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Brand Management

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Brand Management (MKT624)
Lesson 43
After having learnt all the successive steps involved in leveraging the brand, we should now be
able to plan a new brand or refresh an existing one. We are going to learn that in the following
three parts:
1. Corporate strategy and brands. This deals with how brands should be treated at the
highest level.
2. The planning process consisting of all the elements that must be considered before
introducing a brand. These elements stem from the successive steps that we have
learnt in terms of leveraging the brand ­ the whole brand management process.
3. The actual written document or the brand plan, a template that you can use for
introducing any brand, a tangible product or an intangible service product brand.
The planning process applies equally well to introducing a new brand or refreshing an existing
one. This lecture along with the remaining two deals with the above-mentioned three parts of
brand strategy and planning.
Corporate strategy and brands
You must know that reappraising an existing brand involves a process as systematic and
exhaustive as introducing a new brand. Both involve challenging any preconceptions and
assumptions, giving weight to the fact that both have to be handled according to a strategy.
Strategy for brand development or reappraisal has got to be at the center of the corporate
Two fundamental elements of strategy
Many corporations are following this in practice, while others are just talking about the
significance of it, but not following the concept in letter and spirit. Proceeding with brand
planning, the management as a matter of strategy must agree on the two following elements:
·  The definition of brand essence or the brand model
·  The brand architecture
Out of these elements flows the strategic planning process for a new brand or an existing one.
Brand essence: This necessitates top management's clarity about the essence of the brand,
which is at the core of the four brand dimensions. Refer to lecture 3. Clarity about four
dimensions of brands, that is, the functions, the aspects of differentiation, the aims and values
of the brand, and the personality and imagery are of utmost importance.
Subsequent to clarity is the step that demands total consensus among all about the brand model.
This agreement is evident of the fact that all dimensions have been critically appraised and
therefore the need for the brand to appear on the market is based on rational logic.
Brand architecture: The management must also be clear about how the new entry is going to
fit into its existing portfolio of brands. This takes us back to discussion on brand-product
relationship and branding strategies (product brand strategy, line brand strategy, umbrella,
source, or endorsing etc.) meaning the brand architecture, as discussed in lectures 27 and 28.
Agreement on the two strategic elements (essence and architecture) must be communicated to
all who are going to contribute to achievement of results in one way or the other. This implies
all in the company should be in the picture. The committees we discussed under the topic of
Brand Management (MKT624)
brand-based culture are the true representatives of all in the company. The advantages of this
approach are self-evident.
Internal communication to make fundamental elements work successfully
The internal communication is important from the point of view of making sure that strategy
implementation takes place the way it was planned. Many of the market failures take place not
because of a bad strategy but due to the inability to execute the tactical framework translated
from the strategy.
The failure of implementation/execution is a direct consequence, in many cases, of a lack of
coordination and understanding that inflicts the companies due to a lack of effective internal
communication and marketing.
Internal marketing is essential for tangible product brands as well as for service brands. Both
types of products are delivered through a cross-functional team effort. As such, very
meaningful communication among all of them is of paramount importance.
Brand chartering
The essence of internal communication is highlighted through the concept of brand chartering.
It basically seeks consensus among all concerned on detailed strategic definition and objectives
of the brand.
Through this technique, internal workshop consisting of all those high-ups among the top
management who have the clarity of the two strategic elements discussed above is arranged. In
this workshop, some important questions of strategic importance are asked. Some of the
questions resemble the following:
1. What kind of values customers and consumers will miss if this brand was not to be
launched, or was not there?
·  The discussion on this kind of question brings to the surface the level of uniformed
interpretation by all from across functions, especially in relation to brand identity.
You will recall that brand identity is coined by one or two major values; those
values must form the inner core of the product and feed the brand that expresses
itself through its outer manifestations1.
·  A brand of mineral water may value your "health and well being"; a car brand may
value that you "enjoy the ride" and hence give the product a high level of
thoroughness and quality both forming the core value that "you must enjoy".
2. Does this brand offer high class quality and value?
3. Is communication (for the existing brand or the planned one) integrated and leverages
the brand?
4. Is distribution of the brand up to the mark? Is it better than competition or not?
5. Do all the departments share understanding on all opportunities and risks involved with
this brand? A good understanding eliminates the possibility of finger pointing in case of
problems with brand movement. Also, it harnesses company's ability to fully capitalize
and leverage all available opportunities.
