Oct 30, 2010

Does Brand Execute Personal Messages

Before the exploration, what is necessary to know is what is actually meant by brand personality. According to many researchers brand personality is "the set of human like characteristics associated with brands." Brand Personality: How to Build a Unique Brand It means a brand possesses personality similarly to humans such as age, and gender and traits like humans such as warmth and concern. The other fact is brand also consist a consistent and long-term personality and everything associated with it actually affect it. As human have tangible features and intangible traits so as brands. The tangible features are as product category, price and other functional attributes. The intangible traits are as product symbol, country of origin, celebrity endorsement, and sponsorship event. Furthermore is the brand personality should match the target market personality.
The brand personality should not a one dimension personality instead it would be multidimensional as it can only attract multiple personalities. In fact, brand personality also serves as an indicator for the consumers. It has a unique state in the consumers' minds and tells them if it is suitable for him/her. The only and strongest marketing tool for a brand personality to develop is consumers' word-of-mouth. Brand Think According to researchers every brand has a few parameters on which all together create total consumer perception about the brand. Most critical to notice it Brand Personality is a part of Brand Identity who has other part named as Brand Positioning. So, it is crucial that there should be an interaction between the Brand Positioning and Personality.
Now the question is do brand execute personal message, the researcher said that brand personality is essential to develop because people choose brand as they choose the fellow-human to socialize with. Means like human a brand should also possesses a good communication skills to present itself in the form of color, style, taste, texture, and things like that. The brand should have power in itself to inspire people. The reason is this only than people will select it to adopt. Speak Now So, it is true that brand personality execute a personal message for everyone. What is the requirement of a product to be transformed into a brand and possesses a personality. 1) Avoid commodities to business in because these always treated as unbranded by consumers. 2) Every time you have to add a new feature or utility of the brand for consumers to achieve multidimensional brand. 3) Put some emotions in communicating the brand message so that it builds a strong emotional relationship with the consumers.

Oct 26, 2010

Branding Strategies to Gain an Adequate Market Share!

As soon as the word “recession” spreads, companies look to cut advertising, marketing and public relations campaigns and budgets. In reality, this is the best time to gain market share, as competition cuts away. Brand equity may tolerate price increases but no cut-off in marketing where add-ons are what attract customers during difficult times for brands.
Eliminate marketing that is not working and be aggressive with value-added offers that differentiate one own self property from the competition. These efforts will capture customers who are likely to stay with the organization in the future when the market improves. At its best, all advertising should be direct. Every ad placement should have a compelling offer and a strong call to action.
There are branding strategies which help an organization in crucial times in developing market share as: 1) Reallocate marketing budgets from branding to direct-target marketing for a higher return on investment. 2) Know your customer. Build a marketing database designed to gain insights into customer value, vulnerability and potential. 3) Leverage new customer insights on customer value, vulnerability and potential into campaigns that maximize ROI. The Myth of Market Share
4) Track and report campaign response and conversion effectiveness. 5) Grow relationships with current customers. Use social media and electronic communications to increase loyalty and reasons to communicate with customers. 6) Launch programs that allow existing customers to consolidate their business with you. 7) Focus on trends such as marketing to baby boomers. Make websites attractive to boomers without being condescending.
What is needed to have a closer look at management strategies to increase market share, such as expanding the customer base, selling more to existing customers, selling into new markets, focusing marketing efforts on retaining customers and developing new products or services. By accurately predicting changes in customer behavior, a manager may be the first exploit a niche and gain market share quickly. To gain a better market share try to get customers to buy more frequently by adding value to products and services, or get customers to spend more by selling premium products or services that better meet their needs and provide a better return. Also consider offering incentives and price promotions on items that customers usually buy from competitors. Market Positioning - 5 DVD Bundle
Other than this, additional sales methods, such as a direct sales operation, using wholesalers or distributors, appointing an agent, setting up an e-commerce operation, entering export markets or establishing joint ventures and partnerships can boost market share but carry a much higher financial risk and require extensive business planning.

Oct 24, 2010

Brand Taglines in fact a great way to launch!

