Branding creates attachments between consumers and brand: the stronger the attachment, the better the branding. Nothing connected with branding should surprise anyone any more (Frank, 2001). Whenever the word is spoken, it seems, there instantly follows some scarcely believable anecdote of corporations expanding, metastasising, covering more and more of our world and our culture, putting their mark in some unthinkable new spot or on some inviolable hero, ransacking the temples of art, laying claim to the legacy of the historical avant-garde, to that of religion, of bohemia, of the civil rights movement, of the left itself.
We ride in subway cars whose every surface promotes an allergy remedy or the offerings of a TV network. We hear of masterbrands and megabrands (Frank, 2001). And the claims attached to brands grow constantly: no longer simple guarantees of quality, brands are now thought to have a more high-minded aspect (Frank, 2001). The brand was everything, the very foundation of economic life. The brand was all that would survive, zealously protected and polished by a core of managerial workers, while the physical operations of the corporation were outsourced to those lands where people work for next to nothing (Frank, 2001).
The most important thing to understand about integrated branding is that it is a model for building the most important asset any company hasits relationship with its customers (Lepla, 1999). If you understand that your best customer is the one you already have, then creating a rational system for deepening customer relationships is the logical next step (Lepla, 1999).
Zeneca PLC is a pharmaceuticals company that offers agrochemical and specialties chemicals. The company considers itself as a bioscience company that targets it R&D, their abilities in technology and marketing enhance new products that will resolve the scientific problems of their customers and consumers. Zeneca is one of the biggest pharmaceuticals firm globally that holds 2.5% of market share of the said industry, Zenecas major competitors are GlaxoWellcome with 4.5% share in the pharmaceutical industry. Zeneca is also offering healthy new products.
Imperial Chemical Industries or ICI and Rank Hovis McDougall or RHM, came up with a synthetically developed, healthy substitute for meat, called Quorn. During the 1980s there was a great opportunity on this product because of the trend in healthy living, however, true vegetarians snob this product because of egg content. However, after the initial research RHM sold its stocks to ICI. Quorn became a direct substitute to chicken. The market of Quorn was mixed, QTI was integrated to different recipe cards.
Marlow Foods tie up with supermarkets localized the distribution of the product and made difficult for them to have control and surpassed the demand of the product. In 1990, Sainburys developed meat alternative pies and penetrated the London market. Quorn was introduced to the supermarkets of Tesco, the direct competitor of Sainsbury, profits increased dramatically. In 1994, Quorn was re-launched with a mainstream advertising campaign and logo.
PROBLEMS WITH QOURN
The consumers of Quorn are obviously still does not fully understand the product because it has no definite characteristics of its own. The knowledge that it is synthetically produced consumers worry about eating it especially those who want to eat healthy. Although, Quorn has its own loyal consumers, however people view it as a fad and targets vegetarians only. Quorn was relaunched in 1994, it was repackaged with a new logo, and a new advertisement that will put Quorn in the mainstream healthy food instead as a vegetarian food.
Initially, the understanding of buyer behavior is one of the more perplexing tasks confronting every manager (Schiffman & Kanuk 2000). The difficulty arises from the heterogeneity of buyers, from being groups of individuals who differ from one another. But notwithstanding differences, consumers do share attitudes, opinions, reactions, and desires at various times (Schiffman & Kanuk 2000). Business experience, marketing research, theoretical constructs and models, and trial-and-error methods help to find some of the common denominators.
Practically, Quorn has to make some essential decisions that are taken in developing an effective marketing mix for their products particularly their veggie meats, that should be based in the systematic knowledge of the consumers that make up its permanent target market (Johnson and Mullen 1990). Johnson and Mullen believes that understanding the behavior of the consumer is the most basic step in helping marketing authorities to visualize and predict future trends, reactions, and changes in the marketing mix. It may also serve as a reference in determining the potentials of new products and its adoption.
Customers recognize the importance of knowledge in relation to the product being purchased. That is why Quorn should make a consumer behavior study regarding their products and that way the company will be able to identify the needs and wants of their consumers. Wong (2000) argued that a customer evaluates a product or a service. Such action is based on the customers reaction from the using the product or service, which means that the product or service should leave a good perception to the customers contentment.
Ferguson (1992) explained that it can be ensured that a customer is satisfied by taking into importance the value package, which includes: price, product quality, service quality, innovation, and corporate image. Others also stated the importance of maintaining or establishing a uniqueness of the product, while also understanding customers and what pleases them (DeMooji, 1997). Customers should also understand the product and be allowed to set their own standards in order to be satisfied (Frederick and Salter 1995).
Because of the implications for profitability and growth, Quorn should give emphasis to their customer retention is potentially one of the most powerful weapons that companies can employ in their fight to gain a strategic advantage and survive in todays ever increasing competitive environment (Lindenmann 1999). Aside from having a strategic purpose, gaining customer loyalty is also a key corporate challenge today especially in this increasingly competitive and crowded marketplace because of the eventual profitability it will provide (Chow & Holden 1997). Every business wants to have a regular customer base because customers dictate profits and how the customer is treated will reflect on whether the customers will remain loyal with the company or not.
This concept is illustrated by Mittelhauser (1997) in a study about the textile and apparel industry. Competition forces certain brand names to become stronger than others because of product loyalty and name recognition. Consumers tend to buy what is already familiar to them. Thus, it becomes imperative for retailing outfits, especially small or exclusive ones to build a steady base of customers to exist in the competitive marketplace. This relationship becomes mutually beneficial with the company, gaining steady profit and the consumer having the product/s of the said company. Consumers tend to buy what is already familiar to them (Farquhar, 1996). It becomes imperative for retailing outfits, especially small or exclusive ones to build a steady base of customers to exist in the competitive marketplace.
