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Brand Management

<<< Previous BRAND PLAN:Objectives, Need, Source of volume, Media strategy, Management strategy
 
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Brand Management (MKT624)
VU
Lesson 45
BRAND PLAN
Introduction
In this lecture we move on to the third important part that is the actual brand plan based on our
strategy. It is the document that we must prepare as an end result of the market and brand
analysis.
The Brand Plan
We have had a good understanding of brand strategy and the elements of brand planning.
The extensive effort of defining the market, analyzing it, and brand planning process must get a
way of expression in the document called "the brand plan". We may say that the whole effort is
undertaken to prepare this document that records in a structured way planning for the brand.
Since the brand plan is your strategic framework, you must understand the difference between a
strategy and tactics.
·  A strategy is a long term document that sets a course of action for the foreseeable
future. It is a game plan that defines the means to achieve the real objective.
·  Tactics is execution. It is all about how you achieve your sales results this year or
carry out your campaign etc.
For example, if you think that advertising kicked off by you is found to be boring and hence not
very engaging, you may change the ad as a tactic. Your strategy still remains the same.
Every business ­ large or small, consumer or industrial - should have a written strategy,
because it brings the whole marketing program into a sharp focus. The focus enables us to
maintain all the vital links and consistencies between different parts of the strategy.
Make no mistake that the whole strategy is concerned about your brand. Therefore, it cannot
have parts which do not fit into each other. They must fit like the cogs in a wheel.
If your strategy is well-conceived, well structured and well-written, and your market definition
just average, the chances are you will not have to change it every now and then. The elements
of a well-constructed, well-written, and well-conceived strategy or a brand plan start appearing
on the following page. You may consider all or most of them as part of the template that you
use for strategic brand planning. Depending on the nature of the product and the market, you
certainly will need to make a few adjustments, but the essence of the document remains the
same.
Objectives
Objectives are number-based. You mention sales figures, revenues, market share, and rate of
growth as you envisage for the number of years the plan period consists of.
Do not talk about numbers that are not achievable. Your figures should show an increase and
growth on all fronts every year. The strategic objectives should fit the following criteria:
·  They should be very clear ­ to anyone reading the strategy or the brand plan.
·  They should be measurable ­ at the end of a certain period to the agreement of all.
·  They should be achievable.
The objectives reflect your vision to get where you want to get at a future date, taking care of
your growth gap. Prepare different tables for sales figures, revenues, and market share etc
relating the plan period. The numbers will immediately tell anyone where the company wants
to reach by the end of the plan period.
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Brand Management (MKT624)
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Need
The most important thing that you can do here is to state very clearly and factually the need
your brand or business is going to fulfill. You must state why it exists? A genuine need
becomes "reason for being" of the brand.
If you cannot state the need clearly in just a few lines, perhaps it is not there. If so, your product
will fail. Give the need important dimensions. State how serious is it? How unfilled is it? How
long you think is it going to exist?
Serious answers to these questions will bring your thinking into an honest perspective. If you
are not convinced by the answers, you either may abandon the plan or make major shifts in the
strategic thinking. The more clearly you can state the needs, the more precisely you will fill
them.
Source of volume
This section outlines where the volume will come from. This takes into account the segmental
size and potential. Any business wanting to grow can grow only through two multiple ways:
·  By adding new users
·  By getting users to use more
As an example, you may state emphatically that the source of primary volume will come from
children of 6-15 years of age. The secondary volume will come from teens. Make an absolute
decision how your business can best grow. Your thinking about this is going to affect any
further thinking. What you state here has already been translated in numbers as your objectives.
Target audience
The more precise you can be here, the better it is. You must state who you are marketing for?
State every thing you know about the target, who they are, why they buy and use, how they
make their decisions, and where they buy and get their information etc?
Complete knowledge of the segment you are targeting is a prerequisite to any further plans.
This section is a reflection of your brand-based customer model. Talk about all the suggested
factors, but be precise.
With these four elements of objectives, need, source of volume, and target audience, you have
set the direction for achievable and measurable results desired from a specific target.
You now must outline the strategies responsible for achieving these results. And, these are the
strategies that form an important part of the brand plan.
Basic marketing strategy
State the most fundamental framework of your basic marketing thrust. Limit yourself to just a
few lines (3 most probably). If you cannot state your strategy in three lines, you do not have
one. The following examples of a razor blade system, a dress shirt, and a juice explain this
point.
·  The basic strategy is to introduce a dramatically improved lubricating strip to give the
best possible smooth shave at the lowest possible cost.
·  The strategic thrust is toward introduction of the best tailored dress shirt of high quality
fabric comparable with any imported brand, at a premium price.
·  The basic marketing strategy is to introduce a juice with the minimal traces of sourness
at a competitive price.
These are the statements of strategy. In support of these, you may like to mention the key
success factors, one by one just to ensure linkages of all strategic requirements. You will not
like to have a strategy linked with a factor absolutely beyond your control.
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Positioning strategy
This is a statement of how you wish your product will be perceived by the target audience. You
have to make sure that whatever you want occurred in your consumer's mind has to be
consistent with your objectives. You mention your positioning statement in the following
manner:
·  The dress shirt seeks to be perceived as the most contemporary, best crafted shirt on the
local market by a local manufacturer.
·  The juice seeks to be perceived by the target market as the best quality, best packaged,
and least sour juice in the category.
After having stated what the brand seeks to be perceived, you as managers have to work
accordingly and very consistently.
