Nov 11, 2009

Towards the holy grail of defining branding

The article “Towards the holy grail of defining branding” is defining branding as an intangible asset. To become a brand a product has to cover up the following steps: (1) Differentiation.      (2)  Positioning. (3) Personality. (4) Vision. (5) Added Value.
Differentiation means the first step for branding is to attract attention of the consumers and stand out from competitors. Where there is lack of branding sophistication it is defined as “a term, name, logo, symbol, color and a combination of them”. But in reality “it is a unique association about brand in the consumer’s minds”. The term, symbol, and logos can play only for the purpose of retrieval of brands from memory.
Positioning is delivery of firm’s strategies regarding the brand and this should meet consumer’s expectations. It can’t be sustained over a long period of time as consumer’s demands vary time to time.
Personality means what consumers want to receive plus how they want to receive. It is as important that a brand must have emotional affect on consumers as it is in the cognitive map of consumer’s minds. A brand has a strong personality if it is good for consumers, employees and for society too.
Vision is gaining commitment from consumers, employees, and society. At this step normally a brand promises something to the stakeholders. This promise becomes a vision statement of the firm.
Value added level is the most sophisticated level of branding and company welcome relationship with stakeholders through every point of contact. The other objective is to reduce the customer perceived risk while using the brand. Value addition is based on consumer’s lifestyle. Usually companies use measurement of brand equity to develop brand strategies and value addition.
The ultimate destination of branding definition is as it is a cluster of values that enables a promise to be made about a unique and welcomed experience.

Article Name: 'Towards the holy grail of defining `brand''.Leslie de Chernatony, Marketing Theory 2009; 9; 101

Nov 6, 2009

When brands get branded.

The article “when brands get branded” is telling us that as brands have personalities just like human and develop relationship also like human it’s true that brands misconduct as human misbehave. Brand misconduct is a brand’s behavior that consumers do not agree with. The example of brand misconduct is Coca-Cola’s introduction of so-called new coke in eighties. This approach also known as product-harm crisis and this occurs when the product is defective or dangerous for consumers.

Normally four types of brand misconducts occur are as: (1) product quality differs from expectations - Brands fail to fulfill customer’s expectations of functional benefits. (2) Lack of service orientation – poor customer services can influence the purchase decisions. (3) Symbolic - Psychological misconduct – Brands are not only giving social values but also psychological values to consumers. (4) Socially debatable actions – Actions those results from the violation of ethical norms and moral values of consumers.

The results of brand misconduct harms the relationship chain of brand just like human misbehave spoil all relationships with others. In the case of brands it could be brand boycott, negative image and reputation of brand and ultimately loss of customer-based brand equity. The brand misconduct consequences highly depend on the characteristics of the consumer’s group which are committed with brand, relate them with it and idealize it.

By looking at brand issues seriously and manage crisis through a strategic approach a company can get its place in the market rapidly. Brand misconduct can be best deal when the company communicates openly & transparently with consumers.

In online environment customers are empowered by World Wide Web to exchange knowledge and information easily & quickly to coordinate their activities. This opportunity even intensified the brand misconduct situations. For future it can be a powerful source of interactive communication between company owners and consumers to develop brand strategies for long-term benefits for both parties.

Article name: 'When brands get branded', Frank Huber, Johannes Vogel and Frederik Meyer, Marketing Theory 2009; 9; 131

Towards an identity based branding.

The article “Towards an identity-based branding” says that brands play a crucial role in a company’s value generation. In old branding techniques brand is just a communication vehicle while new perspective see it in two dimension approach of brands. First one is outside-in approach and second is inside-out approach.

Outside-in approach is based on the consumer’s personal identity. The concept of personal identity is characterized by the individual’s portrait of his or her own self and serves as the frame of reference for the individual’s behavior. A strong personal identity is perquisite for a personality to be reliable and authentic and participate in the development of trust.

Inside-out approach is based on the fact that managing brand or construct a mental structure for brand is responsibility held by external target groups.

By definition brand identity is as a form of group identity which is expressed by a set of commonly shared values, competencies, origin, vision, communication style and behavior.

Brand image constructs on three components for consumers as: (1) Brand attributes. (2) Functional values. (3) Symbolic values. From this perspective brand image is based on the receiver’s side and identity on the sender’s side.

