How branding may be used to create ecological competitive advantage

Introduction:

What makes us so desire for a certain brand? The brand is visual appeal that catches customers' sight and convinces them to spend more money on it. Murphy. J (1987) said that brands are considered by the corporations as the invisible assets for the kids. An excellent brand is more than that. It details customers' feelings.

Definitions

Brand: Almost in every leading corporation brands are playing a focal role in their business strategy. Inside the eyes of the maker, brands are a means of identification with original features (Yoo et al, 2000) cited in Herstein R and Zvilling M (2011). Phau and cheen lau (2001) said cited in Herstein R and Zvilling M (2011) that in the eyes of customers' brands help the consumers to express their personality and self-expression. Generally the brand can be an established product name, design, mark or a term. Alternatively branding is mixed of some genuine and psychological characteristics that associated with a particular identified service or product which differentiated the brand from all of those other market.

Sustainable competitive benefits: A competitive advantage is the matter that differentiates one business from its competitors and separates the business enterprise from everyone else. This competitive advantage could sustain for a long time once the brand has value creating products, functions and services because of its consumers that no other competitors cannot duplicate it (scienceofbusiness. com).

Brand positioning:

In order to make a distinctive position in the market, a differential benefit has to be created by the firms in their mind. An organization can portray to its customers what it wants to achieve, what it wants to provide its customers through the brand positioning (managementstudy. com). To position brands on the market refers to 'Targeting consumer's' reason to buy the brands in preference to others. Setting means what sort of product appears with regards to other products in the market. Brands need to put themselves plainly in target customers mind. A robust brand position helps to stretch the organization, allowing it to expand and improve the competitiveness (Clifton et al, 2009). So if the brand can position itself firmly in to the customers mind then it could be a good way to obtain sustainable competitive benefit. Now the brands can position at several levels which may be done by its products traits, benefits, values and beliefs and also on its personality (Kotler et al, 2008). An organization position the brand on product features. For example, Mercedes a respected car company acquired such features as 'well designed', 'well built', 'durable expensive', 'renowned' and 'high resale value'( Kotler et al, 2008). These probably allow Mercedes to position the brand and gain the lasting competitive advantages.

Secondly a brandname can position itself by associating its name with attractive benefits. The attributes the products received therefore need to be translated into functional and emotional benefits. For instance, a sports cloth retailer such as Nike needs to go beyond its products itself and discuss the benefits such as a sportsman seems comport when they wear Nike shoes and can move smoothly and easily.

The best brands go beyond attribute or gain positioning to put more firmly. They have a tendency to position on strong values and values (Kotler et al, 2008). For instance, Mercedes buyers worth high performance, security and prestige. Such of beliefs effect the Mercedes customers buy the brand and then Mercedes brand get sustainability in the market.

Consumers personality could be another aspect that brands need to consider when they position on the market. Because consumers like to seek a brand that match up with the personality. In case the brand can be regarded as a person then matching to Aaker (1996) cited in Peter. N () that "a brand can be regarded as being competent, trustworthy, productive or youthful". A brand personality make an effort to match with the person's personality so having that brand consumers can point out their own personality. Consumers have a tendency to choose those brands that have a brand personality that match using their own personality. For instance, consumers might visualise a Mercedes car as a wealthy, middle aged business executive. It appears this idea creates a competitive advantage for Mercedes brand and consumers whoever received such personality go for Mercedes car.

Brand associations:

One of the very most fundamental responsibilities of a business is to plainly understand and control the set of associations around its brand. Brand associations are quite near to brand positioning. Because the attributes of product (that was mentioned earlier) a brand hold that fundamentally associate it to position into customers brain. Aaker (1991) defines brand organizations cited in Till et al (2011) as "anything connected in recollection to a brandname and says that core role of brand associations is to generate interpretation for consumers". The copy writer believes that the brand association is something to a brandname which is deep sitting customer's brain. Brand associations aren't the benefits nevertheless they are icons and images which affiliate with a brandname or brand benefit. For example, a football legend called Wayne Rooney with Nike T-shirt, Nokia noises etc. Brand must be associated with something positive. In the event the attributes and top features of the brand meet the customers needs then it will lead the clients having a positive impression about the product, about the brand. Organization gain goodwill, obstructs the opponents entry in to the market and gain sustainable competitive advantages such as toughness if it has positive brand relationship (managementstudy. com). For example, Apple is rivalling with one product (Iphone) seems like with different types of product. If it is searched to the Iphone features it has everything such internet surfing, music can be download from Itunes, a large number of applications including navigation etc. so it is hard to state who apples opponents is. It creates an optimistic impression for the company into customers brain that let them achieving success.

However sometimes it is hard to examine higher level competitive features and issues. Sometimes an organization needs quickly determine messaging elements to optimise brands in complex competitive environments. So a brandname Association Map will help a brandname to sort out this out where it can consider its competitors attributes and issues which helps the brand to reshape the characteristics through innovations on the other way reshaping brand associations.

