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A brand has one strategic purpose and that is to differentiate itself from

.competitors. Discuss

.CreatingaBrandStrategy

Marketingonaglobalscalebeginswiththedecisionabusinessmakestopositionitselfwith
amissionstatement,followedbyathorough,sustainablebrandstrategy.Eachandeverybusiness
must position and brand itself. It must also make the commitment to manage its brand, thus,
securing its image. Absolute consistency is required from the outset to clearly represent the
characteristicsofthebrandonanongoingbasis.Inthisway,thebusiness'sbrandimageisbest
.managedaspartofitmarketingstrategy
ScottBedbury,SeniorVPofMarketingforStarbucks,strategizedforhisfirstgreatbrand,
Nike,whenhejoinedthemin1987.Hegavetheworld"JustDoIt,"andturnedthis$750million
.dollarayearbusinessintoa$4billiondollarbusinessin7years.BeforeNike,thereweresneakers
WhenIwascomingupthroughthecorporateranks,thewholeideaofdevelopingandmaintaininga
corporateimagerestedinthehandsofthegraphicdesigndepartmentofmanyfirms.Businesses
concerned themselves with naming, logo design, colour, typography and collateral marketing
materials.Itwasfeltthatconsistencyintheusageofitsgraphicssecuredtheimageofthefirm.
Therewasazealousguardianshipofallofthevisualrepresentationsofthefirm.Now,business
thoughthasprogressed,andwerealizethatthisisthemanifestationofbrandidentity,notbrand
.image
InapressreleasedatedJuly25,2003titled:"SamsungNamedtheFastestGrowingGlobal
BrandSecondYearinaRowbyInterbrand,"wefindsomeamazingstatistics.JanLindemann,
Global Managing Director of Interbrand, says of Samsung: "The continuously strong rise of
Samsung'sbrandvaluereflectsthecompany'scommitmenttoinvestinitsbrandonaglobalscale
andmakebrandvalueakeycorporatetargetthroughouttheorganization,includingtheCEOandall
."employees.Samsunghassuccessfullymadebrandbuildingthekeyfocusofitsmarketingstrategy
HoweffectivelyhasthefocusonbrandmanagementtransformedthisSeoulKoreabasedelectronic
!giant?SamsungbrandvalueisUS$10.8billion,astaggering31%increasefrom2002

.ManagingaBrandImagethroughMarketing
Corporateorbrandimageencompassessomuch.SergioZyman,formerCMO,CocaCola
statedexactlythat,whenhesaid:"Weknoweverythingwesayanddocommunicatesthebrand.
".Andforthatmatter,everythingwedon'tsayanddon'tdocommunicatesthebrand

