Theme 1: Meaning and types of branding strategies
According to the views of Govers and Go (2016) branding may be defined as strategy which lays high level of emphasis of creative unique name or image of brand in the mind of customers. Hence, main aim of business unit behind unit branding strategies is to build strong presence in the market and thereby attract large number of customers. Branding enables customer to take suitable decision by differentiating the products or services from others. In this way, by using branding strategies effectual differentiation can be developed by the firm which in turn helps them in attracting and retaining the large number of customers.
Okonkwo (2016) presented branding as a process of establishing an effectual image of company and its product in the eyes of customers. In the present time, each and every sector whether it is retail or other facing stiff competition which in turn have direct impact on the productivity aspect of firm. In this, by developing a specific name, logo etc, business unit can develop effectual image in mind of customers. In this way, branding gives unique identity to the product and thereby helps in build or sustains competitive edge over others.
However, on the critical note, Neill, Holcomb and Lusk (2016) said that for developing brand business unit has to make high level of investment. This in turn closely influences the financial and liquidity position or aspect of firm. Further, branding also creates negative image in mind of customers if company fails to meet the target and expectation level of customers. The rationale behind this, usually company prefers to sell products from their existing brand name once it attain in success in the market. In this regard, if one product of business organization fails to meet the expectation level of customers then it negatively impacts its brand image or position in the market. On the other side, Punjaisri and Wilson (2017) said that branding offers high level of benefit to the business organization in terms of customer loyalty and enhancement of goodwill.
Moreover, branding strategy distinguishes one product from another to the significant level. For instance: logo of Apple differentiates its product from the electronic gazettes which are offered by other companies. Hence, logo helps customers in identifying the products more effectively and efficiently. Along with this, now customers prefer to purchase products or services from the retailer which maintains high quality of the product. On the basis of this, by meeting the expectation level of customers company can generate loyalty of customers towards the brand. In this way, branding helps in maintaining and enhancing organization’s goodwill to the significant level.
In accordance with the views of Nguyen, Hemsley-Brown and Melewar (2016) there are several aspects or bases which can be undertaken by business organization for positioned it as brand. It includes company name, individual branding, brand extension and dilution etc. Hence, Papadopoulos, Hamzaoui-Essoussi and El Banna (2016) presented that by using the name of an organization company can build distinct identity among customer group. In the present times, there are several companies which prefer to do branding on the basis of their company’s name. For instance: Vehicle companies place emphasis on branding on the basis of their company’s name. Mercedez Benz is one of the leading business organizations which offer automobiles in accordance with existing brand name. This branding strategy is highly effectual which in turn enables firm to build strong present in mind of target market.
However, it is to be critically evaluated by Keller, Dekimpe and Geyskens (2016) that sometimes such branding strategy negatively affects the position and performance of firm. For instance: If one automobile of Mercedes fails to meet customer’s expectation then it negatively impacts the customer satisfaction and loyalty towards the whole brand. In this context, stated that by adopting individual branding strategies company can get desired level of outcome or success. On the basis of this aspect, business unit needs to give unique or innovative name to each product. Such branding strategy offers high level of flexibility to the business organization. Such branding strategy enables firm to develop high level of satisfaction among customers without influencing their perception. Moreover, with the aim to fulfill the needs and demand of catered market organizations offer all kind of products which differs in terms of quality as well as price. For example: Tang and Kool-aid both the products are manufactured and offered by Kraft foods. This aspect shows that business unit has positioned its products by giving different names.
Further, Lado and et.al., (2016) mentioned in their study that attitude and iconic branding strategies are highly effective which in turn helps company in gaining competitive edge over others. Moreover, now significant changes have taken place in the attitude and expectation level of customers. Now, people place emphasis on using the products which reflects their high living standards and lifestyle within the society.