Brand structures:

Douglas et al (2001) & Rao et al (2004) cited in Chailan. C (2009) said, "Brand architecture defines the way in which a brand signals something and whether it does so individually of another brand. " But Petromilli & Berman (2003) described the brand architecture as the way business organize, manage and go directly to the market with their brands which is probably a robust strategic weapon that induce competitive benefit and drive better revenues and income for the business enterprise. It is the process that devises a plan and optimally accommodates all product brands within an organization. For instance, the business Virgin offers several services from transport to cellular phone all under one of the company brand which is Virgin. Olins (1989) and Lafore and Saunders (1994) cited in Chailan (2009) differentiate three levels of brand architecture. They are simply

1. Monolithic brands- quite simply commercial brand (one lone name for those products) example: Virgin

2. Endorsed brands- blended branding (two brands associated with one product)

These brands enter in the marketplace using their own brands but have the strong and noticeable endorsement of the parent organizations. For example: ipod is a mother or father endorsed brand as Macintosh. They both enter into the market hauling the strong, obvious apple logo although it sometimes appears only Ipod or Macintosh personal computer on the merchandise.

3. Branded products- which can be known as house of brands (each product has its brand) example: P&G and Unilever have specific sub brands like Pampers and Persil which take prominence in the eyes of customers. A good example of brand architecture on Virgin is really as follows
Virgin brand structures

Model of virgin brand architecture

Brand architecture is not all about increasing the brand it also looks to if the brand or product fit in the brand structures. Because if it doesn't fit and support the organization brand or house of brands then adding up the brand doesn't provide any positive results or doesn't contribute to the central brand. Petromilli et al (2002) said that the brand architecture define the way the sub brands or various bits of the brand collection fit together, relate to one another and add value to the business. Regarding to Petromilli & Berman (2003) that brand structures are viewed by companies as the methods to drive both increased top-line progress and bottom line performance. For example, from the amount. . it can be said that underneath line brands that happen to be sub brands of Virgin are Virgin Atlantic and Virgin teach fit nicely each other. Although both are being used to transport however they both got different ways to run. Again someone is on the virgin cellphone in the virgin train nicely fitted each other. These sub brands support the organization brand which is 'Virgin'. If the sub brands don't perform well then the corporate and business brand cannot growth. This is where the brand architecture is. It creates the judgement whether the brands are fit or unfit in commercial brand or house of brands. For instance, P&G recently declared that they divestiture of such brands as Jif, Crisco and Smuckers because P&G viewed that these will be the brands no longer for the home of brands in its key categories (Petromilli & Berman, 2003).

Brand development

When a corporation considers to expanding its brand they have four choices. They can be introducing series extensions, brand extensions, multibrands and new brands (Kotler et al, 2008 pp: 530). At this stage the brand extensions are being mentioned.

Brand extensions: According to kotler et al (2008), "a brandname extension extends a present-day brand name to new or modified products in a new category. " Brand extension is an integral part of brand management that diversify and leverage the prevailing brand by entering into a fresh product development. Talents and positive images of the father or mother brand/ existing brand might impact favorably on the success of the new product. When a mother or father brand has strong reputation it can reduce threat of new product unveiling by firmly taking advantages on consumers' activities and tastes of the established brand and has a possibility to be been successful. For instance, Apple is a respected branded company in the world (appendices 1 shows its brand position). Probably Iphone is its top selling product. But Apple went for something replacement of laptop which is currently known as Ipad. Their brand reputation helped them to launch the merchandise and become successful. Because consumers know that whatever Apple will bring on the market it will be something unique compare to rivals.

For brand extensions, it is seemed few companies can be compared with Virgin group. Simply by attaching 'Virgin' in every product it market segments, virgin rolls out so diverse categories, from cola drink to marriage ceremony and additional the budget air travel. Virgin's brand extensions are as follows

A brand expansion strategy offers a business many advantages. An established, well-designed brand name helps the company to enter into new product categories (that was mentioned earlier) lead to the new product achieve instant popularity and faster popularity. Sometime this advantages is seemed to the as a ecological competitive advantage. For example, when Ipod arrived to the market no one even thought about it. So the product was new innovative product who's still dominating the tablets technology market. A brand extension also saves the business's high advertising costs usually necessary to build a new brand.

However a brandname extension strategy not always provides advantages to the mother or father brand, it involves some hazards as well. When the new product doesn't get the acceptance from the consumers then your extension may confuse the main brand.

The great things about branding to various stakeholders

Benefits to the brand owner: A brand offers various advantages to various stakeholders. At this stage it has been considered how a brand benefits the consumers, merchants and the brand owners.

Benefits for the consumers: it's not always true that brands benefits the brand owner only but also the consumers as well. According to the class note, a brandname helps the consumers to identify the brand easily. Since when a company would like expressing its identification, and also other qualities the brand logo design also contributes to the company. By taking a look of its logo design consumers can simply identify which brand and can pick their own brands over other brands. Appendices 2 shows some strong brands and their logos which can be easily accepted by the consumers.

