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Brand Management

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Brand Management (MKT624)
Lesson 8
Brand vision must be written down as a statement like the one we have for the fast food
business. The question is how to build that statement, for it has implications for so many areas,
the prime one being finance. You need to commit yourselves to pre-production expenses
followed by full-fledged production, marketing, and other areas. Reaching the vision, therefore,
is very serious and cannot be the decision of just one manager.
It is a systematic process that involves people from the top management right down to the level
of brand managers. Development of the vision leads brand management to develop the right
picture for the brand. It is a four-part approach as expressed by Scot Davis1.
1. Seek senior management's input
2. Determine the financial contribution gap
3. Collect industry data and create a brand vision starter
4. Meet with senior management to create the vision
1. Seek senior management's input
One of the top responsibilities of senior management is to develop business. Their view of
the products to be introduced is important. Brand managers should talk candidly with senior
management about their opinions.
Senior management's perception of their brand's role toward brand's growth, in overall
growth, and how far the brand will go should be shared by asking the following kind of
What markets, business lines, and channels the company will pursue? Markets can
be defined in terms of needs, segmentation, and geography. Company XYZ can
look at its markets in terms of fulfilling needs of children in addition to just the
lunch market of professionals. That will take the brand managers into the area of
segmentation and development of brands belonging to those segments.
XYZ may also consider expanding into different geographic areas to make its
outreach effective. The company, in all probability, will consider reaching its
customers through restaurants (in addition to serving them at restaurants) and
supplement selling through delivering direct to nearby customers at peak as well as
odd hours.
What are the financial and strategic goals of the company? The brand managers
must share with the senior management company goals in terms of financial returns
and other strategic goals like share of the market and brand's standing against
What do they think are strengths and weaknesses of their brands? The senior
management must be honest in pronouncing the strengths and weakness in relation
to competition. The realistic spelling out of strengths and weaknesses by them will
allow brand managers to be proactive in capitalizing on strengths and safeguarding
their position against probable threats. They will (brand managers) come up with
strategic moves keeping reality in view.
How to reinforce strengths and rectify weaknesses? An extension of the preceding
question, the answer will allow brand managers to look into the areas needing
reinforcements either through perpetuated communication campaigns or boosting
their channel capabilities.
The answer to this question will also allow you to overcome weaknesses with the
confidence that all in the company view them from the same angle.
Brand Management (MKT624)
What resources the company is willing to deploy for supporting the brand? The
support to the brand has to both strengthen its position and rectify weaknesses. You
should get incisive insight into the matter of where you need the support ­ overall
financial support, advertising and promotions, human resource, or investment into
channel development and equipment etc.
Companies always have finite resources. It is important to understand the senior
management's perspective and then match it with yours for the right development of
vision with no gaps.
Will the company be able to achieve its objectives? If not, why? If the management
is confident of supporting the brand and has all the resources in place, then the
chances of achievement of objectives should be bright. If not, then the whole
exercise may end up in futility. It is at such a juncture that you need to review the
possible negative factors and decide with the help of senior management about the
alternative course of action.
Do we have to redefine our business? If yes, what are the measures that the
company should take now? Redefinition of business generally relates redefining the
brand's position. This area is discussed in lectures 18-20.
For the sake of example, you may think of a company that deals in branded
sandwiches for modern supermarkets, bakeries, and convenience stores at gasoline
stations. The company's business falls under an FMCG category.
Success in FMCG sector may prompt this company to also develop the character of
a fast food company. The whole marketing complexion will change and the
company faces the challenge of redefining its business. The question that should tax
their minds should be, are we going to remain an FMCG company, or should we be
known as a fast food company with an impressive track record in FMCG area?
The redefinition has its implications in terms of investment into fixed assets like
restaurants and specialized staff. It will also need an effective communication
campaign through which the company can talk with the target market about its
intended position. If customers really perceive the image of the company the way its
new identity is created, the redefinition of the business has worked.
Are their any role models among competitors or associated companies that brand
managers should follow? You should try to find out if there is a competitor that the
senior management of your company really envies. Study the business model of that
competitor and determine what can be done to excel that model.
2. Determine the financial contribution gap
The contribution gap is the difference between company's present financial position and the
financial objectives. Filling the gap means having more revenue that can lead to better and
higher contribution margin. Higher revenue is sourced from either new products, price
increase on existing products, or both. Here, top management's input also becomes
What bear importance for the brand managers are the following questions:
­  Go for price increase
­  Expand markets and availability
­  Improve distribution ­ intensive and extensive
­  Improve communication
­  Introduce new offerings for new segments
­  Make acquisitions
Brand Management (MKT624)
Answers (discussed in a little detail in the next lecture 9) to all the questions help you
determine the financial gap and commit all to move strategically toward developing the
right picture for the brand.
1. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through Your
Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (44)
Suggested reading:
1. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through Your
Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (37-49)
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