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COMPARITIVE STUDY OF Brand of Leading Footwear Giants With special reference to Adidas and Nike
The 1980s marked a turning point in the competition of brands. Management came to ralise that the principlal asset of a company was in fact its brand names.
The brand is not the product but it gives the product meaning and defines its identity in both time and space. Too often brands are examined through their component parts: the brand name, its logo, design or packaging, advertising or sponsorship, the level of image and brand awareness or, more recently, in terms of financial valuation.
The brand is a focal point for all the positive and negative impressions created by buyer over time as he comes into contact with the brand's products, distribution channel, personnel and communication. The brand continues to be, at least in short term, a byword for quality even after the patent has expired.
The brand performs an economic function in the mind of consumer and thus has a lasting and memorable effect on the company's activities, be it as distributor or owner of the brand.
Legally a brand is simply a symbol which distinguishes a company's product and certifies its origin and thus only obtains its value through registration and conformity.
In order to understand in what way a strong brand is a generator of growth and profitability, it is first necessary to remind ourselves of the fnctions that it performs with the consumers themselves, and which are the source of this valuable goodwill. Once these functions are valued, the consumer seeks out the brands and becomes attached, indeed loyal, to them and, in accordance with the valuation, is often prepared to pay more for the branded product. On the other hand, when these functions are either not fulfilled or not valued by the public, the attraction of the branded product decreases and its premium price becomes unacceptable.
Branding means much more than just giving a brand name and signaling to the outside world that such a product or service has been stamped with the mark and imprint of an organization.
Brands are a direct consequence of the strategy of market segmentation and product differentiation. It is no wonder that the word “brand” also refers to the act of burning a mark into the flesh of an animal as a means to claim ownership of it. Branding though, is not about being on top of something, but within something. The product or service thus enriched must stand out well if it is to be spotted by the potential buyer and if the company wants to reap the benefits of its strategy before being copied by others.
The brand should have its own specific point of view on the product category. It is this conception whichjustifies the brand's exixstence, its reason for being on the market, and provides it with a guideline for its life cycle. A brand is both the memory and future of its products.
Products are mute: the brand is what gives them meaning and purpose, telling us how a product should be read. A brand is both a prism and a magnifying glass through which products can be decoded. Brands become credible through persistency and repetition.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. - William Shakespeare
Shakespeare was wrong. A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet …. Which is why the single most important decision in the marketing of perfume is the name. - Al Ries and Jack Trout
An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but a symbol. - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A brand is an external manifestation of what happens inside the organization. The brand is the most powerful asset of a company. It is the instrument by which the products move. It is the symbol of a company's promise.
Branding is the process by which companies distinguish their product offerings from competition. A brand is created by developing a distinctive name, packaging and design, and arousing customer expectations about the offering. By developing an individual identity, branding permits customers to develop associations like prestige and economy with the brand. Buying a brand reduces the risk of the customer and eases his purchase decisions. Brand superiority leads to high sales, the ability to charge price premiums, and the power to resist distribution power. A brand is a distinguishing name or symbol (such as a logo, trademark, or package design) meant to identify the goods or services of either one seller or a Group of sellers. Its purpose is to differentiate the goods or services from the goods or services of the competitors. A brand gives signals to the customer the source of the product, and protects both the customer and the producer from the competitors who would attempt to provide identical products that appear to be same. The strength of brand is directly proportional to the expectations of the customer about it.
The brand is the culmination of all the activities of the organization. The brand name conveys the set of values and attributes embodied in the brand.
When we think of 'M' with curved top reminds us of the delicious burgers served at McDonald's outlets. This is how a symbol reminds us of the brand when it becomes applicable in the whole universe.
A BRAND CONVEYS the following message
Ø Attributes: can be both specific and abstract. Size colour and weight are specific. McDonalds gives identification of pure and hygienic food served by it.
Ø Benefits: refer to the consumer perception of the needs that are being satisfied. McDonalds gives us healthy food, which is hygienic and ready to eat.
Ø Values: Wipro's values are to deliver best products and services by applying these values.
Ø Culture: Mercedes represents German culture: organized and efficient and comfortable cars.
Ø Personality: Raymond's fabrics provide a gentle, caring and lovable man's look to its users.
Ø User: Barbie's indicate that its user would be a small kid and not a teenager or an old man
A successful brand has several essential attributes. The presence of most of these attributes can guarantee long-term eminence of the brand.
· The brand provides the benefits that customer desire. Customers buy a brand because its attributes, its image, its service and many other tangible and intangible factors create an attractive whole.
· The brand stays relevant.
· The pricing strategy is based on consumer's perception of value. The company has to arrive at the right blend of product quality, design, features and price. Value pricing should not be adopted at the expense of essential brand-building activities. Whatever price the company decides to charge, it should be able to demonstrate that customers are deriving value from it in proportion to the price they are paying.
· The brand is properly positioned. Successful brands keep up with competitors by creating points of parity in those areas where competitors are trying to find an advantage, while at the same time creating points of difference to achieve advantages over competitors in some other areas.
· The brand is consistent. Maintaining a strong brand means striking the right balance between continuity in marketing activities and the kind of changes needed to stay relevant.
· The brand portfolio and hierarchy should make sense. The Gap's brand portfolio provides maximum market coverage with minimal overlap. Banana Republic serves the higher end, the Gap brand covers the basic style and quality segment, and Old Navy serves the mass market. Each brand has the distinct image and its own source of equity. Brand at each level of the hierarchy should contribute to the overall equity of the portfolio through their individual ability to make consumers aware of the various products and foster favourable associations with them.
· The brand makes use of and coordinates a full repertoire of marketing activities to build equity.
· Brand managers understand what the brand means to consumers.
Define the Market
Market is the place where the sellers and buyers meet. It does not have any demographic limits.
· Market research gives the knowledge about customers, its attitude, approach. Market research is collection of data which will make a person (as a business) more aware of how the people, you hope to sell the product of the company to, will react to your products or services.
Conducting market research
There is no uniform way of conducting market research, yet there are number of ways in which we may carry out your research but we need to carefully consider the reason of this choice and what you hope the evidence will suggest to you.
There are various methods but Questionnaires and personal interviews are one of the most common ways in which you can conduct market research, and there are many methods of gathering data this way: Direct Interview, Mail Survey and Telephone interview of person.
The Marketing Mix (The 4 P's of Marketing)
In marketing decisions we are to take decisions about the four following categories:
· Product - which is produced by the company
· Price - which is charged by the company
· Place (distribution) - where it is sold by the company
· Promotion - what is done to increase sales of the company
These four P's are those parameters that the marketing manager can control, subject to the internal and external constraints of the marketing environment.
All the four elements of the marketing mix for a target market should reinforce one another and contribute positively to company's value proposition for the target market. The correct process to get its marketing mix right is that the company decides its positioning and sets each element of the marketing mix to conform to its positioning. Most companies start with fixing their marketing mix elements individually and only much later in their evolution do they consciously think about positioning. Different elements of the marketing mix send conflicting signals to the customers. Customers are confused about the company's true positioning. Such companies are not reaping the values that they could have from their marketing mix as customers pay less to compensate for the conflicting signals they get from one of the elements of the marketing mix. When customers get conflicting signals from the store, they always look to bargain for a lower price. If the same product had been sold from a branded store, all the four elements of the marketing mix would have presented a consistent image of high quality and premium product. Customers would not have bargained.
"Product" means to tangible, physical products as well as services. Here are some examples of the product decisions to be made by the marketing manager:
· Brand name
· Styling of the product
· Quality of the product
Marketing manager is to decide which pricing policy is to be decided by him for his product range so that consumer is satisfied and he is not losing profit. There are no fixed rules to be followed. Some examples of pricing decisions to be made include:
· Pricing strategy (skim, penetration, etc.)
· Cash discount and early payment discounts
· flexibility in pricing of the product of the company
· Price discrimination
Decision about Distribution (Place) of Product
Distribution means the process of delivering the goods to its customers. Some examples of distribution decisions include the following:
· Distribution channels
· Market coverage (inclusive, selective, or exclusive distribution)
· Warehousing arrangement
· Distribution centers of the company
Promotion of goods
It represents the various aspects of marketing communication. It is the communication of information about the product to generate a positive customer response. Marketing communication decisions include the following items:
· Promotional strategy (push, pull, etc.)
