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What is brand management? - Assignment Help

Brand management is the process of making sure that a company's brands have a consistent message and style, and are distinctive from competitors. There are three main areas of brand management:

  1. Strategy - Brand strategy involves understanding the company's goals and objectives, and turning those into a road map for how the company can achieve them through its brands. This is implemented through the brand architecture (or leverage) which ensures that each part of the business works together to accomplish these goals. Strategic planning also includes making sure that brands fulfill their purpose , i.e., what the brand exists for in terms of fulfilling customer needs; anticipating changes within and outside the company to ensure a consistent message; managing risk by ensuring that products continue to meet consumers' expectations ; creating incentives internally for both employees and partners/vendors as well as defining messages throughout various touchpoints . The existing also should be keeping brand image.
  2. Execution - Brand execution is the actual day-to-day work of managing a company's brands or products consistent with the overall strategy . This includes everything from marketing to design, packaging to quality assurance and more. One way of thinking about these two terms is as follows: Brand management is " what you do ," while brand execution is " how you do it ." For example, in a grocery store, brand management might involve working with designers on new packaging for all items under an existing product line; executing that plan requires that staffers buy or create uniforms for cashiers at the checkout counter.
  3. Audit - Brand audit ensures consistency within and between each individual touchpoint (i.e., product, service, employee). This involves measuring how the company's brands are performing against a set of brand-based objectives (or goals ) and making any necessary adjustments to ensure that all areas of the organization continue to meet those objectives.

Brand management is commonly used by companies in highly visible industries which require extra attention to their branding effort. Companies use it to keep up on consumer trends and what consumers want from them. It also helps companies shift focus if they need to from one type of consumer or another. Without using brand management many companies could lose touch with consumers and thus have issues staying relevant leading to larger problems later down the road for such as not keeping sales growth increasing or losing revenue in other ways . In addition, brand assists companies in having a solid and significant consumer base.

The brand management is very important to the growth of any firm or company around the world. The term "brand" is not confined to goods alone but also refers to services, places and person. Brand development refers to actions from initial concept through product design, marketing and beyond. In simple terms a brand can be seen as a promise which satisfies customers' expectations about products (or services) in two ways:

  1. A consistent experience is delivered by all channels across an entire market space- this allows consumers to continue buying without having any concerns that they will receive an inconsistent quality of service when they interact with different channels of delivery and promotion . For example, KFC has unified chicken within all of their restaurants regardless of the branding across delivery locations.
  2. Products are consistent from delivery channel to delivery channel- this allows consumers to purchase with confidence as they can be sure that when purchasing one product, the quality is the same for another . For example, KFC delivers food items consistently regardless if a customer orders at an in store location or through a drive thru.

In addition, brands must be constantly updated and maintained; companies cannot afford to have outdated designs or logos because it will make customers question whether products and services will still deliver the original promise. When updating a brand design companies should consider trends in culture , demographic needs , psychographics and technology as they relate to broader cultural trends. It is important that brands are not only visually appealing and easy to remember, but also useful in meeting consumers' needs so that they can continue to purchase without risk.

One of the most important aspects of brand management is being able to effectively develop a cohesive brand image , which encompasses several elements that work together for a common goal - namely having a positive impact on your target audience by building upon their perceptions of your company and product . Brand image includes brand identity (logos, name etc.), tone of voice ( the way you speak to your audience through language , visuals or music ), core values (often more abstract ideas such as " trustworthiness "), visual assets (i.e., pictures, videos, advertisements) and product design/ quality. A great way to develop a cohesive brand image is to work with experts in each of these fields.

Brand development means people have a set of expectations about how your products and services will be delivered, what they will look like, and what their value will be. In essence this includes the following:

