Effective Brand Communications Strategies and Repositioning Strategies
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This is the last part of my "Understanding Marketing" series. Perception is the process of developing an interpretation of a stimulus, or in other words, deciding what a stimulus means. It is perhaps the most crucial process in customer behavior for two reasons:
What customers perceive is what affects their actions.
What is perceived is not necessarily what is “true”.
Process of Perception
Perception is constructive; people construct interpretations as a function of context.
The meanings are constructed as needed and are based upon two major factors:
The “actual” stimulus or event: Exposure and Attention (what is salient).
Our prior expectations and what we know (perceptual interpretation).
Brand Elements: Choosing a Brand Name
A variety of brand elements can be chosen that inherently enhance brand awareness or facilitate the formation of strong, favorable, and unique brand associations:
How well do the brand elements work together to provide an identity for the product or service?
What would customer think about the product if they only saw the brand elements?
Brand Element Choice Criteria
Fun and interesting
Rick visual and verbal imagery
Within and across product categories
Across geographical boundaries and cultures
Brand Element Choice
Each brand element plays a different role in creating the overall perception
Different strengths and weaknesses
Brand elements should be used strategically to achieve a balance and impact.
Need consistency and integration
Advantages and Disadvantages
Effect of Brand Names
Affects likelihood of purchase.
Affects morale and productivity
Can limit opportunities - e.g. new products, new regions
Can cause subconscious judgments about the company’s merits/strength
Types of Names
Value of a Good Name
Names for New Start-ups
New businesses need their own websites and most recognizable URLs have already been taken.
Solution: Invent worlds …….
Mibblio, Kaggle, Shodogg, and Zaarly
Picking Brand Names in China
Brand Elements: Colour & Taglines
Rules about Colour
Ultimate goal is to own a colour.
(e.g. Tiffany’s light blue, Mary Kay’s pink).
Colour can also be used to separate product lines.
Different viewers experience colour differently.
Ensuring consistency of colour across platforms/media is difficult.
Colours can create very strong perceptions.
Luxury colours: gold, silver, black, white.
Gender colours: blue, pink.
Two Axes of Colour
Rules about Colour
Role of Symbols
Can be tailored to a positioning strategy
Can remove some of the ambiguity associated with brand and/or symbol
Can generate its own equity/emotion (“reach out and touch someone”).
Can reinforce the name or symbol (from sharp minds come sharp products).
Must be short
Must be differentiated from competition
Must be unique
Must be easy to say and remember
Cannot have any negative connotations
Can be protected and trademarked
Evokes an emotional response
Types of Taglines
Just Do It (Nike), Invent (HP), Think Different (Apple)
Moving at the Speed of Business (UPS),
Bullish on America (Merrill Lynch),
You’re in Good Hands (Allstate)
The Ultimate Driving Machine (BMV),
There’s No Better Way to Fly (Lufthansa)
Got Milk? (Dairy Council)
Drivers Wanted (VW)
Brand Elements: Packaging
1930’s packaging research (when self-service supermarkets started becoming more popular).
Can influence at the point of purchase
Can have a continuing influence at the point of consumption
Present information (descriptive and persuasive)
Protect and allow transportation
Creating Impactful Packaging
Understand that package aesthetics and function are both critical.
The package has to grab consumers’ attention in a sea of competing messages
But it also has to work well so that consumers will buy again.
Know your distribution channels
How do retailers view your package?
How are channels changing?
Which retailers like which package configurations?
Brand Elements: Persuasion
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Use of Celebrity spokespeople
An active attempt to change belief and attitude.
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Two Routes to Persuasion:
Superficial (peripheral) Processing
Elaboration Likelihood Model
Central Route to Persuasion
When motivation (involvement), opportunity and ability to process marketing messages are high.
Focus mainly on “central cues” in the message.
Peripheral Route to Persuasion
When motivation, opportunity, ability and elaboration likelihood are low.
Focus primarily on “peripheral cues” in the message.
Reciprocity: you owe me
Consistency: we’ve always done it that way
Social proof: everybody’s doing it.
Liking: love me, love my ideas
Authority: just because I say so
Scarcity: quick, before they’re all gone.
What makes a good celebrity endorser?
Practical considerations (cost, celebrity exposure, risk, etc.)
“How appealing is this celebrity among those who do know him/her?”
Ratio of popularity/familiarity
Conducted by Marketing Evaluations, Inc. (www.qscores.com)
“Transfer of Meaning” Model
Celebrities = individuals charged with detailed and powerful meanings.
Advertising firm choose celebrity that best represents the appropriate symbolic properties of the product.
Consumers derive meaning from celebrities and transfer same meaning to product.
fMRI scans show that there is more brain activation when presented with images of celebrities -- “a visceral reaction to celebrity”.
Effectiveness depends on celebrity’s “expertness” and “trustworthiness”.
Effectiveness dependent on familiarity, likability and/or similarity
Familiarity -- knowledge of the source through exposure
Liability -- affection for the source as a result of the source's physical appearance and behavior
Similarity -- supposed resemblance between the source and receiver of the message.
Celebs and Models
How are celebrities used in advertisement?
Explicit mode -- “I endorse this product”
Implicit mode -- “I use this product”
Imperative mode -- “you should use this product”
Co-present mode -- celebrity appears with product
Repositioning a Brand
Managing Brands Over Time
Brand equity MUST be actively managed over time.
Brand meaning must be reinforced
Sometimes brand meaning must be adjusted
Branding program will need to be changed and new sources of equity identified and built
5 Rationales for Brand Change
The identity/execution was poorly conceived
Can often be identified by measures of consumer interest, brand associations, sales.
The target for the identity/execution is limited
May need to change to reach a broader market
The identity/execution has become out of date
Markets change such that a working position may become obsolete
The identity/execution loses its edge, become old-fashioned
Consumers and markets change such that positions/executions that were once contemporary become less so.
The identity/execution has just become “tired”
Same over time may become boring to consumers, losing ability to attract attention.
Change can generate news
Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
Potential Cognitive Inconsistency
Consistency Theories: Summary
The basic idea is that there is a drive to maintain consistency within cognitive systems. Thus, cognitive structures may change in order to increase consistency among elements.
Managing Brand Equity: Changing Minds?
Evolving Brand Associations
A brand can evolve more gradually to gain more contemporary associations while maintaining familiarity.
Symbols: can update without changing meaning
Brand Name: can change to reflect evolving identity
Slogan: easier to change than the name
New Products: Can be true to the core identity, but add a modern, innovative element.
Change Brand Names to Eliminate Constraints
Example of Evolving Brand Image
Consistency over time is very valuable in building strong brands.
All brand elements should work in harmony to communicate brand identity
Change is sometimes necessary -- but be cautious!
Begin by understanding sources of equity and the current contributions to POP and POD, strength, favorability and uniqueness.