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Introduction Of Brand Management

Brand Management is an activity to plan and analyze how a brand is perceived in front of its customers as well as in the market. It requires companies to develop effective relationships with their target markets. It undertakes all the aspects about a firm's offerings like the offering itself, its appearance, price, packaging and so forth. The project below is based on Samsung, which is a multinational company with effective brand image in the market. The report covers an understanding on how a brand is built and managed overtime and analysis of how brands are organized in portfolios and brand hierarchies are built and managed. It also covers the evaluation of how brans are leveraged overtime domestically and internationally and techniques for measuring and managing brand value.

TASK 1

Brand is Power

A brand is referred to as a service, product or a concept that distinguish the offerings of a company from other products and services so that it could easily be marketed and communicated. Brand Equity is a term which is used to determine the perception of customers towards an offering of the company, i.e., a commercial value of products and services of an organisation by their brand names. Any company, functioning under any industry in order to build a strong brand name must effectively follow certain steps.

  • Firstly, they must effectively determine target audiences, i.e., customers actually interested in buying their products.
  • The next step requires them to determine their brand mission, which includes creation of mission statement which clearly defines their ideology.
  • Companies then must effectively determine their competition, their activities as well as factors that differentiate them from other companies.
  • After their detailed analysis, firms must create value propositions which requires them to determine the uniqueness, value and benefits of their products and services.
  • The next step requires them to decide brand guidelines which undertake tone and strategy of their brand.
  • The last step requires them to market their brands. Marketing Department plays a prominent role in creation of brand equity. They analyze the marketplace to determine the exact needs of customers and communicate the brand effectively to the customers. Most importantly, they acquire their feedbacks through which firms get an opportunity for strengthen brand equity.

In this era of tough competition and dynamism, it is very crucial for companies to effectively apply certain successful strategies to strengthen their brand equity. There are various companies in electronic and telecommunication industry which have applied such strategies that have effectively aided the purpose. One of the most prominent examples of companies that have adopted strategies for brand equity is Apple, Inc. The firm has effectively manage to retain its position as the most valuable brand quite recently with the growth of brand value up to 16% at $214.5bn (...). The firm has used various strategies that enabled it to gain such status and enhance its brand equity. However, according to …., there are various uncertainties and risks associated with these strategies.

  • The most proTASK 1minent strategy used by Apple recently is innovation. The firm has been consistent in empowering customers who have a different ways of thinking and thus, it produces products and services that satisfy these unique demands of the customers. The most evident example of such product is AirPods, which are unique earphones by Apple that don't involve wires and work via Bluetooth. However, the risk in such a strategy is that if the firm fails to fulfil their innovative demands, they would shift their preference to another firm.
  • Another strategy of the company to enhance their brand equity was its pricing strategy. Brand equity is quite influenced by the price of a firm's products or services. The firm is again consistent with its premium pricing policy for its new products in the market. This creates a perception of receiving a high value with its offerings. The firm, however, has experienced certain pitfalls from their pricing strategies. During mid-90's, the company's pricing strategy wasn't quite beneficial at that time and faced backlash (…). This remarks that the strategies used by companies must be effectively channelised to avoid any kind of risk that could serve the firm in a negative manner.

Above example clearly shows how important branding is for a company. Organisations can use various models to enhance their brand equity. One such model is Aaker's Brand Equity Model and the company that could effectively apply the same is Samsung. It is one of the biggest companies in telecommunication and electronic industries. The company has customers worldwide and this model could help it achieve utmost brand equity in the market. This model was developed by David Aaker and suggests that brand equity could be overviewed as an accumulation of brand loyalty, quality perceived and brand awareness which are also components of a successful brand strategy as per the model. This model describes how effectively brand management could begin with building up of brand identity. There are four major elements of Brand Identity which are mentioned below:

  • Brand as a Product:This effectively deals with the scope, attributes, value and quality of firm's offerings.
  • Brand as an Organisation:As a company, this element deals with attributes of the organisation, its local as well as global activities.
  • Brand as a Person:According to the model, this element consists of personality of the brand as well as customer relationships.
  • Brand as a Symbol:This element requires the brand to create effective visual and audio imagery as well as metaphorical symbols that appeal customer attention.