· Advertising of the product
· Personal selling & sales force
· Sales promotions
S - Strength
W - Weakness
This is very important for the company because it tells the weakness and the strong points of the company and if company then it is easier for the company to operate and also the profits as well as the market share of the company get increased so that it gets some synergy in its operation.
Brand image relates to the customer's perception of the brand. Brand image can be defined as the set of beliefs held about a particular brand. Brand image is the sum total of impressions that consumers receive from many sources, all of which combine to form a brand personality. Brand image is also described as the way in which a particular brand is positioned in the market, i.e., hoe the consumer perceives the product.
Brand image is a set of associations, usually organized in some meaningful way. Brand image is the understanding consumers derive from the total set of brand-related activities engaged by the firm. Implicit in all the above definitions is that brand image is a consumer-constructed notion of the brand. Consumers ascribe a persona or an image to the brand based on subjective perceptions of a set of associations that they have about the brand. For example, Lexus may be associated with lixury and status, while Volvo may have safety associations in the mind of the customers. McDonald's may be associated with a symbol such as the Golden Arches, or children may link the fast food giant to a place where they can have fun.
The key difference between the brand image and brand identity is that whereas identity stems from the source or company, image is received by the receiver or the consumer. Brand message is packed or wrapped in terms of brand identity, and it is unpacked or unwrapped by the consumer in the form of brand image. Identity represents the firm's reality while image represents the perception of the consumer.
Attitudes towards brand are dynamic, and are learnt over a period of time. Therefore, each encounter of the consumer with the brand either reinforces the existing attitude or forces him to re-evaluate it.
Consumers form attitudes about brands to consumption for several reasons:
· They simplify complex subjects
· They protect self-esteem
· They help us adjust to world
· They allow us to express fundamental values.
There are three main sources of attitudes:
· Direct experience with the brands and situations
· Explicit and implicit learning from others about the brand
· Personality development
Attitudes are not observable. Attitudes relative to purchase behaviour are formed as a result of direct experience with the product, word of mouth, exposure to mass media advertising, the internet and direct marketing.
Attitudes are not synonymous with behaviour though they may result from behaviour. Attitudes have consistency, though they are not permanent, and can and do change. Once attitude develop, they are not always easy to change. Often the goal of marketing is to change attitude about a brand or a company.
Attitudes occur within a situation. From a marketer's perspective, it is important to consider the situation in which the behavior takes place, or one might misinterpret the relationship between attitude and behavior.
Branding for a business means one need to stand out from the herd when it comes to business. Branding makes the company stronger and more adaptable than your competitors. Brand gives the business an immediate advantage because it is a backbone, or a frame work, on which company hangs its products.
Brand gives awareness of the product to the customer. A branded business carries with it an ideology. If people know the brand they know the company and what it stands for. A brand carries with it the power to inspire and influence your customers. Brand creates a set of subconscious associations in minds of the customers of the company and sets you apart from the herd.
Brand gives the customer satisfaction, surety about the following:
1. Quality of product of company
2. Reliability of product of company
3. Customer service (after sales /before sales)
4. Uniformity of material, size etc.
Advertising campaigns uses the following for their product
1. Their Logos
2. Their Slogans
3. Their Promises
We absorb every day that a lot of advertising promotion - Logos, slogans and associated advertising methods (particularly background music) stick like mud. “Ek idea jo apke duniya badal de” “I'm loving it”… can name the brands.
Company need to grab its audience and need to keep them until they are fully aware that it exists and that it mean business.
It is advisable for the company not to copy its competitors, be original instead look to companies that inspire you for inspiration.
There are some other ways of advertising but Word of mouth is by far the most effective form of advertising. People ignore Pop-up windows, but they'll listen to their best friend. If company provides a quality service people will recommend for it to the other prospects and help to make them customers.
If company can provide quality at decent price customers will come back, inspiring customer loyalty is part of a strong brand identity.
If company is lacking to shape its business, it may want to hire a professional to help shape your business model, or to improve its advertising scheme.
Company should not limit itself; putting blinkers on is a way of staying focussed; but it also leads to missed opportunities of growth.
Brands in today's intense global economy are strategic assets and a key source of competitive advantage. A brand's equity adds or detracts from the power of the brand. It must be managed and leveraged to produce strong long-term performance and lasting revenue growth. Strong brand-building and measurement skills are crucial to achieve these critical objectives in today's fiercely competitive global economy.
The brand performs an economic function in the mind of consumer and thus has a lasting and memorable effect on the company's activities, be it as distributor or owner of the brand.
Brands create market segmentation and product differentiation. “Brand” also refers to the act of burning a mark into the flesh of an animal as a means to claim ownership of it. Branding though, is not about being on top of something, but within something. The product or service thus enriched must stand out well if it is to be spotted by the potential buyer and if the company wants to reap the benefits of its strategy before being copied by others.
It means to the value inherent in a brand name. This value stems from the consumer's perception of the brand's superiority, the social esteem that using it provides, and the customer's trust and identification with the brand. For corporate world, their most valuable assets are their brand names. Well-known brand names are referred to as megabrands which attracts the customers.
Companies prefer to leverage their brand equity through brand extensions rather than taking the risk launching a new brand. Brand equity is most important for low involvement purchases such as inexpensive consumer goods that are brought routinely and with little processing of cognitive information.
Brand equity enables companies to charge a price premium - an additional amount over and above the price of an identical store brand. A relatively new strategy among some marketers is co-branding (also called double branding). The basis of co-branding, in which two brand names are featured on a single product, is to use another product's brand equity to enhance the primary brand's equity.
Brand loyalty and brand equity increases market share and profits are increased.
Definition of Brand Equity
Brand equity is the value and power of the brand that determines its worth. The brand equity can be determined by measuring;
· The price premium that the brand charges over unbranded products;
· By assessing the additional volume of the sales generated by the brand as compared to other brands in the same category;
· Returns to shareholders;
· Assessing the image of the brand for various parameters that are deemed important;
· Assessing the future earning potential of he brand;
Various activities of the firm determine brand equity. These activities may enhance or diminish the brand value. Activities that are synchronous with the overall vision for the brand enhance equity, and any activity that goes against this overall vision reduces brand equity.
The customer-based brand equity framework defines customer-based brand equity as the differential effect that consumer knowledge about a brand has on the customer's response to marketing activity. Positive customer based brand equity results when consumers respond more favourably to a product, price or communication when the brand is identified than when it is not. Sources of brand equity occur when consumer are aware of the brand and hold strong, favourable and unique brand associations. Any action that a firm takes as part of its marketing programme has the potential to change consumer knowledge about the brand in terms of some aspects of brand awareness or brand image. Managing brand equity, however, requires more than taking a long-term perspective. Brand equity must be actively managed over time by reinforcing the brand meaning and if necessary, by revitalizing the brand.
Who should be involved in process of building brands?
Brand managers were originally dominant in brand building. However, the traditional brand manager concept has been criticized since changes in the external environment and within the firm raise doubts about its appropriateness. Limitations in the brand management concept have resulted in the move to categry management. In some firms the CEO is in charge of brands, which is advantageous as CEOs have authority, a long term perspective and control over resources. CEOs also have many objectives and may be subject to performance measures which conflict with the aims of building a strong brand. As such the “brand champion”, a senior executive with sole responsibility for managing and building one particular brand, is emerging as an alternative. However, as the role of marketing departments has declined branding mayhave ceased to be their sole responsibility.
External parties may also be involved. Agencies attract employees who are interested in brand strategy, and these employees often develop brand strategy toolkits and gain insight and experience because of their exposure to different brand and brand contexts.
Consumer involvement is also critical.
Stages in building a successful brand
· Identify external opportunities
· Identify internal capabilities
· Define the brand and develop a brand concept
· Consider feasibility of brand
· Ensure internal commitment
· Position and differentiate the brand
· Structure organizational resources
· Market testing
The brand concept is based on the consumer needs that a brand can satisfy. A brand with a functional concept is designed to solve externally generated consumption needs. A brand with a symbolic concept is designed to associate the individual with a desired group, role or self image. A brand with an experimental concept is designed to fulfill an internally generated need for stimulation and/or variety.
