbers of failures proving the opposite. Very well accepted and attractive super stars like Bruce Willis and Whitney Houston failed in turning their endorsements into success. Among the possible reasons identified includes overexposure and identification. The 'match-up hypothesis' specifically suggests that the effectiveness depends on the existence of a 'fit' between the celebrity spokesperson and endorsed brand. For celebrity spokespersons to be truly effective, they should be knowledgeable, experienced, and qualified to talk about the product.Effectiveness of celebrity spokespersons is assessed by its meaning to the consumers association with the endorser. It then, eventually transferred to the brand. It is also noted that an athletes' personality as being an important factor in influencing specific target groups, to which such personalities are easily recognizable and much admired. McCracken suggests a meaning transfer model, that is composed of three subsequent stages. First, the meaning associated with the famous person moves from the endorser to the product or brand. Thus, meanings attributed to the celebrity become associated with the brand in the consumer's mind. Finally, on the consumption process, the brand's meaning is acquired by the customer. The third stage of the model explicitly shows the importance of the consumer's role in the process of endorsing brands with famous persons.4.0 Online BrandingMany companies spent huge amounts of money on the modern media channel, however, often failing in turning their online branding efforts into success. Consequently, the Internet was disdained and regarded as risky choice to promote a brand. However, with the further growing presence of the Internet, marketers show the tendency to give the modern media channel a second chance.In advertising, differentiation became a golden rule to gain an advantage in the growing competition for consumers' attention on and preference for a company's brand. Offering a variety of different features (e.g. online account servicing, interest based attractions designed for children) and a huge potential of creativity, the Internet inspired marketers to use it as new branding and advertising tool. Though some companies at first questioned the relevance of brands in cyberspace, advertisers were soon taught that the need for brands can be even higher in the online medium than it is in traditional channels. Being confronted by similar products from many often unknown providers, consumers rely on the strength of brands which possess a meaningful, clear and trusted set of values and attributes to facilitate their online purchase choices.Deriving from its unique characteristics, the Internet provides several key advantages. First of all, advertisers can utilize its interactive nature to build top-of-mind awareness among customers. The car brand Mazda, for example, utilizes the website of the provider ESPN to communicate with sports fans - clicking on specific thumbnails, the user gets the chance to enter a game to win a Mazda vehicle.The Internet furthermore possesses the feature of relevance in so far that it is more efficient than other channels in reaching people that are part of a market of specific interest, like cars (e.g. advertising on the website 'Carpoint'). There is also a feature called advertorial. Websites are able to combine sponsorships with editorial, making use of their relationships to users to link their needs with the branding goals of advertisers (e.g. iVillage). Referring to global marketing, Palumbo and Herbig state that the Internet can also be used to increase brand awareness all over the world.Marketers soon were convinced by the Internet's huge potential for success. The online medium was thought of as a simple way to create a differentiated image with little efforts to develop variety of online resources. The following are key branding principles show brand managers how to build a robust brand on the Internet and how to be successful in the online branding business.Defining the brandThe first crucial step to successful e-marketing is investing time and energy in gaining a thorough understanding of the brand, involving its meanings to potential consumers, its relationship to competitors' brands, and the brand's role in the market. Marketers need to bring these key branding elements with them when they enter the online space.Selecting the brand strategy frameworkDepending on a company's products, brand managers can choose between three basic frameworks. First, conglomerate brand strategy - the company's brands stand on their own, e.g. Procter & Gamble with independent brands like Crest and Tide. Second, corporate brand strategy - a more dependent relationship between the company and its brands, e.g. car brand Renault and its models like Renault Mégane and Renault Twingo. Third, master brand strategy - very close relationship as every brand name includes the corporate brand name, e.g. hotel chain Holiday Inn and its brand Holiday Inn Express.Developing specific and achievable goalsDifferent objectives demand different strategic approaches. It is recommended to distinguish between specific branding goals, for example: (1) Awareness - effective online and offline advertising and public relations are required to distinguish a company's brand from the crowd. (2) Message association - to get customers to associate a company's message with its products, marketers have to guarantee 'high frequencies of simple, uncluttered ad units or sponsorships of content tied to a brand's message'.Operationalizing the brandThe identification and formulation of the brand action plan is a necessary step to ensure effective communication and delivery of the brand's attributes. This important part of the branding process should therefore not be overlooked. It demands all parts of the company to coordinate their behaviors and act consistently for achieving a sound brand picture on the Web. The establishment of performance and measurement systems, rewarding specific brand behaviors, supports the successful accomplishment of the brand action steps in each involved brand business area.Leveraging the features of the InternetBranding in cyberspace offers advertisers unique opportunities allowing them to strengthen brand affinity. However, the diverse Web programs and tools have to be fully understood and used in consistency with the company's branding strategy to guarantee a successful branding result. In accordance with the findings of Bruner, the following features are most important for online branding success:4.5.1 Search enginesA considerable number of online users primarily learn about new websites via search engines like 'Google' and 'Yahoo!'. Though often neglected by marketers, appearing among the first results on Web search engines is a key to success by positively influencing a brand's awareness among customers.4.5.2 Permission emailMarketers soon learned that online customers became tired of 'spam' - marketing messages bombarding their email boxes. Still, email as online marketing tool can be very effective in acquiring new customers and retaining existing users - if allowed by the recipients. Examples for permission email are the daily or weekly corporate email newsletters and customer relationship email.4.5.3 PersonalizationStrongly correlated to the users' online experience is the personalization of a company's web presence. Allowing customers to interact with a firm, for example, by tracking the shipment of an online order at FedEx, will increase customer satisfaction and consequently improve brand loyalty.Word of mouth'Viral marketing' - the online notation for 'word of mouth' - can be a very cost-efficient tool in acquiring new customers: satisfied users recommend a website to their friends. A powerful advocacy marketing demands companies to provide its customers with incentives (e.g. discounts for books at Amazon.com).Affiliate networksWith a high percentage of online users randomly surfing the Web, the company's presence on many websites becomes critical in reaching potential customers. So-called partner programs or affiliate networks, allow cooperative advertising and promotions, are marketing techniques that prove to be more rewarding than conventional banner ad campaigns.ReferenceAaker, David A. (1991), Managing Brand Equity. New York, NY: The Free PressPan, Y., Tse, D.K., Li, X, Evolution of Brands in Transsitional Economics: The Case of China in 1993-1998. Hong Kong, Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.Schmitt, B., Zhang, S. Global Naming. New York, NY: Columbia Business SchoolSchlecht, C. Celebrities' Impact on Branding. New York, NY: Columbia Business SchoolSiegmund, M. The Secret of Successful Online Branding. New York, NY: Columbia Business SchoolLessons learned from global brands. Available at www.brandchannel.com
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