Associated sub-strategies
You are going to have a strategy for every facet of your business. All the strategies may not be
required in every business, but these generally are the ones you work with.
By the same token, if there are some that you think should be added, do add those as long as
they are consistent with the objectives.
Product strategy
You talk about the strategically fundamental elements of the product. Apart from the primary
function of the product, you must mention all the promises it is going to deliver.
The set of promises then should be translated into a contract that you think is consistent with
your model and market definition.
You must talk about how often the product should be improved and in what direction ­ content,
package, size, or what?
For a new product, you must mention guidelines where concentration is to be given for
improvements.
Packaging strategy
This section should cover the functional aspect, the delivery system, and the graphics. It
definitely is the domain of personality, identity, and imagery. Brand persona plays an important
role here. It is explained with the help of the following example:
If the target market is teenage girls, the package should be designed to fit a teenage hand. The
colors should be appealing to the target and totality of graphics should create an impression of
something soft, inviting, and caring.
When you pay attention to this aspect, you will find a lot of inconsistencies in many brands. Do
not forget to support in a written manner all actions that you want taken. This amounts to
explaining reasons, why you are doing what you are doing? By giving explanations you will
realize how consistent or inconsistent you are in your effort.
Pricing strategy
Is your pricing based on cost, competition, overall market, or to produce an image? Whatever it
is, it has to be consistent with brand's positioning. Support the basis of your pricing decision ­
market-based or cost-based? Also, state very precisely in a few lines the principles about when
to change the price?
Distribution strategy
What is the best place for your consumers to find your product and how will you get it there is
going to be the basis of your strategy? State that in a few lines. If there is a part that deals with
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making it cost-effective, do mention that. Cost-effectiveness, however, should not compromise
availability.
The communication strategies
Starting with coining the name to communicating it with benefits so that positioning takes hold,
you formulate all the relevant strategies.
Naming strategy
State what the name should connote. What are the strategic elements behind that ­function,
image, or overall positioning, or what?
A statement of this strategy is going to be helpful for a new as well as an existing brand in
terms of variations, extensions, and improvements.
Copy strategy
An extremely important and interesting for brand managers, this strategy should be stated in a
little detail. You have to remember four things:
First, state the benefit promised to the consumer. Again, this takes you into the realm of
promises. You may also like to state this on the package in an attractive way for consumer
education and a claim that you deliver the promises.
Second, you must state the support for believing that the promise is true. Who knows when you
reach this point you yourself may get into a doubt about your ability to deliver the promise!
Third, state the emotional benefit to the promise. This takes you back into the concept of brand
value pyramid. You will know how far up the pyramid your brand really can go.
Fourth and lastly, you must decide the tone of advertising and the personality or character you
wish the brand to have.
Media strategy
This states, how you will reach your target consumers with the message. You should be very
careful given the diversity and fragmentation of today's media ­ especially, in terms of TV
channels.
State things in broad terms and make plans separately. This takes you back into budget
allocations.
Sales promotion strategy
Consumer Promotion: State your objective very clearly in the following terms:
·  Are you after trial, re-purchase, loading, increased usage?
·  Which sizes are best-promoted? How frequently?
·  Will you promote everywhere or regionally?
·  Will you schedule for seasonality or holidays?
Trade Promotion
·  What is your expectation from trade to help you realize your objectives?
·  What kind of deals and incentives you are willing to offer to trade?
Translate all that into numbers and see if those fit into budgetary allocations?
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Merchandising strategy
This deals with how you wish to see your brand at the retail level? What section and where on
the shelf? This defines the area of interaction with sales people who are going to help you
achieve this objective. This is a matter to be discussed at the brand-level cross-functional
committee. Knowing the objective, you state the strategy.
The resource strategies
These strategies deal with different kinds of resources that you need to implement your
strategies. These strategies also flow out of brand vision, its positioning and management
commitment. You, as brand managers, may not make decisions to deploy the requisite
resources, but you nonetheless should be clear about the strategic importance of such resources.
State everything as part of your strategy and present the draft plan to top management for their
consideration.
Management strategy
What human resources are going to be involved in the whole effort? How are they going to be
helpful in letting the company achieve its objectives? How will they be guided, motivated, and
compensated? State all the factors briefly as part of your strategy.
You have an opportunity to explicitly state the importance of the functioning of various
committees we have been talking about as internal marketing effort and also for measuring
brand performance.
You may also recall the incentives that we discussed for those with good performance. Good
performance is related to brand performance. The whole exercise falls within the areas of cross-
functional committees.
Sales strategy
State the importance of making sure that our distribution strategy works well and our sales are
registered according to the plan. Any requirements of additional staff or changes have got to be
taken into a strategic account. State all the factors as part of the strategy.
External resource strategy
State as part of the strategy the kind of resources to be employed here.
·  Market research
·  Event management experts
·  Other sales promotion experts
Testing strategy
You mention, as your strategy, what kind of testing mechanisms are sound?
·  Market research
·  Ad research
·  Test markets etc.
Conclusion
Not every plan is going to have all these sections. But, the principles are the same. So, some
may have additional sections, the need for which is to be ascertained by the brand management
people.
Knowing your circumstances and the market situation, you must decide which aspects of the
overall brand management process need more attention than others. With the understanding of
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all fundamentals, you now should be the best guide to determine that. Offer value to the
consumer, create it for the brand, and make the business profitable!
Good luck!
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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