Why Firms Need To Build Strong Brands
In David Aaker’s landmark book, Managing Brands Equity, he shows how managers can use a unique framework to develop strong brands that provide an identity for their companies while also serving as powerful outlets for marketing and sales. Managers need to be highly skilled at branding themselves and building those brands so they become an essential part of their company’s success. Building strong brands requires not only creativity but also a firm understanding of marketing and brand psychology as well as the ability to communicate the right message.
Aaker starts his book by briefly describing branding. He relates the branding process to the art of creating a logo or symbol and explains that branding is an integrated system of design encompassing concept, symbol, language, color, texture, and emotion. Aaker further relates this art to the marketing art of selling a product through visual means such as advertising and promotions. The key, he says, is to create a visual brand that “captures the essence of what it is that you’re selling.” Managers are required to understand the value of branding in a number of different ways.
Managers must develop and implement brand strategies that meet the specific needs of their clients. The various strategies vary according to the audience, target market, and competition. Managers must determine whether a brand strategy is an appropriate response to a specific challenge or opportunity and how best to promote and sell it. It is important to build strong marketing campaigns and programs that build brand equity through creative branding that is compatible with the firm’s overall marketing objectives. Managers must also work to build and enhance organizational culture and values to make their firms more attractive.
In most firms, marketing and advertising efforts are directed toward broadening the reach of potential customers. However, some firms focus more on increasing product functionality and productivity and reducing costs. Building strong brands requires firms to think about not just the creation of new products but also the re-designing of existing ones. When the two sides work in synergy, a firm can create powerful marketing messages to achieve great results.
Another important factor in building strong brands is the implementation of quality control measures. Quality control standards help ensure that consumers receive only those products that meet their expectations. The importance of quality control extends beyond the production level. While consumers get defect-free products, they also get top-notch products in terms of design, features, performance, and safety. When these standards and policies are in place at all levels of the supply chain, customers will feel safe buying from a company with pride in its product and is willing to take responsibility for it.
Building strong brands requires firms to be innovative. Innovation has become an important tool for brand marketing strategies. Innovation can come in many forms ranging from technological innovations to cultural modifications. Many firms find that publicizing their brand and setting up events and programs, such as product launches, helps them showcase their innovation and creativity. They can also use event marketing, which lets people experience the product or service and positive consumer reactions. Such events can help establish a brand name and garner interest in further consumer exposure.
As industries become increasingly competitive, it’s clear that good brand-building techniques are needed to stay afloat and succeed. In David Aaker’s landmark book, Managing Brand Equity, he demonstrates the critical importance of building strong brands as an important company asset and the company’s most significant source of competitive edge. Aaker not only describes how these brands can be built but also explains the process by which they should be nurtured through a multi-pronged branding strategy.