BRAND â€“SOME IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS
How many of us know who is the manufacturer of our favorite brand of say soap or shampoo? We simply go to the retailer either ask for the brand or simply pick up our product from the shelf. An example of this is â€˜Doveâ€™ soap or â€˜Clinic Allâ€™ shampoo. The â€˜Brandâ€™ name has become so important for the manufacturer and the consumer because of its popularity some advertisements simply mention the name of only the Brand and not the product. Therefore we are highlighting here some important considerations about the â€˜Brandâ€™.
The marketer can identify use situations for his brand or product and analyze customer perception of existing competitor brands in different use situations. Based on this analysis the firm can position its brand.
Consider the example of Rasna, a soft drink concentrate. None of the soft drink brands offer convenience, economy and the range of flavors that Rasna does. Its positioning as a soft drink when one is fatigued after shopping or a days work, when you have a party, when you have guests suddenly appearing or when you feel thirsty. The brandâ€˜s claim is that itâ€™s so simple to make that even a child can do it. Rasna was the first brand of soft drink concentrate to position itself in this manner. Many other brands subsequently tried to penetrate Rasnaâ€™s market share, but could not succeed.
The brand may even be positioned on the basis of tangible benefits that it offers to the customers. These are in the form of specific features and sometimes by its price and distribution. Consider the example of Ariel that offers a specific benefit of cleaning even the dirtiest of clothes because of micro cleaning system in the product. Colgate offers benefits of preventing cavity and fresh breath. Promise, Balsaraâ€™s toothpaste, could break Colgateâ€™s stronghold by being the first to claim that itâ€™s the clove that differentiated it form the leader. Nirma offered the benefit of low price over Hindustan Leverâ€™s Surf and became success. Maruti Suzuki offers benefits of maximum fuel efficiency and safety over its competitors. This strategy helped it to get 60% of the Indian automobile market.
Another approach to position the brand is to identify the possible uses to which the firmâ€™s brand can be put to. In a way it may appear to be the same as use situations, but it is different here as we are talking about all the possible uses of a product or brand. Since video cassette recorders (VCR) could be used in playing, recording and regulating the pace at which different scenes can be watched (like pause, fast forward, etc) most customers saw it as a distinct development over the video cassette player and the demand for VCR boomed.
This is the strategy of placing a firmâ€™s brand next to the leader in the market and trying to uproot it on a specific tangible variable. Ries and Trout give example of AVIS, the auto rental agency, which knew it was number two in the business, but made a strong point about it. We are number two. We try harder. Onida was positioned against the giants in television industry through this strategy. For ONIDA color TV was launched on the message that all others were clones and only Onida was the leader when its message said â€œ the boss wasnâ€™t late; it were others who arrived in a hurry;â€? and later followed it with the envy concept. Today, Onida has been able to uproot all the yesteryears leaders in the TV market. Likewise, Wheel brand of detergent powder by Hindustan Lever took head on position with Nirma and claimed that it was better as it washed whiter (because of lemon component in it) and was gentle on the hands, a claim which Nirma fights by showing the user using a spoon to take the washing powder from the bag. Kinetic Honda adopted this strategy to uproot Bajaj Scooter, when it claimed that it offered more mileage to a liter of petrol than the leader and supported it with the road test results.
Life Style Positioning
A firm may even position the brand as a life-style â€“contemporary or futuristic. Many of todayâ€™s new kitchen appliances like the microwave oven, ready made garments, textiles and watches are positioned accordingly.
We summarize, the customer is prepared to pay even a premium on the price once the Brand name is established in the Market. The Brand name just does not get established because the firm is big. It is because of various customer oriented factors like quality, durability, utility, aesthetic appearance and so on.