Branding Equity and Community
Chocolate consumption in the UK has remained high despite the emergence of other competing products. The chocolate industry has, therefore, remained strong as it retains its large market base. The success has, however, has not come as a mere chance, but as a result of the extensive method of improving, differentiating and advertising of chocolate products. Some companies that are involved in the production and provision of products include Divine chocolate company, Hotel chocolate and J. S Fry &Sons among others. Chocolate is sold in different form like chocolate powder, chocolate biscuits and chocolate baked cakes just to mention a few. The most popular chocolate brands are Mars, Galaxy, Cadbury and Kit Kat.
The brand is a distinct name, symbol or design or a combination of them aimed at identifying and differentiating a brand of a certain manufacturer from the competing products. Brand equity is a term used to describe the value of a strong and well-known brand in the market field. Some brand products are not known and are said to have a weak equity while those that are well known are said to have a strong equity. Brand equity can be studied through the consumer based brand equity or financial-based.
The customers based brand equity aims at attracting and holding the customers’ loyalty. It measures the customers’ response to a brand to determine its acceptance by the public. The customers based brand equity model consists of four stages that are aimed at increasing the awareness of a brand. The first stage is to create awareness that the product exists. Awareness involves the ability of the customer to recognize a given brand from other competing products. It is reflected by the ability of the customers to identify a given logo and symbol and linking it to the brand name. The second stage includes making the customer associate themselves with the brand. It is done mostly by ensuring the brand meets the customers’ wants. This stage is followed by creating a positive image of the products to the public. The final stage involves creating customers loyalty of the brand. The customers’ loyalty is achieved by maintaining the affordable price of a brand as well as providing a quality product.
Mars, Galaxy and Cadbury are examples of brands that have achieved strong brand equity. There are benefits that accrue when a brand achieves this position. First, it is possible to predict the income from this brand. The strong brand is able to maintain its market base even when a new competitor enters in the marketplace. Its market is, therefore, stable which makes the company accurately predict its income. Strong brand equity also enjoys the increases in cash flow. The acceptance of a brand increases sales while the advertisement is lowered.
Brand equity is attained through a stipulated process. It begins by introducing a brand to customers. The product should be quality and fully meet the needs of the customers. The introduction is done through advertisement. The second step involves elaboration of the brand features so that customers would be able to remember and identify it from other products. The final stage involves maintaining the image of a brand for a long period of time. The chocolate industry successfully introduced chocolate brands such as Mars, Galaxy and Cadbury and the image has been maintained for a long time. This fact makes the industry retain the UK market base despite the change in the business climate and stiff competition from other beverages and food products.
Consumer-based brand equity CBBI can be positive or negative depending on how the customers respond to a brand. A positive CBBi is achieved by ensuring the brand meets the preference of the customers’ and creating awareness about the product. A positive CBBI is very important in the marketing of a brand. Its advantages include the creation of customer loyalty, increasing profit margin and enhance marketing communication which reduces advertisement cost. Other advantage includes enhancing cooperation between the distributors, suppliers and customers. The three chocolate brands have created a positive image which boosts the industry performance. People have been able to identify with the product which resulted to customers’ loyalty. The industry has reduced advertisement despite the stiff competition.
Equity brand is created by the brand image. Brand image should be easy to remember and identify it from other competing brands. Brand awareness is then necessary as it help create a positive image of a brand. Brand awareness is enhanced through repeated exposure to the brand slogan, creating a memorable product and making people to associate with the brand. Brand awareness helps customers to learn about a product and make an informed choice. The chocolate industry has created a good image of these brands. Mars, for example, have a unique packet that is memorable. The same applies to the other two products.
Positive CBBI and positive image are aimed at the reposition of the brand. Reposition is a process of making a brand distinct from the other brands. Other methods used in reposition include good communication, giving a brand name related to a celebrity and conducting of a research to determine what the customers really want. The communication helps an industry to clear the prejudices that the public may have over a give brand. Use of celebrity names also makes customers associate with a product. This improves the brand image, especially where the celebrity is well known for great deeds. Research is also important in finding out exactly what the customers want and in turn, recommend for positive action to be taken on a brand quality.
Brand Marketing Communications
Communication is passing or conveying of the information from one party to another. Communication is very important in maintaining a strong and positive CBBI of given brand. A company must maintain a good communication with its customers and its suppliers. The contact also involves the company’s response towards the customers’ complaint. The communication should be friendly simple and entertaining but should be able to achieve its objectives of informing people about the product. The industry should have extensive communication networks so that it can gain more response from their customers. Chocolate industry in the UK has a well-elaborated means of communication ranging from media communication to personal communication.
Communication of a market can be analysed through a number of aspects. The market conditions are essential as it gives industry the method to use to communicate to them and also to receive their responses. A wide and dense market requires wide means of communication which use language that caters for all the diversity. Media such as radio, television and magazines are the best means of communication in a large market. A small market does not require extensive communication means. Personal service is the best in this market. The wider and diverse market in UK has left the chocolate industry with no option other than communication mostly through media, such as radio. Currently, it also uses the internet, namely emails in communication. This has greatly improved industry performance and sales.
