Branding – Briefly summarise the article

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Part 1: Briefly summarise the article

Branding is an old powerful strategy tool used to accelerate market awareness and acceptance of new products entering a market. It has been successful in the past, and has evolved as a way to attract and keep customers by promoting standing or image. The traditional role for a brand is to identify the product of an organisation, and its differential advantage throughout a name. Some firms have even considered that the brand was more important than the product itself, and have preferred spending money into branding more than in product research; but importance of the product is beginning to be emphasized.

The most fundamental problem regarding the issue of branding is what name to use. A name should have four characteristics, including distinctiveness, relevance, memorability, and flexibility, to ensure success with branding.

Subsequently, it is imperative to support it through appropriate advertising and communication, as there is a correlation between the level of advertising investment and the level of brand awareness achieved. Even successful brand owners have still to constantly keep their leading brand status.

Corporate, industrial, and service organizations are becoming the future of marketers, using branding strategy. Two of the most utilized applications of branding are ingredient branding, meaning extend a famous brand in a new market, and brand extensions, which means create a new product in an existing brand. Both of these techniques used to add new branding area are effective, but can also be dangerous.

The key element in business strategy is the brand management, which consists in building and sustaining a positive image to maintain customers loyalty. The branding process itself may be the starting point for product differentiation. In fact many brands are similar and their differences exists just in the consumer’s mind. All organization must support and identify with the branding strategy, and must deal with the changing environment.

Part 2: Critically review the research undertaken in the article

The research undertaken in this article deals with the different way to be successful with branding. After having clearly defined the notion of branding, and its use over the last 100 years, the author has begun a research part that I am going to critic. This research is composed of six parts, that I will study one after one after having criticised the research in general.

The author uses links with the past explaining how it was before and how it is now, and that is a good point as it enables us to make some comparisons, and to perceive an evolution throughout the time. Joseph Arthur Rooney use a lot of quotations, and that show that he has made a real research about branding. But sometimes I feel that some logics links between parts are missing.

Concerning the brand naming, I have appreciated the fact that Joseph Arthur Rooney explains why it is important to find a good name for a brand, before offering a method to find one. But instead saying that a good name provides advantage, he uses the negative form saying that a bad name is a disadvantage. So he does not explain how to be successful. About the research of the name, the author says, “the point of the name is to have consumers linked to quality”. He just writes this sentence without explaining it. I think it could be better if he had analysed and developed it.

Then he provides information about the six-step method, but not enough according to me, as it do not allow us to find a name in following these step. Maybe he should have developed more this part, which I think is important, in the brand naming. Giving some advice to find a relevant name is very interesting, as it can be useful for someone who is developing a brand. I think that another part is missing in the paragraph concerning brand naming: it is the corporate umbrella branding approach, which would have complete the given advice, explaining how to name a wide variety of product on the same brand.

Concerning the brand advertising, it is relevant to say that the purpose of advertising is to build brand awareness, in order to inform people about our brand. But there is another aim, which are those of building a brand image. According to me, this part is not at the right place, as it is developed at the end of the text. The advertisement has also to inform people about the new brand, and to persuade them to purchase. The author says that advertising should be though as an investment, and that there is a correlation between the level of advertising and the level of brand awareness achieved. But not always, I thinks it would be interesting if he had explained that there are some risks that the ad may not have any consequences, for example if the campaign is misappropriate, or if the target population has not been well chosen. Furthermore, there is not information in the text that before launching the advertising campaign, some studies have to be made on the market, and on the population that the brand wants to target.

Joseph Arthur Rooney highlights the facts that even strong brand have to ensure that they remain contemporary and relevant. But he does not explain how to do it. Moreover, he does not give details about the risks that companies takes in neglecting their brands, and do not explain what he call “neglecting their brands”.

Concerning the part corporate, industrial and service branding, the author explains that there is a strong correlation between the reputation of a brand and the level of supportive customer action, but he does not explain why. I think that he should have defined more precisely the 3 concepts. I have appreciated the fact that he gave a good advantage of industrial branding, explaining that it is possible to become a permanent supplier in that way by satisfying an organisation.

Concerning the part dealing with brand extensions and ingredients branding, the author provides advantages and drawbacks of both the notions and explains them clearly. The author says, “There are many example…” without quoted them. He should provide us with at least one. The advantages of such technique are available only if the brand is already well known, and that is not said in this part.

About brand management, it seems to be strange to promote the financial value of the brand rather than making it a better product the customer wanted. The author has not clearly explained what he means by “product that the customer wanted”. The part “creating a brand image” should have been developed in the advertising part of the text. Moreover, it just deals with the product differentiation; the author should have also explained that building a brand image is advantageous as it allows positioning a product.

Part 3: Select an organisation of your choice and examine how the ideas and concepts from the article could applied to the organisation

I have chosen the firm Yamaha, and this third part deals about the parallel between this company and the notions developed in Joseph Arthur Rooney article.

On the subject of the brand naming, Yamaha is a Japanese name given by the creator of the firm, Torakusu Yamaha. As it is an old company (1887), it goes on the way of the text explaining that the names given in the past were usually the last names of the inventors. Consequently for this firm, the name does not mean something and so do not have the four described characteristics. In the text, the author says that it is easier to be successful in branding if the product does not have to overcome the disadvantage of a bad name.

