BUILDING STRONG BRANDS DAVID AAKER PDF
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As industries turn increasingly hostile, it is clear that strong brand-building skills are needed to survive and prosper. In David Aaker's pathbreaking book, Managing Brand Equity, managers discovered the value of a brand as a strategic asset and a company's primary source of competitive advantage. Now, in this compelling new work, Aaker uses real brand-building cases from Saturn, General Electric, Kodak, Healthy Choice, McDonald's, and others to demonstrate how strong brands have been created and managed. A common pitfall of brand strategists is to focus on brand attributes. Aaker shows how to break out of the box by considering emotional and self-expressive benefits and by introducing the brand-as-person, brand-as-organization, and brand-as-symbol perspectives. The twin concepts of brand identity the brand image that brand strategists aspire to create or maintain and brand position that part of the brand identity that is to be actively communicated play a key role in managing the "out-of-the-box" brand. A second pitfall is to ignore the fact that individual brands are part of a larger system consisting of many intertwined and overlapping brands and subbrands.
Aaker is the brand name in brand management! Every American company could benefit from the kind of soul—searching about brands that Professor Aaker advocates.
A masterpiece It applies to the Big Guys Brand loyalty is anything but dead: Believe it! A breakthrough work on the strategic value of brands This book builds on that solid foundation. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Publisher.
My book Managing Brand Equity, also published by The Free Press, set forth the perspective that a brand is a strategic asset that is key to long-term performance and should be so managed.
Building strong brands
That book helped to explain what brand equity is and how it contributes value. A brand equity structure was developed that included the four dimensions of awareness, perceived quality, loyalty, and associations.
That book also discussed the role of the brand name and its symbols, explored issues surrounding brand extension decisions, and reviewed global brand strategies. Since the time that Managing Brand Equity appeared, I have been involved, through my research and consulting, in several areas that were not addressed in any detail in that book. With the encouragement of Bob Wallace, my Free Press publisher, it seemed that a sequel was in order to explore these new issues.
There are five major themes to Building Strong Brands. First, the book delves into what brand identity is and how it can be developed. While a brand image is how a brand is perceived, a brand identity is aspirational—how the brand would like to be perceived. A common pitfall when creating brand identities is to focus on product-related brand characteristics. In this book, brand strategists are encouraged to break out of that box by considering emotional and self-expressive benefits, organizational attributes, brand personality, and brand symbols as well.
In taking the broader view of the brand, the likelihood of creating real differentiating value is enhanced. The second theme, managing the brand identity, involves developing a brand position that part of the identity which is to be actively communicated and an execution program. It also involves balancing the need to adapt to a changing environment with the power of consistent messages and symbols.
There are powerful forces for change that sometimes should be resisted. The third theme, centered around the concept of a brand system, adds a new dimension to the management of brands. A brand system—consisting of intertwined and overlapping brands and sub-brands—can create clarity and synergies, or it can generate confusion and inconsistency.
The brand system view leads to an analysis of the different roles that a brand can play. In particular, a brand or subbrand, in addition to driving a business area, can also play a role in supporting other brands or in providing clarity to customers. Another set of systems issues involves leveraging the brand via vertical or horizontal brand extensions, creating brands that range over product classes, and co-branding. The brand systems audit is introduced as a way to start managing brands as a system.
Fourth, an approach to brand equity measurement across products and segments is presented. Measurement is of practical interest to most managers attempting to build and manage multiple markets and brands, and it also provides a quantitative discipline to the conceptual branding models. Fifth, brand-nurturing organizational forms are discussed.
Brand building now needs to deal with brand systems issues and with problems of coordinating a brand across markets, products, roles and contexts. These challenges strain conventional organizations, and new approaches are often needed. In addition, the Saturn brand-building story illustrates many of the issues and approaches raised in the book. I have become close to the Saturn project and have grown to believe that it is one of the most impressive examples of brand building in recent years.
As in Managing Brand Equity, conceptual models and issues in this book are illustrated with case studies and examples. I believe abstract models need to be placed in illustrative contexts in order to provide clarity and to stimulate new ways of looking at brands and their management.
Further, where possible, academic research is drawn on to support hypotheses of how the process being discussed or modeled really works. Because I do not presume that all readers have read Managing Brand Equity, some key concepts from that work are repeated, but the overlap involves considerably less than 5 percent of this book.
References are occasionally made to material covered in detail in Managing Brand Equity. There are many who contributed to this book. I owe special thanks to Kent Grayson of the London Business School, who read the first draft and made numerous detailed comments and suggestions. I have benefited from stimulating conversations with Scott Talgo of the St. James Group, who contributed substantially to the core model developed in Chapter 3. My able assistant and editor extraordinaire, Carol Chapman, patiently helped provide extra polish.
At the Free Press, Catherine Wayland cheerfully helped in a multitude of ways, and Celia Knight kept the book moving along. Finally, I want to thank Bob Wallace of The Free Press for his encouragement and his positive attitude about me and my projects.
And I especially want to thank my family, who supported yet another writing project. An orange Unless, or course, that orange happens to be a Sunkist, a name eighty percent of consumers know and trust. All this was to change, thanks to George Eastman. Eastman founded a company that has had major worldwide influence almost since its inception. To initiate and maintain an organization with such clout, Eastman required a variety of resources, including the intelligence to develop new processes, a good business sense, and a willingness to take risks.
The brand and the company it represents survives today primarily because of four factors: In the late s, he developed a patent for a dry plate that promised to greatly simplify the photographic process. The Eastman plates soon became known for superior results, particularly in weak light and with long exposures.
