Model Of Virgin Brand Architecture

What makes us so desire to have a certain brand? The brand is overall look that catches customers' eyes and convinces them to invest more money onto it. Murphy. J (1987) said that brands are considered by the corporations as the invisible assets for the kids. A good brand is more than that. It touches customers' emotions.


Brand: Almost atlanta divorce attorneys leading organization brands are playing a focal role in their business strategy. Within the eyes of the manufacturer, brands are a way 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 is an established product name, design, symbol or a term. Alternatively branding is combined of some actual and emotional characteristics that associated with a particular identified product or service which differentiated the brand from all of those other market place.

Sustainable competitive advantage: A competitive advantage is the thing that differentiates one business from its competition and separates the business enterprise from everybody else. This competitive advantage could sustain for years once the brand has value creating products, processes and services because of its people that no other opponents cannot duplicate it (scienceofbusiness. com).

Brand positioning:

In order to create a distinctive position on the market, a differential advantage 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 put brands on the market refers to 'Targeting consumer's' reason to choose the brands in preference to others. Positioning means how a product appears in relation to other products in the market. Brands need to put themselves evidently in target customers mind. A robust brand position really helps to stretch the business, enabling it to grow and improve the competitiveness (Clifton et al, 2009). So if the brand can position itself strongly into the customers mind then it could be a good source of sustainable competitive advantage. Now the brands can position at several levels that can be done by its products attributes, benefits, beliefs and values and also on its personality (Kotler et al, 2008). A business position the brand on product attributes. For example, Mercedes a leading car company got such attributes as 'well engineered', 'well built', 'durable expensive', 'prestigious' and 'high resale value'( Kotler et al, 2008). These probably allow Mercedes to put the brand and gain the sustainable competitive advantages.

Secondly a brand can position itself by associating its name with desirable benefits. The attributes the merchandise got therefore have to be translated into functional and emotional benefits. For instance, a sports cloth seller such as Nike must exceed its products itself and talk about the benefits such as a sportsman feels comport when they wear Nike shoes and can move smoothly and easily.

The strongest brands exceed attribute or benefit positioning to position more strongly. They tend to position on strong beliefs and values (Kotler et al, 2008). For example, Mercedes buyers values high performance, safety and prestige. Such of beliefs influence the Mercedes customers choose the brand and then Mercedes brand get sustainability on 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 brandname that match up with the personality. In the event the brand can be regarded as a person then according to Aaker (1996) cited in Peter. N () that "a brandname can be perceived as being competent, trustworthy, active or youthful". A brandname personality try to match with the individuals personality so having that brand consumers can express their own personality. Consumers tend to select those brands that have a brandname personality that match up with the own personality. For example, 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 got such personality go for Mercedes car.

Brand associations:

One of the most fundamental tasks of an organization is to evidently understand and manage the group of associations around its brand. Brand associations are very near to brand positioning. Because the attributes of product (that was mentioned earlier) a brand hold that basically associate it to put into customers mind. Aaker (1991) defines brand associations cited in Till et al (2011) as "anything linked in memory to a brand and states that core role of brand associations is to make meaning for consumers". The writer believes that the brand association is something to a brand which is deep seated customer's mind. Brand associations aren't the benefits nevertheless they are symbols and images which associate with a brand or brand benefit. For example, a football star called Wayne Rooney with Nike T-shirt, Nokia sounds etc. Brand needs to be associated with something positive. When the attributes and features of the brand fulfill the customers needs then it'll lead the clients getting a positive impression about the merchandise, about the brand. Organization gain goodwill, obstructs the competition entry in to the market and gain sustainable competitive advantages such as sturdiness if it has positive brand association (managementstudy. com). For instance, Apple is competing with one product (Iphone) seems as with different types of product. If it's looked to the Iphone features it offers everything such internet browsing, music can be download from Itunes, thousands of applications including navigation etc. so that it is hard to say who apples rivals is. It generates a confident impression for the company into customers mind that let them achieving success.

