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Brand Management

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Brand Management (MKT624)
VU
Lesson 20
POSITIONING ­ GUIDING PRINCIPLES
Introduction
The topic of this lecture is a continuation of the concept of AUDIENCE as partially discussed
in the previous one1. It also discusses the fifth and the final principle of repositioning. With that
concept wrapped up, it concludes discussion on positioning with the understanding of how to
choose a realistic positioning statement.
·  I:
Inspiration: Your colleagues should be inspired by the results that you generate
out of the formal and informal research about the positioning rationale. Those results
should create a sense of inspiration to work for the brand objectives.
·  E:
Engagement: With the right sense of direction and inspiration, everyone will
feel engaged in working for the positioning.
·  N:
Naturalness: If the right people are in place, then it will be natural for them to
work for the stated objectives. Having the right people is important for positioning to
work.
·  C:
Criteria: Establish criteria for rewards on achievement of objectives. Those
rewarded should set examples for others to feel motivated.
·  E:
Education: Train your people to become brand ambassadors.
5. Strong brand positioning is customer-driven
Without getting into repetition, a correct brand picture provides you with a lot of data and
information. Using that, you can come up with what is exactly the customer's needs, strengths
and weaknesses of your and competitive brands. Armed with that information, you can create
the right promises, deliver them, and maintain the contract to have a strong position.
Communicating the actual positioning
The most challenging decision here is to decide about the actual positioning, meaning the
communication that you direct toward the target. Having the right information is not a
guarantee that you will come up with the right most statement and strategies.
Given the sensitivity of the matter you need to choose a position, which has the strongest
appeal to the target audience and the one the company can sustain over a long time. Toward
that objective, you should develop a few strategies and then see which one is the most suitable
in terms of positioning your brand.
The challenge stems from the fact that your brand carries more than one benefit. Talking about
all of them does not have the punch. To keep your message straight forward and strong, you
have to pick one of the benefits as the basis of your positioning statement.
In the case of brand XYZ, the positioning statement is very clear. It takes into account all the
components ­ the category in which the brand is going to operate, the competitive benchmarks,
the target market, and the point of difference.
The challenge here is, out of so many benefits the brand is going to offer (good price, high
quality, easy availability, and good looks to name a few), which is the one that will keep the
message simplest and strongest to position the brand in the oversimplified mind.
Positioning considerations
The criteria against which you can measure the decision mechanism can consist of the
following considerations:
·  One could be related to quality.
·  One could be related to price.
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Brand Management (MKT624)
VU
·
One could be related to accessibility.
·
Another could talk about the taste profile.
·
Yet another could emphasize on appearance dimensions.
·
You may think that talking about revolutionizing the service at lunch time is the hallmark
of the marketing effort and hence a relevant consideration.
·  Or, you may like to talk about the variety the brand XYZ offers.
·  Any other that you may think of.
All of the above positioning considerations sound convincing. Whichever the company may
like to choose has to stem from customer's point of view so that he can own it. For that the
company must evaluate it against criteria like:
Evaluation criteria
·  Are the product's looks and appearance compatible with the positioning?
·  How strong is the consumer motivation behind this positioning?
·  What size of market is involved in such positioning?
·  Does it capitalize on competitors weaknesses?
·  Is this positioning distinctive and specific?
·  What financial resources this positioning requires?
·  Is this a sustainable positioning, or are competitors going to imitate this in no time?
·  Does this positioning leave us an alternative to switch to another positioning in case this
failed?
·  Does this justify a price premium?
The best way to choose the right positioning is to pick each consideration and evaluate it
against all the evaluation criteria one by one. Going through this process of evaluation, you will
come up with the most convincing positioning for the brand.
Coining the message
Once you have decided the positioning for the brand, you can coin the brand's message as the
outward expression of the brand's inner substance. This is the message (slogan or ad line) that
appears in all your communications, including the product's package. You must take charge of
positioning; otherwise competitors will be quick to do that to your loss.
Positioning is the single most important activity in developing your brand management
strategy. If you craft it right, then your decisions to introduce new brands, extensions, pricing,
and communication become fairly straightforward, as you will see in the coming lectures.
Summary - positioning
Positioning stems from the areas of segmentation and differentiation. Knowledge about the
business you are in, the target market, and the point of difference that matters for your product
lays the foundation for positioning of your brand. Once done with that, you communicate the
position of your brand to the target market.
Positioning is very central to brand strategy. All operational strategies stem out of the
positioning of a brand. Propounded as a concept by two advertising executives, it followed the
product and the image eras.
Positioning is what you do to the mind of a consumer. You communicate a piece of information
about your product in a way that it gets lodged in the mind of the consumer. If the product is
full of promises and upholds the brand contract, it becomes difficult for competition to dislodge
it.
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Brand Management (MKT624)
VU
Every brand manager should strive to create a strong position for his/her brand. There are
certain principles that you must follow to create a strong position. While you improve your
brand to keep it current, you must manage the desired shift in positioning in a subtle way. The
brand must not lose credibility.
You must be careful and highly analytical in choosing the right position for your brand, for you
should position it from the platform of one benefit. Talking about all benefits in your
communications leads to confusing the consumer. Different benefits should be weighed against
a set of criteria to choose the best position for the brand.
Bibliography:
1. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through
Your Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (123)
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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