Brand identity originates from the company, i.e., the company is responsible for creating a differentiated product with unique features. The marketing mix strategy plays an important role in establishing a brand identity. The four Ps - product, promotion, price and place- can play an important role in this process.
Brand identity is the common element sending a single message amid a wide variety of its products, actions and slogans. This is important since the more the brand expands, the more customers are inclined to feel that they are, in fact, dealing with several different brands rather than a single brand. Through brand identity, a company seeks to convey its individuality and disinctiveness to the relevant public. It is through the development of this identity that managers and employees make a brand unique. The brand identity is made up of the following components:
· Brand vision
· Brand culture
"Brand equity” has two components, we can more easily determine a reliable way to measure brand equity, and to track changes in brand equity over time. The components of brand equity are:
a) retention and attraction of customers,
b) stem from people's experiences and
c) perceptions of a brand.
How should brand equity be reinforced over time? How can marketers make sure that consumers have the desired knowledge structures such that their brands continue to have the necessary sources of brand equity? In a general sense, brand equity is reinforced by marketing actions that consistently convey the meaning of the brand to consumers - in terms of brand awareness an brand image - as follows:
· What products does the brand represent; what benefits does it supply; and what needs does it satisfy?
· How does the brand make those products superior? What strong, favourable and unique brand associations exist in the minds of consumers?
Both of these issues- brand meaning in terms of products, benefits and needs as well as brand meaning in terms of product differentiation - depend on firm's general approach to product development, branding strategies and other strategic concerns.
The most important consideration in reinforcing brands is the consistency of the marketing support that the brand receives - both in terms of the amount and nature of marketing support. Brand consistency is critical to maintaining the strength and favourability of brand associations. Brands that receive inadequate support, in terms of such things as shrinking research and development or marketing communication budgets, run the risk of becoming technologically disadvantaged or even obsolete.
Consistency does not mean, however, that marketers should avoid making any changes in the marketing programme. On the contrary, the opposite can be quite true - being consistent in managing brand equity may require numerous tactical shifts and changes in order to maintain the proper strategic thrust and direction of the brand. There are many ways that brand awareness and brand image can be created, maintained or improved through carefully designed marketing programmes.
Brand loyalty occur when a customer makes the choice of purchasing one brand from among a set of alternatives consistently over a period of time. Brand loyalty is usually rated as the most important indicator of brand equity.
"Loyalty is a dual edged sword, an opportunity for those that consistently deliver on their promises; high risk, for those who don't."
(Martin Hoffmitz, Executive Vice President)
"Loyalty is developed in the absence of something better."
(Justin Lees, Commercial Controller)
BRAND EQUITY & BRAND LOYALTY MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT
Companies work hard building the strength of their brands to earn more profits. Bottom line job of marketing is to Build a brand, cultivate its strengths, prune its weaknesses, and make it more valuable to its owners. Marketing does ultimately work in concert to make a firm's brands more valuable.
Ways to Measure Brand Equity
Measuring of brand equity establishes a baseline and track changes in its brand equity over time. Company must consistently work to improve the strength of its brands. it must trace progress, or risk "flying blind." Changes in a quantitative measurement of brand equity can show the company the effects of its work, and aid in setting marketing and management priorities in the next business planning cycle.
A company measures its brand equity to aid in assigning a monetary value to a brand. Wall Street measures the strength of a brand by looking primarily at current and historical financial measures, with minimal use of information directly from the "voice of the marketplace" (i.e., current and prospective customers).
LOYALTY IN THE MARKET PLACE
Whether husbands are loyal to their wives or not, whether employees remain loyal to their employers or not, marketers are realising the need to have a large number of loyal customers. The purpose of any organisation does not end with just getting the customers. Retaining them in their fold is an equally important task. No successful company is satisfied if a customer buys the product of the Company just once or twice. He/She must be made to buy the same brand again, and again. This is should be the core strategy for many of the fast moving consumer goods. Often consumers may not be aware of even the total set of brands available in the market of the product category under consideration. Again, they do not consider for choice all the brands they are aware of. They have an evoked set or a consideration set of brands within which they normally switch from one to another. Consider the case of toilet soaps. There are any number of toilet soaps available in the market. But consumers usually choose from their evoked set only. Suppose, the evoked set of brands for toilet- soaps for a consumer consists of Hamam, Rexona and Lux, she will buy only from these three brands. At the same time, she may buy one particular brand more often than other brands in the evoked set, which is a different issue to be taken up later.
Ø Shock absorbing material under the heel.
Ø Provides heel cushioning and stability.
Ø Provides extra absorption of harmful impact forces.
Ø Adds stability a ground contact.
Elastic material under the forefoot.
Ø Allows a more efficient push-off.
Ø Retains natural forces at toe-off for added forefoot efficiency.
Ø Maximizes energy use.
Ø Helps control of the natural independent rotation of the heel and forefoot.
Ø Creates stability and control.
Ø Helps the forefoot adopt to surfaces easily.
Ø Maintains mid-foot support.
Ø Lugs in shoe bottom provide optimal ground penetration and maximum grip.
Ø Lug placement optimizes comfort while increasing surface contact.
Ø Adds stability at ground contact.
Ø Meets the specific needs of different sports and surfaces.
Ø Usage of TPU as lightweight mid-sole support system reduces weight of shoe giving greater mobility.
Ø Improved durability of mid-sole adds to life of shoes providing consistent and stable run.
Ø Direct moulding on mid-sole frees your foot from thick inserts giving improved toe-all.
Ø An Internal footwear technology that enhances fit and comfort by placing padding in anatomically correct areas.
Ø Every piece of anatomically moulded padding follows the form of the foot, evenly distributing pressure for the ultimate fit.
Ø Improved padding means improved comfort. Improved comfort equals an enchances sense of stability, further providing more protection.
Ø It eliminates the internal heel counter by extending the TORSION bar to act as an external heel counter, thus reducing weight.
Ø Light outsole improves flexibility.
Ø Abrasion resistant lugs absorb impact.
Ø Precise location of outsole lugs-gives consistent performance.
Ø Improves cushioning and durability
Ø A non-marking rubber outsole compound that offers better abrasian resistance than any other outsole material.
An abrasion resistant material used in the toe and / or lateral forefoot of the shoe's upper It protects the upper from excessive wear.
Brand creation is the birth of a strong brand, which reminds the user not only about the product but also the manufacturer.
Building strong brands is becoming more and more challenging in today's environment. Increased pressures to compete on price, increased competition through product introductions and store brands, and the fragmentation of advertising and market segments are just a sample of the pressures being faced by companies in today's highly competitive environment. Thus in this scenario only strong brands can survive.
Core benefits derive from core products. Toothpastes clean teeth. But all toothpastes do that. Branding allows marketers to create added value that distinguish one brand from another. Brand building involves deep understanding of both functional and emotional values that customers use when choosing between brands.
Creating a brand consists first of all in drafting the brand's platform, which is the invisible basis of its long-term identity and its main source of energy.
Reason or need of brand creation
To build a corporate brand corporate identity must align with the company's strategic direction, the image of the brand among customers, the company's culture and value system of employees to create harmony. The corporate brand is a single umbrella image that permeates all the businesses of the company. But corporate branding is not simply designing a new logo and attaching it to every product. To create a corporate brand, the company has to take concerted steps to align vision, culture and image of the company. Vision is the top management's aspirations for the company. Culture is the organization's values, behaviour and attitudes, i.e., the way employees feel about the company. Image is the outside world's impression of the company.
One solution of the objects of company and its CEO is to create and establish the brand. This serves to build consumer and investor confidence and loyalty to the company. A strong brand acts as a promise, leading faithful customers to pay a premium over competitive products. Clear definition of brand and proper execution and implementation of that definition can lead to success and longevity in the market. Goods of highly reputable companies trade at premiums to others in their respective industries.
