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Brand Positioning 1. Define Brand? The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."  A brand can take many forms, including a name, sign, symbol, color combination or slogan. For example, Coca Cola is the name of a brand make by a particular company. The word branding began simply as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp. The word brand has continued to evolve to encompass identity—it affects the personality of a product, company or service. It is defined by a perception, good or bad, that your customers or prospects have about you.  In the automotive industry, the terms marque or make are often used to denote a brand of motor vehicle. A concept brand is a brand that is associated with an abstract concept, like breast cancer awareness or environmentalism, rather than a specific product, service, or business. A commodity brand is a brand associated with a commodity. Got milk? is an example of a commodity brand. Proper brand can result in higher sales of not only one product, but on other products associated with that brand. For example, if a customer loves Pillsbury biscuits and trust the brand, he or she is more likely to try other products offered by the company such as chocolate chip cookies. Brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: customers, staff, partners, investors etc. Some people distinguish the psychological aspect, brand associations like thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on that become linked to the brand, of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The brand experience is a brand's action perceived by a person. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people, consisting of all the information and expectations associated with a product, service or the company(ies) providing them. People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. Orientation of the whole organization towards its brand is called brand orientation. The brand orientation is developed in responsiveness to market intelligence. Careful brand management seeks to make the product or services relevant to the target audience. Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price - they represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer. A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. Brand recognition is most successful when people can state a brand without being explicitly exposed to the company's name, but rather through visual signifiers like logos, slogan's, and colors. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney's "signature" logo), which it used in the logo for go.com. Consumers may look on branding as an aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic (see also brand promise). From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store- branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner. 2. Describe the functions of brand managers? What are the essentials difference Between brand management & product management? A brand is a consistent, holistic pledge made by a company, the face a company presents to the world. A brand serves as an unmistakable and recongnizable symbol for products and services. It functions as the “business card” a company proffers on the competitive scene to set itself apart from the rest. In addition to differentiating in this way, a brand conveys to consumers, shareholders, stakeholders, society and the world at large all the values and attitudes embodied in a product or company. A brand fulfills key functions for consumers and companies alike. The functions of a brand for consumers Brands play a role in terms of communication and identification. They offer guidance, convey an expectation of quality and so offer help and support to those making purchase decisions. Brands make it easier for consumers to interpret and digest information on products. The perceived purchasing risk is thus minimized, which in turn helps cultivate a trust-based relationship. A brand can also serve as a social business card, expressing membership in a certain group. Premium brands, for instance, can even engender a sense of distinction and prestige. Consuming certain brands is also a means of communicating certain values. By opting for particular brands, a consumer demonstrates that he or she embraces particular values; the brand becomes a tool of identity formation. The functions of brands from a company’s perspective A brand fosters brand and customer loyalty. Particularly strong brands can establish the prevalence of premium prices on the market and soften consumer reactions to price changes. Specifically brand-oriented buyers – who are more concerned with brands than prices – are more resilient when it comes to changes in the competitive scenario. This decreased sensitivity to price changes makes them more valuable as customers. The reduction in perceived purchasing risk lays the groundwork for a relationship of trust, giving brands a role to play in lashing customers to a company. Brands can counter the swelling ranks of trade because dealers stock their shelves and fill their order lists with products explicitly requested by consumers. Strong brands in particular keep sales levels and market share constant and considerably lessen dependence on short-term special promotions. A brand unlocks great potential in terms of licensing opportunities as well, helping companies achieve plans for international expansion. Finally, brands also offer companies potential for honing a clear profile and overshadowing the competition. Strong brands in particular can reduce the risk that new product launches will flop and can be used as platforms for successful brand stretching (also in terms of launches in completely new product segments and sectors) 3. Briefly explain growing importance of branding in Indian Market? A market is one of many varieties of systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services (including labor) in exchange for money from buyers. It can be said that a market is the process in which the prices of goods and services are established. For a market to be competitive, there must be more than a single buyer or seller. It has been suggested that two people may trade, but it takes at least three persons to have a market, so that there is competition on at least one of its two sides. However, competitive markets rely on much larger numbers of both buyers and sellers. A market with single seller and multiple buyers is a monopoly. A market with a single