The markets in which companies operate are highly dynamic innature. There is constant evolution in products, introduction of newtechnology, government rules, regulatory framework, consumer taste andpreference. Between all these companies have to devise marketing communicationand branding programs, which look forward to maintaining consumer based brandequity. For example, consumer promotion activity like providing 20% extra forthe said product will not create the same response but may raise expectationsof 20% during the normal purchase also. Companies have to balance brandmanagement that they are able to understand the future preference of consumer.This calls for companies to be pro-active and thinking standing on their feet.
One way of brand management over time is to strengthen brandequity by developing marketing programs, which express brand knowledgeconsistently as not to confuse the consumer. For example, Apple, their programsare developed to reinforce their commitment to offer world class fullentertainment and communication devices, so introduction Iphone had readyacceptance from consumers. Market leader like coca-cola has constantly runmarketing program even after been market leaders. However, this does not implythat same campaign is running repeatedly, rather coming up innovativestrategies to reinforce brand knowledge.
Brand knowledge comes from brand attributes and brandassociation; if companies try to fiddle with these sources of brand equityconsequences can be disastrous. In early 90s Intel microprocessor had atechnical flaw but the company was not swift enough to rectify the problem,thereby damaging brand equity source of power and safety. Intel realized theimportance source of brand equity and was quick in solving the problem byoffering replacement. Another dilemma for companies is of choosing the rightway to use the developed brand equity, normal course is to generate maximumprice premium, but that should not be at cost of brand equity.
Innovation is one of the keys in managing brand and ensuringthat brand remains ahead of the competition curve. If companies operating inentertainment category or matter of fact insurance do not innovate then valueof their brand is lost as these categories are product driven. For example, Apple,without its innovation in the form of ipod mp3 player, apple would have foundit difficult facing completion from Sony. If the company’s category is not aproduct driven marketing campaigns associated with brand image play animportant role in sustaining the brand. For example, Pepsi, it is operating inhighly competitive carbonated drinks’ category, over the years their marketingcampaign is focused on their highlighting their brand position as a drink foryoung generation.
Every brand faces challenges as it moves in the product lifecycle and at some point faces saturation. At this point, it is important tofocus on expanding brand awareness that is looking for ways to generate moreconsumption by highlighting instance of consumption. For example, toothpasterevitalized consumption by highlighting advantages of twice daily usage.Another way to increase consumption is by highlighting diverse ways andoccasion where brand can be consumed. This is more prevalent in food andbeverages industry.Along with brand awareness brand image alsoplays a pivotal role in revitalizing brand performance. This can be done byhighlighting pointing of difference, which may have been lost in all othermarketing campaigns.
Another way to enhance the brand image is by adopting newbrand elements like brand symbol, logos, etc., For example, Federal Expressmodify to FedEx as a move generating more interest in face of competition fromUPS.