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Brands In A Contempory World Essay

2763 words - 12 pages

“Brands have become a ubiquitous phenomenon in our contemporary world. They are indispensable for companies and consumers alike. Critically discuss this contention”

“Branding is at once one of the most artificial and yet most real forces in our society”
* Kornberger 2010

This paper assesses and discusses the importance of brands in todays world. Focusing on the positive and negative affects brands can have through the initial relationship of a product to a name, to then more importantly its attached meaning and perception. It will also discuss the foundations of branding and how brands have become such a critical requirement for companies to be successful in todays fast moving ...view middle of the document...

In todays competitive market there are two main tools a company can use to successfully manage its brand. The first being “brand identity” which focuses on the value and uniqueness, and “brand positioning” which aims to minimize competition by creating preference of its product in a specific market at a specific time (Kapferer, 2012). Brand identity is more than the symbol of shape of the logo it advertises, it is the values, vision and core substance of what the company is as an entity (Burghausen, 2015b). It is the lasting impression the company has on its consumers long after its advertisements expire. Brand positioning is based on the fundamental principle that all choices are comparative. Consumers make a choice when choosing between brands however when choosing between products they make a comparison (Kapferer, 2012). Companies must then use this ‘choice’ made by consumers to enhance their products positioning to minimize the options available to that specific decision. In turn the company will increase its market share for that product. However, these are not the only benefits a company can receive from effective brand management. Once a brand has a cognitive positive placement in the consumer - it has created brand loyalty (Iglesias and Bonet, 2012). The idea that when the consumer automatically chooses a product over another simply because they received a benefit from the product previously and can trust that it will achieve the same without having to ‘think’ about that purchase. This in tern creates another benefit to the company, being “Pricing Premium” (Burghausen, 2015a). Once a loyal customer base is built, the consumer will not automatically purchase another similar product that is marginally more affordable, allowing the company to obtain a pricing premium and increase profits.

However, there can be a negative to brand loyalty if the company does not stay present and active in the ever changing society. The problem may occur that a brand is not increasing its loyalty, rather it is stagnating with a sub culture created by the consumer themselves. While sales may be high momentarily for the company, the brands existence may die with its current consumers. Take the Australian surf brand Billabong as an example. The brand became famous in the 1970’s and 1980’s surf culture of Australia, it resembled all things associated with surfing and being “cool” as the outlaw culture portrayed during those times. However, the company saw a huge loss of sales heading into the late 1990’s and 2000’s as the surfing culture in Australia changed and attracted other brands to be associated with it (Rosenbaum-Elliot, Percy and Pervan, 2015). The target market of Billabong was always the young surfing culture; however, the new generation of young surfers were often children to the previous consumers of Billabong. This new market did not want to portray or be grouped within the same social class that their parents or elders were still associated with,...

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