Hence, through the means of attitude branding companies place emphasis on developing emotional association with customers. For instance: Nike, Apple etc. are the leading brands which makes use of attitude branding strategy to achieve success in the highly competitive business environment. Nike offers high quality products to the customers such as shoes, clothes etc. Hence, such brand has more worth in the eye of customers as compared to other products which are offered by it. Moreover, Swish logo presents healthy, athletic and independent lifestyle. In this way, brand clearly presents the identity and lifestyle in front of others. Along with this, other major brands such as Apple also undertake such strategy and thereby contribute in the lifestyle of individuals. On the critical note, Truong and et.al., (2017) stated that attitude branding strategies also place negative impact on customer decision making aspect. The reason behind this, middle income group people perceive attitude branding products as highly costly. In this way, such branding strategy influences customer base in a negative manner. Moreover, by focusing on only high income group people company cannot enhance its customer base and thereby profitability to a great level.
As per the view points of Woisetschläger (2016) there are several companies which makes use of branding strategy. Hence, such no branding strategy enables company to develop effective image in the mind of customers by placing emphasis attractive packaging and simplicity aspect. In contrast to this, Gonzalez-Jimenez, Fastoso and Fukukawa (2016) presented that ‘no branding strategy’ does not help customers in differentiating the products or services of different retailers. Moreover, branding helps customers in identifying specific product out of several. Thus, by considering such aspect it can be said that branding is necessary for attracting the large number of customers. Further, Robert and Baikov (2016) found that derived brand is another most effective strategy which in turn helps in attaining success in the highly strategic business environment.
For instance: Intel has developed its image in PC market on the basis of slogan and stickers. Thus, by taking into consideration such aspect it can be said that by framing highly effectual slogan company can attract large number of customers towards the products or services offered by it.
Along with this, Govers and Go (2016) identified that brand extension and dilution is highly effectual strategy which in turn enables firm to get success in the new market. In the present times, there are several fashion retailer and designer who offer shoes and other accessories to the customers. Thus, by taking into consideration such aspect it can be said that retailer can attain success in the existing market by using such strategy. On the other hand, Okonkwo (2016) argued that over-extension of brand has negative impact on brand image, market share and profitability aspect. Hence, in this context, by employing multi-brand strategy companies can enhance its goodwill to the large extent. Moreover, companies which make use of such strategy provide customers with totally different products in comparison to the competition.
Under this, business unit makes use of its existing brand name which in turn enables them to entice the decision making aspect of customers more effectually. For instance: P&G is one of the main organizations which make use of such strategy. Such company offers ten detergents to the customers by launching new brands in the market. However, claimed that cannibalization is one of the main issues which are associated with multi-brand strategy. Moreover, new brand takes away business organization from the existing one. Hence, due to such aspect sales revenue and profit margin of firm is affected in the negative direction.
By doing investigation, Neill, Holcomb and Lusk (2016) assessed that by using private labels retail business organization can fulfill its aims and objectives. Such strategy is highly successful when company has developed its unique identity in the market as compared to other strongest brand. For instance: Tesco offers several retail products and services to the customers from its own label. Tesco has attained high level of financial and non-financial benefits by undertaking such branding strategy. Moreover, business unit has built its competitive position at marketplace by offering high quality product to the customers at affordable prices. In this way, such branding strategy has enables firm to attain success over the leading or competitive brand. Hence, by selecting suitable branding strategy companies can build their identity at marketplace.
Theme 2: Significance of branding strategies to the organization
On the basis of the views of Punjaisri and Wilson (2017) branding strategy leads organizational growth and success to the significant. Branding strategies are highly significant which in turn enables firm to gain competitive edge over others. In the present times, each and every organization whether they are profit and non-profit making compete with each other for resources, competent personnel and targeted audience. In this, branding assists business organization in promoting recognition. For instance: Customers of Apple can easily recognize the product on the basis of logo. Thus, branding provides customers with high level of ease in recognizing the product when they make decision about purchase. However, Nguyen, Hemsley-Brown and Melewar (2016) argued that customers perceive branding products as more costly than others. By considering such aspect, it can be said that there are several customers who are not willing to pay higher for branded goods and services.