MichaelEisner,exCEODisney,statedthat:"Abrandisalivingentityanditisenriched
".orunderminedcumulativelyovertime,theproductofathousandsmallgestures
Perceptionsaffectthefirm'sabilitytodevelopandgrow,attainitsgoals,andultimately
sustainitself.Imagebeginswithavisionofthebusiness'sexecutives,startingwiththeCEOand
president.Itfiltersdowntoeveryemployeeofthecompany.Whenproperlyintegratedwiththe
firm'smissionstatementandastrategicmarketingplan,itencompasseseveryvisual,verbaland
behavioralelementofthebusiness.Itmustbewovenintothemarketingefforts,traditionaland
.electronic,ofthefirm
TimmF.Crull,formerChairman&CEOoftheworld'slargestfoodcorporation,Nestle,
statedthat:"Longtermbrandequityandgrowthdependsonourabilitytosuccessfullyintegrateand
implement all elements of a comprehensive marketing program. The unique culture of every
businessmustbefactoredintothisequation.Itistheroleofmanagementtoprovidetheleadership,
communicationandtrainingtoinstillthefirm'sbrandmessageintotheheartsandmindsofitsstaff;
thusformingacultureuniquetothatbusiness.Businessesshouldthinkofeachandeveryoneof
theiremployeesasbrandambassadors.Employeesarethecorporatebrandtotheclients,thus,they
areconstantlycommunicatingthevaluesofthebrandinonewayoranother.Thisisatallorder,and
requires unflagging work and support. Yet, a cohesive brand/corporate image makes a huge
difference in the firm's perception, (inside and out), performance, and ultimately, success and
.sustainability
ProfessorDavidAaker,fromU.C.Berkeley'sHaasSchoolofBusiness,statesinhisbook,
"BuildingStrongBrands,"'Thecultureoftheorganization,morethantheproceduresorstructures,
is ultimately what drives the attainment of sustainable (brand) advantage. Ultimately, all
businesses must manage their corporate images andtheir underlying brands, froma marketing
perspective.Thismaysoundlikeasimple,logicalconcept,butinmanycases,itsimplyisn'tbeing
.done
McDonald'srepresentsagreatexampleofwhathappenswhenahugeglobalbrandappears
tolosesomeofitsrelevance.InaBrandChannelarticle,"TheeffectsonMcDonald'sofchanging
consumer tastes, nutritionalthemed lawsuits, and antiglobalization protests have been well
documented,butwhatarethebrandownersdoingtocounterthis? Hence,thenew"I'mLovin'It"
campaign was born. And a new strategy. One based on current tastes and trends. Accused of
implementing overly aggressive brand strategies by 'training' its customers to eat fatty foods,
McDonald'sisnotonlyfightingtomaintainbrandpowerinthevastpoolofcompetition,butalsoto
dispelnotionsthatitspreviousbrandstrategywasimproperlyplannedforthenextfivetoseven
".yearsdowntheroad
Therisingperceptionisthatthereismoreandmoreparityamongproductlinesandservices.
Withincreasedcompetitionineverycategoryofproductsandservicesoffered,wouldn'tyouthink
thatbusinesseswouldmoreassiduouslyguardtheirbrands?Wouldn'tyouthinkthatbusinesses
wouldpositionthemselvesandmarketthemselvesinsuchawayastobedifferentiatedfromtheir
competitors? In fact, I can tell you that the opposite is true. Many businesses see increased
competitionpopupontheirradarscreens,orseenewbusinessfads,sotheyscrambletoinitiate
something"excitingandfresh. Whenthebrandisnotbeingguarded,notremainingconsistent,and
constantlysubjecttochangethebusinesspresentsaconfusing,unfocusedimagetotheworld.
!Smallwonderthefirmbeginstofail

BeforetherewasapowerfulbrandlikeCocaCola,thereweresoftdrinks.BeforeNike,there
weresneakers.BeforeStarbucks,therewerecoffeeshops.BeforeMicrosoft,thereweresoftware
.applications.BeforeNokia,therewerecellphones

.DifferentiatingfromtheCompetition
JackTroutstatesquiteemphaticallythat,"Ifdifferentiationisaboutthelifeanddeathofa
brand,wefeelit'sworthyourwhiletoexplorethissubjectindepth."Heisquiteright.Business
executiveswhofeelthattheyhavesuccessfullydifferentiatedtheirfirms,musttakeagoodlookat
".howtheirmarketingeffortshaveachievedthis"differentiation
Differentiationisthatthingwhicheverydesignfirmhas,thatmakesitstandoutfromits
competitorsinameaningfulway.Everybusinesshassomekindofuniqueproposition,somekind
ofproprietaryprocess,somekindofadditionalbenefitorsomekindofaugmentedserviceoffering
foritsclientssomethingthatmustbemarketedtotakethefirmoutoftherealmofbeingjust
anothercommoditytobeingafirmwhichisperceivedasofferingauniquevaluepropositiontoits
.clients,itsB2BorB2Cbase
The design arm of BMW, Designworks/USA clearly differentiates itself from its
competition. Collaboration is a crucial part of the design process at BMW. "The key here is
diversity.Ifourpeopleallthoughtthesameway,wewouldn'thaveadesignculture;we'djusthave
massopinion.That'swhyinternalcompetitionisafundamentalpremiseofthisorganization:it
givesusthisdynamicexchangeofviewpoints.Theoutcomeisfarmorepowerfulthanwhatasingle
".personcouldproduce
Marketing guru Martin Brandt says: "Branding is about differentiation. Companies are
becomingincreasinglydifferentiatedbyhowwelltheybuildandmanagetheirbrands.Companies
".makeproductsbutcustomersbuybrands
WarrenBuffettoncesaid"Yourpremiumbrandhadbetterbedeliveringsomethingspecial,
orit'snotgoingtogetthebusiness. Alargeportionoftimeandeffortisspentinsearchingforthe
veryassetsthesebusinesseshave,tohelpthemdifferentiatethemselves.Eachandeverybusiness
hasawaytodifferentiateitself.Thisismorethanaconcept;itisamatterofsurvivalforany
.business.Nobusinesscansustainitselfifitisperceivedasacommodity
Differentiationisthedifferencebetweensuccessandfailureforabrand.Or,asJackTrout
says,between"lifeanddeathforabrand."Competitionisstifferthanever,there'smoreofit,and
it'ssmart.It'salsoglobal.Anybusiness,small,midsizedorlarge,canmakeit,andcancarveouta
nicheforitselfinspiteofthis,ifithasareasonforbeing.Ifithasthatuniqueattributethatdrives
!businessawayfromthecommoditiesofthisworld,andintoitsdirection