6. What core competencies are involved to make this brand successful? Do we have those?
Core competencies, in very plain terms, relate quality of human resource having the
ability to produce the requisite quality, keep operating costs down, and producing
higher margins, thus keeping the company apart from the rest of the crowd. As a
strategic matter, does the company have the ability to go into
·  Differentiation through a set of factors ­ product features, cost controls, value for
money, a wider range, and a superior service?
Brand Management (MKT624)
Ability to develop requisite skills to achieve the above-mentioned factors of
Insulate itself from competition and sustain the competitive advantage?
This approach of "brand chartering" or a similar method should be employed to see how people
share understanding. Once the answers to all questions are found to be positive, an
understanding is reached. Once reached, this understanding should be communicated to all in
the organization as a brief statement stating what is shared.
This undoubtedly creates a sense of ownership for the brand and leverages it to the point the
brand deserves. With this, our understanding about the first part of brand strategy as to how a
brand should be treated at the highest level and how it seeks a confirmation of its legitimacy is
We now proceed to the second part that deals with actual brand planning.
Brand planning process
The process consists of the following three major steps:
·  Market definition
·  Market Analysis
·  Brand Analysis
All three are further made up of different concepts that we have learnt about brand management
during this course. While going through this process, we will get a feeling of revising the whole
course relating those concepts.
Market definition: The first step is to define the market from customer's point of view. You
must state in few words what kinds of needs the market fulfills. The definition should not
be tailored for different purposes and different time-scales. It should state all purposes
fulfilled and time-scales served.
For example, if you want to introduce a drink, you may consider the market of all kinds of
drinks as thirst quenchers. This will include all cold drinks (cola and un-cola), juices,
energy drinks, squashes, and even drinking water etc.
You may, however, define just one segment of your concern for the time being with the
understanding to include others at a later stage. Your choice should stem from your
strategic considerations at any given point in time. You may like to talk about your direct
competitors and the attributes of competing products that have a competing posture for your
Make no mistake that you confirm the legitimacy of your considerations through brand
chartering and not whims or personal preferences.
You may also like to talk about whether the market is growing fast, just stable, or declining.
The stage of the market growth cycle is going to have an impact on your brand's
Market analysis: You must have complete understanding who your buyers are and how
they constitute the market in terms of demographics. A complete understanding of their
profile, how much quantities they generally use, how does the brand fit into their lives,
what problems it solves, and what value it generates for them must form part of the
planning process?
An understanding of your immediate segment in relation to other segments forming the
market is of crucial importance to brand planning. You must define various segments,
because this definition of yours is going to translate into your efforts to extend the range
Brand Management (MKT624)
into those segments. Therefore, you must mention various segments in your plan. You may
recall different segments of interest to company XYZ of sandwiches.
You may also like to consider those changing trends that may have the potential to create
new segments in the near future. The ability to spot growth of new segments will keep you
pro-active and preemptive in your strategic moves.
You must consider who your major competitors are and what is the level of threat each one
poses to your brand? Your focus on competitors is almost as important as on consumers. In
the market place you cannot operate in a vacuum. The moves of your competitors will
always keep you active in considering the changes and improvements in yours. You must
take into account the competitive advantages in relation to your own and competitors'
brands, and strengths and weaknesses of all major players.
You need to decide which channels are to be used in view of the outreach needed for your
brand. Distribution of products, may those be tangible products or intangible services, is the
priority of any business to be successful.
The objective is to reach the ultimate consumers in the most cost-effective and delivery-
efficient way. For that you need to establish whether it is going to be the market norm, or
some ingenious method of distribution.
Drivers of change
What are the basic drivers that influence market make-up and competitive adjustments must be
considered. The most dominant forces are known as the driving forces that induce changes
common to most industries. Some of the drivers are:
Changes in long-term industry growth: The shift in industrial growth ­ upward or downward ­
is a force that needs to be studied and analyzed. What is it that is causing that shift ­ meaning
the driver?
Is there going to be entry of new players as growth takes place or is there going to be a shake-
out because of industry becoming over-supplied? Is it that existing ones are expanding their
capacities ­ motorbikes and cars in Pakistan? What need to be studied are the repercussions of
the driving forces on the brand strategy?
The shift definitely has its implication in terms of production capacity, market demand,
changing advertising and promotional tactics, and improved distribution systems.
Changes in who buy the product and how they use it: Usage of the product can undergo a
tremendous change because of changing economic conditions. An example could be about
ready-to-eat chicken portions intended as snacks. Is it that the target market is using those as
snacks? If the market is using those also as main breakfast and other meals, then changing
habits are drivers.
Suggested readings:
1. Geoffrey Randall: "Branding ­ A Practical Guide to Planning Your Strategy", Kogan
Page (135-146)
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