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

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