The woes of Bs- Branding & Business

The job of a brand strategist is no doubt a tough one. He/She may have to integrate different brand products of the same company. Imagine the following: a brand manager that has to take care of a shampoo, cosmetic, oral health and maybe even baby care products. How can he integrate all into a wholesome company identity? That is a tough nut to crack.

Brand Confusion

Credits: mediabuzz.monster.com

Credits: mediabuzz.monster.com

This situation of messy identities of different products is a situation of brand confusion. Consumers are increasingly less able to relate a brand to a product. It becomes a situation of what brand is that? What products are under that brand? Is it reliable? Many doubts start to sprout in the minds of the buyers and in no time, the sales volume will take a dive.

Are there any solutions available? You bet. There needs to be a systematic process of integrating brand. Ask yourself, what is the common unifying essence of all the products, not all the brand? Only if there is one key common among all products, you can use that particular element of characteristic as a holistic key point to wrap the organization branding.

Too many entities

Credits: datamation.com

Credits: datamation.com

This is not an uncommon problem faced by organization these days. As companies are eager to expand, they acquire or start new firms so as to expand product range or in some cases, venture into fields that is not related to the parent company. Think about a company that originally does education and add on property investment into their business. It might seem far fetch and it is.

Having too many entities may lead to a chaotic process of marketing. Unless all the entities can complement each other, it is bound to be a headache for the marketers and brand strategist. Even for the operation management may find risk in integrating all business. When all entities are related, there can be mutual leveraging across the different entities.

Who do what?

Credits: andertoons.com

Credits: andertoons.com

Yes, its great to have multiple successful businesses but on one condition: there is internal integration of the needs of different businesses. The problem with having many entities is the confusion of the different job scope of your staff. This is similar in the case of acquisitions where normally, the acquired company tends to face some level of retrenchment due to the redundant needs of some skills that can be performed by the existing staffs.

As such, it is important for companies to have a clear scope of duties for staffs so that they have a clear direction. Imagine the scenario when your employee has not clear future insights of what they are doing, do you think they would succeed? Obviously not, as they cannot see the future of their current doing. Without this ability, there is no strong motivation and aim. There must an end goal. For some, having the end goal is not sufficient. The employees have to be convinced that upon reaching the end goal, there are rewards.

Stay integrated. Stay cool.

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Brand for what purpose?

Branding is costly. Look at the marketing and branding budgets of Transnational Corporation (TNCs) and look at the metrics. What is the total value of branding budget to sales revenue. Is there a correlation between the two?

Product knowledge of consumers

Credits: funnysalescartoons.com

Credits: funnysalescartoons.com

Often, companies hope to upgrade consumers at the lower end of the market to use their higher end products. This push can be from two ways. For example, it can be due to a growing middle class or simply a concerted effort to push out higher priced products with greater functionality. The question is how can we entice consumers to fork out more for a product?

The first step is to ensure that the low-end consumers understand and trust this brand or even the company. It is human tendency to opt for stability. Changes appear to confuse and distract people’s lives. Hence, to make easy decision, they based on previous experience of using the product. Only when consumers are familiar with your product categories, encouraging them to upgrade is possible.

Value Perception

Credits: trustprofessionals.com

Credits: trustprofessionals.com

Go to a coffee shop to have a coffee. How much would it cost you? Probably 80 cents for a cup. Take a ride to a Starbucks store; the price is magnified multiple times yet many would still go to Starbucks to have the pricey coffee. What is so magical about it?

It’s all about how consumers value the products and services. Their “shopping” experience counts a lot. People go to Starbucks pay for the ambience and the crowd feeling. It is also about the association with the brand. Brand capital helps to differentiate your products from others and encourages others to pay a premium for them.

Any close substitute?

Credits: andertoons.com

Credits: andertoons.com

Having a similar nature product does not means that there can be no differentiation. It is still possible. The root of all competition is due to close substitutes of the products many businesses are selling. This can range from consulting, teaching, cosmetic, vehicles, food & beverages or even apparel. If you raise your price by too high a margin, people might simply switch to another store. This positions your company at a great disadvantage point.

Through branding, you are trying to move away from price to non-price competition. Products that have patent appear to be trust worthier. Warranty assures consumers that your products are of good quality through the signal effect. For others, it is through educating the consumers of their product. This plays an important role in ensuring that consumers are not compelled to purchase a product under pressure. It seeks to evoke the willingness and eagerness for the consumers to purchase and try your product.

Brand Promise. Brand Purpose.

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