An easily recognizable and memorable phrase which often accompanies a brand name in marketing communications programs is known as brand tagline or brand slogan. It helps customers to remember the brand and reinforces mental associations. Consistent and well-known example is Nike "Just do it".
To develop an effect tagline come a huge responsibility on the marketing department that demands an intensive research. However, five steps should be taken by everyone who is trying to synthesize it like: Firstly, decide what you want to communicate with your tagline. Particularly seek information about these points such as:
• Who are my customers?
• What benefits do I give to my customers?
• What feelings do I want to evoke in my customers?
• What actions are taken by me in trying to generate favor from my customers?
• How I am different from my competitors?
Secondly, prepare to brainstorm. Gather tag lines from other companies and brands. Look in other categories besides own and try to find tag lines from both large and small companies. On finding tag lines, write them on index cards or individual slips of paper. One will be mixing and matching them and pairing them with unrelated items as one brainstorm. Pay attention to the words used, how they are put together, and which of the above questions they address. By doing this, one may more likely to come up with a unique angle for its own tag line.POP!: Create the Perfect Pitch
Brain storming at stages three among five. This works well if one can get a small group together but can also do alone. Set up a place with a lot of writing space. Go for it through support. Look up words or concepts in the books. Rearrange various crutches so one can look at them in different ways. Write down everything that comes to mind and all the new ideas or phrase sparks. They do not have to make sense. One needs a large number of ideas. To make it happen.King Of Hearts
Fourthly, one needs to consolidate its list. After brainstorming, go through all of suspected ideas. Pull out those few that on thinking have the best potential. Try to reduce longer ones to fewer words. Lastly, choose the one best tagline. One should be left with a short list of possibilities. To pick the single best tag line, get others' opinions. If one have some funds budgeted, work with a market research firm to test the tag lines with your customers. One can also conduct informal research. Set up a free survey and encourage people to take the survey. If one has direct contact with its customers, ask them what they think. Give them an incentive to help such as a discount or small freebie. When tagline has done, one will have a tag line that will help its business thrive.

Oct 22, 2010

Brand Resonance Model impact on branding techniques!

Building a strong brand can be thought of in terms of a sequence of steps, in which each step is contingent on successfully achieving the previous step such as: Who are you? (Brand identity), What are you? (Brand meaning), What about you? What do I think or feel about you? (Brand responses), What about you and me? What kind of association and how much of a connection would I like to have with you? (Brand relationships).
Performing these four steps to create the right brand identity, brand meaning, brand responses, and brand relationship is a complicated and difficult process. It is useful to think of sequentially establishing six “brand building blocks” with customers. To connote the sequencing involved, these brand building blocks can be assembled in terms of a brand pyramid like:
Brand salience relates to aspects of the awareness of the brand, for example, how often and easily the brand is evoked under various situations or circumstances. 
Brand Meaning is made up of two major categories of brand associations that exist in customers’ minds related to performance and imagery, with a set of specific subcategories within each. These brand associations can be formed directly (from a customer’s own experiences and contact with the brand) or indirectly (through the depiction of the brand in advertising or by some other source of information, such as word of mouth). These associations serve as the basis for the positioning of the brand and its points-of-parity and points-of-difference. Creating strong, favorable, and unique associations and the desired points-of-parity and points-of-difference can be difficult for marketers, but essential in terms of building brand resonance. Strong brands typically have firmly established favorable and unique brand associations with consumers.
Brand responses refers to how customers respond to the brand and all its marketing activity and other sources of information that is what customers think or feel about the brand. Brand responses can be distinguished according to brand judgments and brand feelings, that is, in terms of whether they arise from the “head” or from the “heart.”
Brand judgments focus on customers’ personal opinions and evaluations with regard to the brand. Brand judgments involve how customers put together all the different performance and imagery associations of the brand to form different kinds of opinions. Brand feelings are customers’ emotional responses and reactions with respect to the brand. Brand feelings also relate to the feelings that are evoked by the marketing program for the brand or by other means?
Brand resonance refers to the nature of this relationship and the extent to which customers feel that they connect with a brand and feel “in synchronization” with it. With true brand resonance, customers have a high degree of loyalty marked by a close relationship with the brand such that customers actively seek means to interact with the brand and share their experiences with others. Examples of brands which have had high resonance include Harley Davidson, Apple, and eBay.
The importance of the brand resonance model is in the road map and guidance it provides for brand building. It provides a yardstick by which brands can assess their progress in their brand building efforts as well as a guide for marketing research initiatives. Brands Should Have a Duality. One important point reinforced by the model is that a strong brand has a duality. A strong brand appeals to both the head and the heart. Strong brands blend product performance and imagery to create a rich, varied, but complementary set of consumer responses to the brand.

