Managing Brands Over Time

The markets in which companies operate are highly dynamic in nature. There is constant evolution in products, introduction of new technology, government rules, regulatory framework, consumer taste and preference. Between all these companies have to devise marketing communication and branding programs, which look forward to maintaining consumer based brand equity. For example, consumer promotion activity like providing 20% extra for the said product will not create the same response but may raise expectations of 20% during the normal purchase also. Companies have to balance brand management that they are able to understand the future preference of consumer. This calls for companies to be pro-active and thinking standing on their feet.

One way of brand management over time is to strengthen brand equity by developing marketing programs, which express brand knowledge consistently as not to confuse the consumer. For example, Apple, their programs are developed to reinforce their commitment to offer world class full entertainment and communication devices, so introduction Iphone had ready acceptance from consumers. Market leader like coca-cola has constantly run marketing program even after been market leaders. However, this does not imply that same campaign is running repeatedly, rather coming up innovative strategies to reinforce brand knowledge.

Brand knowledge comes from brand attributes and brand association; if companies try to fiddle with these sources of brand equity consequences can be disastrous. In early 90s Intel microprocessor had a technical flaw but the company was not swift enough to rectify the problem, thereby damaging brand equity source of power and safety. Intel realized the importance source of brand equity and was quick in solving the problem by offering replacement. Another dilemma for companies is of choosing the right way to use the developed brand equity, normal course is to generate maximum price premium, but that should not be at cost of brand equity.

Innovation is one of the keys in managing brand and ensuring that brand remains ahead of the competition curve. If companies operating in entertainment category or matter of fact insurance do not innovate then value of their brand is lost as these categories are product driven. For example, Apple, without its innovation in the form of ipod mp3 player, apple would have found it difficult facing completion from Sony. If the company’s category is not a product driven marketing campaigns associated with brand image play an important role in sustaining the brand. For example, Pepsi, it is operating in highly competitive carbonated drinks' category, over the years their marketing campaign is focused on their highlighting their brand position as a drink for young generation.

Every brand faces challenges as it moves in the product life cycle and at some point faces saturation. At this point, it is important to focus on expanding brand awareness that is looking for ways to generate more consumption by highlighting instance of consumption. For example, toothpaste revitalized consumption by highlighting advantages of twice daily usage. Another way to increase consumption is by highlighting diverse ways and occasion where brand can be consumed. This is more prevalent in food and beverages industry.

Along with brand awareness brand image also plays a pivotal role in revitalizing brand performance. This can be done by highlighting pointing of difference, which may have been lost in all other marketing campaigns. Another way to enhance the brand image is by adopting new brand elements like brand symbol, logos, etc., For example, Federal Express modify to FedEx as a move generating more interest in face of competition from UPS.

For companies to sustain a brand over long period of time, it is absolute essential that marketing program look at strategies around effective brand management. Effective brand management strategies constantly assess the consumer perceptions towards the brand and strive to attract her attention. Strategies have to be flexible as to maintain the pace with the dynamic environment. Only then it is possible have a successful brand.


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