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

Brand architecture:

Douglas et al (2001) & Rao et al (2004) cited in Chailan. C (2009) said, "Brand architecture defines how a brandname signs something and whether it does so independently of another brand. " But Petromilli & Berman (2003) defined the brand architecture as the way business organize, manage and go to the market using their brands and it is probably a robust strategic weapon that create competitive advantage and drive greater revenues and profits for the business. It is the process that devises an idea and optimally accommodates all product brands within an organization. For instance, the business Virgin offers several services from transportation to cellular phone all under one of the business brand which is Virgin. Olins (1989) and Lafore and Saunders (1994) cited in Chailan (2009) differentiate three levels of brand architecture. They are really

1. Monolithic brands- basically corporate brand (one sole name for everyone products) example: Virgin

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

These brands type in the marketplace using their own brands but have the strong and noticeable endorsement with their parent organizations. For instance: ipod is a parent endorsed brand as Macintosh. They both enter the marketplace carrying the strong, obvious apple logo though it sometimes appears only Ipod or Mac on the merchandise.

3. Branded products- which can be known as house of brands (each product has its own brand) example: P&G and Unilever have individual 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 architecture

Model of virgin brand architecture

Brand architecture is not absolutely all about extending the brand it also looks to whether the brand or product fit in the brand architecture. Because if it generally does not fit and support the corporate brand or house of brands then accumulated the brand doesn't provide any positive outcome or doesn't contribute to the core brand. Petromilli et al (2002) said that the brand architecture define how the sub brands or various pieces of the brand portfolio fit together, relate with one another and add value to the organization. According to Petromilli & Berman (2003) that brand architecture are viewed by companies as the means to drive both greater top-line growth and bottom line performance. For instance, from the figure. . it can be said that the bottom line brands that happen to be sub brands of Virgin are Virgin Atlantic and Virgin train fit nicely each other. Although both are being used to transport nonetheless they both got different ways to run. Again someone is on the virgin mobile phone in the virgin train nicely fitted one another. These sub brands support the corporate brand which is 'Virgin'. In the event the sub brands don't perform well then your corporate brand can not growth. This is where the brand architecture is. It makes the judgement if the brands are fit or unfit in corporate brand or house of brands. For example, P&G recently announced that they divestiture of such brands as Jif, Crisco and Smuckers because P&G viewed these will be the brands no longer for the house of brands in its core categories (Petromilli & Berman, 2003).

Brand development

When a corporation considers to developing its brand they have four choices. They are introducing line extensions, brand extensions, multibrands and new brands (Kotler et al, 2008 pp: 530). At this time the brand extensions are being discussed.

Brand extensions: According to kotler et al (2008), "a brand extension extends an ongoing brand name to new or modified products in a new category. " Brand extension is a part of brand management that diversify and leverage the existing brand by entering into a fresh product development. Strengths and positive images of the parent brand/ existing brand might impact positively on the success of the new product. If a parent brand has strong reputation it can minimize threat of new product launch by firmly taking advantages on consumers' experiences and preferences of the established brand and has a opportunity to be succeeded. For instance, Apple is a respected branded company in the world (appendices 1 shows its brand position). Probably Iphone is its best selling product. But Apple went for something substitute of laptop which is now known as Ipad. Their brand reputation helped them to launch the merchandise and be successful. Because consumers know that whatever Apple will bring on the market it'll be something unique compare to competitors.

For brand extensions, it is seemed not many companies can be weighed against Virgin group. By simply attaching 'Virgin' in every product it markets, virgin rolls out so diverse categories, from cola drink to wedding service and further the budget airline. Virgin's brand extensions are the following

A brand extension strategy offers a company many advantages. A recognised, well-designed brand name helps the business to enter new product categories (that was mentioned earlier) bring about the new product achieve instant recognition and faster acceptance. Sometime this advantage is appeared to the as a sustainable competitive advantage. For instance, when Ipod came into the market no one even considered it. Therefore the product was new innovative product who is still dominating the tablets technology market. A brandname extension also saves the company's high advertising costs usually necessary to build a new brand.

However a brandname extension strategy not necessarily provides benefits to the parent brand, it involves some risks as well. When the new product doesn't have the acceptance from the consumers then the extension may confuse the primary brand.

The great things about branding to various stakeholders

Benefits to the brand owner: A brand offers various benefits to various stakeholders. At this time it is being considered what sort of brand benefits the consumers, retailers and the brand owners.

Benefits for the consumers: it isn't always true that brands benefits the brand owner only but also the consumers as well. According to the class note, a brand helps the consumers to identify the brand easily. Since when a business wants to express its identification, along with other attributes the brand logo also contributes to the business. By having a look of its logo consumers may easily identify which brand and can choose their own brands over other brands. Appendices 2 shows some strong brands and their logos which is often easily recognised by the consumers.

