Aug 25, 2011

Brand Portfolio Establishment In Branding Strategies

Brand blurring is a common problem at many companies, but it’s not the only one. Brand portfolios often bloat, fragmenting marketing resources and destroying economies of scale. Management time is frequently eaten up with refereeing brand usage. And brands sometimes get lost in large portfolios. The challenge is that the processes for managing brand portfolios have not grown at the same pace as people’s enthusiasm for creating and expanding those portfolios. In particular, few companies have a formal methodology that enables them to clear away the debris from earlier, less successful branding efforts. Companies required in this regard straightforward approach for streamlining their brands into a more powerful and effective portfolio.
A new approach to “Portfolio planning” is to brand management as strategic planning is to budgeting. Like strategic planning, brand portfolio planning is a periodic, discrete event that allows managers to step back from the crush of daily problems and chart the course ahead. And just as the strategic plan looks across markets and business units to identify areas of opportunity and challenge, brand portfolio planning looks across the entire brand set with an eye both for reallocating resources toward the areas of greatest opportunity and for identifying necessary interventions to prevent loss of competitive advantage.
The best approach is to start with an inclusive definition of the brand set and then winnows the resulting list down to 50 or so brands for deeper review. The place to begin compiling the list is usually the legal department, which typically maintains the company’s formal registry of trademarks. To that basic list must be added two other less obvious sets of brands. The next step is to understand the contribution of each brand on the list, starting with an analysis of annual revenues, direct marketing expenses and so on. The next step, assessing each brand’s market position, will seem reasonably familiar to brand managers. Brand traction is a measure of how strong a brand is today.
Brands tend to fall into different categories, depending on their contribution to the company (contribution), current market performance (traction) and future prospects (momentum). Each type of brand requires a different plan of action. The challenge is that people often have difficulty distinguishing among the different categories. Many companies consequently make the mistake of starving their power, sleeper, soldier and wallflower brands to divert resources to other brands that should have been discontinued. To avoid such mistakes, managers should grade each brand in their portfolios against the same criteria at the same time. By looking specifically at a brand’s contribution, traction and momentum for brand portfolio health.

Aug 23, 2011

Brand Activation: A Process of Business Re-definition

Brand activation is looking deeper into the possibilities within the brand, its strategy and position to find assets that have relevant consequences for the whole company. Brand ambassador is one among them. An active brand offers products and services that deliver on the brand position. It meets the customer in a personal manner closely related to the position. But brand activation is also communicating the position through advertising mainly via ambassadors’ act as a tool for them in this regard.
When activating a brand look for the core features that constitute the brand. It might be the communicated position or promised customer benefit or the company vision or people policy strategies and tactics that often are relevant for the whole company. Therefore, effective brand activation starts with a defined brand. When exploring the brand for activation, search for answers to how the brand can be relevant, adaptable and profitable. In some companies, the brand may not be stated or articulated in a way that easily translates into personal behavior, attitude or mission etc.
Increased profits are one of the major drivers of change and development. Perceiving profit as growth in sales figures or in number of items, exploring the brand unravels new opportunities for sustainable growth. In today’s postmodern society, merely offering supreme product features on a functional or emotional level is not sufficient. While the basic idea about active brands is to execute the brand in other terms than marketing, the real value lies in the opportunities it creates. Most fundamentally, brand activation contributes in creating trust between the customer, the society and the brand.
Branding is much more than advertising. The time has come for companies to leverage the brand asset within the entire organization. The postmodern individual demands that brands live up to their promises in every interaction whether it is through products and services, employees, identity or communication. A coherent brand in these four areas will gain trust and loyalty with its customer enabling profitable relationships between brands and people.

The mission is to get the customer satisfied as fast as possible and to leave just as fast with a happy face. Thus the brand position can change focus without interfering with the core identity. It’s necessary to search for solutions where the brand can support, guide and re-define the company uniquely in odd times. The main point in this process of brand activation is to help companies become a coherent brand whatever situation or customer relation.

