[Brand Management] Brand Strength and Marketing Communication Campaigns

“The power of a brand lies in what consumer have learned, felt, seen, and heard about the brand as a result of their experiences over time. In other words, the power of a brand lies in what resides in the minds and hearts of consumers.”[1]

 

Brand equity reflects the power of a brand. Keller, who identified brand equity concept the perspective of the consumer, argued that a positive brand equity would have an impact on it’s public favorability. This condition enables brand to easier conduct their marketing strategies such as brand extensions, price changing, and seeking new advertising models and distribution channels.[2] A brand with a positive brand equity has more power to manipulate their marketing strategies without losing their loyal consumer.

The loyalty consumers have for a brand differs according to their relationship level. A brand must first pass a series of step as a part of a “branding ladder” that would enable them to reach brand loyalty. This idea was introduced by Keller as brand resonance. The model of brand resonance can be seen in Figure 1 below.

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Figure 1: Brand resonance pyramid[3]

Brand resonance is one of the six building blocks that indicates the strength of a brand—the others include brand salience, brand performance, brand imagery, brand judgment, and brand feeling. These six blocks mainly act as consideration bases in consumers’ buying decisions. A brand which has positive impression in those six blocks is considered to be a strong brand.[4]

The main idea of brand resonance is that the deeper relationship level a brand has with it’s consumers, their consumers will build strong loyalty with the brand. That condition will thus make consumers feel completely synchronized with the brand.[5] A consumer who feels in sync with the brand would not be affected by it’s price, commercialization, or distribution channel. That kind of consumer will, in fact, acts as brand endorser towards their community at times like they are a part of the brand itself.

Brand relationship level can be viewed by it’s life cycle stage. Bivainiene, though accepted Keller argumentation that brands are different than products, explained that brand life cycle depends on it’s product’s.[6] Brands also have introduction, growth, maturity, and declining stages. In the introduction phase, a brand is first introduced into the market and have low awareness level. Therefore, the company orientation is mainly focused on building brand awareness. In Keller’s stages of brand development, consumers tend to question the brand’s identity, “who are you?” with the tendency to look for brand salience.[7]

In Keller’s brand resonance pyramid, the next stage of brand relationship focus on brand meaning. Consumers tend to look for the differences and parities a brand has to offer. They will know the brand’s performance and imagery. This stage can be categorized as further development of introduction phase.

In the next phase, growth, brands tend to get some responses from their consumers. A brand will be able to piqued their consumers’ judgments and feelings. However, their consumers’ reactions differ in positivity. By that logic, companies tend to conduct their marketing strategies in order to receive positive reactions.

In their maturity phase, brands are on their peak of power. Their consumers have built strong relationships that enable the brands to conduct minimal level of marketing strategies. In this stage, a brand has a number of consumers with high loyalty in which they see the brand as an aspect of themselves. Consumers have high resonance with the brand, and companies focus on maintaining that resonance and loyalty.

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Figure 2: Brand life cycle

There are several aspects that can be used as assets to brand equity, which Aaker defined into four—brand name awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality, and brand associations.[8] These four assets are frequently adapted by researchers to find the ideal brand equity assets. Shrestha compared Aaker’s brand equity dimensions and others, then came up with four which are most frequently used—brand awareness, brand loyalty, brand associations, and perceived quality.[9]

Aaker defined brand awareness as the strength of a brand’s presence in consumers’ mind.[10] Brand awareness is consisted of two aspects, which are brand recognition and brand recall. Brand recognition is defined as consumers’ ability to recognize the brand when given a clue, whereas brand recall is their ability to retrieve the brand from their memories when told about brand’s associations.[11]

Brand associations, which at times called as brand image, is the perceptions consumers have based on their knowledge and experiences of the brand. Keller argued that brand image is important in determining brand equity. Favorable, unique, and strong associations are assumed to provide a positive brand image which will create a bias in consumers’ buying decision process and thereby increasing it’s brand equity.[12]

The next asset of a brand is perceived quality. It is originally labeled as a part of brand associations, but then elevated into brand asset for several reasons, which include it’s major role in business and it’s ability to influence how a brand is perceived.[13] Many researches have found that perceived quality can contribute in influencing consumers to conduct purchases.[14]

The last asset, brand loyalty, is the level of attachment consumers have with a brand. A consumer who has strong level of loyalty towards a brand will tend to repurchase and recommend the brand to their community members. Loyal consumers’ appearances can also be considered as a part of their marketing strategies. A highly loyal consumer base can be expected to generate a very positive sales and profit streams.[15]

Based on Aaker’s brand resonance pyramid, the assets of brand equity is obtained based on their stage of development. It will then influence a brand’s branding objectives which differ from other stages. The objectives is used as a basis in determining communication strategies and campaigns conducted to support the brand.