Oct 21, 2010

Use of personality perspective in branding!

An expression of the fundamental core values and characteristics of a brand described and experienced as human personality traits like friendly, intelligent, innovative etc. It is an expression of the relationship between the consumer and the brand. The traditional marketing approach had lost its effect. Marketing professionals had become a bit too much mechanical, executing the accepted rules and processes of brand building, marketing communication and product innovation.
The consumers at the getting end grew tired of the traditional approach of push marketing. They literally didn’t buy it to any further extent. Whose effects are now as: declining brand loyalty, declining market share, more room for out-of-the-box ideas, no-brand products. This gave rise to new techniques like guerrilla marketing, pull marketing, experience marketing, niche marketing.
Over the past few years the mental approach of companies has progressively evolved in several stages:
• product based
• sales based
• market based
• marketing based Inspire Customer Loyalty
• Identity based
Lastly now come an era of Personality based branding according to which just like human beings all the brands have personality. Whether it is shallow and instrumental or deep, emotionally charged and carefully managed. Personality is the concept to give life to a brand, to manage ‘identity and image’, to create likeability.
The concept of brand personality combines inside-out and outside-in; identity and image. A personality has its roots in the identity but is strongly externally focused. It is not “be who you are”. Personality is: Become who you should be. The brand personality should be clearly defined; like one would describe the personality of a real person. Obviously this does not apply to every brand. One can choose other verbal concepts to express the brand personality. It is most important to define a brand personality without using any certified jargon.How to Build a Unique Brand
Based on the trait theory, researchers have concluded that there are five stable personality dimensions, also called the “Big Five” human personality dimensions “Big Five” human personality dimensions are Extraversion/introversion, Agreeableness, Consciousness, Emotional stability, and Culture. Based on these human personality dimensions, Jennifer Aaker (1997) identifies the new “Big Five” dimensions related to brands. These are Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness.
Brand personalities are created in different ways and with different tools. However, the creation always involves active communications on the side of the firm: the personality has to be disseminated to be alive. Advertising is heavily used in this process of personality creation. One of the advantages of brand personalities are that based on their distinctive personalities, consumers are able to differentiate between brands. Another advantage is that the consumer can interpret the brand’s image in such a way that it is personally more meaningful. Brand personality encourages more active processing on the part of the consumer. Thus, the consumer puts more effort in creating and using the brand personality.

Oct 16, 2010

Brand Value Chain – Nestle Cerelac

‘A structured approach to assessing the sources and outcomes of brand equity and the manner by which marketing activities create brand value’
The brand value chain consists of four value stages and three multipliers as:
Value Stages: 1.Marketing Program Investment, 2.Customer Mind-set, 3.Market Performance and 4.Shareholder Value.
Multipliers: 1.Program Quality, 2.Marketplace Condition and 3.Investor Sentiment.Brand-Oriented Value Chains

