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Brand Management

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Brand Management (MKT624)
Lesson 15
Factor b - Rating buying criteria
Rating is all about drawing comparisons with competition. You compare two to three
brands and compare them across pre-mentioned characteristics. By assigning weight to all
the characteristics, you can arrive at an interesting conclusion where your brand stands in
terms of consumer perceptions1.
Figure 21
Rating Buying Criteria
Buying Criterion
Brand A
Brand B
Brand C
·  Price
·  Accessibility
·  Quality
·  Customer service
·  Reliability
·  Consistent performance
·  Price value relationship
By assigning a weight on a scale of 1 ­ 5 we can determine levels of preferences in
relation to the criterion that we have in the first column. Brand B tops the list on price and
therefore on price value relationship as well. However, it is poor on availability with a
weight of 2 and seems to marginally sit on the average threshold of 3 on the remaining
attributes. The remaining brands A and C can be assessed on these criteria.
It is difficult to know why customers choose one brand over the other, for the decision
process goes on in the mind of the customer and involves so many psychological factors.
We nonetheless can know through rating of the criteria the status of our brand.
Research must go on to get confidence about our decisions; what researchers have
concluded from various studies about brand perception is2:
1. People perceive the brand as a whole: Psychologically, they form the concept as a
whole, rather than forming impressions and beliefs analytically on the basis of
separate pieces.
2. Perception is selective: Not all the info is absorbed. Info passes through a process of
filtering; and some is absorbed; some is forgotten.
3. Consumers' perception is the reality: A deliveryman (of sandwiches) with unhygienic
upkeep may tarnish the image of a wonderful product. Unhygienic set-up becomes
customer's belief.
4. The magical number seven, plus or minus two: On the basis of a scientific study,
humans cannot cope with more than seven items at a time. In case of low-involvement
items (FMCGs), it may be minus two, which are five. You have to be at least in those
5. The brand has a personality: Consumers can imagine brands that have distinct
personalities, with characteristics they can describe.
6. The more complete and balanced the brand identity, the stronger is the relationship
between the customer and the brand, and the better the customer can describe the
Brand Management (MKT624)
We can conclude that consumers have a large amount of information from different
sources ­ experience, word of mouth, observations, advertising, and retailers etc. They
can absorb some of it and forget some of it3.
1. They use very little info in routine purchases of low-involvement items.
2. 25 percent spend no time in their decision making.
3. 56 percent spend less than 8 seconds.
4. They cannot cope with a lot many items of info at a time.
5. The implication here is that "brand messages must be simple and focused".
6. That keeps their beliefs and decisions straight forward.
Factor c - who makes buying decisions?
It is important to know for brand managers the people involved in the decision making
process to buy a brand. Managers must know if there are more than one decision maker
and influencer for buying the brand. The objective here is to understand who they are so
that brand managers can smartly involve them in the decision-making process. For so
many consumer goods you see commercials that present the whole family as potential
buyers and hence communicate with all of them.
This understanding enables brand managers to better position their brand and hence
maximize its influence and value in the category.
Question 2
This question requires understanding and clarity of the following areas:
·  What brands customers think are our competitors?
·  What do our customers believe about our competitors?
·  What are the strengths and weaknesses of our competitive brands?
Identify your competitors
The understanding of the first factor (our competitive brands as per customers'
perception) will come in clarity if we consider all our direct and indirect competitors. The
comprehensive industry analysis that you carried out will give you better insights into the
category as a whole.
A company selling juices should consider all thirst quenchers including cola/un-cola
drinks and mineral water as its competitors. Broadening the scope of the category gives
you better insights into the dynamics of competition.
As another example, a manufacturer of safety matches should not ignore all those
manufacturers involved in making disposable lighters, because they cater to the needs of a
major segment of the overall "lights" market.
Compare your brand with competition
This clarifies the last two areas of (customers' belief about our competition) and
(strengths and weaknesses of our competitors). Unless compared against competition
from customers' point of view, we cannot realistically assess our brand. Drawing
comparisons on what benefits and values competitors offer and how our brand stack up
against those offers a level ground from where we can have some startling findings
obscure to us without such a comparison.