The process of communicating the brand promise to external customers is called brand positioning. Brand promise is partially or fully based on the external target consumer’s expectations. It also plays a major role in developing employees behavior and customers satisfaction.

Brand identity is not a static approach in two dimension like brand image which is a more dynamic approach and interactive process towards brand management. In short, brand identity, brand promise and brand behavior is developed by internal stakeholders while brand image, brand expectations and brand experiences are relevant to the external stakeholders.

Article Name: Towards an identity-based branding, Christoph Burmann, Sabrina Hegner and Nicola Riley, Marketing Theory 2009; 9; 113

Oct 20, 2009

Customer Based Brand Equity Model (CBBE)

The CBBE model approaches brand equity from the perspective of the customer – whether customer is an individual or an organization. The CBBE model provides a unique point of view as to what brand equity is and how it should best be built, measured and managed. The power of a brand lies in what customers have learned, felt, seen and heard about the brand as a result of their experiences over time. The big challenge for marketers is to ensure that customers have the right type of experiences with their products and services. In order to do this, marketers must develop marketing programs in way that best fit into customers' mind and linked the brand to the desire customers' feelings, thoughts, actions and beliefs. So that customer-based brand equity is defined as, the differential effect that brand knowledge has on consumer response to the marketing of that brand.
Customer-Based Brand Equity Pyramid

Brand Salience:
It's means broad awareness of the brand. The first step in building a brand equity is the brand awareness that contains two parts; brand recognitioin (how easily customer identify a brand after exposing some cue or a physical product) and brand
recall (how easily customer recall the brand without showing a cue while making purchase decision or thinking the product category). We must consider both the breadth and depth of the brand awareness; the depth is that how likely it is for a brand element to come to mind and a breadth is the range of purchase and the situations in which the brand comes to mind of the consumers. A brand we easily recall has a deeper level of brand awareness and breadth is related to the product knowledge in the memory of the consumer. So companies must consider or develop the product category structure for the brand or product hierarchy because customers always make a hiararchical decisio while purchasing some product or service, the first thing comes his/her mind is the product category then he/she goes further. So it is very important that consumers consider our brand in their desired product category while making purchased decision.
Brand performance:
It is describes how well the product or service meets customers' more functional needs. Brand performance directly related with the features of the product that differentiate it from others. Often, the strongest brand positioning relies on performance advantages of the brand. Five important types of attributes and benefits often underlie brand performance, as follows.

  1. Primary ingredients and supplementary features

  2. Product reliability, durability, and serviceability

  3. Service effectiveness, efficiency, and empathy

  4. Style and design

  5. Price

Customers view performance or measure performance in three ways: Reliability; mesures consistency of performance over time and from perchase to purchase, Durability; means the expected economic life of the product, and Serviceability; the ease of reparing the product if needed.
It is the secong part of brand meaning and also called the emotions part of brand meaning (Brand performance is the logic part). It mainly depends on the intrinsic properties of the product or service, including the way how well the brand attempts to meet the customers' psychological or social needs. Imagery refers to more intangible aspects of the brand, and customers can form imagery associations directly from their own experiences or through advertising or some other sopurce of information indirectly. Intangible aspects of the brand are as:

  • User profiles

  • Purchase and usage situation

  • Personality and values

  • History, heritage and experiences

Dempgraphics factors (gender, age, race, income, family) affect the first two types of aspects while pyschographics affect on the personality and values.
Brand judjements:
It is the third stage of the CBBE model which as also two parts or routes; brand judjement and brand feelings. Brand judjements are customers' personal opinions about and evaluations of the brand, which customers form by putting together all the different brand performance and imagery associations. Customers usually make four types of judgements as:

  • Brand Quality; brand attitudes generally depend on specific attributes and benefits of the brand.

  • Brand Credibility; judgements about the company or organization behind the brand. Customers may seen that wether the brand is competitive, innovative and market leader. The company always consider customers' priorities in mind and create interest and fun so that customers enjoying while consuming the brand.

  • Brand Consideration; customers think or consider the brand while making purchase decisions.

  • Brand Superiority; customers view the brand as unique and better that other.

Brand Feelings:
These are customers' emotional responses and reactions to the brand. The emotions evoked by a brand can become so strongly associated that they are accessible during product consumption or use. The following are six important types of brand-building feelings.

  • Warmth; the brand
    makes consumers feel a sense of calm or peacefulness.

  • Fun; makes cosumers feel amused, lighthearted, joyous, playful, cheerful, and so on.