Today branding is such a strong force that anything from salt to lemon juice and water is branded and the quality goods without brands are not performing equally strong or selling at less price. Main advantages of branding to a seller are as follow:
Ø Branding makes it easier for the seller to process orders and track down problems of customers.
Ø Brand name and trademark provides legal protection to the unique features of product.
Ø Branding provides an opportunity to attract a loyal and profitable set of customers.
Ø Branding helps the seller to segment markets into various parts so that they can make different policies for different segments.
Ø Finally, strong markets help build a corporate image and make launch of new products easier.
PROCESS OF BRAND CREATION
Brand creation is not just naming or symbolically tagging a product but it is much more beyond this. It is birth of a brand, which is headed towards fulfillment of all promises and guaranteeing top class services and products. Such a brand enjoys top of mind recall from its customers and a high level of brand loyalty.
Brands are built by a combination of seven factors:
· Well-balanced communication
· Being first
· Long-term perspective
· Internal marketing
The Above process of the brand creation shows the way in which a true brand is born and becomes deep rooted in minds of the customers.
NAME AND SYMBOL AS A BRAND
Most firms and products are similar; the differences that do exist, such as perceived quality, are difficult to communicate in an effective manner. When products and services are difficult to differentiate, a symbol can be the central element of brand equity, the key differentiating the characteristics of a brand. The most important aspect of a brand's name and symbol is that it silently speaks everything about the company or product. One role of a symbol is to be an indicator for a brand. Every name and symbol is associated with certain values, features and it tries to build a relationship with the company or product. The symbol may also help the brand name to associate with a product class by linking with it.
If the symbol (and brand name) has associations that are extremely strong, the brand's ability to reposition or extend may be reduced.
The symbol can by itself create awareness, associations, and a liking or feeling, which in turn can affect loyalty and perceived quality. It is easier to learn visual images (symbols) than words (names). Thus, symbols could help gain brand awareness.
A symbol can communicate associations-even specific attributes. Several industries such as banks may not have distinctive features, as most are similar in terms of deposits, interest rates, etc. In those industries where similarity is the norm, a host of associations formed through symbols is a huge advantage.
These symbols help us to understand the brand's culture and personality. They are actually choosen as such; the corporate specifications handed over to graphic identity and design agencies mainly pertain to the brand's personality traits and values.
A logo is an iconic symbol designed to represent a company, organization, product, service, and sometimes certain placws. A typical logo is designed to cause immediate recognition by the viewer. The logo is one aspect of the brand of a company or economic entity.
Several well known examples of logos across the world are Apple Inc.'s apple with a bite out of it which started out as a rainbow of the colour, and has been reduced to a single colour without any loss of recognition. Coca-cola's script is known the world over, but is best associated with the colour red; its main competitor, Pepsi has taken the colour blue. Nike “Swoosh” and the Adidas “Three stripes” are two well known brands that are defined by their corporate logo.
Nike is the best example of how a symbol is best utilized and its strong association with the products. Nike is symbolized by a tick mark or something which is always right.
Well-established companies are now spending crores of rupees to get a new logo that revamps their image and creates a new brand of a company that has a new vision. Videocon, Mahindra and Mahindra and Tata's are a few examples to give.
PROCESS OF SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF A BRAND
Launching brand and launching product are not the same. Unlike the product launch, the brand launch is, from the very start, a long-term project. It aims at both at establishing a new order and different values and at impacting on the market for a long period of time. Brands are created to serve the customer so it becomes mandatory for a company to first know what the customer wants. A successful creation of brand calls for a thorough survey of market to find out what features are desired by customer in the product and whether he really wants the product or not.
The important steps involved in the creation of brand are as follow:
Ø Identification of the major attributes customers' value.
Ø Assessing the qualitative importance of the different attributes
Ø Assessing the company's and competitors' performances on the different customer values against their rated importance
Ø Examining how customers in a specific segment rate the company's performance against a specific major competitor on an attribute-by-attribute basis
Ø Monitoring customer values over time
Company is first to insert the desired features in a product and once the desired features are incorporated in the product and it is given a name and after that company is to launch the product as its future lies in a launch that positions it at the right place and right time. A company should thus know where its customers are. Aggressive advertising coupled with proper distribution will ensure proper availability of the product. In case of a long lasting product, attention should be paid to after sales service, which plays a major role in differentiating between two companies and gives our company a winning edge and synergy.
A Company can impress a customer through a first class product. Once a customer is satisfied with the product, he goes for a repeat purchase brand. The consumer now recognizes the product with its name and attributes. He associates the product with a set of assets and qualities and this creates brand equity for the product.
Successful creation of a brand depends on the following attributes:
Brand awareness: Awareness essentially means that customers know about the existence of the brand, and also recall what categories the brand is in. Building awareness involves making the brand visible to the relevant target audience by various promotional methods such as publicity, sponsorships, events, advertising etc. Your product enjoys top of the mind recall in that category of products.
Perceived quality: Perceived quality is also a brand association. It is the perception of the customer about the overall quality of a brand. Quality perceptions influence pricing decisions of companies. There is a reason to buy your product as you have differentiated your product from others. It is the customer's perception of the overall quality or superiority of a product or service with respect to its intended purpose, relative to alternatives.
Brand associations: Anything that is connected to the customer's memory about the brand is an association. Customers form associations on the basis of quality perceptions, advertisement of the brand, price point, product category, product display, celebrity association. Association contribute to brand equity. Your brand is associated with certain emotions, feelings, and qualities and also with some tangible benefits like freebies.
Brand loyalty: Brand loyal customers form the bedrock of a company. Higher loyalty levels lead to decrease in marketing expenditure as such customers act as positive advocates for the brand. Consumer returns back to your product even after having a choice of many other products in market.
The benefit of attaching a celebrity to a brand is that the brand literally has a face, name and personality that immediately project an image of a living, breathing, credible person as opposed to a faceless corporate entity. The downside is that individuals are not as stable or as easily controllable as corporate entities. Brand is to handled carefully as it is not of permanent nature, it may be wiped out like fame of the person.
Celebrity is nothing but a projected image in the eyes of customer. Companies is to do something To use that projected image to sell products and brands that are consistent with whom they want to project is a very smart thing,” says Rita Tateel, who has worked with celebrities for over twenty years as president of the Celebrity Source in Beverly Hills.
Adidas has also resorted to celebrity marketing. Not only Adidas and its competitors like NIKE, REEBOK etc. all have resorted to celebrity marketing in order to create a brand image for their product. Since they associate themselves with sports stars as they are manufacturing sports gear. Adidas is associated with Sachin Tendulkar and a consumer is a fan of Sachin & also a cricket player in this case if he goes for purchasing a pair of cricket shoes he will prefer Adidas since Sachin also wears it. It is human nature we try to imitate the person whom we admire in each & every thing that we do. If a customer consider Rahul Dravid to be a better player or in other words I admire Rahul Dravid more than Sachin then he will go for Reebok since Rahul Dravid wears shoes made by Reebok.
Michael Jordan has become one of the most popular sports personality internationally. His Nike commercials (i.e., Air Jordan's) sky rocketed sales and market share so high in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Almost all the companies in this industry are resorting to celebrity marketing to improve brand image.
Adidas resorted to this technique in order to create a brand image
Adidas used the following methods For the purpose of creating a brand:-
1. Sponsoring of different events.
2. Associating with different athletes.
3. Ambush marketing
Building brand trust through advertising
Trust affects consumer value perceptions, impact consumer choice, and enhances brand commitment and loyalty. This encourages marketers to explore ways in which they can build and enhance trusting relationships with customers, including fostering consumer trust through trust advertising appeals.
Despite its usage, there are certainly reasons to question the ability of advertising to foster brand trust. Another question that arises is if the advertising enhances consumer trust. It is widely believed that trust emerges only after direct contact and develops gradually over time. Thus, trust is thought to be earned through long-term interactions. From this perspective, consumers come to trust brands, companies or sales people only after experience with the to-be-trusted party has tought them the wisdom of doing so. This view therefore suggest that little may be gained from advertisements that simply label a brand as trustworthy or call for consumers' trust in the brand, especially for unfamiliar advertised brands.
