Just as marketing increasingly influences most aspects of the consumer's lives, brands and branding have become significant components in the contemporary progressive marketplace. Organizations like WTO as well as many organizations regularly utilize branding marketing and management practices. In turn, branding has become critical to structuring commercial and economic activities throughout the world. Organizations need to augment the understanding not only of branding in service markets but also service-dominant (S-D). Brands and branding have not only become significant components in the contemporary progressive marketplace, the marketing of them will likely continue to increase its impact on most aspects of the consumer's lives brands. The organization needs to design company brands to not only identify its brand and mirror the company's message but also reflect consumers' concerns and value.
CHAPTER 1: AMP AIM AND OBJECTIVES
No "brand" or global economy exists in a vacuum. In countries throughout the world, significant evolving, fiscal components vitally contribute to as well as link to long-term trends occurring in both brands and economies the developing world; particularly sizeable emerging economies (Vargo & Lusch, 2006; Haig, 2011). Although Branding Theory has been primarily developed in the context of consumer products, most economies demonstrate that the majority of companies sell services rather than products. "Branding 'presells' the product or service to the user" (Haig, p. 3). Through the AMP investigating the evolution of the branding theory in the service realm, the researcher seeks to enhance the understanding not only of branding in service markets but also service-dominant (S-D).
Just as marketing increasingly influences most aspects of the consumer's lives, brands and branding have become significant components in the contemporary progressive marketplace. Organizations like WTO as well as many organizations regularly utilize branding marketing and management practices. In turn, branding has become critical to structuring commercial and economic activities throughout the world. Some marketers even argue that brands rank among the most significant ideoscapes in the globalization processes (Heding, Knudtzen, & Bjerre, 2009).
The AMP addresses the primary research question: How may branding be effectively implemented in service markets? The following four sub-research questions support the primary research question.
1. What characteristics compose the concept of branding?
2. How does S-D logic correlate with service markets?
3. What are a number of challenges to effectively implementing branding in service markets?
4. What considerations may strengthen branding in service markets?
The aim of the AMP purports to address the primary research question: How may branding be effectively implemented in service markets?
Objective I. Conduct a literature review to identify:
a. Characteristics that compose the concept of branding;
b. The evolution of the branding theory in the service realm;
c. S-D Logic and its relationship to service markets;
d. A number of challenges to effectively implementing branding in service markets;
e. Considerations that may contribute to making branding more effective in service markets.
Objective 2. Analyze data retrieved during literature review and discuss findings; include similarities and contrasts the literature reveals.
Objective 3. Present conclusions relating to the findings the literature indicates.
Objective 4. Make recommendations for effectively implementing branding in the service market as well as recommendations for future AMP research.
Bad branding may cause good products to fail. Similarly, bad branding may negatively impact good services. Consequently, understanding how branding works in service markets as well as what differentiates good branding from bad comprises credible concerns for research. Just as no "brand" or global economy exists in a vacuum, no study, including the current AMP, can materialize without reaching out and drawing from other relevant studies. During the next section of the AMP, the review of literature, the researcher encompasses and examines a sampling of contemporary data relating to branding in service markets.
CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
Themes for AMP
During the review of literature, the researcher presents a sampling of contemporary data relating to branding in service markets to address the primary research question and the four sub-research questions. The researcher utilizes the following themes to organize the chapter:
Characteristics Composing Branding Concept
Branding Theory Evolution
S-D Logic and Service Markets
Branding Challenges in Service Markets
Considerations for Effective Service Branding
Characteristics Composing Branding Concept
Even though consumers may not be able to purchase youth, they can buy products. Consequently, commercial messages routinely assert that particular products will convey what consumers really want. TV commercials typically represent the product as something more than the actual product; things important to the consumer like sex, success, and youth. For example, the context for the marketing of a car may include a "successful crowd of people in an upscale neighborhood, or the man who buys the car gets the woman, or the woman who buys the car is young, beautiful, and desirable while she's driving It" (Sharpe, 2005, p. 657). Marketing attaches those and other meanings to products.
Marketing sells a benefit or an image more attractive and bigger than the actual product. Attaching a benefit or an image to a product can allocate that proposed larger meaning to what the organization desires to sell. As the car manufacturers and dealers desire to sell cars, they design their marketing efforts to first sell something bigger first, and then by association, they sell the cars. This concept relates to branding (Sharpe, 2005). The majority of brand definitions have been based on the following which Aaker proposed during 1991(Pike, 2010):
… a distinguishing name and/or symbol (such as a logo, trademark, or package design) intended to identify the goods or services of either one seller or a group of sellers, and to differentiate those goods from those of competitors. (Pike, 2010, p. 129)
A brand constitutes a design, a name, sign, term, or a unifying combination of them designed so consumers may readily distinguish and identify the product or service from competitors. "Brand names communicate attributes and meaning that are designed to enhance the value of a product beyond its functional value" (McDowell & Batte, 2005, p. 17). The brand provides a symbol that makes it easy for the consumer to rapidly identify the product as it simultaneously facilitates the repurchase process.
Pike (2010) asserts that branding constitutes more than the presentation of symbols like those Aaker noted. The concepts of brand identity includes the self-image the organization desires for the brand; while brand image depicts the actual image if the brand consumers hold. The marketer uses brand positioning elements like the product's name, symbol and slogan "to cut through the noise of competing and substitute products to stimulate an induced destination image that matches the brand identity" (Pike, p.130). Analyzing the level of congruence between brand image and brand identity effect with brand performance measurement presents a measure of brand equity.
Branding depicts a concept inherent in marketing. "[B]because the customer perceives the product as being valuable . . ., branding is more about the customer than it is about the product. It's the personality of the product that people relate to" (Sharpe, 2005, p. 657). People readily relate Allstate Insurance, to the tagline: "You're In good hands" (Ibid.), and link State Farm Insurance, Allstate's competitor, with: "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there" (Ibid.). This reflects an emotional relationship which customers experience with the product's personality of the product.
Name recognition as well as the familiarity of a company logo often helps promote sales of a particular product. Branding, however, encompasses more than a particular company name, logo, product, or customer service. "It's about the customer's perception of the product and the relationship with the personality of the product. . .. It's more about loyalty and confidence and all of the things that make a relationship good" (Sharpe, 2005, p. 657). According to Warnaby (2009), place branding, an emerging field of branding, not only draws from classical branding theory, but also from relationship marketing, services marketing, tourism marketing and urban planning.
Whether the marketers design promotions to sell the customer on the idea of visiting particular places, purchase certain cars, or buy another product, they must ensure customers do more than recognize the brand. Customers must be motivated to travel to a designated destination, purchase the featured car, or buy the nominated product. The easy to understand marketing message speaks to the customer, nevertheless, the message must be consistent to be effective. To build a brand, and more significantly, brand loyalty, the message must be repeated over and over. When repeated loud and repeatedly enough, the message begins to not only sound right to customers it begins to resonate in…