BRAND MONITORING THROUGH ITS LIFE CYCLE
Products and brands are subject to what is called a life cycle phenomenon. Like living organisms they can go through different growth stages, each stage having its unique characteristics/problems. And each stage demands distinct strategy support in the absence of which the brand suffers. That is why close monitoring of brands becomes important in building a brand.
Brands live through changing environments
A brand is not a static entity, it is a dynamic entity. It grows changes and adapts to an ever changing environment, or else it dies.
HLL have many brands which have gathered strength through decades of nurturing Red label tea which was introduced in 1902. Toda this 100 year old brand is a leader in tea. The same year Lifebuoy soap was launched, that too is a winner, in fact it is HLLâ€™s best revenue earner. Dalda was launched in 1937 and it has seen several vicissitudes and is still going strong. Spencerâ€™s is a 131 year old brand. All of them are still going strong and many of them continue to be leaders in their respective categories.
A brand need not necessarily die out
Brand building involves the building and strengthening of a brandâ€™s association with the consumers. When attributes and benefits are being created in a brand, consumers are simultaneously deriving values and forging relationships with it. And when a brand is continuously invested with fresh properties, the relationship keeps growing
Such a brand need not age and die out. In other words if a brand is invested with the required attributes and is sustained and monitored well, its life cycle can be stretched further and further. Age need not necessarily make a brand stale and outdated. Handled well age can be a contributing factor to the strength of the brand.
Enhancing the customer value is the route for prolonging Brand life;
Band loyalty denotes the extent of a customerâ€™s attachment to a brand. It is not static. Consumers shift their loyalty from a given brand because its â€˜perceived valueâ€™ is changing compared to some other offers. Brand is actually the marketing manâ€™s medium for giving value to the customer. Intense competition, a wide choice of brands and rising expectation of consumers, make heavy demands on marketing men to consistently maintain/enhance the perceived value of their brands.
In this context it is interesting to see the observations made by the chairman of Unilever on enhancing brand power. He makes the observation that brands exist because people want them to exist, and would never die if marketers avoid five mistakes: arrogance, greed, complacency, inconsistency, and myopia.