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Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Editor-in-Chief
Dr. Arindam Chaudhuri
A.Sandeep Editor's Desk
A.Sandeep
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EXCLUSIVE COLUMN
“At The Heart of a Great Brand is a Great Product or Service”
Marketers must Adopt Comprehensive, Cohesive, and Actionable Models if they want to meet The Challenges of Brand Management in The years to come
Issue Date - 28/07/2011
 
The challenge for top brands is assembling the best set of channel and communication options to maximise sales in the short run and brand equity in the long run. The art and science of integrated marketing is to optimally design and implement any one channel or communication activity so that it not only creates direct effects, but also creates indirect effects that increase the impact of other channel or communication options. A breathtaking TV ad may change a viewer’s opinions of a brand, but it may also make that viewer more likely to visit the brand’s website or respond more favourably to a later brand promotion.

Understand Where You Can Take a Brand (and How)
For long-term financial prosperity, the successful launch of new products and services and the entry of existing products and services into new markets and customer segments are of paramount importance. From a branding standpoint, growth requires a well-thought-out and well-implemented brand architecture strategy that clarifies three key issues: (1) the potential of a brand in terms of the breadth of its “market footprint”; (2) the types of product and service extensions that would allow a brand to achieve that potential; and (3) the brand elements, positioning, and images that identify and are associated with all the offerings of a brand in different markets and to different consumers.
 
Do the “Right Thing” with Brands
With increased media coverage of business, there is greater transparency and awareness of companies’ internal and external actions and statements. Many consumers are concerned that companies do “good things” for local communities, society as a whole, and the broader natural environment. At the same time, heightened scrutiny from the investment community has caused many companies to adopt an overly myopic short-term planning horizon for their brands. Brand marketers need to address both of these marketplace realities. Brand marketers must proactively embrace social responsibility and ethically and morally proper behaviour at all times. In particular, marketers need to find “win-win” solutions with cause marketing programmes and other activities that allow them to enhance the welfare of consumers, society, or the environment while still profitably running their businesses. Effective cause marketing programmes can accomplish a number of objectives for a brand: build brand awareness, enhance brand image, establish brand credibility, evoke brand feelings, create a sense of brand community, and elicit brand engagement.

Doing the right things with brands also involves something even simpler and more straight-forward: protecting and respecting the brand promise and meaning to consumers. Over-exposing, over-extending, over-modernising, over-discounting – there are many ways to take advantage of a brand. The best and most widely admired marketers treat their brands with understanding and respect and a clear sense of commercial and social purpose. They take their brands on a well-mapped-out journey that allows the brand to profitably grow while preserving its close bonds with consumers and benefits to society as a whole.

Take a Big Picture View of Branding Effects. Know What Is Working (and Why)
Increasingly, marketers have had to do “more with less” in their marketing budgets and persuasively justify all marketing expenditures. One challenge in achieving brand accountability is that brand marketing activities are intended to have long-term, broad, and varied effects. Any particular marketing activity may increase the breadth or depth of brand awareness; establish or strengthen performance-related or imagery-related brand associations; elicit positive judgments or feelings; create stronger ties or bonds with the brand; and initiate brand-related actions such as search, word-of-mouth, purchase, and so on. And its effects may be enduring as well as have short-term impact. In many cases, multiple effects of this type will result from any one marketing activity. Marketers must adopt comprehensive, cohesive, and actionable models to help them develop ROI insights and interpretations.

Coordinated By : Sanchit Verma
          
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