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Factors behind building brand image

Company Name : Exalogics
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By Jamal Panhwar


Brand Building

Brand building is the most important rescission of an organization After the brand has been selected the company must see to it that the new brand actually builds up to the mark and expectation of the organization as well as the customers. One of the key elements of Brand building is how much vale a brand can add to the customer's life. Is it some thing that customers find and wants to keep or is it some thing customer buys and gets rid of it sooner or later. Professor David Jobber of Bradford University School of Management has identified seven main factors in building successful brands. These factors are agreed upon by the most of the business leaders and academics.

Quality

Quality is the most important factor of a good brand. Quality is the “core benefits” that customers expect and assume to get value fro. Quality must be the first factors to look at when building a brand. No mater how good is your advertising promotion, delivery channels or sales team if the quality of the product is poor the brand is damaged instantly. Apple Ipad and iphone was pricy but their Quality was just un-matched hence even though it was pricy it became the top brand, similarly Surf & Brite or Arial emphasis on quality of the detergent. For example if a washing machine leaks, or the fridge's outer color fades away or the biscuit pack has broken or substandard biscuits in it, they will never develop brand equity. Numerous researches have been conducted and it is confirmed that, statistically, higher quality brands achieve a higher market share and higher profitability that their inferior competitors. The concept of quality, or shall we say the perception of quality, varies depending on a range of factors such as the available alternatives, consumer's actual need, moment at which the consumer makes the purchase or consumes a product, and the place where the product is being consumed. Hence Quality is defined in terms of the above and other factors as well as the material, mechanical and moment at which the consumer receives information or cues about the characteristics of the product while shopping for or consuming it (Becker, 2000).

Positioning

Positioning is defined as the way by which the marketers creates impression in the customers mind, in other words it is the impression management of a Brand. Positioning is all about the position a brand occupies in the minds of consumers. Strong brands have a clear, often unique position in their target market. Positioning can be achieved through several means, including an attractive brand name, image, service standards, product guarantees, packaging and the way in which it is delivered to the customer. In fact, successful positioning usually requires a combination of these things. Position is the aggregate perception the market of the brand in relation to their perceptions of the competitors in the industry or product line. Positioning is not necessarily tailored by the company in fact positioning is built up even if the company doe not do any thing about it, however the best strategy is that company should find ways to influence the positive positioning of its brands.

Repositioning

Repositioning occurs when a brand tries to change its market position to reflect a change in consumer’s tastes. This is often required when a brand has become tired, perhaps because its original market has matured or has gone into decline. The repositioning of the Lucozade brand from a sweet drink for children to a leading sports drink is one example. Another would be the changing styles of entertainers with above average longevity such as Kylie Minogue and Cliff Richard.

Communications

How a company communicates with its customers or consumers is a vital factor for how a brand is valued by the customers. Communications plays a key role in building a successful brand. While brand positioning is essentially about customer perceptions, the communication is the tool which must be used with the objective to build a clearly defined position in the minds of the target audience. All elements of the promotional mix need to be used to develop and sustain customer perceptions. Initially, the challenge is to build awareness, then to develop the brand personality and reinforce the perception.

First-mover advantage

Business strategists often talk about first-mover advantage. In terms of brand development, by “first-mover” they mean that it is possible for the first successful brand in a market to create a clear positioning in the minds of target customers before the competition enters the market. There is plenty of evidence to support this. Think of some leading consumer product brands like Gillette, Coca Cola and Sellotape that, in many ways, defined the markets they operate in and continue to lead. However, being first into a market does not necessarily guarantee long-term success. Competitors – drawn to the high growth and profit potential demonstrated by the “market-mover” – will enter the market and copy the best elements of the leader’s brand (a good example is the way that Body Shop developed the “ethical” personal care market but were soon facing stiff competition from the major high street cosmetics retailers.

Long-term perspective

This leads onto another important factor in brand-building: the need to invest in the brand over the long-term. Building customer awareness, communicating the brand’s message and creating customer loyalty takes time. This means that management must “invest” in a brand, perhaps at the expense of short-term profitability.

Internal marketing

Finally, management should ensure that the brand is marketed “internally” as well as externally. By this we mean that the whole business should understand the brand values and positioning. This is particularly important in service businesses where a critical part of the brand value is the type and quality of service that a customer receives. Think of the brands that you value in the restaurant, hotel and retail sectors. It is likely that your favourite brands invest heavily in staff training so that the face-to-face contact that you have with the brand helps secure your loyalty.


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