Research reveals that consumers form positive perceptions about a brand and have greater trust even by the mere presence of advertising. Therefore, brands that are advertised are more likely to be trusted as compared to those brands that are not advertised.
Building a brand without using mass media
Brands can be built without using the mass media, particularly the advertising. Customers should be engaged with the brand by other means.
A brand equity is accumulated by a customer's experience with the brand. The method that a brand uses to engage with the customer will depend upon the category it is a part of, its premiumness, its choice of target market and other factors but the brand seeks a deeper involvement of customers with these methods. The company may take up a social cause and involve its customers in its campaign. Or it can create an environment in its retail premises which the customers may savour. A company can build a brand around exemplary service. Or a company can sponsor an event or sport about which its customers are very enthusiastic.
A brand has a chance to convey its identity when it is engaging with its customers. Therefore, the choice of the programme becomes a critical decision. The programme has twin tasks which have to be accomplished simultaneously. The first is to increase awareness of the brand and second is to convey and reinforce the brand identity. A brand manager has to resolve to achieve the two goals by a common programme. The best part of non-advertising programmes is that it is possible to increase the awareness of the brand and convey its identity simultaneously.
Advertising has a role in building a brand but it is to supplement other programmes that are in place to engage with customers. I t should never become the mainstay of a brand building programme.
A NEW MARKETING CHANNEL - INTERNET
E-commerce is the new way to do business even for traditional organization working for many years. The athletic shoe industry is engaged in Internet marketing and electronic commerce on the www. Over here we have mentioned the web sites' marketing mix, mission statements, strategies, and “stickiness”.
Major corporations are trying to find innovative ways to reach their target market. A recently adopted strategy by many companies in this industry is to going online. The shoe industry has been much slower than other industries, they are starting to see the opportunities that exist with both Internet marketing and e-commerce. For example, Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Fila have constructed websites and are beginning to display (like catalogues) and sell their products online.
Users going to Adidas.com thinking they are just going to browse through and see what products are available for them to buy will be disappointed. It is not a very user friendly site. A unique offering is that consumers can find a sports specific workout from basketball to wrestling to volleyball. The workouts even vary depending on size, experience, athletic capability, and skill. Adidas.com also offers a chance to review the how, where, why, and what of the company by providing a historical timeline. Many of Adidas' products are offered on their web site. These factors all make Adidas.com a “sticky” site and successful websites.
Adidas is the fastest growing brand in domestic market, with a market share of 16%. They have been shielded from bad publicity by the two Goliath's of the industry, Nike and Reebok, and are reaping the rewards substantially. They have adjusted their manufacturing strategy, from a vertical operation in Germany in the 60's and 70's, to an outsourcing focus today throughout Asia. Unlike the big two, they do not have a code of conduct, and their factories are considered to be the worst in the industry.
Manufacturing in the footwear industry has evolved dramatically over the course of the last century. Production is forced to spread to less developed regions around the world when economies grow and skills are enhanced. While Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Converse, And New Balance each have their own manufacturing structure, the reason behind their rise to dominance in this industry is their ability to focus on the core skills that they perform better than anybody else.
The adidas mission has changed little since founder Adi Dassler began making sports shoes in the 1920s: to be the best sports brand in the world. The history of adidas is one of consistently meeting the evolving needs of the athlete. Adidas strives to provide athletes with shoes that can make a considerable difference in their performance. Putting the needs of the athlete above all else is what sets adidas apart
Adidas footwear were the designer sneakers of their day In an era before athletic-performance gear with distinctive logos existed as a market commodity.
Adidas shoes were well designed and well made. Main reason of this was due to the product's German origins. The company started its working in the early 1920s as slipper makers Gebruder Dassler Schuhfabrik, in Herzogenaurach, Germany, near Nuremberg. One day in 1925 Adolf (Adi) Dassler designed a pair of sports shoes; he studied extensively the science behind kinetics and footwear. By 1931 he and his brother Rudolph were selling special shoes for tennis players, and they soon then designed specific shoes for the needs of specific sports. They devised many technical innovations that made their footwear popular with athletes, not the least of which was the first arch support. The brothers quickly realized that athletes themselves were the best advertisement for their shoes. In 1928 the company gave away their first pairs of free shoes to the athletes of the Olympic Games in Amsterdam. After Eight years, American sprinter Jesse Owens was wearing Adidas when he won a gold medal in track at the Berlin Olympic Games.
However, Adidas had the advantage, especially when television cameras began broadcasting such games to a much wider audience At Olympic and soccer events: Adi
Dassler had devised a distinctive three-stripe logo back in 1941 (and registered it as a trademark for Adidas after the split) that was easily recognizable. The company did not begin selling its shoes in the United States until 1968, but within the span of a few short years Adidas dominated the American market to such an extent that two American competitors, Wilson and MacGregor, quit making sports shoes altogether. In 1971 both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier wore Adidas in their much-publicized showdown. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, every official wore Adidas, and so did 1,164 of the 1,490 international athletes. Adidas also made hip togs for tennis, a sport then enjoying a wave of popularity. Adidas then developed his T-shirt and his T-shirt the Adidas trefoil-logo T-shirt had become a status-symbol item and one of the first brand-name "must-haves" for teenagers.
The Adidas craze dovetailed perfectly with the growing number of Americans interested in physical fitness as a leisure activity. Adidas brand spread very fast in USA and By 1979, 25 million Americans were running or jogging, and the end of the 1970s marked the high point of Adidas's domination of the market. Nike was founded in 1972. Nike offered more distinctive colors and styles than Adidas, while also patenting the technical innovations underneath and inside them. Adidas soon sunk far behind in sales. The company was overtaken by Nike in the 1980s and even damaged by the ubiquitous ness of the Reebok brand, which made shoes that were high-performance. Son of Adi, Horst Dassler died in 1987, Adidas spun further into financial misfortune, and was bought and resold a number of times over the next few years.
Adidas's reached at high point in the decade in 1986, when the New York rap group Run D.M.C.—the first of the genre to reach platinum sales—had a hit with "My Adidas,". But market share of Adidas was lost by the 1990s, Adidas was holding on to just a two to three percent share of the U.S. market and seemed doomed as a viable company. A revival of 1970s fashions, however—instigated in part by dance-club-culture hipsters in England—suddenly vaulted the shoes back to designer status. Among American skateboarders, Adidas sneakers became de rigueur, since the company's older flat-bottomed styles from the 1970s turned out to be excellent for the particular demands of the sport.
Mission and values
Mission of Adidas is to be the best sports group in the world. The 'best', in social and environmental terms, means that we are dedicated to socially responsible, safe and environmentally sustainable practices in the company and its supply chain, to enhancing the value of our brands by:
Guaranteeing the ideals of the company for the customer and for those making our products
The brand values of the company - authenticity, inspiration, honesty and commitment - are derived from sport. They form the basis of our Standards of Engagement, the company's code of conduct that aims to ensure that our suppliers´ factories are safe, fair places in which to work. Our ultimate goal for our suppliers´ conduct is that they have systems of 'self-governance', It means that they will eventually develop their own systems in line with local and international social and environmental standards rather than being externally regulated by customers such as adidas-Salomon.
We aim to:
Analyze, evaluate and assess the social and environmental impact of new products,
Technologies and processes at the design and development stage
Set up clear targets, formulate an action plan and monitor progress
Publish the results.
Supplier and customer relationships
We want quality raw materials from suppliers. We expect suppliers' activities to be compatible with our Standards of Engagement. We work in partnership with them to improve workplace conditions. We encourage our business customers to take a proactive stance on the social and environmental impact of their own activities.
Our concern is not just to produce goods and to earn. We support social and environmental projects and develop partnerships with businesses and organizations whose direct and indirect output contributes to a sustainable society.
ADIDAS SPORTS STYLE
The Adidas Sport Style division is entering its third year in 2005. Y-3 collection, developed with designer Yohji Yamamoto, helps extend product appeal to the cosmopolitan consumers who are looking for exclusive, style-leading active sportswear products. Yamamoto's strong presence in this area allows expanding the power of the Adidas brand. The collection is limited to fashion-oriented accounts in Europe, North America and Asia. Influential designs combined with the highest quality standards clearly distinguish Y-3 from any other product in the market.