Customers’ perception is another aspect of communication. The customer perception about the product is very crucial as it can affect the amount of sales of a brand. Communication is needed to correct a bad perception that an individual has concerning the company. The public may have biases perception about the company which may bring a negative impact to the brand. Communication is, therefore, necessary to correct this bias and clarify any issues that may soil a brand image. The essence of a good image is to position a brand where it deserves to be. A strong brand increases it sales, hence, high income. Chocolate industries in the UK have managed to create good customer perceptions through effective communication.
Other aspects include the objectives of the communication, branding, planning, strategy and utilization of the tools of the promotional mix. Communication is aimed at achieving predetermined objectives. The aim may be to persuade the customer to buy a certain brand, inform on a new brand or correct bias and prejudices. Objectives determine the method and language used for communication. Branding is a means of communication with customers as it attracts customers. Communication requires planning strategically to achieve the intended objectives at an economical cost. The promotional mix which includes advertising, presentation and promotion cannot be effective without communication.
The nature of the market can be effectively studied through the market segmentation. Market segmentation is the division of the market into units that have similar characteristics. The aim of segmentation is to enhance proper planning in the distribution of the product. Market segmentation is based on demographic, behavioral, geographic or psychographic factors. Demographic considerations include income level, the age of the target markets sex, race and family status. Behavioral considerations include user status, usage rate, usage occasion, brand and benefits sought. Geographical factors include international and regional locations while psychographic include values opinions, attitudes, activities and lifestyle of the targeted market. The chocolate industry has segmented its market based on all the considerations. The distribution of the chocolate has been facilitated by this method.
Understanding of the segments leads to the application of the integrated marketing communication which is necessary to convey the message to all people. One method of communication cannot effectively convey the message to all market segments, hence, there is needed to combine a number of them. Integrated marketing communication is the strategic combination of elements of communication so that there is an effective and economical transaction. The elements of communication that best suit a certain segment are applied on that specific segment while a different one in a different segment. This has been the case in the chocolate industry in the UK where they combine a number of communication methods to reach out the large and diverse UK market.
An integrated marketing communication should be economical, enhancing, efficient and effective. The method should be affordable so that an industry does no spend too much in communication. It should enhance communication in an effective and efficient way. It should have coherence, consistency, continuity, and complementary to the communication. It also should be reliable and predictable to enhance efficiency. Chocolate industry communication has maintained effective communication by the use of integrated marketing communication. The integrated marketing communication has ensured that the three brands are positioned effectively in the UK market.
There are many communication media used by the chocolate industry in the UK. Some of the commonly used media include television, radio, print and websites, among others. They are mainly used to advertise the brand to a target market. The advantages that have accrued due to this include increase in sell, creating customer loyalty and creating awareness. However, advertising is costly, hence, consuming the industry income. Social media which is mostly used is not as effective as personal sales. Moreover, it lacks direct feedback which may be of help to the industry.
Brand Community and Tribal Marketing
The brand community is a community that is formed based on the attachment of different people to a certain product. It has four parties that include customers, brand, product and marketer.The community is united by the brand, which creates a kind of relationship. The community is important as every individual requires others in order to meet their needs. Community enables the sharing of ideas and also creates a sense of moral responsibility. A brand community entails the brand culture, history, rituals and traditions of a given brand. Chocolate industry in the UK has established a community based on the brands which have improved the communication between the involved parties as well as promoting customers loyalty.
There are three kinds of relationships in the brand community. They include brand personality, brand as friend and brand as a religion. When a customer develops a sense of sincerity and excitement about a product, then the brand relation is defined as personal. Sometimes customers move beyond the personal attributes to a feeling of having a relationship with a brand. This relationship is referred to as a brand as a friend. The last relationship is when a brand becomes a point of focus to many people. The community becomes addicted to the brand, hence, it becomes a part of life. This relationship is referred to as brand as a religion. Many British have become addicted to chocolate products with Mars brand be the most preferred.
Cults brand is a product that has strong customer loyalty. The customers are fanatic about the product since they are deeply touched by it. Attaining of the brand cult requires extensive endeavours to develop and maintain a deep customer loyalty. To build a strong cult brand one needs to research and determine the needs of the target market. The producers then determine what to produce to satisfy the customers. During production, a brand should be completely differentiated from other competing companies. This is done through the incorporation of the brand language logo and symbols that are well known to the customers. The brand should be of a high quality and meet the test and preference of the customers. The three above-mentioned brands have unique and attractive packages that are easily identified.
Last is the discussion of the factors that influence customers’ satisfaction. The quality of a product is the major factor that affects the costumer’s satisfaction. Obviously, high-quality products fully satisfy the customer’s needs as opposed to low-quality products. Galaxy, Mars and Cadbury success is mainly attributed to the high quality of these brands. Consumer emotion contributes greatly to the consumers’ satisfaction. Human needs are mostly based on human emotions; hence, a positive emotion towards a product is more satisfactory compared to negative emotions. Other factors include personal moods, prices and attributions for service success and fairness.
This essay has discussed brand equity, brand community, tribal marketing and brand market communication drawing examples from Galaxy, Cadbury and Mars chocolate brands in the UK chocolate industry. Due to their strong position in the UK market, these three brands have maintained their market and, consequently, success despite the emergence of competitors. Some of the methods the industry has taken to maintain this success include improving their quality, differentiating their products to improve the brand’s image and improving communication with their customers. The advertisement has also become a contributing factor to this success. The advertisement is mainly done through the media such as television, radio, prints, websites and billboards among others. The brands have been embraced by many people in the UK and the industry has a promising future.
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