As for Samsung, this model could effectively be used by the organisation to create effective brand value in ways which is mentioned below:

  • Brand Loyalty:One of the prominent ways in which Samsung could enhance its brand equity is by enhancing the loyalty of customers towards the brand. It can do so by reducing its marketing cost by focusing its strategies to its existing and loyal customers. Brand loyalty could also be enhanced by reducing competitive threats effectively.
  • Brand Awareness:However popular the firm is in the world, yet this element could be used to maximise brand equity. The firm must make its products and innovations familiar with the public to build strong perception about the quality of their offerings.
  • Quality Perceived:As one of the most prominent ways to enhance brand equity for Samsung, this requires the firm to make customers familiar with the quality of its products. It could effectively be done by running various aggressive product tests internally. It could also be done by employing effective sales channels and differentiating the product from that of the market.

Branding is quite effective for a firm like Samsung and could effectively be used as a marketing tool to ensure its maximum brand equity. As a marketing tool, branding could effectively manage to deliver the message that the firm is trying to give to its customers. It also helps in creating customer loyalty and motivates customers to buy the firm's products. Thus, branding is very crucial for a firm and could help it build a strong brand image in front of the customers as well as enable the company to gain a competitive advantage.

TASK 2

Analyses of different strategies of portfolio management, brand hierarchy and brand equity management.

Portfolio Management

A brand portfolio strategy is all about the family of different brands, its roles and their relationship with each other. This kind of strategies generally deliver synergy, leverage, clarity, differentiation and potential to brand to be differentiate from other brand. To achieve strategic goals, an ongoing effort to review an define is usually needed. “Samsung” is the renowned brand with multiple and advanced products in every category from home care to smartphone. In the current time, Samsung is leading at the top stage of success and achievement. So, its a task to understand Samsung's brand portfolio strategies to identify and analyse what measures or step they took to enhance their product image and raise product & brand portfolio at the higher level. The Samsung's brand portfolio strategy is as follows:  

  • Long-term Thinking:Today's many companies are facing the issues managing their brand portfolio, it is why because of challenging resource allocation. “Samsung” has taken attempt to optimized their available resources to drive future profits and growth. Apart from this, Samsung has used brand valuation tools to get assist their decision making process while making familiar with customer' their potential brands.
  • Consideration of Consumers' Perspectives:Samsung has continuously focus on taking their customer's thinking and idea's to building their brand along with developing its products side by side. Such step has build Samsung's brand portfolio more wide and large with accurate choices available with the customers. For creating effective relationship, Samsung is still taking customer reviews and feedback's to develop their brand portfolio and products with innovation and creativity.

According to …, Samsung must place these strategies in place effectively in order to mitigate any risk. However, there are critical issues with these strategies that needs to be considered in case the firm wants to effectively apply portfolio management strategies. These issues are as follows:

  • While applying long-term thinking, Samsung might not effectively manage to forecast future demand and dynamic business environment. This might be the case where its products fulfil current demands but might fail to accomplish future preferences. With such strong competitors like Apple and LG, the firm might be ineffective in judging their future innovation capabilities.
  • Consumers perspectives changes overtime and are influenced by a number of factors. These factors might be risky for Samsung which would be focusing on their perspectives to effectively manage their portfolio. Such perspectives might be beneficial for the customers but might not be the same for the firm economically.

