MBA-Branding-Final Project Report-Jon Tan

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How Can A BRAND Stay Relevant, Over Time

Transcript of MBA-Branding-Final Project Report-Jon Tan

EIA-MBA (Entrepreneurial Management) FINAL PROJECT Topic: How can a brand stay relevant over timeAuthor: Jon Tan

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Contents Executive Summary...4 1.0 Introduction..................5 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Background field and its significant position in theory and practice...............5 Summary of previous research.5 The gap, and why it is important.................5 Purpose of this research: Main aspects and conclusions of the research, and their contributions.................6 1.5 2.0 Outline of the report6

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 3.0 4.0 Case studies that are the target of the aim of the study..9

Research methodology and data collection......11 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 4.3 5.0 Deepen brand affinity through charity.....................18 Ensure long-run deep brand affinity/brand relevance with Holistic Branding...19

Key learning points and Recommendation.23 5.1 5.2 5.3 How do the main findings relate to literature..23 Significance of the study/findings..23 Recommendations.. 24 2

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 redefining 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 subcategories, 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 5

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.

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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 chosen? Brand consideration and choice is dependent on how personally relevant do consumers find a brand to be (Keller 2008, pp.78, 87). Brand Relevance is defined as being in touch with your customers tastes, current market conditions and trends. Staying relevant is one of the ten common attributes of the worlds strongest brands (Keller 2000, pp.147-157) and is one of the key factors of measuring the Worlds Most Valuable Brands (Interbrand 2009). The Oxford dictionary equates relevant to being significant, having a particular meaning, connected with whats happening, appropriate, pertinent, important and useful.

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Paramount importance of Brand Relevance in fast changing markets

Now, more than ever, with globalization and lifting of protectionism, management must pay heed to Brand Relevance, because in this knowledge and information age, consumers, being better informed and more mobile than ever, are increasingly able to get precisely what they want, when they want it, and at the price they are willing to pay (Booz Allen Hamilton Manageme