In building brand awareness, marketing communication campaigns mainly focus on brand identity. An ideal marketing communication campaign is able to answer the main question the market must have had in responding the newfound brand, “who are you?” An example of this kind of marketing communication campaigns can be found in Mastin’s television commercial in 2014. The old commercial focuses on their jingle, which gives a blurred background on the product’s functional use, but gives a clear visuals of it’s packaging and categorization.

In some cases, newly introduced brands also brough out their PoD and PoP in their first marketing communication campaigns. An example of this would be Le Minerale’s television commercial which strongly emphasizes it’s identity as mineral water and stated that their product is different than pure water.

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Figure 3: Le Minerale’s television commercial[16]

Another tendency that can be found in marketing communication campaigns that has awareness as one of it’s objectives is using a famous object or person as their brand association by using them in a campaign. By using this method, the brand will catch the limelight of it’s famous associations and have wider level of awareness. An example of this is Top Kopi’s commercials which focus on Iwan Fals, a notable Indonesian musician, with the brand.

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Figure 4: Top Kopi’s television commercial[17]

Different considerations are used when the branding objective is loyalty. A number of brands which can already be considered as strong brands use consumer experiences as a basis for their marketing communication campaigns. The aspects of consumer experience does not emphasize on brand identity nor it’s functionalities, but rather personal attachment towards the brand. Some brands that can be seen using this method are McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

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Figure 5: McDonald’s television commercial[18]

In McDonald’s advertisement, the key copy is “Mana lagi selain di McD” which emphasizes it’s domination in fast food chain restaurants. The television commercial itself does not talk a lot about it’s products, but rather how people reach for the product and found happiness. It builds the impression that many people are deeply connected with McDonald’s and are happy to be able to find it anywhere.

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Figure 6: Coca-Cola television commercial[19]

Coca-Cola’s recent marketing communication campaign also carries the same idea. A cola is not sold for it’s taste or use, but rather the advertiser tries to implant the idea that “moment” is what they are trying to sell. The idea can be seen by various moments of consumer experiences captured in the commercials. An already strong brand can use these aspects in determining marketing communication campaigns’ key messages to influence their consumer on personal level.[*]

Lintang Cahyaningsih

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References

Aaker, D. A. (1996). Building Strong Brands. New York: The Free Press.

Aaker, D. A. (2011). Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kapferer, J.-N. (2012). The New Strategic Brand Management: Advanced Insights and Strategic Thinking (Fifth Edition). London: Kogan Page.

Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Managing Consumer-Based Brand Equity . Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57, No. 1, 1-22.

Keller, K. L. (2001). Building Consumer-Based Brand Equity: A Blueprint for Creating Strong Brands. Cambridge: Marketing Science Institute.

Keller, K. L. (2013). Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

Pappu, R., Quester, P. G., & Cooksey, R. W. (2005). Consumer-Based Brand Equity: Improving the Measurement – Empirical Evidence. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 143–154.

Rosenbaum-Elliott, R., Percy, L., & Pervan, S. (2015). Strategic Brand Management (Third Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Shrestha, S. K. (2010). Perspectives on Brand Equity and Its Dimensions. Ganeshman Darpan, Vol. 3, No. 3, 52‐60.

Temporal, P. (2010). Advanced Brand Management: Managing Brands in A Changing World. Clement Loop: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Footnotes

 

[1] Kevin Lane Keller, Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity, (Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2013), pg. 69.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, pg. 550.

[4] Ibid, pg. 566.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Lina Bivainiene, “Brand Life Cycle: Theoritical Discourses”, Journal of Economics and Management, Vol. 15, (2010), pg. 408.

[7] Kevin Lane Keller, Op.Cit., pg. 550.

[8] David A. Aaker, Building Strong Brands, (New York: The Free Press, 1996), pg. 8.

[9] Sajeeb Kumar Shrestha, “Perspectives on Brand Equity and It’s Dimensions”, Ganeshman Darpan (2010), Vol. 3, No. 3, pg. 3.

[10] David A. Aaker, Op.Cit., pg. 10.

[11] Kevin Lane Keller, Op.Cit., pg. 73.

[12] Ibid, pg. 77.

[13] David A. Aaker, Op.Cit., pg. 17.

[14] Sajeeb Kumar Shrestha, Op.Cit., pg. 3.

[15] David A. Aaker, Op.Cit., pg. 21.

[16] “Iklan Le Minerale 2015”, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yLDH51NTPU, accessed March 30 2016.

[17] “Iklan Top Kopi”, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncfJWahhx_A, accessed March 30 2016.

[18] “Iklan 25th McDonald’s Indonesia – Mana Lagi”, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ullsqbouxpA, accessed March 30 2016.

[19] “Coca Cola Anthem”, in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hog7SLT1rWk, accessed March 30 2016.

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