Thursday, May 15, 2008

The concept of Ethical Brand Positioning

Marketing has been a more frequent target of criticism for unethical business activities than any other functional area of business. As marketing involves more direct contact with high public visibility than the other functional areas, it remains in the focus for unethical practices. In the past decades, increasing amount of attention has been devoted to ethics in business in general and marketing in particular. Marketing managers have become ethically more sensitive, and they are largely convinced that customers and the public expect them to act in a morally acceptable way.

Given fierce competition and rising costs of customer acquisition, enduring relationships based on mutual trust have become more important than ever before. Marketers have developed the idea of strong brand so as to reassure the consumer about the quality and delivery of value. Consequently, the relevance of ethics in Branding has surged over the last three decades.

In this thesis, after exploring various aspects of ethics it is taken as a “one word” to describe complex interdependence of culture, religion, society, and business, these interdependence results in various undisclosed but yet very evident set of patterns and behaviors in the society. These behaviours and patterns of the society results in the judgmental aspect of something as acceptable or unacceptable, a brand, which identifies these acceptable, reference points and positions itself on them is able to outclass the competitors and also wins the market. Even more attention has recently been paid to ethical issues in the multicultural marketing context. Essentially, the cross-cultural perspective of value-compatibility has become important over the past years.......
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brand Management: An introduction

  • Introduction: A form of branding has been used since at least Classical Greece to
    differentiate one similar product from another. There was usually little difference between the brand and the company; typically they were one and the same. Branding started to develop and came to the picture in USA around early 20th century. Many famous brands date back to this time, for instance American Express and Coca-Cola. With growing consumer sophistication branding became associated with a mix of values that gave consumers a message about a product. Even in the earliest time, the brand was a guarantee of homogeneity and a signal of product quality. For example, in medieval trade guilds in Europe, potters marked their products with a thumbprint, fish, cross or some other differentiating mark into the wet clay. Presumably, they expected customers to seek out this mark in the future if they were satisfied with a past purchase. However, branding became more important over time as manufacturers and sellers lost face-to-face contact with their customers. This was due to the appearance of means of distributing products across wide trading areas, like railways. Since there was an absence of face-to-face seller – customer interaction, the brand assured product authenticity and consistency of quality.
  • Definition of a Brand: There are many definitions of a brand. Like Aaker (1991), Keller (1998). Kotler (1994) & Lovelock (1999) defines brand as “Distinguishing name and/or symbol intended to identify and differentiate”; Brandt & Johnson (1997, Gilmore 1997) defines it as “Tangible product plus intangible values”. Peter Doyle of Warwick University has given a comprehensive definition: “A name, symbol, design, or some combination which identifies the product of a particular organization as having a substantial, differentiated advantage”.........

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Framework of Ethical Brand Positioning: A case study of anchor

This paper addresses ethical and cross-cultural issues in brand positioning. Five basic elements of brand positioning – Brand Identity, Brand Image, Brand Personality, Brand Awareness, and Brand Communication are identified. These elements of brand positioning and their associated variables are defined and blended with ethical and cross-cultural issues. After generating a statistically significant framework, a predictive model is developed. This paper is based on the core idea that ethics can be used as a product differentiator and can create a strategic advantage. The framework emerges after studying top ten Indian brands in India in different sectors. The Anchor case study is important from the managerial point of view as it serves a step by step guide to position the brand in an integrated and ethical manner.
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Adaptation strategies for Ethical Brand Positioning in Cross Cultural environment

Every culture has its own uniqueness in term of variability of Beliefs, Ethics and value system, this paper is the result of research work on Ethical Brand Positioning in cross cultural environment. The work starts with the basic premise that brands in global environment are facing various cultures, and cross cultural variability is effecting their brand positioning. Brands need an adaptation framework in reference to the culture in which they operate. Brand positioning elements interact with various variables of culture. This interaction demands an adaptive response from the brand, if the brand positioning has to be contextual and in tune with the culture then the brand positioning variables has to interact, adapt and respond to the cultural variables in which the brand is operating. Four global brands operating in Indian context are taken and a generic stepwise prescriptive strategic framework is suggested for cross cultural adaptation of ethical brand positioning.

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The idea behind EBP( Ethical Brand Positioning)

Ethics does not mean any moral discourses but is used as a word that describes complex interdependence of culture, religion, society and business. This interdependence results in various undisclosed but yet very clear set of patterns and behaviors of the society that lead to the acceptance or rejection of a concept. A brand which identifies these acceptable reference points and positions the products on those lines is able to outclass the competitors and become a winner in the market. Here Ethics means cutting edge tool for differential Brand Positioning.