Branding is one of the most important functions of marketing managers in the business world. Businesses need to be innovative to maintain their status quo but part of being innovative is bringing to market those products – brands that offer new consumer benefits
Brand strategy, simply put, is the how, what, where, when and to whom marketers plan to communicate and deliver their brand messages. This involves product advertising and distribution channels. An effective brand strategy gives businesses competitive edge in the consumer markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean to marketing managers and business leaders? How does it affect a small business like yours?
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Consumer perception of brands is something of an experience and solely found within the mind of the consumer. It makes belief that branding is the only thing that allows consumers to perceive a product or service as the solution to their problems.
It is of paramount importance for companies to make known those attributes that differentiate their brand from others and then work to understand consumer behavior towards their brand i.e. how people perceive it, and what it means to them. When companies have a sense of how people perceive their brand, then they can make informed decisions on how to strengthen its value and points-of-difference.
2.0 Literature Review
An organization’s branding strategy usually expresses both common and distinctive brand elements it applies to the products it offers. Companies employ skillful judgment on decisions regarding how to brand new products. There are three main choices when a firm introduces a new product: -
1. Developing new brand elements for the new product.
2. Applying some of its existing brand elements.
3. A combination of new and existing brand elements
Successful brands are built on a foundation of meaningful brand strategy. That strategy provides the framework for what your brands mean and how they should be organized .
A successful consumer brand such as Nike, Wal-Mart, or Geico deliver the brand message clearly, connects target prospects to the product and motivates the buyers. If one has to compete with such brands, then a strong and unique brand identity is inevitable.
“Branding is endowing products and services with the power of a brand. It’s all about creating differences between products. Marketers need to teach consumers “who” the product is — by giving it a name and other brand elements to identify it—as well as what the product does and why consumers should care. Branding creates mental structures that help consumers organize their knowledge about products and services in a way that clarifies their decision making and, in the process, provides value to the firm .”
2.2 Developing Brand Vision
The most important step in managing a brand is creating a vision for the brand. Brand Vision set the direction for the brand and requires the involvement of top level management. Creating a brand vision is a strategic process that is based on the assessment made on consumer behavior where there is an opportunity to satisfy the needs of consumers. Brand vision can be defined as the long term strategic position that the brand will take in the market as well as in the consumer mind-space . For example, Tesco is one of the industry leaders in branding. Its F&F clothing brand vision is to become one of the biggest global fashion brands online. Microsoft is a worldwide name since the computer age. Its brand vision is to have a Microsoft product on every PC in the world.
Part of the brand vision is defining the brand. By defining who your brand is you create the foundation...