Foss and Ellefsen, (2002) stressed that the relationship of consumers to certain brands are established through the individuals concept of oneself. However, the company can go a step further and make additional profits by cross-selling as well as save money from having to acquire new or replacement customers. The consumer, on the other hand, can also do the same, by demanding benefits from being a loyal customer that companies would certainly give to maintain them. Previous researches have concluded that satisfied consumers are more loyal to the product as compared to unsatisfied customers (Aaker and Erich, 1999). Meanwhile, customers may remain loyal for a number of reasons and may not even be happy with the product or service. Customer loyalty becomes evident when choices are made and actions taken by customers (Watkins, 1998).
Customer satisfaction refers to the consumers positive subjective evaluation of the outcomes and experiences associated with using or consuming the product or service. It refers to either a discrete, time-limited event or the entire time the service or product is experienced (Duffy and Kechand 1998). Satisfaction occurs when the product has been able to meet or exceed the conceived expectations that the customer has (Padilla 1996). Furthermore, customer satisfaction may also be considered as the measure of the high degree of quality of the product (Jacobs et al. 1998). Crosby and colleagues (2003) deemed that once a product or service has been delivered or sold, its quality is believed to have been established.
Brand Management for Quorn
Basing your product or service offerings on an integrated brand allows your organization to develop more saleable products over the long term by keeping it focused on your strengths as an organization. This focus opens it to new possibilities by broadening the corporate aperture from looking at what you are producing right now to looking at the bigger picture. Seeing the big picture is an essential prerequisite to company longevity.
Strategy based solely on current product or service uniqueness ultimately results in decreasing market share, lower margins, missed opportunities, and price wars (Lepla, 1999).Integrated branding helps companies understand who they are and how to use that knowledge consistently to create better results. As with all worthwhile change, the process takes some investment in time and elbow grease up front, but results in a huge payoff (Lepla, 1999).
Brand breadth is a function of not only the number and variability of products represented by the brand but also of the strength of association between the brand and the products it represents (Dawar, 1996). The strength of association is reflected in the retrievability from memory of product associations. This, in turn, influences the evaluation of fit of brand extensions.
Two types of brands were studied: those with a strong association to a single product (and weaker associations with other products) and those with strong associations to multiple products. Results from an experiment showed that for brands with a single product association, brand knowledge and context interact to influence evaluations of fit for extensions to products weakly associated with the brand. For brands strongly associated with more than 1 product, context influences evaluations of the fit of brand extensions (Dawar, 1996).
Given the importance of these associations, brand-extension researchers are now focusing on acquiring a deeper understanding of how cognitive representations of brands influence the evaluations of the fit of extensions with the original brand (Dawar, 1996). Ferguson (1991) reported that perceptions of brand-extension fit depend not only on similarity of product-based aspects, such as features or attributes, but also on the consistency of the extension product with an abstract mental representation, such as the brand-name concept.
Primarily, Quorn can start the branding of their products with the effective use of media as an advertisement tool. Cultural diversity and the penchant for global fashion are increasingly reinforced in the media. Preferences for clothes, accessories and other fashion items rest on how a product is shown and perceived by the consumers around the world. Thus, advertisements are not only focused on a specific market but rather on the global market by universalizing their product and thus their brands. The potential influence of globally shared television images, the informational power of the Internet, or how displays of popular culture artifacts or consumer goods proffer modes of articulation for sharing surface identities based on styles (Ferguson, 1992).
Being, first of all, a pragmatic market instrument, ads have an important side effect: they reproduce dominant ideologies, social structure, power relations and a global cultural. The products consume by individuals are wide spread markers of their social status, and they can be analysed as second-order signs, in Barthess terms, or to put it another way, as myths of consumer society: goods are imagined as magic latchkeys, letting one to come into the dream world (Ross, 2000). Fairytale narrative in a 30-second advertisement. Role of advertisements in socialization and construction of identity; representations of males and females and construction of their subject positions in advertisements (Ross, 2000).
New brand extensions are generally supported by substantial communication efforts to build on existing product associations (Dawar, 1996). For brands like Quorn with a single strong product association, and for extensions close to that product, communication could cue either the strongly or the weakly associated product. However, if the extension is close to the weakly associated product, context cues should primarily focus on it, especially if the target consumers are knowledgeable about the brand. Activating the strongly associated product would be a mistake in this communications should cue the product close to the extension product in order to maximize consumer perceptions of fit (Dawar, 1996).
Dawar (1996) argued that the proximity construct refers to the distance of extensions from the brand concept. The strength of brand-product association was used to refer to the relation between the brand and its associations with existing products. However, empirically in psychological research, the two constructs are often treated similarly in that both distance and strength of association are measured using response latency. Quorn should recognize that these two constructs are independent and can be tapped using different measures. In this study we used response latency measures to determine strength of association and a card-sorting task to determine proximity-distance. Future research could provide additional insight into the orthogonality of these constructs by crossing levels of the two constructs.
The memorability of a brand name and of copy items in print ads is enhanced by relations between the element to be remembered and other ad elements (Millard and Schmitt, 1993). Differences in brand-name memory were stronger on unaided recall measures than on brand-name recognition or brand-name matching measures. As argued before, this result suggests that interrelations among ad components are especially valuable for retrieval processes (Millard and Schmitt, 1993).
It could be argued, however, that related ad elements provide redundant information which allows for guessing; that is, if an individual is exposed to the same information three times, then he or she has to remember less information than when three different items of information are presented. We believe, however, that it is not clear how an individual could find information to be redundant without noticing the relation between the two concepts that supposedly constitute redundancy.
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