Now the brands want to be sure that no other company copy their company logo so they protect their brands and brand logos by the hallmark. That is why consumer has low identified risks to getting another dozy brand or dozy products. As all established brands have objectives to be survived long time so they don't really sacrifice their quality and it's like a assurance to the consumers. Consumers trust the brand and can count on the brand which makes those to take quick buying decisions. For instance, when Apple customers end up buying Apple products they never justify that the merchandise will be dozy so long as they obtain the Apple shop. Another advantage is provided by the brand so it added value (brand associations). As every set up company who may have a strong brand wants to get competitive advantage, so it try to add up increasingly more attributes and will be offering more benefits with regard to its brand which is a great benefit for the consumers.

Benefits for the suppliers

Sometimes an intermediary works between your brand owner and the consumers who are considered as shop. Their role is to get the merchandise to attain to the finish users. If they sell any products that have strong brand, they don't really have that much pain to do more advertising on the products. So the merchant gets benefited by having a solid brand product as it will save you the marketing costs because people already know the brand. For instance, Curries is an consumer electronics shop. It markets different electronic products of different brands. Nonetheless it doesn't do any advertising for just about any specific brand (such as Sony, Panasonic) as the brand owner does the marketing. Another profit for the dealer is, the brand owner attracts the clients to buy its products on behalf of the retailer. Due to having a solid brand product people will pop in the shop as they would like to buy their choosable brand.

Benefits for the brand owners

A strong brand name, a strong brand position with a solid brand structures and brand organizations always benefits the brand owner. It also provides some competitive benefits which may be made sustainable in the long run. At this stage it is being discussed the way the brand benefits brand owners and provide them lasting competitive benefit.

A brand may be used to create sustainable competitive benefit by creating customer commitment. Brand devotion is a regular preferences for just one brand total others brands, is quite saturated in some product categories. Over 1 / 2 of the users are dedicated to one brand in product categories such as smokes, mayonnaise, toothpaste, bathroom soap and headache remedies etc. many university or college students use the same brands they used at homes, rather than being price clients (Lamb et al, 2007). People who closely bond with a brandname individuality do not only purchase the product but also purchase related items. For example, who likes Sony camera, he will choose the same brand memory card. This build a sustainable competitive benefits for the brand owner and brand architecture works properly two sub brands helps the other person ( Sony camera & Sony recollection cards).

A smartly designed, founded brand allows the brand to charge the consumers high quality price. A brand creates a internal image into consumers brain that a brandy company provides a high quality product and something which has a uniqueness and renowned to everyone. For instance, Ferrari cars are normally powered by the wealthy consumers who like to think them as exclusive and incredibly few consumers own Ferrari. So it creates a sustainable competitive advantage for the brand and allows it to bill premium price.

In addition, because of having a reputed and strong brand, a firm can go for brand extensions easily (that was mentioned before). Sometimes something or a concept of the company can be imitated by the challengers. But, by enough time competitors copy its products or ideas, the brand goes for some other innovative ideas or impressive products which allow brand to increase their brand extensions or series extensions and keep on keep tabs on in the competitive market. It can help the brand to maintain in the market. Apple would be appropriate example for it. When it prolonged its brand with releasing the Ipad then it goes for the 2nd version of Ipad. So it allows the brand to be in the market and create some obstacles for the competition so no one imitate Apple. As it always create some product distinctiveness compare to its challengers. Regarding to Tulsian. P & Tulsian. S (2005), branding provides distinctiveness to the product. Unless the product has not received any distinctiveness it can not create any competitive advantage for the brand. Therefore the brand helps the makers to create product distinctiveness. Due to getting a reputated brand, it cannot come out in the market with anything. The product really needs some uniqueness and distinctiveness. Probably because of this the strong brand company spend a lot of money on R&D and along with others brand organizations it provides distinctive products cause achieve the sustainable competitive advantages over its rivals.

A brand with a solid position is a valuable property to the brand owner. The full total financial value of an brand is approximated by the process of the brand valuation. McDonald's CEO said that if any natural devastation destroy company's every advantage, every building and each and every equipment still he will be able to borrow all the amount of money to replace all these assets very quickly because of brand value( Kotler et al 2008, pp. 521).

Conclusion

After all conversations and a in advance thinking on branding, it can be said that branding is not choosing any organizations target market over the competition but it is going to have the organizations potential customers to see that the business is the only real one that offers a solution to the customer problems. Once the jobs are done by the business then its brand get recognition on the market and gain the lasting competitive benefit. Brand owners must constantly ensure that they maintain the qualities and ideals of these brands and it must continue steadily to appeal to the consumer. It needs to be developed in terms of customers' needs and changing modern culture. This allows the brand to be ecological and provide lasting competitive benefit in the competitive market.

Appendices
Appendices 1

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