Now we will discuss it one-by-one for our selected brand “Nestle Cerelac”.
First Value Stage – Marketing Program Investment:
The brand value creation process begins when the firm invests in a marketing program targeting its actual and potential consumers. This marketing program can be product research and development, design, trade or intermediary support, advertising, promotion, sponsorship, direct or interactive marketing, personal selling, publicity, public relation and employee training.
Nestle Cerelac major investments on the marketing activities in year 2009 were its TVCs. First one launched in March for Nestle Cerelac stage 3 – new texture. Second one launched in September for Nestle Cerelac all stages – Bifidus. Hoardings of Nestle Cerelac Bifidus on the high exposure places. POS (Point-of-sale) material to support trade partners in better displaying the product. For employees who have babies, free Nestle Cerelac for 6 months. Making doctors company employees by hiring them for “Medical detailing team” of Nestle. Providing knowledge to the doctors and mothers through various seminars on the scientific aspects of the product only.
First Multiplier – Program Quality Multiplier
The ability of the marketing program to affect the customer mind-set will depend on its quality. It has four major dimensions to judge the quality of a marketing program as: Clarity, Relevance, Distinctiveness and Consistency.
Nestle Cerelac Analysis for program quality multiplier is as: Clarity; It means how understandable the marketing program is for the customers? Recent TVC is easily understandable and for more clarity “Nadia Khan” is explaining the product message for the customers, Relevance; Do consumers feel that the brand is one they should seriously consider? How meaningful is the marketing program for the customers. Latest TVC is of Bifidus Cerelac related with the digestive system functional improvements of babies. Also delivering the full product related research, development and knowledge to the customers, Distinctiveness; How unique is the marketing program? How creative or differentiating is it? TVC of Bifidus Cerelac is really a creative one. It clearly demonstrates how Bifidus kills the harmful bacteria and generates positive bacteria and also enhances the immunity of the digestive system to fight with the other diseases and Consistency; How cohesive and well-integrated is the marketing program? Does it effectively relate with the past marketing programs and properly balance continuity, change and evolving the brand in the right direction? Cerelac all previous ads focus on the product features and attributes and in the recent TVC of “Nadia Khan” this thing also present.Cerelac Banana
Second Value Stage – Customer Mind – set
The customer mind-set includes everything that exists in the minds of the customers with respect to the brand. It includes thoughts, feelings, experiences, images, perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes.
Five dimensions to measure the customer mind-set are as: Brand Awareness, Brand Associations, Brand Attitudes, Brand Attachment and Brand Activity.
Brand Awareness: The extent and ease to which customers recall and recognize the brand and can identify the product features and attributes with which it is associated. Nestle Cerelac has high awareness among customers. This awareness mainly is as: It is commonly used for babies from 6 months to 3 years. Available in different tastes and textures, SKUs are 350gm, 175gm, and 25gm sachet pack. Brand Associations: The strong, favorable and unique associations perceived by the customers about the brand. Nestle Cerelac is a nutritious food and a balance diet which makes babies life healthier. A product that is easy to digest for babies and taking care of baby’s internal system. 
Cerelac is a reliable and innovative product too. Brand Attitudes: Overall evaluation of the brand in terms of its quality and the satisfaction it generates. Customers perceived Nestle Cerelac as a best quality product and a symbol of commitment. It’s a consumer-centric product that takes care of consumers specific needs. Brand Attachment: The degree of loyalty the customer feels towards the brand. Customers of Nestle Cerelac feel a sense of community as they feel socially strong by using it. Brand Activity: The extent to which customers use the brand, talk about it and seek the product related information. Customers of Nestle Cerelac are in active engagement with the brand. On web company has an advisory council for the product with which customers discuss problems and have appropriate solutions from experts.
Second Multiplier – Marketplace Condition Multiplier
It has three factors as: Competitive Superiority, Channel and other intermediary support and Customer size and profile.
Competitive Superiority: How effective are the marketing programs of the competing brands? Nestle has no a tough kind of competition. Market has very few local cereal manufacturers which are not in a position to do heavy advertisement as Nestle Cerelac. Channel and other intermediary support: How much brand reinforcement and selling effort is being put forth by various marketing partners?
Nestle Cerelac used initially “Pull Strategy” by investing on TVC so that customers demand the product by themselves. And by doing so the trade partners are bound to stock the product. Nestle Cerelac provide no trade promotions to the intermediary because company knows that it is the only brand available for babies and that they have high bargaining power. Also company has the strategy of maximum market coverage to fulfill the consumer’s demands. Customer size and profile: How many loyal customers the brand has and what type of customers are attracted to the brand? Are they profitable? Nestle Cerelac has 40% loyal customers. Health conscious parents are the major customers of the brand. They are highly profitable as they are not price sensitive but belong to quality conscious.
Third Value Stage – Market Performance
Customer mind-set affects how customers react in the marketplace in six main ways.Nestle Cerelac, Rice with Milk
Premium Price: Customers of Nestle Cerelac are willing to pay the premium price for quality products. Price Elasticity: No price elasticity of Nestle Cerelac exists in the market. Market Share: Nestle Cerelac has 15 % market share, 2 % is in the hands of other local manufacturers and 3 % belongs to the imported brands. Brand Expansions: Nestle Cerelac has a successful brand expansion in the form of various new tastes and new textures. Cost Structure: Nestle has a very effective cost structure as company spend only in the advertising heavily and not on the trade promotions to maintain the marketing expenditures. High Stock Value: As Nestle is a multinational so the factors like inflation, power crises, political issues matters less for it and maintains the high stock value.
Third Multiplier – Investor Sentiment
It has four factors: Market dynamics, Growth potential, Risk profile and Brand contribution.
Market dynamics: What are the dynamics of market as a whole (interest rates, investor sentiment, and supply of capital)? Suitable for Nestle Cerelac to maintain investor, creditor and market confidence and to sustain the future development. Board of Directors monitors the return on capital employed  which the Company defines as operating income divided by total capital employed. The company paid dividend per share as 25 Rs last year. Growth potential: What is the growth potential or prospects for the brand in which it operates? Very high growth for the Nestle Cerelac as 80 % of the market is the opportunity for it. Being a Multinational company, Nestle has social approval and no legal bonding. These are the facilitating factors for Cerelec. The inflation rate and power crisis in Pakistan are the hindering factors for Cerelac brand. Risk profile: What is the risk profile for the brand? Low for Nestle Cerelac. Nestle Cerelac Apple 400g (England)
Nestle Cerelac is the market leader and there is no competition exists for it. So that’s why inflation rate or power crisis not much affected the brand’s share. Customers pay for the quality and nutritious food. Brand contribution: How important is the brand to the firm’s brand portfolio? Nestle Cerelac stands 4th in the brand portfolio after the milk and dairy, water and beverages. But overall in the baby food category, Cerelac is the only brand in the Pakistan that best available in market.
Fourth value stage – Shareholder Value:
Three important indicators for shareholder value are as: Stock price, The P/E ratio and Market capitalization
Stock price: The current price of the share is called stock price. So the stock price of the Nestle increasing day by day. Price/Earning ratio: It is the stock price divided by the earning per share. The current price or value of the share when divided by EPS (Earning per share) then we get P/E ratio. High the P/E ratio high the investors – investors willing to invest more. The P/E ratio of Nestle currently, is 17.2 % almost. Its mean investors pay 17 Rs to earn one rupee. Market Capitalization: Market Capitalization is the total market value of a company's outstanding shares. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the market price per share which is the current value of a company.

