With the Indian market embracing liberalization, customers are exposed to infinite choices as innumerable international organizations hanker to promote their products. Here the price and quality of products assumes principal importance. It becomes crucial to determine the right product price and target the apt consumer segment. These form two of the main functions of brand management.
It starts with the conceptualization of a new product teamed with an extensive marketing plan that’s aimed at a typical consumer segment. A market survey is conducted in advance to assess consumer reaction.
Next, we establish brand identity by effectively communicating to the consumers how the brand would comply with their requirements. This process is corroborated with assertive promotions and campaigning using various media and non-media platforms.
Brand management calls for planning developing, and directing marketing efforts. This includes refining the brand’s quintessence, identifying competitors and potential threats within category, recognizing marketing opportunities, revamping marketing strategies (new ad-campaigns, development of new products, developing new brand vision) and effectively communicating the USP of the related brand to the targeted consumer segment.
In any given product category, only a handful of brands are successful. Years of uninterrupted nurturing with the support of a good marketing program, is required to develop a winning brand and get it established in the market. Such a marketing program includes a meaningful product differentiation and an apt positioning for the brand, accompanied by the right distribution and promotion support. The entire activity is resources intensive as well as time intensive; it also involves meticulous planning as well as careful execution. No wonder, brand building is a very difficult task.
Main task in Managing Brands:
1. Selecting brand and logo, giving the product an identity and enhancing its visual recognition.
2. Differentiation: Investing the brand with the attributes necessary to compete, giving it a unique image.
3. Positioning the brand: Developing the right value proposition for the brand and lodging it as the best choice for the target customer.
4. Providing the right distribution and promotion support, in tune with the brand’s positioning.
5. Keeping the brand live and active – brand rejuvenation, brand relaunch, brand extensions, packaging innovations.
6. Brand proliferation: Adding more brands to a line.
7. Strengthening the brand portfolio through acquisition/ takeover.
8. Monitoring the brand through the various stages of its life cycle. Monitoring its profitability, competitive positioning, market share, growth needs and investment needs.
In fact, it is the most difficult job in marketing. The character and personality of the brand has to be developed, sustained and protected from a number of conflicting demands. As already mentioned, non stop rearing for long duration an expert handling of the brand’s quality attributes, sustained marketing communication and commitment of financial resources are required to build a brand. A good brand is the direct outcome of a corporation’s long term commitment in this direction. It takes a heavy toll on an organization; and in any product category, just a few brands reach the level of an enviable existence. And certainly, companies which succeed in developing such brands do acquire a major asset.
The above lists the main tasks involved in brand development / management:
The discussions on the above aspects of brand building are spread over all the products related. Differentiation and positioning concepts have been elaborated. And then that immediately follows on product life cycle. For instance, the case studies on the distribution strategies of Titan and Asian Paints are only highlighting the crucial role of distribution in establishing the brand along the intended position. Similarly, the entire range of activities in marketing communications, advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and publicity – is woven around the task of brand building. In fact, the entire positioning task (for the brand) gets done through marketing communications. Such a spread is only natural because the entire marketing strategy / marketing programs in any given situation revolve around the many demands made by the brand concerned. They are legitimately spread over the various marketing mix components.