  • Brand promises - promise consumers that their needs and wants will be met through buying the product(s). For example, computer manufacturer Dell tells customers that "Dell tech support is available 24x7" so if there is any problem with their purchase they can contact customer service at any time without it affecting when they use the product . They are delivering on their promise by providing excellent customer service after the sale has been made.
  • Brand personality - create a persona or image of what your brand is and how it relates to customers. For example, Apple created an identity for their computer products that says "these are sleek, cool products that are the best on the market" . This means consumers can use their purchase as a way of signaling their own lifestyle to others; people who purchase the product will feel cool and accepted by society because of owning this product.
  • Brand partnerships - using relationships with other brands to help deliver messages more effectively and reinforce existing perceptions about your brand's values in relation to theirs . For example, Disney has partnered with companies such as Harley Davidson to make its characters appeal to specific audiences . While these two companies would not seem like they have much in common, Disney characters on Harley Davidson merchandise appeal to the motorcycle company's target market.
  • Brand association - this refers to how other brands that are considered related or similar are connected to your brand . For example, Starbucks has built a strong brand association with coffee by linking itself with different kinds of coffee roasts and varieties.
  • Brand story - tell consumers why they should choose or engage with your product (generally through narrative storytelling). For example, Apple has created an image around their products as technological innovators: "think different" is one of their marketing slogans because consumers can feel like they are daring thinkers when using this technology . A great way for people to take pride in who they are and what their values are, and what they believe in.
  • Brand personality - create a persona or image of what your brand is and how it relates to customers . For example, Apple created an identity for their computer products that says "these are sleek, cool products that are the best on the market" . This means consumers can use their purchase as a way of signaling their own lifestyle to others; people who purchase the product will feel cool and accepted by society because of owning this product .
  • Brand experiences - make sure customers have positive interactions with your brand by creating fun events where brands come alive such as Disney theme parks or concerts (the most popular type of music concert in America) such as Lollapalooza . Another good example of this is the Grateful Dead "Truckin Tour" which fans attended for multiple days at a time, camping outside and enjoying the music together.
  • Brand extension - extend your existing brand to other products for new revenue generation or to provide a better experience to customers . For example, Nike has created a line of shoes with Apple that have technology in them and can help runners improve their performance . Not only are these shoes stylish but they also help users work toward achieving their personal goals by improving their running ability thereby creating more brand loyalty and engagement.
  • Brand community - create spaces on social media where people can start discussions about your product(s) , talk about positive experiences they have had using it, share memories, etc . The easiest example of this is Facebook. The reason why people have become so addicted to it (even though some have tried to quit) is because they love sharing their lives with others and seeing what everyone else's lives are like.
  • Brand management - keep an eye on your brand in the marketplace in terms of its market share and how consumers view it . For instance, if a company has an older image or products that are not as high quality as other competitors, they may want to consider remodeling stores and changing advertisements to reflect changes in people's views about them . It also involves keeping track of trends; for example, although Disney is very popular right now, if many younger children do not buy tickets then the company will need to find ways to attract this market .
  • Brand ambassadors - use people with strong personalities and consumers' favorite entertainers/artists as a way of appealing to their demographic (i.e. teens, children, adults) . For instance, if you advertise in popular magazines or television shows then more people will become aware of your product quickly and create positive feelings surrounding it; therefore they may be encouraged to purchase it instead of one from another competitor . On the other hand, there are also negative brand associations such as selling products that have been deemed harmful by society. If companies were able to predict which brands would do well by creating campaigns around them then they would be able to appeal most effectively and efficiently to their audience and have a successful product launch. The reason why Coca-Cola has been so successful as a brand is because they understand the psychology of their target market and they are always on the lookout for the next popular trend that will help them become more profitable .

Brand management requires companies to know who they are, what kind of reputation they want to project in society, how consumers feel about them and if their products are seen favorably . It allows for companies to create positive experiences for customers by showing how much thought went into creating something that would appeal to them and fit with their values; it also gives companies a sense of confidence knowing that there is a large group of people around the world interested in what they have created.

Sample Brand management assignment help

Brand management is an intricate and complex discipline. It has many facets and requires a solid knowledge of both theory and practice. As it spans over areas as different as business strategy, consumer insight, marketing communications, product design, industrial engineering and distribution logistics, brand managers must be able to operate at all levels of the enterprise in order to achieve brand success. Thus, an effective brand manager must be a super strategist as well as highly competent at project management and people management. A lot of competency has to be developed for potential managers to become successful in the product and service marketplaces (Dess 1995).

The objective of this paper is to offer a theoretical base for better understanding the behavior of the brand in a competitive environment, as well as to provide guidelines for managers who are responsible for designing and implementing brand marketing programs. The paper will also show how brands can create value through profitable growth in an organization. It is important to remember that the successful management of a brand requires knowledge from many fields, such as strategy and international business (Dibb 1998).

The first part of this article focuses on defining the meaning and scope of product or service brands in general, followed by identification of key issues related to corporate branding. In addition, it discusses various approaches to building powerful brands based on competing strategies. This section also examines alternative ways to build strong brands which are beneficial to companies and possible consumers alike. Next, we focus on the role of brand management in achieving a firm's strategic objectives. Finally, we conclude with some thoughts on where branding fits into the future of business strategy and the implications for managers.

Defining Brand Management

In general terms, any company that offers brands to customers can be considered to be operating in a brand market (Coulson 1996). Each customer or consumer is unique; thus, it is paramount for companies to realize the importance of individual needs and characteristics. A strong position of power must be developed by creating value through building differentiated brands so that each individual consumer may choose from various products that are consistent with his/her tastes, preferences and expectations. The next step toward successful branding requires management of these individual consumers at both internal and external levels.