Oct 14, 2010

Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Positioning is about making offering different from, and more valuable than, competitors' offerings and placing that idea in the minds of a target group of customers. Positioning attracts customers by creating a positive and unique identity for a company and its offerings. Positioning is vital for distinguishing offering from everybody else's.
Pinpointing product or service USP requires some hard soul-searching and creativity. One way to start is to analyze how other companies use their USPs to their advantage. This requires careful analysis of other companies' ads and marketing messages. If analysis says about what they say they sell, not just their product or service characteristics, one can learn a great deal about how companies distinguish themselves from competitors. For example, Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, always used to say he sold hope, not makeup. Some airlines sell friendly service, while others sell on-time service.Neiman Marcus sells luxury, while Wal-Mart sells bargains.
Here's how to develop a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and use it to power up product sales:
  • Put yourself in your customer's shoes
Too often, entrepreneurs fall in love with their product or service and forget that it is the customer's needs, not their own, that they must satisfy. Step back from business daily operations and carefully scrutinize what customers really want.
  • Know what motivates your customers' behavior and buying decisions
Effective marketing requires to business be an amateur psychologist. One need to know what drives and motivates customers. Go beyond the traditional Customer Demographic, such as age, gender, race, income and geographic location that most businesses collect to analyze their sales trends.
  • Uncover the real reasons customers buy your product instead of a competitor's
As ones’ business grows, he will be able to ask best source of information. Many retailers routinely drop into their competitors' stores to see what and how they are selling.
Finally, Brand Positioning affects every aspect of a product Communication. Positioning is the basis for all business communications such as packaging, product design, sales promotions, advertising, and public relations. Everything one for its business do must reinforce that position otherwise it just undermine all marketing efforts and sow confusion instead of confidence. One must choose the right position, for now and down the road. Successful business ownership is not about having a unique product or service; it's about making your product stand out even in a market filled with similar items.

