11 New Strategic Brand Management by Philip Kotler 4th Edition
DisciplinaMarketing23.861 materiais • 138.426 seguidores
What is the optimum distributor\u2019s brand for a store? What fraction of sales, of the aisle, and of the shelf should it represent? The answer depends largely on the store\u2019s strategy \u2013 itself a function of the competitive situation and the margin provided by the producers of branded articles, in comparison with that offered by the distributor\u2019s brand. Take Decathlon, for example. This store began, like many others, as a simple distributor of brands. Over time, the store\u2019s mission (to allow access to the pleasure of sport for the maximum number of people) proved easier to carry out through a greater control over product design and production planning, even purchasing the raw materials, although production is still subcontracted. Little by little, the Decathlon brand took control of aisles where brands were weak. However, it is forced to cohabit with well- known brands in sections such as running, tennis, skiing, and golf. Having become aware that a single, uniform brand harmed the desir- ability of the store itself and therefore the number of visitors, Decathlon abandoned its single brand in 1998 and exchanged it for a portfolio of passion brands. Today these brands represent more than 50 per cent of turnover. The store\u2019s deep desire is to become a major producer of sports brands, and therefore to always push its specialised brands through sport. Decathlon still needs major brands in certain sections, but less so in others. If its brands become genuine brands, it will have reached its objectives, following the example of Gap, which passed from the status of a simple store to that of a store brand and finally to that of a pure brand with its own stores. This change was itself the consequence of an evaluation of the future profitability of the textile market for a brand distributor, at the moment of the opening of discount textile stores in the United States. The part devolved to DOBs is therefore not the result of an optimisation, but the fruit of a voluntary strategy. Research has nevertheless analysed the impact of the increase in the DOBs\u2019 share of the offer on the frequency (measured as the average number of purchases per week in relation to the number of refer- ences offered) (Ilec, April 2006). For a small supermarket, the frequentation index is continually decreasing: it is 140 when the DOB offer is situated between 8 and 18 per cent of the overall offer, and 79 per cent when it reaches the segment between 47 per cent and 57 per cent of the offer. For a large super- market, the same is true. For a small hyper- market (under 6,000 square metres), the frequentation index also falls as the share of DOBs increases, but over 20 per cent of DOBs, the frequentation index rises once more: it increases from 87 per cent to 99 per cent for a DOB offer rate of 22 to 29 per cent. For large hypermarkets, the frequentation index rises with the DOB range! The best frequentation (index 125) is found with an average DOB rate of 19 per cent, then the frequentation index falls again for any increment in the presence of DOBs. The three stages of the distributor\u2019s brand Once the decision has been taken, there are three stages in the business growth of distrib- utors\u2019 brands: oblative, imitative and identity. The first stage is known as reactive or oblative: historically, it results from the refusal of sale by the major industrialists. This is how many own-brand products are born. However, FROM PR IVATE LABELS TO STORE BRANDS 77 it is also strengthened through identifying gaps in the ranges of the major producers. A category management approach quickly iden- tifies those segments where something should be offered to the client, but where the major brands have nothing to offer, since it is not their strategy. These gaps need to be filled. The second stage is imitative: here, the distributor examines its competitors\u2019 distributor\u2019s brand ranges, and sets about imitating them, producing the same products typically supplied by its other competition. By means of this emulative method, the distributor\u2019s brand core offer is constructed, created from all the references common to all the distributors\u2019 brands. We should add that this is also typically a phase during which the distributor, for lack of investment in its own distributor\u2019s brand identity, chooses to imitate, trait for trait, the packaging of the brand products that it is targeting (generally the category leader). The objective of this copycat approach is clear: a deliberate intent to take market share from the big brands by allocating more space to one\u2019s own distributor\u2019s brand, a similar copy, and to increase the average price of the big brands in order to attract clients to the distributor\u2019s brand (Pauwels and Srinivasan, 2002). This imitative or \u2018copycat\u2019 approach borders on trademark infringement, and sometimes gives rise to court cases by the outraged and wronged producers, complaining of either an infringement of their brand rights, or unfair competition (see page 270), or economic para- sitism. A visit to the aisles of mass distribution is enough to note the striking similarity between the copy and the brand packaging. In most cases, however, disputes \u2013 arising from the overzealousness of the designers \u2013 are resolved amicably. Furthermore, the distributor takes refuge in the fact that the issue is not brand codes, but rather category codes. The real aim of this approach (the imitation of the essential attributes of branded product packaging), which domi- nates mass distribution, is to cause confusion, profiting from the average attention span of the shopper in the aisle. Through lack of attention, the consumer may take the distributor\u2019s brand instead of the major brand product. The InVivo company has actually calcu- lated that, for mass consumption products, in hypermarkets, consumers spend 7 seconds on each purchase: speed matters to them. When there is intentionally strong resemblance between the packaging, a hurried buyer with an average attention span can be confused. Our research into the imitation of brand packaging (trade dress) by distributor\u2019s brands (Kapferer, 1997; Kapferer and Thoenig, 1992) has shown that the unconscious recognition factors in the aisle were, in decreasing order of importance: 1. Colour. 2. Packaging shape. 3. Key designs. 4. Name, typography and so on. This is exactly what distributors\u2019 brand products copy: Ricoré\u2019s packaging is yellow, and so Calicoré\u2019s. There is an image of a small Mexican on Pepito, the leader in biscuits for children. There is a very similar character on Rik and Rok, Auchan\u2019s children\u2019s brand, and so on. As our results (shown in Table 4.3) demon- strate, where the private label copy/original product pairs are placed in decreasing order of resemblance, the stronger the perceived resemblance in trade dress, the more the consumer infers that the producer of the two products is one and the same \u2013 and the more confidence the copy inspires. Another study has shown that the discovery of a quality distributor\u2019s brand created a less positive attitude towards to the leading brand. J Zaichowsky and R Simpson (1996) conducted consumer trials with Lora Cola, a distributor\u2019s brand imitating the appearance of Coca-Cola cans. The taste of the product 78 WHY IS BRANDING SO STRATEGIC? was manipulated in such a way that one section of consumers would find it very good, while others would find it bad. Among the latter group, the Coca-Cola evaluation, measured twice (before and after trying Lora Cola) did not change (5.41 versus 5.71). However, it did fall significantly in the case where the consumers liked the taste of the copy (falling from 5.67 to 5.22, or a drop of \u20130.45). The third stage is the identity stage: the distributor\u2019s brand is used to capture market share from competitors.