11 New Strategic Brand Management by Philip Kotler   4th Edition
577 pág.

11 New Strategic Brand Management by Philip Kotler 4th Edition


DisciplinaMarketing24.195 materiais140.287 seguidores
Pré-visualização50 páginas
are meant to embody the brand
contract. A good slogan is therefore often
rejected by managing directors because it
means too much commitment for the
company and may backfire if the products/
services do not match the expectations the
brand has created so far. In too many cases
brands are seen as mere names: this is very
evident in some innovations committee
meetings, where new products are reallocated
to different brands of the portfolio many
times in the same meeting. One brand name
or another is perceived as making no
difference. Taking the brand seriously, as it is
(that is, as a contract) is much more
demanding. It also provides higher returns.
The product and the brand
Since the early theorisation on the brand, there
has been much discussion on the relationship
of brands to products. How do the concepts
differ? How are they mutually interrelated? On
the one hand, many a CEO repeats to his or her
staff that there is no brand without a great
product (or service), in order to stimulate their
innovativeness and make them think of the
product as a prime lever of brand competi-
tiveness. On the other hand, there is ample
evidence that market leaders are not the best
STRATEGIC IMPL ICAT IONS OF BRANDING 39
product in their market. To be the \u2018best product\u2019
in a category means to compete in the premium
tier, which is rarely a large segment. Certainly
within the laundry detergent category, market
leaders such as Tide, Ariel and Skip are those
delivering the best performance for heavy-duty
laundry, but in other cases it is the brand with
the best quality/price ratio that is market leader.
Dell is a case in point. Are Dell\u2019s computers the
best? Surely not. But who really needs a \u2018best
computer\u2019? What would be the criterion for
evaluation? \u2018Best\u2019 is a relative concept,
depending on the value criteria used to
establish comparisons and identify the \u2018best\u2019. In
fact the market is segmented: the largest
proportion of the public, and even most of the
B2B segment, wants a modern, reliable, cheap
computer. Thanks to its build-to-order business
model, Dell was able to innovate and become
the leader of that segment. Co-branded \u2018Intel
inside\u2019, it reassures buyers and surprises them by
its astonishing price and one-to-one customi-
sation: each person makes his or her own
computer. Is Swatch the best watch? Surely not
either. But in any case this is not what is asked
by Swatch buyers: they buy convenience and
style, not long-lasting superior \u2018performance\u2019,
whatever this may mean.
It is time to look deeper into the
brand\u2013product relationship. Looking at
history, most brands are born out of a product
or service innovation which outperformed its
competitors. A superior product/service was
the determining factor of the launch
campaign. Later, as the product name evolves
into a brand, customers\u2019 reasons for purchase
may still be the brand\u2019s \u2018superior performance
image\u2019, although in reality that performance
has been matched by new competitors. This
has been the basis of Volkswagen\u2019s leadership
and price premium: a majority of consumers
keeps on believing that Volkswagen cars are
the most reliable ones. The new Golf Five,
launched in September 2003, 30 years after the
first Golf, is 10 per cent more expensive than
its two European rivals, the Peugeot 307 and
the Renault Megane. This quality reputation is
crucial for Golf and for Volkswagen itself: this
model used to represent 28 per cent of its sales
and almost half its operating profit. When
Golf 4 sales fell by 17.9 per cent over 12
months, Volkswagen\u2019s operating profit fell
too, by 56 per cent.
As all tests and garage repair records demon-
strate, Volkswagen quality has now been
matched and even bypassed by Toyota, but for
buyers, perception is reality. Brand assets are
made of what people believe. As for rumours
(Kapferer, 2004), the more people believe a
rumour, the more strongly their belief is held.
Why would so many people be completely
wrong? It took 20 years for Toyota to shake
the belief among US consumers that
Volkswagen cars are the most reliable: it takes
time to prove one\u2019s reliability. Often, to go
faster it is best to target a new generation of
drivers with an open mind.
Looking at competitive behaviour, it seems
that brands alternate in their focus. They capi-
talise on their image, then innovate to
recreate or nurture the belief of product supe-
riority (on some consumer benefit), then
recapitalise on their image, and so on (Figure
2.2). Sony\u2019s advertising is very typical of this
pendulum behaviour: it alternates ads that
introduce new products and pure image ads
with no specific material content or superi-
ority content. These latter ads maintain brand
saliency (Ehrenberg et al, 2002).
Figure 2.3 summarises the product\u2013brand
relationship.
Suppose a consumer wants to buy a new car
because of the birth of his or her fourth child.
This major event creates a new set of expecta-
tions, some tangible, some intangible. The
consumer wishes to buy a minivan, with two
sliding doors, high flexibility within the
cabin, and of course a reliable, secure brand,
with credentials and some status. By looking
at Internet sites, at magazines and visiting
dealers, it is possible to identify those models
with the requested visible attributes (size, flex-
ibility, sliding doors). Now what about the
invisible attributes, like the experiential ones
40 WHY IS BRANDING SO STRATEGIC?
(driving pleasure) or those one has to believe
on faith, such as reliability? Obviously, these
attributes do or do not belong to the brand\u2019s
reputational capital. They cannot be
observed. This is one of the key roles of
brands: to guarantee, to reassure customers
about desired benefits which constitute the
exclusive strength of the brand, also called its
positioning.
Psychologists have also identified the halo
effect as a major source of value created by the
brand: the fact that knowing the name of the
brand does influence consumer\u2019s perception
of the product advantages beyond what the
visible cues had themselves indicated, not to
speak of the invisible advantages.
Finally, attached to the brand there are
pure intangible associations, which stem
from the brand\u2019s values, vision, philosophy,
its typical buyer, its brand personality and so
on. These associations are the source of
emotional ties, beyond product satisfaction.
In fact, in the car industry, they are the locus
of consumers\u2019 desire to possess a brand. Some
brands sell very good products at fair price
but lack thrill or desire: they cannot
command a price premium in their segment.
Their dealers will have to give more rebates
(which undermine brand value and business
profitability).
Figure 2.3 reminds us of the double nature
of brands. People buy branded products or
services, but branding is a not a substitute for
marketing. Both are needed. Marketing aims
at forecasting the needs of specific consumer
segments, and drives the organisation to tailor
products and services to these needs. This is a
skill: some car marques offer minivans with
sliding doors, some do not. However, part of
the willingness to pay is based on a personal
tie with the brand. Uninvolved consumers
will bargain a lot. Brand-involved consumers
will bargain less. Brand image is directly
linked to profitability. In fact, in the
Euromonitor car brand tracking study, meas-
uring the image of all automobile brands
operating in Europe, it has been said that a
positive shift of one unit on the global
opinion scale means there is 1 per cent less
bargaining by customers.
Each brand needs a flagship
product
A given brand will not be jeopardised by
competitors offering similar products, unless
there are large quantities of the latter. It is
indeed inevitable for certain models to be
duplicated in the product lines of different
brands. Suppose that brand A pursues