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Understanding Strategic Brand Management

The IMM Graduate School | Understanding Strategic Brand Management webBrand terminology and marketing jargon baffles even the most seasoned marketers. In today’s post we attempt to clarify commonly confused terms like branding, marketing and marketing communications.

What is Marketing?

If you are confused by ‘what marketing is?’ it’s because marketers often define what they do differently. The definition that makes the most sense to us is that of Dr. Philip Kotler, who defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit. Marketing identifies unfulfilled needs and desires. It defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.” If you wish to explore more definitions of marketing, you can find a list of 72 right here.

What is Marketing communications?

Marketing communications is essentially a part of the marketing mix. The marketing mix defines the 4P’s of marketing (Product, Place, Price and Promotion). It is within the ‘promotion P’ that you will encounter the term and activity of marketing communications and the marketing communication mix. Marketing communication in simple terms is the message your organisation is going to convey to your market.

What is a Brand?

A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organisation or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.

In a marketplace saturated with products and services to suit every taste and every consumer, from a chic young urbanite who knows what he wants to an aunty who won’t budge in her brand loyalty, your brand needs an identity strong enough to stand out from the crowd. Strategic Brand Management adds value to an organisation’s products or services by creating a unique identity in the marketplace. This signature identity, or “brand stamp” if you like, allows a company to differentiate itself from its competitors and communicate its message and positioning in a consistent, integrated way.

If you want to learn more about how to make your brand stand out in an arena where everyone is jostling for attention, then consider signing up for the IMM Graduate School online short course in “Strategic Brand Management”. In this course you’ll be given practical tools to create a distinct identity for your brand and successfully position your brand in a relevant, meaningful and dynamic manner.

You’ll also get an in-depth look at the brand identity development process and brand positioning, brand architecture and the creation of the customer brand experience, consumer behaviour and its influences, and the competitive advantage of strong brands. Designed for those wanting to make their market place “mark”, this course is perfect for anyone in branding, marketing or marketing communications, or small business owners and managers wanting to create brand awareness and cement loyalty. So how about you put your hand up for this short course and let your brand stand up, stand out, stand strong and stand true!

During this course you will have the capable Karen Roos to mentor you.

Karen Roos Course Designer & Head Tutor Expert Course Developer, Specialist Lecturer, Facilitator and Consultant in Strategic Brand Management While you study this course you will be supported by your head tutor Karen Roos, an industry leader and trainer extraordinaire. Karen will be your go-to person, facilitating online discussions with your fellow students in your group, as well as, being available for individual queries and help if you need it. She’ll also be the one carefully marking your assignments.

Marketing gold at the tips of mobile fingers

The IMM Graduate School | Marketing gold at the tips of mobile fingers webOpinions offer brands an opportunity to tap into the minds of consumers who now, more than ever before, demand authentic communication and transparency from the makers of the products and services they use, writes Tanya van Tonder.

Access to social media has elevated consumers over corporate marketing. Armed with their smartphones, they have a powerful voice, which they’re only too happy to use.

Consumers are unforgiving and vocal when companies let them down or run campaigns perceived as disrespectful, and often turn to social media to vent their disapproval. All of which makes brands more vulnerable to consumer sentiment.

But mobile can be a brand’s best friend – if marketers harness the power of those platforms and voices to gauge the opinions of consumers BEFORE they go ahead with campaigns that might offend people. Technology, used properly, can do that. Mobile offers real-time access to thousands of connected consumers.

Traditional media research is an important tool for marketers and brand managers, despite the time it takes to conduct, and the costs involved. With budgets stretched as tightly as they are, marketers need to know whether an idea is going to fly or flop – fast.

But because most consumers these days live frenetically busy digital and real lives, marketers need to be able to proactively access them in an instant.

Opinions in an instant

Mobile technology research company, Opinion Solutions, was created for this very reason. The company makes it easy to engage consumers who want to feel part of the decision-making process, who want to engage with brands and who appreciate transparency by maximising the power of social media to engage in real-time conversations with consumers.

With misinformation and fake news so much a part of daily life, the issue of trust is top of mind for consumers, who need to feel safe in giving their opinions, and trust that the platform used to survey them is secure.

Thousands of survey recipients are registered on the Opinion Solutions platforms. These are consumers who are comfortable enough to have a conversation, be it for ad hoc qualitative and exploratory research, or within branded private panels specific to a target market that would be involved in ongoing product development or concept testing. It’s not a hit or miss affair, but a deeply refined process, honed and developed as technology evolves.

Agility is a key strength

With exclusive rights to the Upinion mobile research app in Africa, Opinion Solutions is playing a whole new ballgame as it is global and accesses literally billions of consumers for in-the-moment mobile conversations and surveys. It can be customised for research groups and allows users to find respondents via Facebook Messenger or their Facebook pages. Results are published on a real-time dashboard. Respondents can be incentivised, too, via free products, vouchers and coupons.

Another aspect to consider is that speed to market is essential. The rapid pace of innovation has resulted in shorter product lifecycles, so the risk of delay can scupper the best laid marketing plans. Having the relevant consumer insights at the ready speeds up the process from conversation to implementation, giving brands a competitive edge through an affordable, flexible, effective research tool. In this fast-moving world, agility is a key strength. Being able to react to new market conditions, to quickly gain insights into what consumers think, and then act on it is vital for businesses wanting to stay ahead of their competitors.