Marketing Brand Equity Position Strategies essay

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Marketing and Branding

Discuss the history of brand and ways brands have evolve over time.

The history of brand has quickly evolved from a relatively simple approach taken by companies to differentiate their products and services by name or graphical representation alone to highly targeted, effective, emotive approaches to communicating value. Brands have evolved from fairly generic approaches to communicating the functional value of a product or service to evoking emotions customers attain when using them. An example of this is the progression of Proctor & Gamble (P&G) to communicate the utilitarian values of soap in the previous centuries of their branding to the psychographic benefits to parents of providing clean clothes for their children. P&G continues to excel on this progression from the utilitarian or functional value their products deliver to the psychographic and emotive nature of them. Today the branding and positioning from P&G and other consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers concentrate on the contributory value of their products to the roles of consumers using them. In other words, using P&G soap and cleansers are marketed to imply a mother is more capable and caring for their family by using these products.

The progression of the Coca-Cola brand is also a case in point. This company is masterful at the evolution of brands, progressing across over 150 nations with their branding strategies, creating a highly positive, energy-charge persona of their customer. All of these factors are orchestrated to create a highly effective strategy of reinforcing the core messaging and differentiated value of Coca-Cola.

2) Discuss methods of building brand equity and ways of sustaining brand value.

The best brand managers seek to invest heavily in the brand equity of their brands through reinforcing of key factors that show it is worthy of trust, is consistent in delivering value, and can continually deliver value to the customer. Brand equity often takes years of work to create, as is evidenced by the Nike brand and their "Just Do It" initiatives and programs. The focus on how to bring the competitive advantages, energy, vitality and sense of accomplishment out of the experience of using their products also contribute to greater levels of brand equity than nay amount of advertising alone can contribute to.

The best brand marketers are continually looking at this intersection of the customers' experience and the brand's claimed attributes to further underscore the unique value proposition of the product. From this vantage point, it is the continual promises that brands make and their continual ability to keep those promises, delivering above the expectations that deliver brand equity. Brand equity can very well be equated to trust in a brand as well, as the greater the engrained behaviors are of the most loyal customers, the more likely their continued loyalty and repurchase of a given product.

Brand equity is built through a continual reinforcing of the innate, differentiated values of a given product and its experiential value over and above the utilitarian functionality it delivers. In the long-run the only way brand equity can be sustained is by continually exceeding customers' expectations over the long-term. Sustaining brand value over time takes a skilled brand management team who anticipates shifts in customers' needs and reacts quickly to stay relevant.

3) Identify and discuss the positioning strategies of Store Brands, Private label products and International Brands.

The positioning strategies of store brands, private label products and international brands all vary significantly based on market positioning, the unique value propositions of each product, extent of pricing elasticity in each product, and in the case of international brands, their level of congruence to cultural norms and values. Beginning with the positioning strategies of store brands, the goal of this type of branding centers on creating greater store or grocery chain loyalty, thereby driving up greater share of spending per shipping trip. This is especially the case in grocery chains that are increasingly rely on in-store brands to capture greater share-of-wallet spending on each trip to a store by their customers. Many grocery chains use store brands to test the elasticity of demand for highly profitable products they are selling for CPG manufacturers. An example of this is how the Safeway stores have created their own in-store brand of Centrum-level vitamins to compete with the highly successful vitamin line they also resell. Private label products fulfill a comparable role, allowing retailers to rebrand these products and therefore attain higher…[continue]

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