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Brand Hierarchy

Brand Hierarchy refers to a structure of various brands within a company. It is the manner in which brands within a firm's portfolio are differentiated from and related to one another. It is however a complex activity where multiple product lines are concerned. In Samsung, there are various product lines with vague relationships with one another which requires them to effectively develop certain brand hierarchy strategies. In Samsung, an example of brand hierarchy is described below:

Samsung is a company with various brands serving customers across the world having different needs with a range of different products. It is imperative that the firm manage these brands effectively to enhance brand equity and better brand portfolio. To develop and manage brand hierarchy, Samsung must focus on certain key strategies, mainly:

  • Brand Hierarchy Audit:It is imperative for the firm to determine its current state of its brands. It depends on the size as well as complexity of the firm which decides the way audit must be conducted. It focuses on two aspects:
    • Business Performance:It includes assessment of performance of various brands within Samsung's brand portfolio. However, the firm must critically determine the same by analysing their present and future contribution.
    • Brand Structure:It involves various touchpoints and the way customers experience the brands of the company. It usually involves logos, advertising, websites, collateral material and so forth..

However, this component might fail in terms of determining future contributions of a brand. In addition to this, perception of brand structure also be different for different customers which might alter the decision-making accuracy of the company.

  • Brand Hierarchy Principles:Consistency in Brand Hierarchy is achieved through determination of certain principles. These principles would set up a base for decisions made by Samsung about its brand. Some of the principles are as follows:
    • The firm must identify fewest brands that it needs to invest money in to achieve its goals. For instance, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Techwin and Samsung Heavy Industry.
    • A new brand must be developed only if a certain business case (with insight of target customers as a major element) is proven and certain essential support is confirmed.

These principles could well serve Samsung but might lack in accuracy. This is because the investment decision might be based on the current projections and not on future business environment which would no different than gambling for the company. Furthermore, a new brand could also be created to generate new demands rather then just those which satisfy the current demands of customers.

Brand Equity Management

Samsung is a world renowned brand with effective market share and a highly reputed firm in term of its products and services. There are certain brand equity models that would help to analyse and gain a better understanding of Samsung's brand equity management in the market.  One such model is Keller's Brand Equity Model. It was developed by Kevin Lane Keller and would help to critically analyse ways through which Samsung managed to perform such efficient brand equity management. This model is analysed below:

  • Salience:This step is about Brand Identity. Its about making the brand known to customers and delivering the the right message in the market. Samsung has been quite successful at this step and has established its brand effectively in the market by its impressive product quality and pricing.
  • Meaning:This stage consists of two main aspects, Performance and Imagery. Samsung has always been consistent when its comes to developing desire in customers regarding their products. The presentation along with the quality their products provide to customers enhance customer loyalty and better customer relationships.
  • Response:Again this stage is divided into two aspects, Judgements and Feelings of customers. Samsung, in time, managed to develop more effective response of customers by producing products which are at par and even better than its competitors' products like that of Apple.
  • Resonance:The final stage requires company to build effective relationships with its customers. The aim must be to develop such affinities that customers resist to shift their loyalties towards another brand. Samsung has been quite successful in building such relationships by managing before, during and after purchase services which helped them to gain customer loyalty.

TASK 3

Evaluation of how brands are managed collaboratively and in partnership both at a domestic and global level

Brand Leveraging is a strategy applied by companies to where they use power and potential of their existing brand name to assist the firm's entry into a unique yet related category by effective communication of valuable information about the products to the customers. It is crucial for a firm as:

  • Customers are already familiar with the brand which helps them to effectively enter new categories.
  • Strong leveraging allows a company to build effective perception of their brand which helps them to gain instant recognition in the market. Consumers tend to try leveraged offering.

Samsung could use effective techniques for Brand Leveraging and Extension which are discussed in brief below:

 Out of this two techniques, Samsung must continue in Line Extension as it already has multiple segments of their products and line extensions would help the firm in extending their market to their customers worldwide.

Samsung has multiple brands and the most crucial brand which the firm could leverage is Samsung Electronics. This brand has a huge number of product lines and has certain strengths and weaknesses which are discussed below:

Strengths of the brand that can be leveraged:

  • The biggest strength of Samsung in leveraging its brand  is that there are already established products of the firm in the market. This would allow the firm to easily leverage its brand as the goodwill of previous brands will be favourable for the new brand.
  • Another strength of leveraging would be that the new brands could adopt effective marketing strategies based on the previous brands. This would allow the firm to target their customers as the marketing strategy would be tried and tested.
  • Brand leveraging would allow the firm to modify the designs of new products on the basis of their old ones. This would be a great strength as customers are already familiar with the utility of their old products.