Aug 20, 2011

Employees as Brand Ambassadors Help Branding Strategies In Three Ways

First, “Brand ambassadors” may be the single most important thing retailers and manufacturers can do to ensure a shopping experience that converts shoppers into customers. But they act in the form of high-quality, well-trained people work as in-store faces. Currently Quality personnel are critical issue. In a majority of markets, samplers are supplied by small, local employment agencies that have signed contracts to provide in-store labor and only have access to a limited talent pool that may not meet the marketing objectives. One of the most effective promotional tactics available there is discontinued promos because of a lack of access to personnel who are qualified to execute the programs.
Second aspect is the use of high technology to increase sales and profits, is immensely important. The data mining or “Customer Relationship Management” (CRM) opportunity is potentially much broader than popularly believed, particularly where marketing at retail is concerned. In addition to matching the merchandise mix to the shopper profile, the data should be used to make sure that shoppers are treated like customers. True CRM requires more than number grinding and category management executions that simply re-arrange facings on the retail shelves, or segment shoppers for direct-mail drops.
With quality “brand ambassadors” in the store, retailers and manufactures are well-positioned to work together to gain the kind of understanding that’s essential to top-notch consumer relationships. So, third is the proper follow up. In-store personnel not only make a shopper feel like a guest, and hand out samples now and again. Their most important role is to get a read on what shoppers like and don’t like about the shopping experience.
The type of on-site research is so valuable because it concentrates on those shoppers who are actually in the store, as opposed to other types of surveys that might include those who have never set foot inside your store. A program through which the retailer actively surveys shopper opinions would provide tremendous competitive advantage. While most supermarkets have frequent shopper databases, relatively few include email address as part of their data set. Retailers have a tremendous opportunity to learn more about their best customers by offering the opportunity to opt in to an email list. The opportunity to survey email list members is especially valuable. The ability to stay in touch with consumers is critical in a way that what they like and don’t like about their favorite store would provide business a significant competitive advantage.

Aug 17, 2011

Brand Image As Enhancing Organizational Branding Strategies

A brand is probably small businesses’ most valuable asset. Whether an organization is selling to consumers or businesses, a brand image is critical. It doesn’t require a huge financial commitment just a diligence across everything company does in industry with a little creativity. Noticeable commitments there are as: Organization must know about its target market inside and out and try to create unique brand elements for them. Be consistent means create a look, a message, a way of doing business and stick to it. Moreover, carry it through to new initiatives. Be true to enhance brand reputation which makes worth of any brand in the market place.
Now-a-days one of the best ways to establish a brand is through your web site. And these main things to be concentrate are followings: Is an organizational messaging clear and concise or would customers leave feeling confused? Does its brand image come through sources such as high tech, warm, and fuzzy? Are the colors reflective of its brand and logo? Make changes time to time according to consumers’ preferences. Make sure it has incorporated the latest social media tools. This gives it open lines of communication with customers and provides a reason for them to keep coming back.
After that the second most preemptive strategy is to position company in places where its prospective buyers are going, including association newsrooms and community forums, trade magazine sites, RSS feeds, industry-related blogs. In addition, services such as Google Ad Words have become a powerful and effective marketing tool for small business owners. Regarding this the attempt should be like to take steps as: Knowing the right audience for your products and services, structuring each campaign based on a simple goal, such as a product category, product line or theme, Choosing powerful keywords that resonate with company target audience, including a strong call to action to draw people to business website, targeting individual campaigns according to a specific audience and/or geographic region, and last but not least is continually reviewing organizational online advertising and making changes when essential.
Another branding strategy which helps a lot organization in this matter is to utilization of social networking sites which are getting fame day-by-day rapidly named as Facebook and LinkedIn. Use yellow page listing to promote organization better business presence in which an organization can add business logo, address, website URL, and can enter its business tag line. These are all definitely helps to enhance brand image for consumers’ perspectives and through industry realizations.

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