Now the brands want to make sure that no other company copy their logo so they protect their brands and brand logos by the trademark. That's why consumer has low perceived risks to getting another dozy brand or dozy products. As all established brands have expectations to be survived very long time so they don't really sacrifice their quality and it's such as a promise to the consumers. Consumers trust the brand and can rely on the brand making 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 as long as they obtain the Apple shop. Another benefit is provided by the brand so it added value (brand associations). As every established company who have a strong brand wants to gain competitive advantage, so that it try to add up increasingly more attributes and will be offering more benefits for the sake of its brand which really is a great benefit for the consumers.

Benefits for the retailers

Sometimes an intermediary works between the brand owner and the consumers who are considered as retailer. Their role is to get the products to reach to the end users. If they sell any products that have strong brand, they don't have that much headache to do more advertising on the merchandise. Therefore the retailer gets benefited insurance agencies a solid brand product as it saves the marketing costs because people already know the brand. For example, Curries can be an electronics shop. It sells different electronic products of different brands. But it doesn't do any advertising for any specific brand (such as Sony, Panasonic) as the brand owner does the marketing. Another benefit for the retailer is, the brand owner attracts the customers to buy its products on behalf of the retailer. Because of having a strong brand product people will pop in the shop as they want to buy their choosable brand.

Benefits for the brand owners

A strong brand, a strong brand position with a strong brand architecture and brand associations always benefits the brand owner. In addition, it provides some competitive advantage which may be made sustainable in the long term. At this stage it is being discussed the way the brand benefits brand owners and provide them sustainable competitive advantage.

A brand can be used to create sustainable competitive advantage by creating customer loyalty. Brand loyalty is a constant preferences for one brand total others brands, is quite saturated in some product categories. Over half of the users are loyal to one brand in product categories such as cigarettes, mayonnaise, toothpaste, bath soap and headache remedies etc. many university students use the same brands they used at homes, rather than being price buyers (Lamb et al, 2007). Individuals who closely bond with a brand identity do not only choose the product but also purchase related items. For example, who likes Sony camera, he will buy the same brand memory card. This create a sustainable competitive advantage for the brand owner and brand architecture works nicely two sub brands helps one another ( Sony camera & Sony memory card).

A smartly designed, established brand allows the brand to charge the consumers premium price. A brandname creates a psychological image into consumers mind a brandy company delivers a superior quality product and something which has a uniqueness and prestigious to everyone. For example, Ferrari cars are normally driven by the wealthy consumers who prefer to think them as prestigious and very few consumers own Ferrari. So that it creates a sustainable competitive advantage for the brand and allows it to charge premium price.

In addition, because of having a reputed and strong brand, a corporation can go for brand extensions easily (that was discussed earlier). Sometimes a product or an idea of the business can be imitated by the competitors. But, by enough time competition copy its products or ideas, the brand goes for some other impressive ideas or impressive products which let the brand to increase their brand extensions or line extensions and continue track in the competitive market. It helps the brand to sustain in the market. Apple would be appropriate example for it. When it extended its brand with launching the Ipad then it applies to the 2nd version of Ipad. So it allows the brand to maintain the marketplace and create some barriers for the rivals so nobody imitate Apple. Since it always create some product distinctiveness compare to its competitors. According to Tulsian. P & Tulsian. S (2005), branding provides distinctiveness to the product. Unless the product hasn't got any distinctiveness it cannot create any competitive advantage for the brand. So the brand helps the producers to generate product distinctiveness. Because of having a reputated brand, it cannot come out on the market with anything. The product has to have some uniqueness and distinctiveness. Probably because of this the strong brand company spend lots of money on R&D and along with others brand associations it offers distinctive products lead to achieve the sustainable competitive advantage over its competitors.

A brand with a solid position is a very important asset to the brand owner. The full total financial value of an brand is estimated by the process of the brand valuation. McDonald's CEO said that if any natural disaster destroy company's every asset, every building and every single equipment still he'll be able to borrow all the amount of money to replace all these assets rapidly because of brand value( Kotler et al 2008, pp. 521).


After all discussions and a forward thinking on branding, it could be said that branding is not choosing any organizations marketplace over your competition but it is about to receive the organizations prospects to notice that the organization is the only one that provides a solution to the customer problems. After the tasks are done by the business then its brand get recognition on the market and gain the sustainable competitive advantage. Brand owners must constantly ensure that they maintain the qualities and values of the brands and it must continue steadily to appeal to the consumer. It needs to be developed in conditions of customers' needs and changing society. This will allow the brand to be sustainable and offer sustainable competitive advantage in the competitive market.

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