Oct 11, 2010

Niche Marketing: By customers, to customers, for customers!

It is adapted according to the needs, wishes and expectations of small, precisely defined groups of individuals. A form of Market Segmentation but meant only for a very small segment. The one big benefit in this is that it is extremely cost-effective. Other is it also involve low-risk as compared to other strategies. There are three golden rules for it which will definitely boost business growth as: 1) Satisfy unique needs by customers, Position right things to customers, and Always test-market for customers.
The benefits promise must have special appeal to the market in niche strategy. New and compelling at a time! Identify the unique needs of potential audience and look for ways to tailor product or service accordingly by customers mind test.Blue Ocean Strategy
Start by considering all the product or service variations one can might offer. When it comes to marketing soap, for example, not much has changed over the years. But suppose one as a soap maker and invented a new brand to gently remove dandruff from hairs. That is not done by any soap maker earlier so one can be pioneer by offering this in soap line.
When approaching a new market niche, it's essential to speak their language. In other words, one should understand the market's "hot buttons" and be prepared to communicate with the target group as an understanding member not as an outsider. In new niche market it's vital to understand its members' key issues and how they prefer to communicate with companies. For example, suppose a business that markets leather goods primarily to men through a Web site decides to target working women. Like men working women appreciate the convenience of shopping on the Web but they expect more content so that they can comprehensively evaluate the brands and the company behind them. To successfully increase sales from the new niche, the Web marketer would need to change the way it communicates with them by expanding its site along with revising its marketing message.
Before moving ahead, assess the direct competitors one will find in the new market niche and determine how it will position against them. For an overview, it's best to conduct a competitive analysis by reviewing competitors' ads, brochures and Web sites, looking for their key selling points, along with pricing, delivery and other service characteristics.Market Segmentation Success

Oct 10, 2010

Cognitive Associations Contents of Consumers in branding!

Understanding of customers’ wants and needs is the starting point of any business endeavor. This philosophy is alive and well as marketers design Customer-Centric Organization adopt the customer’s viewpoint, listen to the voice of the customer, and try to get into the head of the customer. In fact, knowing what and how customers think has become one of the primary concerns of marketers. Such preoccupations are legitimate since research shows that the creation and implementation of successful marketing strategies require an advanced understanding of customers. However well understood customers are, assessing the size of potential target segments relative to the overall market is also necessary. This double constraint has required managers to make trade-offs between the depth with which each customer’s cognition is represented and the ability to categorize customers into quantifiable segments.
The objective of cognitive segmentation is to group individuals according to their cognitive content and structure by (1) capturing cognition of each customer while incorporating their semantic uniqueness, and (2) Integrating and comparing those cognitions on a large scale. It is, to our knowledge, the only segmentation technique that is directly based on respondents’ cognitive content and structure. Cognitive segmentation provides two additional benefits. First, respondents guide themselves through the procedure, which minimizes potential researcher involvement bias. Second, cognitive segmentation allows the researcher to deconstruct respondents’ cognition at various depths, which enriches the analysis and interpretation of customers’ segments.
According to personal content theory of customers “the structure and content of an individual’s knowledge is represented by a set of personal constructs that are shaped as a function of how accurately they can predict future outcomes. By observing their environment, individuals collect information to form expectations about future events. These anticipations are then tested as individuals experience these events, ultimately leading to their support or contradiction. People seek to experience specific situations where their personal constructs are likely to be used. The theory is that individuals understand events through a similarity and contrasting process in order to acquire meaning.Current Directions in Cognitive Science
In a nut shell, based on customers’ cognitive structure and content, cognitive segmentation allows researchers to collect insights from participants in their own language as well as to quantitatively transpose these insights by estimating how close their meanings are to a benchmark. Thus, marketers can more precisely differentiate products or services and, at the same time, assess which points are most likely to represent a viable advantage based on the degree to which customer cognitions are consistent with the product offering. Cognitive segmentation brings an operational component to the brand philosophy brought forth by the marketing concept that any marketing endeavor should stem from a consideration of the customer’s viewpoint.

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