Weaknesses of the brand that can be leveraged:

  • One of the weakness would be that if the technology of the new product would be advanced which enhances its utility, it might affect the sales of their previous brands. This would be a major drawback of the firm. It could be suggested that the Samsung applies technologies that provide a better insight, but at the same time be different from their previous brands which keeps their demand intact.
  • Another weakness of leveraging would be the anticipations that customers have from the new products. If these offerings underperform in any manner, it would disrupt the brand equity and would be ineffective for the firm in long-term. The firm must test the products internally before launching it on the large scale.
  • The price could be another weakness for leveraging. If the brand sets the price too high, this would result in retaliation from the customers which won't be effective for the firm's image. The pricing of these products must be affordable and not too high for customers developing urge in customers to acquire it.

Collaboration and Partnership Agreements

Another way by which Samsung could leverage its brand is by opting collaboration and partnership agreements (Yannopoulou,  Moufahim and Bian, 2013). These agreements are established by those companies who agree on mutual consent to share resources like people, knowledge, finances, etc. Samsung could even opt for this option with a firm of different field which would help the company to share its expertise. Such agreement would allow Samsung to ensure sustainable future growth and expansion of experimental opportunities. One of the most prominent examples of such partnership of Samsung at domestic level is its tie-up with NEC to strengthen next generation portfolio which includes 5G as well (...). One of the biggest advantage for the firm via this agreement is that it would aid the company in providing 5G related solutions localised for each region and ensure customised services for its customers in the region. This would aid the firm enhance its customer base effectively. Another example of such agreements  in the global level is between Samsung and Microsoft where the former agreed to relaunch Microsoft pre-installed services in its mobile phones. The agenda of this was to enhance the approach of Microsoft's services to maximum number of people. The goal is to give he best services to most of the people. Another recent agreement of the company was with NEC to explore new opportunities and bring 5G technology to maximum number of customers. Such agreements create an effective and positive impact on both the companies under contract. This is because they collectively provide effective benefits which enhance their popularity and brand image.

TASK 4

Evaluation of different types of techniques for measuring and managing brand value

For any organisation, it is imperative that it measures and manages its brand value regularly in order to determine the position of its brand in the market effectively and develop strategies to enhance their brand value in an appropriate manner. There are various aspects that are required to measure and manage by companies which are as follows:

Brand Value:

It refers to a specific amount that the company generates from a product due to its recognizable name in the market. Samsung has been quite a valuable brand in recent years. However, it is still struggling to enhance its value in comparison with its competitors like Google and Apple. The data is mentioned below in the image.

Samsung could measure the Brand Value of their products by using various methods mentioned below:

Cost Approach:

In this method, the current value of a business to other similar businesses by looking upon the trade multiples. By this method, Samsung will easily come to know about the brand value of its products (Mosley, 2014). The approach lacks behind when it comes to calculate the value of a new product. It can only be used in case of old products. Samsung can apply this method by adding all its costs used in doing the marketing of the product. With the help of this the company will easily make the distinction in between the direct and indirect costs associated with the brand and the brand value of the products of the company will be easily determined.

Samsung could manage its brand value by effectively marketing its products. The firm could use various other methods that have never been used before like AI to market its new brands in the market.

Brand Awareness:

It refers to the level to which the customers know about the qualities of the product. Technique used by Apple in Managing and Measuring Brand Awareness:

Social Media Engagement:

Brand Awareness can be measured by taking a look upon the shares, likes, follows, and mentions on the social media sites of the company (Solomon and et. al, 2014). One drawback of this method is that for making aware to the people continuous posting on the web is must whether the company is having something new or not. Apple can check on their social media pages such as on twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn for measuring and managing the brand awareness of their products. It can be done by continuously analysing the reviews, comments, likes, dislikes, views done by the people which will give the company information about the brand awareness of the products.