Knowing where we realistically stand, we can devise realistic strategies and future
Brand Management (MKT624)
1. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through
Your Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (96)
2. Geoffery Randall: "Branding ­ A Practical Guide to Planning Your Strategy";
Kogan Page (45)
3. Geoffery Randall: "Branding ­ A Practical Guide to Planning Your Strategy";
Kogan Page (47)
Suggested readings:
1. Geoffery Randall: "Branding ­ A Practical Guide to Planning Your Strategy";
Kogan Page (39-47)
Table of Contents:
  1. UNDERSTANDING BRANDS – INTRODUCTION:Functions of Brand Management, Sales forecast, Brand plan
  2. INTRODUCTION:Brand Value and Power, Generate Profits and Build Brand Equity
  3. BRAND MANIFESTATIONS/ FUNDAMENTALS:Brand identity, Communication, Differentiation
  4. BRAND MANIFESTATIONS/ FUNDAMENTALS:Layers/levels of brands, Commitment of top management
  5. BRAND CHALLENGES:Consumer Revolt, Media Cost and Fragmentation, Vision
  6. STRATEGIC BRAND MANAGEMENT:Setting Objectives, Crafting a Strategy, The Brand Mission
  7. BRAND VISION:Consensus among management, Vision Statement of a Fast Food Company, Glossary of terms
  8. BUILDING BRAND VISION:Seek senior management’s input, Determine the financial contribution gap
  9. BUILDING BRAND VISION:Collect industry data and create a brand vision starter, BRAND PICTURE,
  10. BRAND PICTURE:Brand Value Pyramid, Importance of being at pinnacle, From pinnacle to bottom
  11. BRAND PERSONA:Need-based segmentation research, Personality traits through research
  12. BRAND CONTRACT:The need to stay contemporary, Summary
  13. BRAND CONTRACT:How to create a brand contract?, Brand contract principles, Understand customers’ perspective
  14. BRAND CONTRACT:Translate into standards, Fulfill Good Promises, Uncover Bad Promises
  15. BRAND BASED CUSTOMER MODEL:Identify your competitors, Compare your brand with competition
  16. BRAND BASED CUSTOMER MODEL:POSITIONING, Product era, Image Era, An important factor
  17. POSITIONING:Strong Positioning, Understanding of components through an example
  18. POSITIONING:Clarity about target market, Clarity about point of difference
  19. POSITIONING – GUIDING PRINCIPLES:Uniqueness, Credibility, Fit
  20. POSITIONING – GUIDING PRINCIPLES:Communicating the actual positioning, Evaluation criteria, Coining the message
  21. BRAND EXTENSION:Leveraging, Leveraging, Line Extension in detail, Positive side of line extension
  22. LINE EXTENSION:Reaction to negative side of extensions, Immediate actions for better managing line extensions
  23. BRAND EXTENSION/ DIVERSIFICATION:Why extend/diversify the brand,
  24. POSITIONING – THE BASE OF EXTENSION:Extending your target market, Consistency with brand vision
  25. DEVELOPING THE MODEL OF BRAND EXTENSION:Limitations, Multi-brand portfolio, The question of portfolio size
  26. BRAND PORTFOLIO:Segment variance, Constraints, Developing the model – multi-brand portfolio
  27. BRAND ARCHITECTURE:Branding strategies, Drawbacks of the product brand strategy, The umbrella brand strategy
  28. BRAND ARCHITECTURE:Source brand strategy, Endorsing brand strategy, What strategy to choose?
  29. CHANNELS OF DISTRIBUTION:Components of channel performance, Value thru product benefits
  30. CREATING VALUE:Value thru cost-efficiency, Members’ relationship with brand, Power defined
  31. CO BRANDING:Bundling, Forms of communications, Advertising and Promotions
  32. CUSTOMER RESPONSE HIERARCHY:Brand-based strategy, Methods of appropriations
  33. ADVERTISING:Developing advertising, Major responsibilities
  34. ADVERTISING:Message Frequency and Customer Awareness, Message Reinforcement
  35. SALES PROMOTIONS:Involvement of sales staff, Effects of promotions, Duration should be short
  36. OTHER COMMUNICATION TOOLS:Public relations, Event marketing, Foundations of one-to-one relationship
  37. PRICING:Strong umbrella lets you charge premium, Factors that drive loyalty
  38. PRICING:Market-based pricing, Cost-based pricing
  39. RETURN ON BRAND INVESTMENT – ROBI:Brand dynamics, On the relevance dimension
  40. BRAND DYNAMICS:On the dimension of knowledge, The importance of measures
  41. BRAND – BASED ORGANIZATION:Benefits, Not just marketing but whole culture, Tools to effective communication
  42. SERVICE BRANDS:The difference, Hard side of service selling, Solutions
  43. BRAND PLANNING:Corporate strategy and brands, Brand chartering, Brand planning process
  44. BRAND PLANNING PROCESS:Driver for change (continued), Brand analysis
  45. BRAND PLAN:Objectives, Need, Source of volume, Media strategy, Management strategy