Factors Affecting Brands and Branding: a brief literature review
A wide range of factors have impact upon a brand than a business strategy and generally these factors can be divided into two categories: internal and external. Internal factors affecting brand include business strategy, internal conventions, brand legacy marketing mix and marketing implementation. External factors, on the other hand, include, but not limited to category, cultural, and needs conventions.
Crossan and Apaydin (2010) confirm this viewpoint and specify core elements of the brand as expression, perception, and recognition that are subjected to the impact of internal and external factors specified above.
Moreover, Fog et al. (2010) argue that regardless of industry and nature of the business brands cannot exist independent of the company, its organisational culture, suppliers, distributors and buyers, at the same time specifying these elements as factors affecting branding aspect of the business.
It has been argued that “it can be easier to establish a new brand if there is a history of product or service experience which has already earned trust and credibility” (Davis and Baldwin, 2006, p.29). However, Alessandri (2009) offers an alternative viewpoint claiming that the level of effectiveness of branding strategy depends upon the quality of brand identity, the choice and the level of implementation of communication channels to promote the brand, and the quality of products and services above all.
The personality of CEO of the company is considered to be another major factor affecting brands and branding initiatives by Fioroni and Titterton (2009). Moreover, the issues of brand personification have been explained by Fioroni and Titterton (2009) by referring to the example of Virgin Group, where it’s CEO Richard Branson has successfully established himself as a core of the brand.
A wide range of secondary data authors share their viewpoints in terms of improving brand image and value in a global scale. Authors highlight the role of integrated marketing communications initiatives aimed to increase the level of brand knowledge among target customer segment and argue that “brand knowledge provides detailed data on the level of awareness, recall, and understanding of the brands” (Kotler et al, 2006, p.196).
Stressing the role of time and experience in successful branding authors argue that the “most of the worlds most valuable brands have been around for more than 50 years” (Clifton and Ahmad, 2009, p.9).
Critical evaluation of branding strategy in a systematic manner has also been advised by a range of secondary data authors and it has been stated that “good brand strategy should last as long as it is best strategy possible” (Kotler et al, 2006, p.197)
According to Fioroni and Titterton (2009) in some circumstances CEOs and other senior level management within corporations are tempted to engage re-branding without possessing necessary skills, experience, knowledge and qualifications. Authors consider this situation to be highly dangerous and stress the input of marketing professionals in considerations of potential impact upon consumer perception of the brand when developing re-branding initiatives.
According to Franzen and Moriarty (2008) brand managers and strategic level management of companies need to adopt a holistic approach to brand management analysing the issues from both, company, as well as, consumer perspectives. Specifically, Franzen and Moriarty (2008) identify the elements of each perspective in the following manner:
|Company perspective||Brand reality||Customers/consumers perspective|
(core goal + values)
Brand equity investments
|Brand core concept
Physical brand identity
Brand presentation + perceptual positioning
Consumer brand equity
Main Theoretical Concepts in Brand Strategies
Source: Franzen and Moriarty (2008)
Addressing the issues of brand adaptation in international markets, Healey (2008) praises ‘70/30 Rule’ promoted by international brand consultancy firm Interbrand, according to which 70 per cent of brand presentation should be constant, and the remaining 30 per cent should be adapted to the cultural specifications of the local market.
Hasanali et al. (2005) recommend large organisations to establish the role of a brand champion and brand champions should be assigned the duties of contributing the vision, setting priorities, contributing patience, and enabling brand success. Hasanali et al. (2005) consider CEOs of corporations to be the best suitable individuals to assume the roles of brand champions.
Crossan, MM & Apaydin, M. (2010) A Multi-Dimensional Framework of Organisational Innovation: A Systematic Review of the Literature, Journal of Management Studies, (47) Issue 6, pp. 1154 – 1191
Fioroni, M. & Titterton, G. (2009) “Brand Storming: Managing Brands in the Era of Complexity” Palgrave Macmillan
Fog, K., Budtz, C., Munch, P. & Blanchette, S. (2010) “Storytelling: Branding in Practice”, 2nd edition, Springer Publications
Franzen, G. & Moriarty, S. (2008) “The Science and Art of Branding” M.E. Sharpe
Hasanali, F., Leavitt, P. & Williams, R. (2005) “Branding: A Guide for Your Journey to Best-practice Processes” APQC
Healey, M. (2008) “What is Branding?” Rockport Publishers
Kotler, P., Pfoersch, W. & Michi, J. (2006) “B2B Brand Management” Springer Publications