  • Excitement;
    makes consumers feel energised and they feel something special.

  • Security; the brand produces a feeling of safety, comfort, and self-assurance.

  • Social approval; consumers feel that others look favorably on their experience, behavior and so on.

  • Self-respect; consumers feel a sense of pride, accomplishment, or fulfillment.

The final step of the model focuses on the ultimate relationship and level of the identification that the customer has with the brand. Brand resonance describes the nature of the relationship.

  • Behavior loyalty; in terms of repeat purchase and the amout or share of category volume attributed to the brand.

  • Attitudinal attachment; customers should go beyond having a positive attitude to viewing the brand as something special in a broader context.

  • Sense of community; customers feel kinship or affiliation with other people associated with the brand.

  • Active engagement; brand loyalty occurs when customers are engaged, or willing to invest time, energy, money or other resources in the brand beyond those expended during purchase or consumption of the brand.

Consumers while making purchasing decisions or choosing the brand, always use between two approaches or listen the brain (make the decision) in two ways:

  • Cognitive-based approach (logics)

  • Affective-based approach (feelings)

If we look the above fig. CBBE pyramid, we have seen that there are two paths or ways from brand salience to brand resonance and consumer always choose one from them.

  • Cognitive-based approach
    Brand salience – Brand performance – Brand judgements – Brand resonance
    Consumers mainly focus on the performance of the brand and give importance to the features and benefits of the brand (tangible parts) while making decisions. So marketers msut consider the needs of customers who uses this approach while developing brands.

    • Haleeb (Sab se garha doodh), (chai bnaye khub) company focuses on the features and benefits of the brand.

    • Mobile brands, focus on attributes and features mainly

    • Hightech products that must demonstrate features by the company

  • Affective-based approach
    Brand salience – Brand imagery – Brand feelings – Brand resonance
    Consumers more focus or interested in intangible aspects of the brand and attach the brand and develop feelings from their experiences. Marketers must focus on intangible aspects of the brand if they plan to touch/play with the emotions of consumers.

    • Coca-Cola uses the emotional approach while attracting consumers and so successful that it has capture the first position in the top brands' ranking of the world and has brand equity about 67 billion dollars.

    • Serf Exel (daag nahi tu seekhna nahi), (daag tu achay hotay hain) touchs the emotions of the customers by developing compaigns that contain fun, exicetment and ability to do something new.

    • Supreme tea ( yahi tu hai wo apna pun) communicates the family bonding

    • Dew (dew na kia tu phr kia jia) creates excitement (kar guzarne ki pyaas)

    Strategic Brand Managemnet, third edition, Keller.

Sep 18, 2009

Nestle Cerelac (the power of Brand)

We are familiar with the name, Cerelac and not only familiar but also consumers too.... Whenever somo one (parents) thinks about the product in baby food category for their babies, the first and the last name comes in their mind is Cerelac. Why Nestle Cerelac is so popular and authentic brand, the reason is Nestle that communicates itself as 'Good food, good life'. Cerelac is a name of quality and best food for babies and the positioning statement of Cerelac also tells the same as, 'best start to a healthier future'.

The market for baby food in Pakistan increased between 2000-2005, growing at an anuual rate of 5.4%. The leading company in the market i Nestle S.A.
Nestle Cerelac is a baby cereal and mothers start giving it to
their child from age 6 months to three (3) years.
Product class: Foods & Beverages
Product category: Baby Food
Product type: Baby cereal
175 g                                     
Size: 25 g, 175 g, 350 g    

Nestle has its own development nutrition plan which consists of three stages as:
Stage one: Gentle first food; Crelac rice, Cerelac wheat
Stage two: New taste; Cerelac wheat 3-fruits, Banana, and Honey
Stage three: Richer taste & texture; Cerelac wheat 5-fruits, apple & orange pieces
Why Cerelac: (The reason of Success)

First of all consumers expects that the products must fullfill the core benefits attached with it. E.g, they demand a nutritious diet for their babies which build a strong immunity system in babies against diseases. And only the Cerelac that best fullfil their expectations.
The core benefit - acomplete diet for babies as it has 12 vitamins, 5 minerals, calcium and iron. Then it has variety and asortment; available in different tastes and textures. The new variation in texture imcludes fruit pieces in cereal which help babies in learning how to chew the brand.
Nestle Cerelac is available every where in the market and provides convinience to customers and it has high quality with deep assortment. Most importantly, Nestle Cerelac has its own 'Development Nutrition Plan' which guides the parents that which things are important and at what stage.