CreatingAddedValuePerception(brandequity)

Valuecreationmustbereal,andtangibletoatargetedaudience.Clientperceptionmust
alignitselfwiththerealityofatruevaluepropositionasafurtherpointofdifferentiationforevery
companydesignfirmsincludedthatwanttosustainthemselves.Therecognitionofaddedvalue
totheproductorservicemarketedbyanycompany,furtherdifferentiatesitfromitscompetitors.
Improvingthequalityofyourproductofferingsorservices,oraddingnewfeaturesgivesyourfirm
.anadvantageoverthecompetition
Ifanycompanycan offeranadditionalserviceforcustomerthatisnotofferedbytheir
competitors, andkeepthecostoftheproductorservicetothecustomerinlinewithcompetitors'
offerings,thenthatisvalue!Fromintangiblesbecometangiblefeatures,that,whenstrategically
.marketed,differentiatethesecompaniesfromallofthecompetitionoutthere
Forexample,amaturedesignfirmswhohaveveryhighlevelsofexpertise,bornofyearsof
experienceinspecificindustrysectors,andneverusethisasapointofdifferentiationfortheir
firms.Manyindustrialdesignfirmsintegrateengineerswithdesignersonstaffahugevalueto
theirclientsandneveradvantageouslymarketthefact!Yetotherfirmshavehighlyspecialized
areas of expertise, or they've worked with major corporate clients, and never differentiate
.themselvesbyemployingthisasamarketingstrategy
Perhaps the creation of added value comes from your ability to be a strong innovator.
Innovationalwaysactsasapowerfuldifferentiator.Agreatcorporateexampleofvalueperception
innovation is Nokia, the Scandinavian mobile phone giant. In an industry where the product
becomesdatedandoldaftersixmonths,Nokiacontinuestomovefasterthanallofitscompetition
in launching hot new products. Even though Nokia's competitors Motorola, Samsung and
Siemens, among many others, continue to innovate, Nokia continues to do it faster and more
brilliantlythananyothercompany.Ithasmadeacommitmenttoleadinthiscompetitiveindustry
sector,bydesign.Astaggering40%ofthecompany's52,000employeesareinvolvedinvarious
R&Dfunctions.InJune2002,whenNokiaintroducedits7650handset,thefirstphonewithabuilt
incamera,NokiahadtheEuropeanmarketalltoitselfforthefirstsixmonths!WhenNokiathen
launchedits3510icolorscreenmodelinSeptember2002,thishandsetcoulddisplay4,096colours.
Theproduct'sclosestcompetitor,SonyEricsson'sT300onlyboasted256colours.Thisisdefinitely
.avalueaddedperception,whereconsumerswillingtobuyNokiaphonesatthattime
Uniqueproductattributesandadditionalservicecapabilitiesarehardforyourcompetitorsto
replicateinashortperiodoftime.Productsorservices arelesssusceptibletoprice;becauseit
representstremendousvalue.Bestofall,itmakesbusinessmoresustainable,andlessvulnerableto
.increasedcompetitionandanupanddowneconomy