By doing investigation, Papadopoulos, Hamzaoui-Essoussi and El Banna (2016) have identified that both branding and customer awareness is highly associated with each other. Hence, by employing branding strategies company can develop awareness among the large customers about the products or services offered by it. Hence, by keeping in mind the aspects of branding or identical basis customers can assess suitable product out of several. For instance: Coca-Cola has positioned itself on the basis of red color bottle with standard size. In this, customers can also identify Coca-cola on the basis of its red color bottle and size.
On the other side, Keller, Dekimpe and Geyskens (2016) argued that there are several brands which have developed unique identity in the mind of customers. For instance: In UK, people demand for coke when they visit to the restaurant. In this, order for coke does not mean that customers demand for coca-cola. It means that customers want to take any kind of soda. In this way, such aspect highly affects aim and objectives of branding. Moreover, one of the main of branding is to set an standard rather than become the generic term of a line of products. ‘
Lado and et.al., (2016) depicted that branding strategies are highly important for the business organization which in turn helps it in enhancing the profitability aspect to a great extent. Moreover, brand offers psychological satisfaction to the customers. Usually, customers think that costly products have better quality and features. On the basis of such aspect, they are ready to high for the branded products and services.
Hence, by evolving high level of satisfaction among the customers through the means of branding company can maximize both productivity and profitability to a great extent. However, Truong and et.al., (2017) argued that if product or services offered by business organization experiences a negative event then it closely influences the brand position or image. Moreover, unintentional and offensive brand campaign negatively impacts the brand image of firm. Such aspect also places negative impact on growth, productivity as well as profitability of firm. In this situation, business unit is required to recapture its place in the market by building whole new image or identity.
Woisetschläger (2016) entails that branding strategies provide high level of assistance to the business organization to set different identity apart from the competitors. Branding strategy is the one which differentiates company’s offering from crowd. Moreover, for attaining success at both national and global level company is required to build its distinct identity on the basis of product features and logo. In addition to this, branding also enables firm to communicate their innovativeness and business idea or concept to others. In this way, branding helps company in developing clarity in mind of customers. Further, by communicating values to the customers through the means of branding strategies company can build and maintain effectual customer base. In this way, branding offers high level of growth and development opportunity to the business organization. Further, such strategies also directly aid in the productivity as well as profitability of firm.
Theme 3: Customer buying behavior and decision making
Thesis presented by Gürhan-Canli, Hayran and Sarial-Abi (2016) reveals that reference and friendship group highly affects decision making aspect of customers. Now a day, people prefer to make shopping by taking suggestions from their friends and family members. On the basis of this aspect, recommendations which are provided by reference group in relation to brand closely influence the decision making aspect of customers. Along with this, Haffar and et.al., (2016) presented that social class and lifestyle influences buying behavior of customers significantly. Moreover, with the aim to look different and unique customers place emphasis on purchasing branded products.
This aspect also shows that social class and status closely impact decision making of individual. Pathak and Lim (2016) stated that income, occupation and education level also affects decision making aspect of individual. Moreover, customers spend high on luxurious products or services only when they have high disposable income. Further, occupation also impact customer behavior to a large extent. For instance: Professionals prefer to use branded products with the aim to maintain their status. Hence, personal factors are also the one that highly influences customer’s decision making.
Olbrich, Jansen and Hundt (2017) entailed that decision making process of customer goes through from five stages. All such steps include problem recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchasing decision and post evaluation etc. On the basis of this aspect, purchasing decision is taken by customers after making evaluation of each and every aspect. Hence, individuals take decision in relation to purchasing only when they assess the need. Thereafter, people searches information about the various brands or store who are able to meet their need more effectively and efficiently. Once, information has been searched out by individual thereafter they make evaluation of alternatives available to them. In the fourth stage, customers take decision about purchasing of specified products or services.