As Yamaha does not mean something, we can conclude that it is not a bad name, so there are not any disadvantages. But it is not exactly the same thing as described in the text, because the name branding part of the text deals with the name of a product, whereas Yamaha is the name of the firm. About name of the product, some of Yamaha’s are well chosen and we can make parallel will the article. For example, Venture 600 is the name of a Yamaha’s snowmobile. This name has the 4 characteristics quoted in the text: it is relevant because with this machine you can explore new areas. It is distinctive and flexible, as the number 600 correspond to the capacity of the engine, and there is some different capacity, as 700. In addition it is memorable, as the name correspond to an existing express.

Concerning the advertising, Yamaha benefit by a lot of external events such as Britney Spears tour US sponsors by the firm, or such as all Yamaha race where the firm is represented in grand prix. So the firm is well-promoted trough indirect advertising, as it is described in the article. For example, each time a pilot makes a good performance with a Yamaha motorbike in a grand prix, Yamaha is seen on television or in journals related the events. So as it is explain on the text, Yamaha is a company who believe in outstanding advertising trough sponsorship in order to become a leadership on the market. Moreover, Yamaha’s motorbikes and other one’s are quite similar product, and it is right that they are essentially differentiated through advertising and promotion, as explicated in the article.

Concerning the brand research and development part, we can make parallel between the text and Yamaha. Yamaha is a firm that constantly makes research in order to develop new products and technologies. The text explains that even if a firm has achieved the status of a leading brand, it must not “rest on their laurels”. I think that this concept could totally applied at Yamaha, because the firm, even if it is well known, always launches new products on the market, which means that it has make some effort about research and development. For example, according to Yamaha history, there has been each year’s new product launched in the music or in the motorcycle market. Through constant innovation and technological leadership Yamaha has grown to be the world’s largest and most successful maker of quality musical instruments. There are a lot of website on the Internet made by some Yamaha’s fans, which means that the firm applied the formal tracking method in order to know what the customers feel about Yamaha. There are some specialised journals which deal with the firm and its market, and that enables it to know how its brand compares with the competition, and how it manages the environmental changes, as it is developed in the text.

Concerning the corporate, industrial and service branding, we can also make applied what the author have said to Yamaha. First opposite the corporate branding, the author explains that firms use branding to link their name with favourable attributes in order to form a relationship with their main constituents and move them into a positive direction. Yamaha’s worldwide recognition and professional acceptance provide the security of Yamaha’s long-standing reputation for quality, integrity and value, and encourage people to buy Yamaha products. Relating to the industrial branding, the text explains that when industrial brands satisfy an organisation it is possible to become a permanent supplier, and that is what Yamaha has done: Piano competitions, music festivals and other performing arts venues across the globe make extensive use of Yamaha pianos; Schools, conservatories and piano instructors have long made Yamaha upright and grand pianos a top pick for music education; and professional piano tuners and technicians consistently select Yamaha when asked to recommend instruments to their clients.

Concerning the brand extensions and ingredient branding, Yamaha is a relevant example as it has used both applications of branding. First regarding to brand extension, the author explains that it is the fact to extend a brand into a new market. Yamaha was at the origin a firm which produced organ and other music instruments. But in 1954, the company begin the production of 125 motorcycles. Since this date, the firm has become one of the world biggest motorcycle manufacturers. This is a good example of brand extensions, which has been very effective in this case, which is a possibility explained by the article. The motorcycle market is completely different as that of the music instruments but Yamaha has used his famous name to launch new products on new market. Yamaha has also used his notoriety to enter in a lot of market different as those of departure.

For example, it also has enter in the ski market in 1961 developing FRP skis, or the stereo market in 1968, and the tennis market in 1975 with the launched of rackets, or in industrials robots market in 1984. But the last one was a failure: that is the risk of brand extension, because as it is said in the text, sometimes when the links between the two markets is not obvious, it can be dangerous and customers may not buy. About the ingredient branding, the author explain that it is the idea of using an established name to promote a new product, and this notion can be largely applied to Yamaha. The Yamaha RX-V3000 (a home theatre receiver) seems to be a relevant example. Indeed it arrives to revitalise old product as the RX-V1000 and the RX-V2095, with a new look and a lot of differences and improvement. The subtle changes in branding suggests Yamaha is subtly changing its spots: The word ‘Digital’ now stands alongside the traditional Cinema DSP designation, and there is no longer ‘Tri-field processing” it is now Quadfiel.

Concerning the last part, which is brand management, we can also make some parallel between the text and Yamaha. The author explain that the firm have interest in maintaining customer loyalty by building and sustaining a positive brand image. Yamaha pianos hold an enviable reputation around the world for consistently high quality, trouble-free durability and superior musical performance. Therefore, professional performing artists rely on Yamaha grand pianos for recording, composition and concert appearances, for example, the famous Sviatoslav Richter played on Yamaha pianos for more than 25 years, and so the notions of the text could be applied to Yamaha.

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