Designing marketing programs to Build brand equity

Traditional marketing activities revolve around product, pricing and channel distribution. However, efforts are always on to make sure marketing activities truly reflect brand image and develop strong brand equity. One the marketing concept developed is called experiential marketing. This unique concept is associated with brands and experience consumer has with it. For example American Express, has been sponsor of US open for years, they have created marketing plan especially for their card holders. The card holders are part of daily draws, where winner are eligible to court side seats among many other freebies. Another marketing technique popular among markets is a form of direct marketing. Brands like Amway and Avon have followed this technique for some time now. In this form of marketing focus is on individual consumer and not a large group, their habits are recorded and on that basis other products are suggested. Flora 2000 is online florist who deliver flowers all around the globe, time to time they send reminders of important events like mother’s day or valentine day with special deals to consumer, knowing consumer had previously made purchase around that period. Online retailer Amazon uses another marketing technique where they suggest a product to consumer after getting nod from them. Amazon takes permission from consumer before sending recommendation. This permission marketing enables companies to build unique brand image leading to strong brand equity.

Product remains first frontier for consumer to create opinion for brand. Marketing strategy around product is to highlight not only core benefits but also process or easy by which purchase is done there by creating a long term relationship with consumer where periodical information exchange can occur.

  • Products are sold either through direct marketing channels or indirect marketing channels. These channels also play an important role in building brand equity. Again channel choice is dependent on product. Industrial product preferred way would be direct channel. But there are various factors like product category, customization, price, complexity which play a role in deciding marketing channel.
  • Pricing is crucial for brand image. To establish price, product cost should not be the only consideration. But consumer perception for potential product value and sensitivity to price is also of equal importance. Competitor’s price also cannot be ignored because price war will not benefit anyone in the market. An effort has to be made to educate the consumer about cost of serving them, for them to understand price of product.

Marketers have to develop marketing programs keeping in mind above discuss points to build a strong consumer based brand equity.

The Company’s Viewpoint

Modern technology allows brands to understand their customer’s needs and desires better. Companies can now accumulate data about the habits and behaviours of their customers. That data can later be analysed, and the results can be used to better the existing marketing strategy. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to match the offer to customer expectations.

Furthermore, marketing tactics have evolved. Companies can now reach their customers at any time by email, and they can spread brand awareness via social media and other sources. What’s more, even the way companies offer their products has changed. The traditional way of purchasing is almost dead, as internet retailing is taking over the world. That’s a blessing and a challenge, because it requires a new supply chain model as well as making adjustments in the traditional distribution channels.

As mentioned before, marketing strategies are focused on products and pricing as well as the distribution channels. However, most of the marketing efforts are devoted to securing the perfect brand image, thus ensuring strong brand equity.

  • Can operate a powerful new information and sales channel with augmented geographic reach to inform and promote their company and its products.
  • Can collect fuller and richer information about their markets, customers, prospects, and competitors.
  • Can facilitate two-way communication with their customers and prospects, and facilitate transaction efficiency.
  • Can send ads, coupons, promotion, and information by e-mail to customers and prospect who give them permission.
  • Can customize their offerings and services to individual customers.
  • Can improve their purchasing, recruiting, training, and internal and external communication.

The Customer’s Viewpoint

With all information just a click away, the modern customers have a lot more insight than before. They can research the company, the products, the services, and they can quickly find out what other people think of the same brand.

Nowadays, potential customers can even research you on the go. Thanks to the mobile internet, all information is easily accessible. Furthermore, various forums and social networks allow much more information sharing. Customer reviews and general customer feedback can now influence any potential consumer.

Not to mention, modern technology also made way for customised products. Consumers can now choose products designed specifically for their taste and preference. For example, they can select unique, printed T-shirts and hoodies. What’s more, shopping has become much more convenient. Meanwhile, the customer is more informed than ever and that should influence your marketing strategies.

  • Can wield substantially more customer power.
  • Can purchase a greater variety of available goods and services.
  • Can obtain a great amount of information about practically anything.
  • Can more easily interact with marketers in placing and receiving orders.
  • Can interact with other consumers and compare notes on products and services.

Experiential Marketing

With new technologies came new strategies. Experiential marketing focuses on a single customer, instead of a larger target audience. Marketing efforts are directed at specific individuals their habits and behaviours provide insight into what kind of incentives that particular customer needs.

American Express has been sponsoring the US Open tournament for decades now, so it’s really killing two marketing birds with one stone.

Huge brands like Amway also implement similar techniques. They focus on the individual, analyse their behaviours, and tailor their efforts (and offer products) to fit that particular person’s needs. Examples of experiential marketing are endless flower deliveries around the world from Flora 2000, who targets people who are away from their loved ones on significant days, and Amazon that offers customers recommendations, to name a few. These efforts help build a positive brand image.

Product importance

Even though techniques are evolving, the product is still the number one factor that influences the consumer’s opinion of the brand. Crafting your marketing strategy so it highlights the benefits your brand offers and the effortlessness of acquiring the product creates a long-term relationship between the consumer and the brand. This relationship allows brands to collect information about their consumers, thus making it possible to cater to all their needs.

The brand image also depends on pricing. While forming your price, you have to think beyond the actual cost of the product. Think about how your consumers perceive your brand and how much they value it. That way, you’ll know how much they are willing to pay for it. If you have issues with the perceived value-to-money ratio, try educating your customers on the cost of production. Furthermore, competitor’s prices are also crucial.

Different Marketing Channels

You can sell products via direct and indirect marketing channels. Both ways play a significant role when it comes to building positive brand equity. Which channel you choose must depend on your product. For example, if you offer industrial products, it’s best to take the direct route. However, other factors, like customisation, price, and product category also play a part when it comes to choosing a marketing channel.

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