Carlos Chance, the head of branding at Slate, Inc. soon hosts a kickoff web meeting asking for the case team’s insights into the company’s logic on brand strategy.
“Over time, products may become generic showing very little differentiation, like cereals,” Carlos says. “That’s why branding is crucial in differentiating products. Even utilitarian product choices are influenced by branding, and the driving force is competition.
“When competition is intense, all products soon offer functional advantages: me-too products or follow-the-leader strategies. Accordingly, the only sustainable advantage is brand image, which you might recall from Johansson’s work in his book, Global Marketing (2009). That’s why a continuous marketing effort is needed to support the brand or product. Remember Levitt’s (1983) argument that anything can be branded—even something as plain as pasta, like Barilla and Buitoni.
“Do you agree or disagree with Levitt’s statement, and why? Will Levitt’s argument impact your analysis of Slate’s competitors’ branding strategies?”
Contribute your thoughts in the Slate, Inc.’s project team discussion area, and discuss your ideas with your team members.
Johansson, J. K. (2009). Global marketing (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Levitt, T. (1983). The globalization of markets. Harvard Business Review, 61(3), 92–102. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/1983/05/the-globalization-of-markets
Brand identity refers to the distinct and relatively lasting characteristics of a brand. A brand tends to have an appealing and solid identity when consumers perceive its identity as more distinct and prestigious (Bhattacharya & Sen, 2003).
Creating a company’s brand identity involves more than designing its logo. A brand identity is both emotional and visual and communicates trustworthiness and relevance. Building an effective brand identity takes many years of perpetual tweaking and hard work; however, it is crucial to the success of the company. When it comes to creating and maintaining a brand identity, every small detail counts. It is a delicate task of following the company’s core values, while simultaneously being able to adapt to changing market forces and trends. This task is difficult for even big multinational companies (Jansen, 2018a). Remember how Kodak failed to adapt to changing market conditions?
A strong brand identity can help a company succeed (e.g., Apple and Amazon). This success requires a strong focus and strict brand guidelines to maintain the company’s brand and keep it elevated in the face of the changing market forces. In order to do this, companies are advised to heed the following guidelines (Jansen, 2018b):
· Keep things simple and focus on their core values.
· Be flexible and adapt to changing market trends.
· Follow data, but do not ignore emotion.
· Do not jump on market trends without thinking of the bigger picture.
· Do not wait too long to rebrand themselves.
· Do not ignore market trends.