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Brand Management

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Brand Management (MKT624)
Lesson 17
This lecture discusses dimensions of strong positioning. What is it that happens to your brand
in terms of its strategic placement on the market and future direction is discussed hereunder.
Competition drives customers to go by comparisons and a process of selection, which is
governed by four fundamental questions ­ brand for what; brand for whom; brand for when;
and, brand against whom.
The discussion touches upon the abovementioned questions that you undertake while
positioning your brand to essentially make it distinguishable from others. With that
understanding, effort is made to define positioning and then discuss various components of the
definition in relation to a hypothetical positioning statement.
Strong Positioning
A strong positioning has the following properties1:
·  Unique valued place
A strong brand position means a brand has a unique, credible, sustainable, and valued
place in customers' mind.
·  Revolves around a benefit
It revolves around a benefit, which makes the brand stand apart from competition.
·  Provides focus
It makes the organization focus its resources and follow the right direction.
·  Externally driven
Positioning is externally driven, meaning it has to be owned by customers.
·  New avenues for brand leveraging
Good positioning opens many new avenues for the brands to leverage themselves in areas
of growth.
·  Key determinant of operational strategies
Positioning is the key determinant of key operational strategies that form a company's
strategic direction.
All the above factors mean that through positioning you can distinguish your brand from the
rest of the crowd. You do that by communicating the distinctive characteristics of your brand.
The prospects already have a picture in their minds. You capitalize on that.
In case yours is a new brand, you must try hard to create a position which is unique, and then
must not stop there. You communicate that by being the first one to start the communication
process and keep communicating (regularly or momentarily) that until you have created a
position in customers' mind.
What is different about your brand does appeal to customers. And, this appeal results from an
analytical process based on the following four questions2.
1. A brand for what? This refers to brand promise and the benefit ­ an orange drink having
real orange pulp can be positioned by claiming that benefit. You are positioning the
product against no-pulp, which is the market norm. Therefore, you are manipulating the
picture that already is in consumer's mind.
2. A brand for whom? This refers to the target segment. It is important to understand the
category in absolute clarity and the segments it consists of. You position your brand for
the right target segment and not others.
3. A brand for when? This refers to the occasion when the product will be used. Milk is
milk, and it can be drunk any time of the day by anyone. But, if you introduce an offering
Brand Management (MKT624)
with features offering special benefits to tea drinkers, you position that milk for that
purpose and communicate with tea drinkers not to deny themselves the benefit of
enjoying the best milk good tea deserves. If you find out as part of your effort to expand
the category, through research and informal communication, that consumers are looking
for a milk variation best suited to desserts, then you should position a milk product for
that purpose and communicate what it is not. This implies that you highlight the special
nature of that milk and tell you prospects that it is not the ordinary thing; rather it is
something special that needs their attention to satisfy a special need.
4. A brand against whom? In the competitive context, it explains competitors from whom
we expect to capture business. By introducing milk offerings that are so different in
character you should know the competitors as well as your own business that may be
affected by those introductions.
Positioning, therefore, means that all consumer choices are based on comparison and a
selection process defined by the questions we have just discussed above. These questions help
position a new brand by making brand's contribution obvious to consumers.
With the understanding developed through the above discussion, we can define positioning as
"It is a concise statement that summarizes brand's commitment or promise to target
consumers and actively communicates the advantage over competing brands."
Going by the definition, positioning has three primary components3:
·  The component of company business
·  The component of target market
·  The component of point of difference and key benefits
Understanding of components through an example
In order to better understand the components let's develop and discuss the positioning
statement of the fast food set-up.
"Brand XYZ seeks to be perceived as top quality player in the area of fast food of international
standards. It intends to sell price-effective,
The Positioning Map
high-quality,  cold  gourmet  sandwiches
Figure 22
delivered free primarily at lunch time".
XYZ is talking about company business, the
category, and promising its target market
fullest value for their money through
differentiated features, while fulfilling three
fundamental  determinants  of  consumer
Gap ­ filled by XYZ
purchase, that is
­  Affordability -
­  Quality -
­  Accessibility -
With the components discussed, let us take a
look at the positioning map every good
organization should make to see how best
can it formulate its strategic moves in light
of the positioning?
Let's discuss the three components for a
Brand Management (MKT624)
better understanding by relating those to the definition of positioning.
Clarity about business
·  What exactly is the category and who are the players? Know your competitors, assess
their roles, and understand the category for an accurate definition of your own business.
·  What is the size and growth rate? How has it shaped up over the years? Refer to industry
analysis and see how different players have been playing the game. What have been the
growth patterns in terms of the industry, major players, and your own firm?
·  What are the entry barriers? Are there any resource constraints? Is the company fully
capable of deploying resources for a comprehensive communication campaign? Without
communication, positioning will not come to life.
·  Will the market value our participation? Is there something missing from the market? Are
we really going to fulfill a need that genuinely seeks fulfillment? If yes, then the market
will definitely value our participation.
·  Are there promises for multi-segment growth? Are we going to get into an area that will
go across related businesses and allow us to participate in those? Company XYZ should
know from the start that the potential to get into small restaurants (after having started
delivery business) offers itself in all its forms and the company should be formulating its
moves, adjusting promises and positioning its products in a way that multi-segmental
growth becomes its hallmark.
A. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through
Your Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (109)
B. Jean-Noel Kapferer: "Strategic Brand Management ­ Creating and Sustaining
Brand Equity Long term"; Kogan Page (97)
C. Scot M. Davis: "Brand Asset Management ­ Driving Profitable Growth through
Your Brands"; Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint (110)
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