A year after their introduction, however, trouble with a component caused some plates to lose sensitivity. It also helped to initiate customer associations between the Kodak brand and quality, associations that persist today.
In , Eastman began marketing a camera that made photography accessible to all, not just to the committed artist. The camera, which sold for twenty-five dollars, had none of the laboratory accessories usually associated with photography of the day: The novice had only to pull the cord, turn the key, and press the button.
For another ten dollars the pictures would be developed and new film reloaded at a modern, efficient facility in Rochester, New York.
It showed a picture of a hand holding a camera, with a headline written by Eastman: You press the button, we do the rest see Figure 1—1. The camera delivered on the promise—and many Kodak products since have carried on in its spirit.
More recently, the tradition has continued with the Instamatic an easy-to-load camera with flash cubes , introduced in , and the disposable Kodak FunSaver which is returned to photofinishers, who process the film and recycle the camera , introduced in One by-product of such consistent long-term quality and innovation was increased awareness of the Kodak name.
Promotions, advertising, and a ubiquitous logo also did their part to build awareness for Kodak. In , Kodak sponsored an amateur photographic competition in which twenty-five thousand people participated.
In , the company sponsored the Traveling Grand Kodak Exhibition of forty-one photographs.
‘Building Strong Brands’
In , it found scenic spots along highways and erected small Picture Ahead! Few people can see the Kodak symbols without the positive feelings that accompany the familiar, and one of the first things that come to mind when the subject of cameras, film, or family photos is raised is the word Kodak. Only five years after the Kodak camera was introduced in the United States, a sales office was opened in London, and it was quickly followed by offices throughout Europe.
In , Kodak had 75 percent of the world market for photographic equipment and about 90 percent of the profit. This dominance has decreased very little over the years. Kodak has a set of associations that provides a distinct image and the basis for a loyal relationship. The strong Kodak identity, backed by decades of products and marketing, can be summed up with two words: Around the turn of the century, Kodak introduced two characters—the Brownie boy and the Kodak girl—to represent its products.
They created not only a sense that the camera was easy to operate because even a child could use it , but also an association with children and family.
During the Kodak hour heard on radio in the s, listeners might hear family photo albums described. A award-winning Kodak commercial featured a couple in their sixties cleaning the attic. They find a carton of old snapshots showing them in their twenties and in the years that followed—getting married, enjoying their honeymoon, having their first child, and attending the graduation of their son.
The commercial ends with the woman, now a grandmother, running to grab an Instamatic to take a picture of her new grandchild. Because of repeated marketing efforts like these—supported by an unmatchable set of quality products—consumers have come to view Kodak as a family friend who is always around to help enjoy the good times.
This image has been a key factor in cementing customer loyalty for Kodak. For example, the Kodak Instant Camera introduced in to compete with Polaroid had captured one-third of the instant camera market after one year. However, the company was forced to discontinue the product in after a successful patent encroachment suit by Polaroid. Many brands would have been irrevocably tainted by such a calamity.
The fact that Kodak survived this debacle is a tribute to its innate brand strength and to its handling of a painful situation. Kodak thus used the incident and the surrounding communication opportunities to reinforce Kodak associations and to support the Disk Camera.
Contexts change, though, even for Kodak. The Kodak name, with its tradition and connection with special times and family scenes, will need to adapt to an innovative, high-tech image to support products such as the Photo CD which will store photographic images digitally and play them back on a computer and the CopyPrint which will instantly provide large copies from a print without a negative. This need to adapt, faced by a host of strong brands in different markets, is discussed in detail in Chapter 7.
Tomorrow it may be Bobble playing traffic policeman or Aunt Edna at the wheel of her new car or Brother Bill back from college for the week-end or—. Another problem faced by Kodak is aggressive price competition in the film business, coming in part from private-label or retail brands. One Kodak response has been to offer three versions of its film: Royal Gold, a premium film for special events; GoldPlus, the everyday Kodak film; and FunTime, a lower-priced, seasonal brand targeted at bargain shoppers.
The efforts of Kodak and other firms to move brands both up and down to react to deteriorating markets will be covered in Chapter 9. In addition, Kodak is aggressively expanding its presence in the worldwide market, in which it holds a 40 percent share. The Kodak story shows how brand equity can be created and managed. This chapter provides an overview of brand equity and, in so doing, expands on the conceptualization that was first offered in my book Managing Brand Equity.
Although the conceptualization is the same, new research, case studies, and perspectives have been added. Chapter 1 also sets the stage for the key points that will be made in this book about building strong brands. The major asset categories are:. Several aspects of the definition deserve elaboration. First, brand equity is a set of assets.
Thus, the management of brand equity involves investment to create and enhance these assets. Figure 1—3, drawn from and discussed in Managing Brand Equity, provides a compact overview of how brand equity generates value. Note that a fifth category of assets, other proprietary assets, is included for completeness in Figure 1—3. This category is meant to cover assets such as channel relationships and patents that are attached to the brand.
Second, each brand equity asset creates value in a variety of very different ways seventeen are actually listed in the figure. In order to manage brand equity effectively and to make informed decisions about brand-building activities, it is important to be sensitive to the ways in which strong brands create value. Third, brand equity creates value for the customer as well as the firm. The word customer refers to both end users and those at the infrastructure level.
Building Strong Brands
Thus, Hilton needs to be concerned with its image among not only consumers who travel, but also travel agents. Finally, for assets or liabilities to underlie brand equity, they must be linked to the name and symbol of the brand. Several observations will be made below about each of the four principal brand asset categories that will serve to recap, extend, and update the extensive discussion that appeared in Managing Brand Equity. The intent is to provide an understanding about exactly how each category underlies brand equity.
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