Taylor-made brought ground-breaking innovation to the market in 2004 with r7 quad driver, which drew extraordinary attention from media, tour professionals and recreational players across the globe. It ranked as the number one driver model on the US and European PGA Tours and was used to win 14 tournaments, including the US Open, PGA Championship and Tour Championship.
Adidas Golf footwear continues to be widely worn on the world's professional golf tours due to its cutting-edge performance technologies, and is recognized across the globe by virtue of its famous three stripes, which have fast become a trademark in golf for comfort, performance and style. And not just in footwear: Adidas Golf has quickly become well-known among golfers for high-performance golf apparel, thanks to the intelligent technologies and innovative designs that go into outerwear such as ClimaStorm and ClimaShell, as well as apparel such as ClimaCool.
THE ADIDAS AND SALOMON MERGER
In August 1998, following the merger of Adidas and Salomon, Adidas-SalomonAG introduced a new corporate logo. The logo unites the values of the brands of the new Group, incorporating the typical colors of the two
previous groups: blue for Adidas, red for Salomon. The logo shows three shapes coming together to form a larger shape, namely a diamond. The space between the shapes forms another shape that of a person with arms rose in victory and celebration. This logo, which was also designed by Peter Moore, appears on all corporate documents of Adidas - Salomon AG, but not on products. All the brands belonging to the Adidas-Salomon Group, i.e. Adidas, Salomon, Taylor Made, Mavic, Bonfire, Arc' Teryx, Cliché and Maxfli retain their full logo identity on products, in marketing and in communication.
Philip H. Knight, the Owner, Chairman, and CEO of the company, founded Nike in 1968. Phil Knight completed his education from the University of Oregon and the Stanford Business School by 1962, (Moore, 128). He is an aspiring young businessman. He decided to travel to Japan and speak to the president of "Tiger shoes." He got bored with selling shoes at sporting events from the back of his truck, he began producing his own athletic apparel. He renamed his so-called company Nike and hoped for the best to happen. Within the first year, he sold $8000 worth of shoes and only received a $250 profit. After some time, Knight turned to his old coach from school, Bill Bowerman, for advice on what to do next. Phil Knight wanted Nike to stand out above the rest.
The Nike Waffle Trainer stood out and made Nike the most unique shoe company of the 1970s. By the year of 1979, Nike was the most well known shoe company in the world. When Reebok surpassed Nike with the aerobic phase in athletics and as a result Nike start losing its position. In order to maintain the reputation of Nike, the worlds best shoe corporation, Nike struck back by diversifying their shoes for different kinds of sports activities. Nike continued to rise in success throughout its prosperity by signing famous sports players (ex. Michael Jordan) and using intelligent advertising tactics. Today, Nike is a four billion dollar business that has had its ups and downs. Nike is having difficulties with the publicity it is receiving about its labor practices in China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
To Bring Inspiration and Innovation to every athlete* in the world
*If you have an athlete body, you are an athlete
The asterisk is a quote from Bill Bowerman. He is? Legendary track & field coach at the University of Oregon. A teacher who showed athletes the secrets of achievement. He is not only a teacher, Co-founder of Nike, Husband, father, mentor. From him we derive our mission. We see our future through his eyes
About Nike Swoosh
Caroline Davidson was the inventor of NIKE Swoosh in 1971 while she was doing her college. Caroline Davidson was a student at Portland State University who was interested in advertising. She met Phil Knight (owner of NIKE) who he was teaching accounting classes. Caroline started doing some simple, free, work for his company. If you go to battle and win you say NIKE. The Swoosh represents one of the wings of the Greek goddess of victory, NIKE but BRS ("Blue Ribbon Sports") was Phil Knight's first idea for an athletic company. The first representation of a Swoosh on a shoe was in the spring of 1972. NIKE has a huge impact on society, mainly in one way. Other "popular" people or kids usually see people who have NIKE shoes, hats, and clothes. Cost of NIKE shoes is so much because of their high number of endorsements. The public sees the basketball, baseball, and football stars and they want to be like them so they buy their shoes.
Mission of Nike is always to provide a competitive edge, to help athletes perform better. We climb inside the athletic mind. We feel every beat of the athletic heart. We flex, bend, twist and torque every inch of athletic sinew and muscle. It's not easy, but it's natural for us. We're athletes.This guy used to count grams when hand-building shoes for his athletes. He wanted to make the shoe lightest. He even weighed the ink on U of O singlets. Everything was an opportunity in his mind. His thinking became the foundation of Nike.
The Waffle outsole transformed the running world. Soon after, Nike Air evolved Nike's revolutionary impact on sports.
The strength of Nike Air is its versatility. Beyond its basic function of impact protection, it can be shaped and tuned to meet the specific demands of contemporary athletes: Max Air, Zoom Air, and Tuned Air. Nike introduced Nike Shox, unique columns of engineered foam in the year 2001, and a new revolution in cushioning began beyond shoes, our apparel unifies innovative designs and high-performance fabrics, like FIT technologies that manage temperature and moisture to help athletes train and compete in any conditions. In our equipment - watches, eyewear, carry gear, even socks and underwear - athletes find a passionate focus for design and functionality.
At Nike the job of technology is to keep pace with the demand of human potential.
Brand Personality is extremely important in positioning brands with non-functional values. Many brand strategy statements refer to the “character” or “personality” of the brand. The purpose of positioning by brand personality is lost if the manager is unable to define desired “personality” f the brand which is clearly distinct from the personalities of competing brands and sister brands of the company's product lines.
The brand name is a complex symbol that represents a variety of ideas and attributes. The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to build the most favourable image, the most sharply defined personality, is the one who will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit - in the long run.
According to David Ogilvy, it is important to decide what image is desired for the brand. Image means personality. The personality of the brand is an amalgam of many things - its name, its packaging, its price, the style of its advertising and above all the nature of the product itself.
Some authors consider brand image to be different from brand personality. Brand image refers to rational measurements like quality, strength and flavour. Brand personality explains why people like some brands more than others even when there is no physical difference between them.
The brand image is indeed the “totality” of the brand in the perception of the consumer. It is truly a complex symbol and defies over-simplifications that equate it to one of its bits - like its physical features, for example, or its emotional associations alone.
Personality is that aspect of the brand's totality which brings up in the consumer's mind its emotional overtones and its symbolisms - its characterization. The great operational utility of the brand personality concept is that when the consumer cannot distinguish brands by their physical features or functional benefits, he is invited to look at their human characterstics.
What a brand is and how it presents itself to the consumer are defined by its brand personality. The way brand personality is commonly explored in consumer research is by asking questions such as: “If the brand were to come alive as a person, what would it be like? What would it do? Where would it live? What would it wear? Who would it talk to if it went to a party?”
It is argued that the symbolic use of brands is possible because consumers often imbue brands with human personality traits. Consumers easily can think about brands as if they were celebrities or famous historical s and as they relate to one's ownself, which may be due in part to the strategies used by advertisers to imbue a brand with personality traits, personification and the creation of user imagery. Through such techniques, the personality traits associated with the brand, tend to be relatively enduring and distinct. For example, the personality traits associated with coca-cola are cool, all American, and real and these traits are relatively enduring and differentiate Coke from its competitors.
Perceptions of brand personality traits can be formed and influenced by any direct or indirect contact that the consumer has with the brand. Personality traits come to be associated with a brand in a direct way by the people associated with the brand - such as the brand's user imagery. Personality traits come to be associated with the brand in an indirect way through product related attributes, product category associations, brand name, symbol or logo, advertising style, price and distribution channel.
In addition to personality characteristics, brand personality includes demographic characteristics such as gender, age and class.
It is dangerous and ridiculous to allow customers to develop their own perceptions about the company. It is the responsibility of the company to manage its customer's perceptions. A company should very clearly decide the perception that it wants its customers to have about the company and its products, and work consciously and diligently to create that image in customer's mind. Every fact and act of the company shapes customer perceptions directly or indirectly. A company should evaluate its every activity in terms of its role in creating positive customer perception.