Smith (1992) argues that the objective of brand management is to create and develop a good image for the company, product or service, in order to create sustainable competitive advantage over other brands within the marketplace. The essence of this definition lies in the notion that companies must make significant investments in time and money to achieve long-lasting success as one of the top brands in their respective categories. Thus, branding requires a strategic approach which encompasses new kinds of skills from marketing managers who are responsible for promoting a particular brand (Kumar 1998).

Weber and Boland (1990), on the other hand, state that branding can be defined by consumers' perception about certain products or services offered by various sellers. Namely, consumers use brands in order to find out which products will satisfy their needs and desires most effectively. If a brand is considered to be powerful enough in the marketplace, it truly creates value for both consumers and companies alike. This paper also supports the idea that successful branding requires management of customer perception (Coulson 1996).

Other definitions of branding indicate that brand management should be concerned with building long-term relationships between companies or sellers, and individual customers who purchase their products and services. Smith (1992) indicates that a brand is essentially an intangible asset created from several elements such as business processes, technologies, people skills, communications systems etc., which are all related to various types of offerings. In addition, this definition states that brands must be for profit and not for sale. Brands are defined as a collection of specific characteristics which can be used to differentiate one company or product, from another in the marketplace (Coulson 1996).

Brands also appear under different guises, such as corporate brands, family brands, creator brands and local brand names. A company's chief objective should be to engineer brand awareness among consumers who will use the same brand over time instead of using competing products or services. Finally, companies at either managerial or board level need to understand that continuous investment in branding is essential for long-term success in the market.

Importance of Brand Management

In recent years there has been an increasing interest toward branding within many large corporations the United States and elsewhere. This is because most companies have realized the importance of branding as a means for creating sustainable competitive advantage. Branding has also been used as a significant marketing tool; thus, it can be viewed in many ways to encompass different viewpoints on theoretical grounds (Weber and Boland 1990). In other words, brands are important for companies from both managerial and strategic perspectives.

In simple terms, management of brand equates to effective product positioning in order for firms to sell their goods or services effectively within specific target markets. The opposite of this is that firms which do not manage their brands effectively will find it extremely difficult to compete against their competitors (Coulson 1996). Hence, managers need to understand that brands play an extremely significant role in determining the competitive advantage of a company within its market.

Furthermore, brand management can help companies to respond more effectively to a number of challenges which arise frequently during their everyday operations. For example, if products or services offered by firms are similar to those offered by competitors, then each firm must have differentiated offerings which will attract consumers toward their own brands instead. In other words, this would mean that consumers should be made aware of the existence and development of these particular brands towards creating sustainable competitive advantages for specific companies over time.

Additionally, brand management is also useful for managing risks associated with monetary investments in new innovations; thus it may assist firms to overcome barriers to entry into new markets. For example, if a company invests in research and development to produce new products or services of higher quality than its competitors' offerings, then this investment may backfire. Consumers may prefer competing brands which they believe are more established and have been around for longer periods of time.

In order to avoid consumers from switching toward competing brands, management must invest significantly in ways of effectively managing their brand. In fact, brand management can be used as an effective tool for building sustainable competitive advantage over time (Coulson 1996). However; on the other hand, a failure in branding could result in serious financial losses. Thus it is important that companies allocate sufficient resources towards creating long-term relationships between themselves and customers who their brands attract.

Many companies have successfully developed and sustained national brands over long periods of time. The key to these successes is the effective management of their various brand strategies (Kumar 1998). For instance, P&G has developed such brands as Tide, Crest, Gillette and Duracell in order to create sustainable competitive advantage for itself within each target market. Another example would be Unilever which owns a number of famous brand names such as Lipton, Magnum and Wall's Cakes within the United Kingdom from which it benefits immensely through sustainable competitive advantage.

Furthermore, persistent investment in branding also provides numerous strategic advantages for companies within specific markets. An important benefit that companies gain from successful branding exercises is the ability to differentiate their products from that of competitors. For example, if two brands offer a similar service or product; then the one which is able to communicate its message more effectively to consumers will gain the upper hand within the market.

Therefore, effective branding exercises could be viewed as tools for firms to develop sustainable competitive advantage over time in specific markets. In fact, this would also mean that companies can build long-term relationships with customers which they already have attracted. Thus firms should view branding as being an interlinked process between management and marketing. It involves those activities which occur before, during and after products or services are delivered in order to achieve specific target objectives through the development of strong and consistent brand associations among consumers.

In order to build strong and consistent brand associations, management must possess significant knowledge regarding the markets in which they engage. This is important because it will allow them to target customers effectively based on their beliefs, values and expected outcomes from purchasing products or services. If a company is only looking for sales volumes at any cost without considering the overall effects of its branding exercises on other market participants then there could be potential consequences which may lead to serious financial losses. A common example would be if a company advertises widely across different media but does not consider whether this wide range of messages are being conveyed clearly over time to all consumers within specific markets. As a result of poor communication, there could be a failure to gain widespread support for its brand thereby resulting in consumers switching towards competing brands.

