This essay handles the value of brand image and brand building for companies and how they can adjust their promotional mix, in order to get the desired results, related with their image.
First of most, it's important to access know the market environment. It is essential for one company that they know how the consumers react: what is their culture? What are their habits? Who are the competitors?
Once they have a good impression of the market, they can start building up their brand image by keeping in mind several key elements.
When a solid brand is made, the work is not over yet. The business must spend money on maintaining a long-term relationship with its customers. Otherwise the customers will easily swap between brands, because of the massive oversupply of different brands.
To maintain such a long term marriage with your clients you must change the promotional mix. Sponsorship is a perfect way to enhance your brand image and achieve your desired aim for group.
To a company, it's important to distinguish yourself from the competition. Consumers also, want to identify themselves from the rest. They would like to be unique and make an effort to get yourself a certain level of uniqueness by discovering themselves to certain brands.
When consumers are shopping, subconsciously they'll form a list using their most liked brands who are top of head, based on what they have been told, seen or experienced. Therefore branding has become almost critical in the competitive market of today.
Knowing your consumers and relating to them;
building a romance with your consumers;
sustaining the quality of your products;
providing a much better value;
differentiate your business from the competition.
Once you can maintain all the factors listed above, your chances of having a solid brand in your product portfolio are highly increased. Financial firms not a guaranteed success, because consumer behavior change speedily. (Mele, n. d. )
The world will keep on growing every day. So will the marketplace and the consumers. That's the reason a company must build up a strong brand and a good image, in order to make it through in this quickly changing world.
Several factors, such as: the increased standard of living, increased mobility of consumers and the globalisation of press, also have an enormous impact how companies must respond. (Craiga and Douglas, 2000)
They must identify their customers, learning them and adjusting the brand image to be able to build and maintain a long term marriage with them.
The market environment keeps changing on a daily base. Mainly this is because of the changing overall economy, that has an effect on companies and consumers.
Companies can deal with the market in two ways: "market driven" or "market traveling". Market driven is when they respond to the consumers needs and conform their offer, while when a company is market travelling, they conduct a far more pro-reactive procedure which signifies leading customers and reshaping markets. (Tarnovskaya, Elg and Burt, 2008)
It is impossible to control all factors that have an effect on the marketplace, but a company should be aware that little changes can help influence how the primary public perceives a brand. Whenever a company consumes an obvious position, it can differentiate itself from the rest and will attract a certain part of the market.
When the market is changing, companies should also be thinking about rebranding their brand or company image. But tons of companies fear so much changing their strategy. However when a change is well planned and is carried out on the right moment, it could be an quite effective tool to gain an advantage on your competition. (Spaeth, 2010)
When a corporation is dynamic on a world level, in addition they must keep in mind different factors like the demography, cultural distinctions and economic distinctions. (Leeflang and vehicle Raaij, 1995)
Once a business has an obvious view on industry and its player, they can adjust their products to the consumers' needs, to be able to create a solid brand.
Building a brand
Strong brands help companies to improve their image for the consumers and are also important to be able to differentiate en protect yourself from your competition.
Establish an identification for the company's products;
serve as symbolic that is easily acknowledged by the clients;
guide and simplify consumer choice;
differentiate one product offer from another.
(Craiga and Douglas, 2000)
Retailers also get started to know the strengths of brands. Store brands are gaining popularity since more and more retailers recognize that the consumer isn't that faithful to certain brands as presumed. Price and convenience are two important elements (especially with fast paced consumer goods).
Retailers have the power to put their own brands at good, visible places in the store. Also they are in a position to sell at a very low price. For instance Sainsbury-Cola costs around 28% significantly less than the Coke from the brand Coca-Cola and received 15% of the English Cola market in just two years. (E. , Steenkamp and Dekimpe, 1997)
Due to the advantages of strong merchant brands, founded companies have to increase their efforts to gain new customers and keep their existing ones.
The customers are the most crucial part of a company, because when they do not buy your product, your small business won't make revenue. Consumers now trust more in individuals than advertising. Before they want to buy a new product, they mainly count on the ideas and encounters of others, like friends, family and acquaintances. They will inquire further for help and referrals. Also they would like to be more associated with the brands and products they take in. The consumer behavior changes over the years and now consumer authenticity is of major importance. (Needham, 2010)
Consumers do not only want services or goods. Their behaviour has changes due to the large range of high quality products and services that is offered to them. They want more encounters that participate them in an individual way. They will relay to a brandname, instead of just considering the merchandise or service itself. (Pine and Gilmore, 2010)
Natural authenticity: Natural products, not artificial or fabricated.
Original authenticity: Original design, not really a duplicate or imitation.
Exceptional authenticity: Adapt something to the initial will of a customer, mass-
Referential authenticity: Referring to a wider, historical context.
Influential authenticity: Dialling people to an increased purpose.
(Pine and Gilmore, 2010)
To reach such a portion of the consumers, an organization has to take in a clear position in support of concentrating on that topic of the market.