Elements of positioning
A company has to select the target market in which it will offer its products. It will have to determine the differential value that it will provide to customers to make the product attractive to them and communicate to customers the differential value it intends to provide to them.
Where does the company want to compete? The company has to select the segments to which it will offer its products. The company should possess special competencies and resources to serve its target market, which means that before a company can zero on to its target markets, it should have done a comprehensive research of requirements of customers of various segments, and an honest audit of its own resources and competencies. A company should have a clear roadmap of how it will acquire or develop the required competencies and resources.
How does the company want to compete? The company has to provide answer to “Why would a customer of the target market want to buy my product, and not that of the competitor's?” A company which is able to furnish an unambiguous answer has a clear positioning strategy.
Communicating the differential advantage to customers
A company may have created the appropriate offering for its target market but its customers should know that it has. Most companies are content with using advertisements to convey their positioning. Most advertising agencies do not understand the positioning of their client company empathically enough to be able to convey it in the ads that they make. A company has to use all promotional means like publicity, sponsorship, personal selling, and direct mails to inundate customers with messages of its positioning. In addition, every contact between the customers and the company should be so structured that its positioning is unambiguously conveyed. Word-of-mouth promotion will ultimately cement the company's positioning in the customer's mind.
The objective of positioning is to create and maintain a distinctive place in the market for the company's product. Target market selection is the part of positioning. But to compete successfully in a target market involves providing customers with a differential advantage. This involves giving customers something better than what the competitors are offering.
A company's offer has to be distinct from those of its competitors and should fulfill the requirements of the customers of its target markets. A company's positioning is the result of whatever the company does. Marketing mix is the most tangible and the most flexible tool to create the desired positioning. Companies use their marketing mix to create something specific and special for the customer.
Ries and Trout suggest that marketers are involved in a battle for minds of target customers. Successful positioning is creating favourable connotations in the minds of customers. Mercedes is associated with sophistication, prestige, world class German engineering and class round the world. McDonalds is associated with cleanliness, consistency of product, fast service and value for money. These add up to differential advantage in the mind of target consumers.
Criteria for successful positioning:
The positioning idea must be clear in terms of both target market and differential advantage. The target market should be clearly defined in terms of being served by a distinct value proposition.
Confusion will arise if changes in positioning planks occur frequently. Customers will not know what company stands for. For instance, if a company positions on quality of service in one year, and then next year it changes its positioning to superior product performance, the consumer would not know what to expect from the offerings of the company.
But consistency does not mean permanence. A company may change its initial positioning either because of customers demand different value proposition or because the company may have acquired new resources enabling it be something else.
Credibility means believeability and trustworthiness. Positioning is a promise to the customer. Every time a customer buys the company's product he should get what the company promised in its positioning strategy. Through word of mouth the company develops a reputation for delivering its promised value. Credibility build through personal use of the product and word of mouth is stronger than credibility build through advertising and public relations.
The differential advantage should offer something of value to the customer which the competition is failing to supply. The company should be able to develop or acquire distinct set of resources and processes.
Effective positioning ties a company's product to a segment.
Repositioning involves changing target markets or the differential advantage or both. There are four generic repositioning strategies.
Same product and target market, change in the image of the product
The product may be acceptable in functional terms but fails because it lacks the required image. The communication emanating from the company is overhauled. The advertising message is changed. The contexts and the structure of the contexts in which the customers come into contact with the company are changed to reflect the new image.
The product is modified to make it more acceptable to its present target market. Customers requirements may have changed and the product has to be modified to be able to serve the new needs effectively.
The company target different market segments with the same products. The company is able to locate a segment which has requirements similar to the requirements of the segments it is serving. The company retains its value proposition and offers it to a new segments
Both product and target market are changed. A company may decide to move up or down a market by introducing a new range of products to meet the needs of the new target customers.
A Research Methodology defines the purpose of the research, how it proceeds, how to measure progress and what constitute success with respect to the objectives determined for carrying out the research study.
TYPE OF RESEARCH:
Descriptive method has been used in this research for the collection of data.
SOURCE OF DATA:
To overcome the limitations of incompatibility, obsolescence, and bias, I went for the primary data. Considering the time and geographic constraints, I found sampling method of data collection suitable for the project.
DATA COLLECTION METHOD:
Data has been collected through questionnaire method. The questionnaire was designed in such a way to cover as many aspects of consumer behaviour as possible.
Secondary data has been used which is collected through articles, reports, journals, magazines, newspapers reports prepared by research scholars, universities and internet.
SAMPLE SIZE: the sample size was of 100.
I have collected samples from different areas. This is to reduce the biasness, which may come through difference in the level of income, attitude, lifestyle etc. of the people in different areas.
Data analysis is done through bar graphs, pie-charts
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the primary objectives of my research study:
Ø Understanding the customers, their needs, likes and dislikes helps to know what the customers want.
Ø Analyzing the competition: Competitors are companies which satisfy the same customer needs. Once a company identifies its primary competitors, it must ascertain their characteristics, specially their strategies, objectives, strengths and weaknesses, and reaction patterns.
Ø To identify the equity of the brand, Nike & Adidas.
Ø To illustrate the factors that has a significant impact on equity of brand, Nike. & Adidas
Marketing mix, mission statements, marketing strategies, and “stickiness” have been compared and ranked between Nike, Adidas. These rankings are between the top four athletic-apparel companies with explanations for their rankings.
Strong Marketing Mix (4 P's) is extremely important for an organization to be successful. Nike.com has the top rank if compared with the marketing mix variables. For example, their advertisements on television and those on their web site, to their strategic alliance partnership with UPS to deliver their packages, were all strategically designed. Adidas.com was second because it just starting selling items on their web site, but it is promoting its web site with contests involving their endorsed athletes and the New York Yankees. Fila.com ranks third has alliance with Ryder Logistics and its commercials on television and their web site. Reebok.com. It has their globalization strategy of selling products and providing their products over the Internet to many countries.
Corporations must have a Mission Statement that will keep them focused and guided in the right direction. Nike.com, Reebok.com, and Adidas.com each had mission statements that gave the customer some idea about the company. Fila.com did not even provide a mission statement. A mission statement is a clear and concise statement that explains the organization's reason for being (Ferrell et al., 1998). There are five questions to clarify a good mission statement:
Ø Who are we?
Ø Who are our customers and what do they value?
Ø What does our organization stand for?
Ø What makes our organization unique?
Ø What impressions does this organization want key publics to have of us?
Each corporation took a little different focus. Reebok.com was ranked number one because they kept their mission statement customer-oriented and showed what their consumers find important. Their consumers want new innovations, new styles, and materials that provide comfort during activities. The number two ranking goes to Nike.com for its mission statement. Nike.com's mission statement shows what they stand for and gives the different groups that Nike.com entails. Nike.com does not reflect that they are customer-oriented. Adidas.com receives the third ranking because it took too long to get their statement across. They went the historical route, which is good. Although it is customer-oriented with the most comfort and performance improvement always being their top priority shoes that they are focused on improving their products. It improves their customers satisfaction. Fila.com received the number four ranking due to the fact that they did not even have one displayed at the web site. This shows a direct reflection of their management unresponsiveness.
Nike.com has too many Marketing Strategies which are not to top ranking. With “Ask Nike”, Nike iD, CBN, and their commercials, they provide a quality web site. Nike.com has made alliances with companies to continuously improve Nike's site and provide better online customer service. Adidas.com takes the number two spot by depending on their brand equity to make their web site an asset for the company. Adidas' strategy for trying to build parity with Nike is an excellent way to get more of the market share. Reebok.com went international with its web site first except in USA completely. This is a good idea, half of the world's market share is here in the US. Therefore Nike.com gets the third rank. Fila.com is starting to build a web site, but they are moving much slower than the other three. By making Fila.com more interactive and by continuously updating the web site, their progress will begin to pay off their efforts.