Apple can manage it brand awareness in the market by continuous innovation in its products. And this innovation also helps in attracting other customers towards the product. The high prices of its products can be drawback for its customers as those who cannot afford this price will not be able to buy it.

Market Share:

It refers to the portion or part of the market that a company is holding on. Technique used by Samsung in Measuring and Managing Market Share:

Key Performance Indicator:

This technique provides actionable information as the data collected by the use of this technique is always measurable and quantifiable. This help in checking continuously about the market opportunities for Samsung in order to capture more market share (Qian, 2014). Managing of market share can be done by taking suitable steps in order to capture more market share. Also setting up performance targets is a disadvantage in case the set targets are not achieved. This technique will help both in managing and measuring the market share of Samsung. Samsung can apply it in the company by translating the vision into measurable operational goals in different departments which are then transferred to employees, and through this the performance of every employee can be noticed by the company. In this way it can be applied in the working of Samsung.

Customer Attitudes:

It includes the behavioural intentions, feelings, beliefs of customers towards a particular product of the company. Technique used in Measuring and Managing Customer Attitudes:

Customer Surveys:

Customer Surveys are done in order to identify the level of satisfaction of the customers regarding the product. LG can check the level of satisfaction of the customers through customer surveys, and if the customers are not satisfied from the product than the reasons can be collected and changes in the product can be made according to the desires of the customers (Rageh, Ismail and Spinelli, 2012). In this way, it helps in managing and measuring the customer attitudes regarding the products of LG. Some people do not like to complete the surveys and some fill them without giving proper answers which may lead to the failure of customer surveys. LG can make use of Questionnaire while conducting surveys and can put those questions in the Questionnaire which are helpful and provides the right information in getting known with the customers attitudes towards the product of company.

Purchasing Intent:

The willingness of the customer to buy a particular product or not is called purchase intention. Technique used by Panasonic in Measuring and Managing Purchase Intent of customers:
The Funnel Model:

The focus of this model is on identifying the purchasing behaviour of the customers and determining whether there is a relation between price and the purchase intent of the customers (Santos-Vijande and et. al., 2013). This is the easiest way by which Panasonic can identify the purchasing behaviour of customers by asking them to choose the brand they would like to purchase. One limitation to this model is that sometimes the brand that the customer wants to select may not be in the choices made available to them and they have to select another to which they do not prefer or less prefer. Panasonic can apply this model by tracking on the behaviour of the customers which will provide the company with the purchase intent of the customers and on that basis the prices their products can also be set up. The process how funnel model can be applied in company for knowing purchase intent is discussed as under:

Awareness: Panasonic can drive potential customers towards their product by marketing campaigns and consumer research.

Interest: After that in the next stage the customers learn about the company, it products, and information which they find useful to change their purchase decision.

Consideration: In this stage, the marketers of the company provides more information to the customers by case studies, free trails, to the prospective customers.

Intent: During the demo of the product, the intent to purchase is created in the minds of the customer by explaining them that why they should buy the product.

Evaluation: In this stage the potential buyers will make decision whether to buy or not the product of Panasonic Company.

Purchase: At last, the customers make the purchase of the product of Panasonic.

Conclusion

Thus, it is concluded that Brand Management is very crucial for companies in order to ensure effective image in the market and enhance brand equity. It is crucial for a company to effectively manage their brand equity overtime to succeed in the tough environment. Aaker's Brand Equity Model could be effectively used to manage brand equity. Along with this, Customer-Based Brand Equity Model also effectively helps in aiding the purpose. Brand Leveraging is very important and could be very beneficial for companies who want to enter in new markets or adopt line extension strategies. Lastly, techniques must effectively be used to measure brand value, brand awareness, market share, consumer attitudes and purchasing intent.

References

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