So that's why one can say that Cerelac is a best star of one's life and offcourse future too.

Sep 17, 2009

Brand Architecture

Think of Brand architecture (or Brand Structure) as a brand's family tree or its hierarchy. It is how a firm organizes the various named entities within its portfolio, how they relate to each other. Ideally, brand structure is simple and easy, with no more than two levels: brand and subbrands. But some organizations add a third level too: named products.
The four general types of architecture are:
1. Master brand
2. Brand/subbrand
3. Endorsed brand
4. Separate brands: (stand-alone or independent)
Corporate Brand:
Corporate brand is a brand bearing the company name. It is always the highestin a brand hierarchy. Examples are Nestle, Hewlett-Packard, Coca-cola, Pepsi, IBM, Ford and etc.
Master Brand:
Master brand is the dominant, highest level brand in a brand hierarchy. Typically, it is also the only brand in the system. Historically, many corporate brands were also master brands. Today, there are fewer master brands left. E.g. Nestle is the master brand which is dominant and so called corporate brand of the Nestle company. 
Parent Brand:
Parent brand is a brand that is extended into more that one product category. Itmay or may not be the same as the corporate brand. Examples are Honda, PEL, LG, Orient. It is also called family brand because all the products are lie within one brand name. Parent brands offer the following advantages:
- Less expensive new product launches
- Trust & assurance
- Economies of scale
A subbrand is a new brand that is combined with a parent or corporate brand in the brand identity system. The subbrand can make the parent brand more vital and relevent to a new consumer segment or within a new product category. E.g. Cerelac is the subbrand of Nestle, similarly Milkpak, Nido and Pure life, all are the subbrands of corporate brand Nestle.
Endorsed Brand:
Endorsed brand is the primary name the consumer is intended to use to refer to a product. It is a brand that is endorsed by the parent or corporate brand in the brand identity system. The parent brand is also identified with the product; however, the endorsed brand is given much greater visual weight that parent brand. In this situation, parent or corporate brand lends credibility or assurance to the endorsed brand without overpowering it with its own associations. An example is Lays (chips) that is endorsed by Pepsi and similarly Minute Maid from Coca-cola.
Separate Brand:
Separate brands are the brands that either are independent or stand-alone. These brands have no influence of the corporate or parent brand. A good example of separate brands are Olper's milk, Omore icecream, brands of Angro Foods and Olper's milk has no influence on Omore and both lauched as independently and both are successful too.
Trade Dress (trademark)
Trade dress refers to aesthetic elements that provide legal protection for a brand's identity. For example, Coca-Cola's bottle shape is a part of its trade dress.

Sep 16, 2009


Branding is the philosophy and a total approach to managing companies.
Managing the company is a total way for creating, making and keeping the brand promise.
A brand is a name, term, symbol, logo, design, or combination of them which differentiates firm's product/services from competitors. So we can say that branding is all about creating creating a differential effect in customer's mind. Powerful brands increase employee satisfaction, loyalty and achievement drive. Coke has the highest branding value from the last 33 years.
Two Approaches Uses in Branding:
Inside-out: Focus on product attributes
Outside-in: Focus on customer needs instead of company's offering
Branding strats from positioning. We analyse first that what are our POP (points of parity); the similarities among our and competitor's products and then POD (points of differenciation); the unique selling prepositions (USP), how we can differentiate our product from others. Then develop brand essence; a brand's fundamental nature or quality, it is the one constant across product categories and through out the world. Typically, it is rare for an organization's brand essence and slogan to be the same. For instance, Nike's essence - Authentic Athletic Performance - was translated to following two slogans: 'Just do it!' and 'Ican'. Brand mantra (essence) should define the category for brand and set brand boundaries  It should also clarify what is unique about the brand. Then design the brand and its elements and finally use all the advertising and media strategies to activate the brand.
Branding benefits:
- Be remembered: increase  your brand awareness and recognition
- Improve perceived quality and credibility
- Increase sales and profits
- Gain market share
- Gain strategic advantage over the competition
- Retain customers
- Lower marketing and sales expenses
- Attract and develop higher-quality dealer networks
- Increase stock Price
- Attract and retain high-quality employees and board members

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