Nike.com provides various ways to its prospects and customers to attract them. It has again taken the number one rank for Web Site “Stickiness”. They provide so many ways for the user to interact and explore their products. The company, Nike familiarize themselves with Nike's athletic endorsers. Nike iD and “Ask Jeeves” provide users with ways to keep consumers on their web site longer. While Adidas.com was the first to provide individuals with the opportunity to have someone establish a workout plan that is individualized for their age, size, skill level, gender, and be sport specific. They have a company timeline and pages about the athletes they endorse. Fila.com has giveaways for their upcoming shoe lines that can be bought or won before they even reach retail stores and interactive chats with Fila's professional athletes. Reebok.com ends up last because of their inability to keep the users interest.
Adidas is currently ranked third in almost every category in the global athletic shoe industry. However, they rank second only to Nike in terms of sales. The main competitors of Adidas include Nike and Reebok However; other smaller competitors include Fila, Puma and Easy Spirit. Adidas commands only 5% of the athletic shoe business in the India, compared with the 40% for the fearsome Nike, but the rejuvenated Adidas has climbed to within easy reach of Reebok, which has been struggling in the past couple of years. Adidas is also steadily regaining market share lost to other brands such as India. Gear and Fila
Following tips are helpful in combating competition:
v Do not nature and PARADIGMS because today “anything is possible”.
v Search for newer markets than expanding your customer base.
v Come out with state of the art, feature packed affordable and competitive advantageous products.
v Set Benchmarks for growth.
v Improve up on distribution channels for viable coverage of the market.
v Wear out competition through trend setting, inimitable tactical moves based on our infrastructure strengths.
v The strategic intent should be clear down the management.
v Work on your strengths i.e. Infrastructure, financial base, backward integration.
v POP and MERCHANDISING material should be made as per international market.
v CORPORATE TRAINING PROGRAMMEA for Development of manpower from external faculty.
We have so far identified the various areas on which ADIDAS and other major sports companies need to improve upon to achieve the desired level of competitiveness. These improvements would give ADIDAS and the other sports companies base to compete with the MNCs and help the Indian companies to reduce the impact of MNCs on the Indian Market in the future. Indian manufacturers will have to react quickly because any delay in reacting to the threat posed by the MNCs would only give the MNCs time to establish themselves in the market. With their expertise and financial capacity they would be nearly impossible to compete with once they get a firm foot hold in the market.
Comparison BETWEEN THE PRODUCTS OF ADIDAS & NIKE
Moulded EVA sockliner
Supple upper bed
Traction and durability
High abrasion rubber outsole
Soft and stretchable mesh
Foot hugging inner bootie
Moisture-wicking, antimicrobial ortholite sockliner
Carbon rubber outsole
Fore foot cushioning
Shock absorbing heel
Style and design
Q. What is your gender?
Q What is your age range?
The above pie diagram shows the brands processed by the respondents. 68 % people used Adidas followed by Reebok at 11 %. 3rd being Nike at 7 %. While 8 % people used other brands.
What are the shoe brands you are aware of?
It is found that most of the respondents aware of Adidas, Nike and Adidas and rest of the respondents aware of Speedo, Fila, Puma Newbalance and Sketchers and Woodland, Leecooper.
How do you rate the company marketing strategy as compare to the other competitors company like Nike, Reebok etc.?
Out of total respondents, 45% had said Adidas have a good marketing strategy and should continue like this only, 30% had said Nike is better then Adidas, 20% said Reebok is good and 5% said others.
Q. Satisfaction with the current brand
The above exploded pie diagram is the satisfaction level of respondents with the current brand. Most of the people were strongly satisfied with the brand they are processing currently while there was a considerable amount of respondents who were not satisfied with their current brand .
q. Would you like to replace the present brand
This column graph tells us that most of the respondents will change their current brand and will switch to some other brand based upon the parameters mentioned in the next question. Out of total respondents 60% people will change their brand while 40% will not. This decision is mainly based upon the value of the other brand, its positioning, price and features.
This is the analysis of the question that talks about the various parameters, which make a person, buy a particular brand, become loyal to it or switch to another brand. The question had 10 parameters to judge a person on the above-mentioned points. Respondents were asked to rate the parameters on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest and 5 highest). As it was difficult to frame the whole question on a single graph, 3 graphs have been made for the cause. The above column graph has three attributes viz. brand name, features and durability.
This is continuation of the above. Price is another governing factor for the brand users, while it was surprising to see that for many users price did not matter much. There were mixed answers to these parameters.
In this the remaining four parameters are covered. That is, design, its user-friendliness, and the after sale services and some other points which respondent might like to add.
What make you to buy a particular brand?
a) Friend circle
b) To show off (for status)
c) Out of curiosity
What influences you in the advertisement?
a) Models c) Content like punch line. Logo etc.
b) Features of the productd) Overall presentation of Advertisement
e) No influence
If you come across an advertisement of newbrand would you
a) Try it
b) Ask/inquire for it
c) Ignore it
What time of the year do you do your shoes-shopping?
Q If a company uses new technology, it would affect overall perception of your brand
Each report has to have some limitations and restrictions. Hence the report we have made also have some limitations regarding various aspects of the report
The Limitations are as follows:
As far as time is concerned, there was no boundation of time as sufficient time was being provided to all the students for this project report. Time was never a constrain in order to complete the project report. But I could have tried to make report much better if we would have little more time because of the late availability of the executives of the concerned companies. I got late appointment and due to which I was not able to compile report in time, We was able to complete the report during the last days of the submission of this report, cost factor which restricted met to do anything more creative.
Though I had tried my level best to reduce the possibility of errors, but if any, I would like to request all the readers to forgive me by considering me as a normal human being and also take each and every responsibility of possible errors on my shoulders.
Though I have put my very best efforts in making this project report but because of some unavoidable problems and circumstances we had to face lots of problems. Sometimes I didn't get the appointments with the concerned company's executives which further delayed the project report a bit.
Secondly, all the required information was not available to me, so I had to put extra efforts in order to get that information. But there could be some information which is still missing. Therefore, I request the readers of the project report to kindly forgive me.
RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSION
By frequent price cuts in market and larger than live Marketing game plans, competition reached its new highs and lows. It is no longer sufficient to just be competitive. A company which has to survive has got to have competitive advantage. One needs to take strategic initiative in the short run to achieve the desired “positioning” in future. One has to foresee ‘tomorrow'.
Understanding competition today involves three levels:
v Competition for intellectual leadership for new ideas that create new advantages.
v Competition for translating these ideas into product/service faster than others.
v Competition for market share.
Company should come up with different types of promotional schemes. This has the maximum impact on brand loyalty as it causes the maximum shift.
Company should give priority to various discount and frequent offers because they are the most important consideration.
Company should not increase the price because after that the brand loyalty decreases at faster rate.
On the basis of research, the conclusion drawn:
Brand loyalty reduces to minimum, in case, if the purpose is not solved. Because the maximum decision makers for the to Brand Loyalty in case of official purpose, is taken on the basis of company policy. Various schemes and discount offer, are the two important factors that customer consider while buying.
Brand loyalty also reduces to minimum in case of non-availability of item according to customer.
Brand loyalty decreases as the price increases.
Brand loyalty is maximum affected by the schemes offered by the company.
Brand loyalty has no direct relationship with the age group.
The advertisement of new brand does not help in switching the brand loyalty.
a) 12-17 years d) 41-50 years
b) 18-24 years e) 51 and above
c) 25-40 years
a) Businessman c) Professional
b) Serviceman d) Student
e) others (specify)
When you think of sports shoes, which of the following brands comes to your minds first.
Which brand of sports shoes would you buy based on the following parameters (pls. specify using number e.g. no.1 to the most preferred according to you)
Where have you seen the ads of the shoes (Nike, Adidas) lately?
Brief description of Ad
Likes\Dislikes of Ad
What make you to buy a particular brand?
a) Friend circle
b) To show off (for status)
c) Out of curiosity
What influences you in the advertisement?
a) Models c) Content like punch line. Logo etc.
b) Features of the productd) Overall presentation of Advertisement
e) No influence
What time of the year do you do your shoes-shopping?
If you come across an advertisement of newbrand would you
a) Try it
b) Ask/inquire for it
c) Ignore it
If a company uses new technology, it would affect overall perception of your brand
· Strongly agree
· Strongly disagree
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