MBA Branding Final Project Report Jon Tan

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MBA Branding Final Project Report Jon Tan

Transcript of MBA Branding Final Project Report Jon Tan

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    EIA-MBA (Entrepreneurial Management)

    FINAL PROJECT

    Topic: How can a brand stay relevant over time

    Author: Jon Tan

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    Contents

    Executive Summary...4

    1.0 Introduction..................5

    1.1 Background field and its significant position in theory and practice...............5

    1.2 Summary of previous research.5

    1.3 The gap, and why it is important.................5

    1.4 Purpose of this research: Main aspects and conclusions of the research,

    and their contributions.................6

    1.5 Outline of the report6

    2.0 Orientation: Contemporary analysis of brand relevance7

    2.1 Paramount importance of brand relevance in fast changing markets.....7

    2.1.1 Need to look beyond the idealized notion of customer loyalty .....7

    2.1.2 Focus on the framework of relationships that encompasses loyalty.. 8

    2.1.3 Build brand affinity with consumers through emotional bonding..........8

    2.1.4 Enhance brand affinity through involving with social lives of consumers.....9

    2.1.5 Optimize brand affinity with consumers through holistic branding.......9

    2.2 Case studies that are the target of the aim of the study..9

    3.0 Research methodology and data collection......11

    4.0 Data analysis: Research findings of the case studies..12

    4.1.1 Brand affinity starts with positioning with psychosocial and emotional meanings.12

    4.1.2 Create a brand personality for consumers to match or aspire to.....13

    4.1.2.1 Epitomize brand personality and values with brand personification...14

    4.1.3 Achieve strong emotional bonding through emotional branding....15

    4.2.1 Deepen brand affinity through ideals..................... 16

    4.2.2 Deepen brand affinity through values..........................17

    4.2.3 Deepen brand affinity through charity.....................18

    4.3 Ensure long-run deep brand affinity/brand relevance with Holistic Branding...19

    5.0 Key learning points and Recommendation.23

    5.1 How do the main findings relate to literature..23

    5.2 Significance of the study/findings..23

    5.3 Recommendations.. 24

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    6.0 Conclusion.......27

    6.1 Area that needs further research...............................................................................27

    6.2.1 Summary of the case studies experience.27

    6.2.2 Contribution of the case studies experience27

    6.3 Why the aim/objective has been achieved....28

    Reference List...29

    Appendix A...34

    Appendix B...36

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    Executive Summary

    Brand Relevance is pivotal to the survival of a brand, and ultimately its longevity and long-term

    success. In the face of myriad compatible choices amidst constantly-changing market conditions

    and consumer tastes and trends, it is extremely challenging for a brand to remain significantly

    meaningful to peoples lives, in order to feature in consumers brand consideration sets, as a

    possible solution to a particular problem or need. Hence, the aim of this research is to establish a

    brand relevance model, that could help brands create or sustain a long-term significant meaning

    for consumers, so as to achieve brand salience (leading eventually to brand resonance). This is

    important because brands stand the risk of fading away into oblivion with the rapid emergence of

    many new competitive brands as well as new product categories and sub-categories, and the re-

    defining of existing categories and sub-categories. This Case Study Method research explores

    how some successful brands have managed to stay relevant to consumers through different eras.

    Two stages of data collection and analysis were effected: A literature review and a series of case

    studies involving diverse brands. The overarching finding was, for brands to continue to stay

    relevant, they must look beyond functional and utilitarian meanings/associations for consumers.

    They must instead focus on creating psychosocial and emotional meanings/associations, to build

    Brand Affinity with consumers, so as to attain long-run emotional bonding with them. The

    implications of this research are, firstly, this case report confirms previous research that not only

    emphasized on the need for customer-focus, but to endear consumers through brand-customer

    relationships, and secondly, this case report will benefit managers involved in the managing of

    brands, by helping them prevent their brands from sliding into stagnation or even extinction as a

    result of not having an emotional bonding with consumers.

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    1.0 Introduction

    1.1 Background field and its significant position in theory and practice

    Brand Relevance is pivotal to the survival of a brand, and ultimately its longevity and long-term

    success. In the face of myriad compatible choices amidst constantly-changing market conditions

    and consumer tastes and trends, it is extremely challenging for a brand to remain significantly

    meaningful to peoples lives, in order to feature in consumers brand consideration sets, as a

    possible solution to a particular problem or need (Booz Allen Hamilton Management Consulting,

    2007).

    1.2 Summary of previous research

    To stay relevant to peoples lives, a brand should look beyond the idealized notion of loyalty,

    and instead focus on the framework of relationships that encompass loyalty, so as to nurture

    personalized brand-customer relationships (Fournier 1998). It would be more effective in the

    long run to build Brand Affinity through emotional bonding, by firstly crafting a brand

    positioning that addresses emotional concerns, secondly creating a brand personality, and thirdly

    communicating the brand via emotional branding. Brand Affinity can also be enhanced through

    involving with the social lives of consumers, via ideals, values or corporate social responsibility.

    And Brand Affinity can be optimized through the three interlinking phases of Holistic Branding,

    which includes fulfilling a long-run consumer insight with a Strategic Brand Platform, and

    Internal Branding, and consistency in communicating the unique brand experience via emotional

    branding.

    1.3 The gap, and why it is important

    This is important because brands stand the risk of fading away into oblivion with the rapid

    emergence of many new competitive brands as well as new product categories and sub-

    categories, and the re-defining of existing categories and sub-categories. While much research

    has been conducted on customer relationship management into areas such as purchasing patterns,

    not as much research has been undertaken in the area of Brand Affinity that focuses on how to

    create lasting emotional bonding with consumers (personalizing the brand). Without such Brand

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    Affinity, a brand would have very low Brand Relevance, and would not enjoy a high possibility

    of being in consumers brand consideration sets, in the ever-expanding global marketplace.

    1.4 Purpose of this research: Main aspects and conclusions of the research, and their contributions

    Hence, the aim of this research is to establish a Brand Relevance model, that could help brands

    create or sustain a long-term significant meaning for consumers, so as to achieve brand salience

    (leading eventually to brand resonance). This aim was attained through the Case Study Method,

    via literature review, and critical analysis and evaluation of selected case studies. The three main

    findings are: (i) Build Brand Affinity through emotional bonding, (ii) Enhance Brand Affinity

    through ideals, values and charity (corporate social responsibility programs/initiatives), and (iii)

    Optimize Brand Affinity through Holistic Branding. This case report will benefit managers

    involved in the managing of brands, by helping them prevent their brands from sliding into

    stagnation or even extinction as a result of not having an emotional bonding with consumers.

    1.5 Outline of the report

    This report has six sections including this (i) Introduction. The following section (ii) is an

    orientation on the background field for the reader. Next, in section (iii), the choice of research

    method is discussed. Under section (iv), case studies are then described, analysed and evaluated

    to arrive at some key findings. Upon which, in section (v), comes the implications of the

    research, in relation to literature, as well as to management practices and government policy; and

    the key learning points and recommendations are elucidated. The final section (vi), Conclusion,

    outlines the challenges and issues that remain unsolved, and also provides a summary statement

    of the insights gained from the case studies, as well as the contribution of those experiences.

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    2.0 Orientation: Contemporary Analysis of Brand Relevance

    When a consumer has a perceived need or desire, firstly, how does a brand come into his/her

    brand consideration set, and secondly, which brand will eventually be c