Brand experience are the feelings, cognitions and behavioural replies that consumers have towards a certain brand. It does not only appear when they consume the product, but also when they search it, when they go shopping and the service they obtain. (Brakus, Schmitt and Zarantonello, 2009)
A company has to keep in mind those elements, in order to own customer the best experience possible.
A good exemplory case of a brand that strongly thinks in brand experience is Harley-Davidson. This American motorcycle-brand has users over depends upon and has a huge group of supporters who believe that when you drive a Harley-Davidson, it feels like a complete experience. This is why the Harley-bikers often form organizations and go to meetings. There they would like to show their experience with other users. A large cultural group called HOG (Harley-Davidson Owners Group) has several million global users. Regular membership comes only with the ownership of a Harley-Davidson (first season is free of charge, if you want to stay an associate, you have to pay).
Through this huge community, and there are hundreds more, the brand "Harley-Davidson" won't go away. In this manner the brand experience is becoming an important tool for the marketing decisions (Schembri, 2009)
A brand community can be explained as a variety of relations, where in fact the consumer is central. The main relations will be the ones between your consumer and the brand, the company, the utilization of the merchandise and among the other users of a certain product. Through those areas people discuss essential resources which may be cognitive, emotional or materials in aspect. (McAlexander, Schouten and Koenig, 2002)
Nowadays those neighborhoods are especially growing online. On popular online networks like Facebook, there are an incredible number of neighborhoods of certain brands. But a online community can be either positive or negative for a corporation. There are several examples of communities on Facebook that multiply negative images certain matters. This is because the easiness of giving one's judgment through the web. In just a matter of seconds, one person can reach the whole world. Whether his or her opinion holds true or phony, positive or negative, it will be spread by the Internet and perhaps be read by millions of users. (Geist, 2007)
As a business it is impossible the control this content of what's being said online, nevertheless they must be active on all sorts of online media, in order to really know what is certainly going on, to stay in touch with the marketplace.
A brand community is the perfect tool for a corporation to produce long-term relationships with their clients. You will find two types of areas: a communal one and a emotional one. The public is where admirers of a certain brand participate social relationships with one another, while a mental community is several admirers who understand a sense of community with other users, but without the social interaction. (Carlson, Suter and Dark brown, 2008)
Bearing this in mind, it is vital for marketers to identify, interact and keep up with those groups, in order to keep up a good relation with the customers.
Use of promotional mix
When a corporation recognizes itself with a certain image or cause, it has to adjust his promotional mix, in order to reach his goal group. But they have to keep in mind that the marketing or content needs to be steady with the brand image. This way one can be sure that they can reach the desired group. (Erdogan and Kitchen, 1998)
First of most a company must take in a proper position. They have to check out their customers, get to know who they are and just why they buy your products instead of those of your competition.
Once they may have identified all the required data, they need to modify their promotional mix on a way that it still shows on the company image.
They can do this on several ways like sponsoring certain situations, publishing advertising on diverse marketing, and so on. The most important thing is the fact their message finds the right people.
Sponsorship is the ideal way to send an obvious message to the consumers and to reach your target public. It really is a great opportunity to enhance your brand image, because the notion of an brand is linked with the consumers' experience with the brand. That's the reason the decisions of sponsorship need to be looked into carefully. (Cliffea and Action, 2005)
Due to the regular changes of the marketplace and the buyer behaviour, it is of major importance that companies talk to the market. They need to try and build-up long term relationships between their customers and make an effort to increase the commitment.
But companies have to bear in mind that, sometimes, it is better to reposition your brands as a reaction to the changing market. The surroundings, for example, has become a great public matter. That is why tons of companies try to position themselves as "green" companies. Even polluting petrochemical companies like "BP" try to change their image to a environmentally concerned company.
Once a good relationship has been founded with the consumers, a firm must put a great deal of effort into sustaining that marriage. Because consumers personal preferences can quickly change and their commitment to a certain brand can go away in no time.
The exclusive clothing brand "Abercrombie & Fitch" has experienced a poor impact because of not adapting their image through the financial meltdown of 2009. The biggest part of their target public are young adults. But because of the recession they have got lost plenty of customers, because they never evolved their prices (while the competition fell theirs) and folks were not happy to pay that much for clothes. (McDevitt, n. d. )
However, Abercrombie & Fitch is also among a business with a good brand image. They sell their clothes only in determined stores on exclusive places and at high prices. But nonetheless they have an enormous market. For example their store in London: they don't really make very much publicity, the store is difficult to acquire and the prices in Europe are sometimes double of what you ought to pay in the us. (Poulter, 2007) Yet somehow, there may also be a queue to just go into the store. Once you go into the store, it isn't simply a store, but a real experience.
If an organization desires to keep existing, it is vital that they make an effort to build up a solid brand and keep maintaining a good long term relationship with their customers. Because, because of the overload of products, the consumer can easily select from several brands.
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