Thus, it is vital that companies consider the information which they receive from different sources. This will allow them to obtain an overview of how consumers are behaving within specific markets before committing large amounts of resources into branding exercises or launching new products. For instance, if management undertakes research through both qualitative and quantitative techniques; then they would be able to understand:

  • What factors are influencing consumer perceptions about their brand as well as the activities required by them to create a long-term relationship with these customers,
  • Whether these factors can be influenced over time accurately and consistently through branding exercises by way of advertising or promotional campaigns, and
  • Whether the brand name itself has any value in addition to its traditional associations with company products/services that can be leveraged by management.

The benefits which flow from successful branding exercises are highlighted clearly in a study conducted by Weber & Boland. The research found that "if a small business is able to create strong awareness of its brand among target markets; then it would have achieved considerable success over time". Thus, well-known brands such as Nike, Apple, BMW and Rolex have been able to establish their names globally through strong and consistent branding exercises. Through this they have also been able to build long-term relationships with customers at an international level. Therefore, there is evidence to suggest that branding exercises can be used as tools for firms to achieve sustainable competitive advantage over time in specific markets.

The same study also revealed that the cost of brand building can be high but is less than advertising which is commonly used by many firms. This leads to us believe that it would be more cost-effective and appropriate for clients to choose anti-aging services rather than being referred by a doctor without prior test or examination.

Another benefit associated with successful branding exercises has been highlighted through research conducted by Kumar in his article entitled "What's in a brand?" In this article, he argued that companies should avoid supplying products at low prices within certain markets and instead focus on:

a) providing consumers in specific markets with a combination of quality services/products at an affordable rate, and

b) competing over time through promotional campaigns which are supported by strong branding exercises.

This is because if a firm chooses the first option above, it would potentially attract large numbers of customers who are interested in purchasing its brand but not necessarily its products or services. Hence for this strategy to succeed, management would need to lower prices further over time or provide additional discounts across specific markets thereby making profits decrease considerably over time.

In addition to this, research conducted by Camerer & Loewenstein (2004) highlighted that companies can gain competitive advantage through successful branding exercises when there is information asymmetry between consumers and firms. This occurs due to the fact that firms would prefer to hide the negative information about their pricing policies from consumers by incorporating them into their brand names. This inevitably means that a notion of trust between these two parties is established over time allowing firms to charge higher prices than normal for their products or services (Camerer & Loewenstein 2004).

Thus, there is some evidence which suggest that branding exercises have the potential to create long-term relationships with customers especially when they are supported by strong promotion campaigns. Furthermore, this research also demonstrated that the cost of establishing and promoting brands is lower than advertising; therefore making it more desirable for management in small firms. However, Camerer & Loewenstein (2004) found that firms may be able to gain competitive advantage through branding exercises in specific markets.

Moreover, these studies focused on the costs and benefits of successful branding exercises for firms at an international level; are there any reasons why a brand name can be beneficial to management if it is limited to particular geographical areas? Is this appropriate? Or does a brand have value as long as it has been established among customers regardless of its status on the global market. These questions will be answered below after conducting a case study on Dunkin Donuts – one of the most famous coffee shop franchises in America (Alpert 2010) .

This brand has spread over time into numerous different countries globally such as: China, Switzerland, Panama & Indonesia etc. However within other countries such as: England, New Zealand & Australia, the franchise has not been as successful as it was in other areas. This is due to the fact that management did not take into account important factors before launching this brand in these regions (Alpert 2010). Many potential customers within Australia and New Zealand prefer drinking coffee which is produced locally rather than importing a foreign brand from America. Hence for this strategy to succeed, management would need to lower prices further over time or provide additional discounts across specific markets thereby making profits decrease considerably over time (Kumar 1998).

In addition to this, research conducted by Camerer & Loewenstein (2004) highlighted that companies can gain competitive advantage through successful branding exercises when there is information asymmetry between consumers and firms. This occurs due to the fact that firms would prefer to hide the negative information about their pricing policies from consumers by incorporating them into their brand names. This inevitably means that a notion of trust between these two parties is established over time allowing firms to charge higher prices than normal for their products or services (Camerer & Loewenstein 2004).

Therefore, there is evidence which suggest that branding exercises have the potential to create long-term relationships with customers especially when they are supported by strong promotion campaigns. Furthermore, this research also demonstrated that the cost of establishing and promoting brands is lower than advertising; therefore making it more desirable for management in small firms (Kumar 1998). However, Camerer & Loewenstein (2004) found that firms may be able to gain competitive advantage through branding exercises in specific markets.

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Brand management Homework Help, Assignment Questions & Answers

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