Hence, at the last stage, individual makes evaluation of the extent to which they are satisfied from decision taken by them. Moreover, there are several parameters which are undertaken by business unit while taking decision about purchase namely price, quality, uniqueness, value for money etc. For instance: Sports player identifies that he requires high quality and flexible shoes. Thereafter, individual gathers information from his friends and family members about the brand of shoes. It shows that customers take purchasing decision by considering the past experience of their reference group.
Thereafter, individual assesses the brands which offer high quality and flexible shoes such as Reebok, Nike etc. Hence, individual has evaluated all such aspects on the basis of price, quality, design, reliability and durability aspect. In this, individual has selected the shoes which are offered by Nike and purchases it. At the last stage, individual has made assessment of level to which they are satisfied from the product quality and features. Last stage of decision making highly affects repeat purchase and loyalty aspect of customers. Moreover, customer will prefer to purchase product of Nike in the near future if results of post-purchase evaluation are positive and vice versa. In this way, brand loyalty of the customers is highly influenced from the outcome of post purchase evaluation. assignments australia
Theme 4: Impact of branding strategies on customer buying behavior
In accordance with the views of Khan and et.al., (2016) branding strategies have high level of impact on the buying behavior and purchasing decision making aspect of customers. Author stated that perception is the major factor that has high level of impact on customer’s decision making. Moreover, customers perceive that branded products build their unique identity in the society. In this way, self expression is the major factors that impact buying behavior of customers. For instance: Customers prefer to keep mobile phones of Apple which in turn reflects their high social status. Moreover, Apple has built its identity in group of high income people.
However, Hayran and Gürhan-Canli (2016) argued that social status is not only the factors which are considered by firm at the time of decision making. Brand quality and price is the major intrinsic factors which are considered by customers for decision making. Moreover, now people prefer to purchase product from the retailer which offer high quality products at affordable prices. The rationale behind this, quality products develop high level of satisfaction among the customers and encourage them to purchase on a repeated manner.
As per the views of Haffar and et.al., (2016), along with the intrinsic factors, external elements also have high level of impact on customer’s decision making. Advertisement is the main extrinsic factors that closely influence the decision making aspect of customers. Moreover, advertisement is the tool which in turn helps in providing information to the large number of customers about company’s offering. This in turn helps in influencing the decision making aspect of customers and thereby assists in attaining success. For instance: Apple and Dell etc are the major brands which practice advertising strategy with the motive to provide information to customers about new launching. Such companies do not lay emphasis on placing advertisements more frequently because they have strong presence in the market.
However, Gürhan-Canli, Hayran and Sarial-Abi (2016) claimed that advertisements not only the factors that impact customer decision making. Brand loyalty is the main factors that influence decision making aspect of customers. Customers tend to make focus on repeat purchasing once they are satisfied from the quality, features and price of existing offerings. In addition to this, now needs, wants and expectation of customers are getting changed with the very high pace. In this regard, company can attain success only if it meets the expectation level of customers to the large extent. This aspect shows that branding have high level of influence on customer’s decision making.
Along with this, Roberts and Baikov (2016) stated that association level of customers towards the brand also has major impact on customer’s decision making. Authors distinguished brand association by taking into consideration the three categories namely attributes, benefit and attitude. Hence, product and non-related product attributes are highly differ from each other. In the case of product related attributes customers consider feature at the time of decision making. For instance: Gazettes offered by Apple contains highly advanced features and attributes which in turn differentiates its offering from others.
It shows that feature of the products are undertaken by customers while making decision about purchase. Further, in non-product related aspects customers considers price and service quality. For instance: Hilton is known for its offering and pricing aspects. By considering this, it can be said that product attributes are the main aspects that closely influence the decision making aspect of customers. On the other side, Gonzalez-Jimenez, Fastoso and Fukukawa (2016) mentioned in their study that in the world of globalization there are several brands which available to the customers. Along with this, with the motive to maximize productivity and profitability as well as customer base now companies place emphasis on offering services at global level. In this, branding helps customers in assessing the product on the basis of its logo and features. Thus, by taking into account all such aspects it can be said that branding impacts customers decision to a great level.
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