buyer and multiple sellers is a monopsony. These are the extremes of imperfect competition. Markets vary in form, scale (volume and geographic reach), location, and types of participants, as well as the types of goods and services traded. Examples include: Physical retail markets, such as local farmers' markets (which are usually held in town squares or parking lots on an ongoing or occasional basis), shopping centers and shopping malls (Non-physical) internet markets (see electronic commerce) Ad hoc auction markets Markets for intermediate goods used in production of other goods and services Labor markets International currency and commodity markets Stock markets, for the exchange of shares in corporations Artificial markets created by regulation to exchange rights for derivatives that have been designed to ameliorate externalities, such as pollution permits (see carbon trading) Illegal markets such as the market for illicit drugs, arms or pirated products In mainstream economics, the concept of a market is any structure that allows buyers and sellers to exchange any type of goods, services and information. The exchange of goods or services for money is a transaction. Market participants consist of all the buyers and sellers of a good who influence its price. This influence is a major study of economics and has given rise to several theories and models concerning the basic market forces of supply and demand. There are two roles in markets, buyers and sellers. The market facilitates trade and enables the distribution and allocation of resources in a society. Markets allow any tradable item to be evaluated and priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or is constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights (cf. ownership) of services and goods. 4. What is brand dilution? Brand extension or brand stretching is a marketing strategy in which a firm marketing a product with a well-developed image uses the same brand name in a different product category. The new product is called a spin-off. Organizations use this strategy to increase and leverage brand equity (definition: the net worth and long-term sustainability just from the renowned name). An example of a brand extension is Jello-gelatin creating Jello pudding pops. It increases awareness of the brand name and increases profitability from offerings in more than one product category. A brand's "extendibility" depends on how strong consumer's associations are to the brand's values and goals. Ralph Lauren's Polo brand successfully extended from clothing to home furnishings such as bedding and towels. Both clothing and bedding are made of linen and fulfill a similar consumer function of comfort and hominess. Arm & Hammer leveraged its brand equity from basic baking soda into the oral care and laundry care categories. By emphasizing its key attributes, the cleaning and deodorizing properties of its core product, Arm & Hammer was able to leverage those attributes into new categories with success. Another example is Virgin Group, which was initially a record label that has extended its brand successfully many times; from transportation (aeroplanes, trains) to games stores and video stores such a Virgin Megastores. In the 1990s, 81% of new products used brand extension to introduce new brands and to create sales. Launching a new product is not only time consuming but also needs a big budget to create awareness and to promote a product's benefits. Brand extension is one of the new product development strategies which can reduce financial risk by using the parent brand name to enhance consumers' perception due to the core brand equity. While there can be significant benefits in brand extension strategies, there can also be significant risks, resulting in a diluted or severely damaged brand image. Poor choices for brand extension may dilute and deteriorate the core brand and damage the brand equity. Most of the literature focuses on the consumer evaluation and positive impact on parent brand. In practical cases, the failures of brand extension are at higher rate than the successes. Some studies show that negative impact may dilute brand image and equity. In spite of the positive impact of brand extension, negative association and wrong communication strategy do harm to the parent brand even brand family. Product extensions are versions of the same parent product that serve a segment of the target market and increase the variety of an offering. An example of a product extension is Coke vs. Diet Coke in same product category of soft drinks. This tactic is undertaken due to the brand loyalty and brand awareness they enjoy consumers are more likely to buy a new product that has a tried and trusted brand name on it. This means the market is catered for as they are receiving a product from a brand they trust and Coca Cola is catered for as they can increase their product portfolio and they have a larger hold over the market in which they are performing in. 5. Explain in detailed the strategies adopted by the marketer in the brand life cycle? This is a model I developed in the mid 1990's to help companies understand how a particular brand should be positioned and its relation to the company's overall strategy. I was helping many senior ad agencies' executives/planner from New York to Tokyo to use this to understand their clients' branding issues. This was based on my extensive study of US and European companies and their brands in different categories. This model enables companies to look at their corporate strategies, portfolio of brands and products in a meaningful way. I have not revisited this since this was published some ten years ago. I thought you would find this interesting. The analogy is that all brands basically evolve through four stages. Most of them start as a Product Brand, and then some are transformed into a Service Brand. Over years of brand building effort and market presence they gradually become either a Category Brand, which is defined as having leading market share within a category; or a Personality Brand, which establishes a strong brand personality that consumers identify with; or an Experience Brand, which goes beyond traditional service and product excellence with a strong sense of uniqueness. 6. What are the advantages & disadvantages of celebrity endorsement? Explain with examples. 7. What do you mean by Co-Branding? 8. Explain in detailed the factors involved as a part of legal considerations for branding?
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