A brand manager, while managing, needs to make various kinds of decisions while managing a brand. We will discuss some of these decisions in managing and building a brand. A brand manager has to make the following decisions for brand selection & positioning in business. The branding decisions can be grouped as follows.
6 Major Decisions in the Branding Decisions
The explanation for the branding and packaging decisions are as follows.
1. Brand Strategy Decision
Strategy is a goal-directed action for the firm, and branding strategy for a firm is the firm’s decision. Brand strategy decisions are the central part of branding decisions. It is to identify and manage the number and nature of common & unique elements or value propositions adopted for a set of products sold by a firm. So, a brand strategy decision involves a set of decisions to add or maintain several brand elements to its product portfolio.
- Whether to brand a product is a decision that can be taken only after considering the nature of the product and the estimated costs of developing the brand.
- One of the essential factors for successful branding decisions for food & commodity categories strategies is the willingness to buy a branded product. They get the same quality in whichever retail shop they go to.
- As a part of major brand strategy decisions, the brand manager can either create new brand elements for new products. Also, he can apply some existing brand elements to new products, or combine both new brand elements to existing and new products.
- When a firm uses an established brand to introduce a new product, it is called brand extension.
- When a brand manager combines elements of an existing brand with a new brand, it is called a sub-brand.
- If an existing brand name is used for a new product category, the existing brand is called the parent brand.
- If the parent brand is associated with multiple products through brand extensions, it is called family branding.
- Brand extension can be done in two ways: Vertical extension and Horizontal extension.
- When the same brand name is taken to products very similar to the current offer, higher or lower in the same product line, it is called vertical extension or line extension. It can be step up and step down extensions also.
— Step up line extension- High price with high quality.
— Step down line extension- Low-quality product with low price.
- The horizontal extension is a process of taking an existing brand name to a newer product category. It is also known as category extension.
2. Brand Name Decision
Getting a brand name is one of the crucial decisions in branding decisions. It is a crucial decision testing on two dimensions:
i) The name, which satisfies several marketing criteria.
ii) The name should not be one another firm is already using.
- A brand is defined as a composite set of beliefs & associations in the minds of consumers. So, a brand name is believed to indicate product benefits, be memorable & help reinforce the belief & associations in the consumer’s psyche.
- The name has to be unique. A simple brand name will be effective only if the overall brand personality supports the “I am a different brand promise.”
- Brand marketers have developed the following principles for branding decisions, which marketers should follow.
- It should be acceptable in social settings.
- Easy to Recognize.
- The brand names should reflect some aspects of products directly or indirectly.
- It should be distinctive so that consumers are never confused in identifying.
- Easy to pronounce and remember.
- Easy to memorize and recall.
- Legally protected.
3. Brand Sponsorship Decision
- The brand Sponsor decision is an important branding decisions. It involves whether it should be a manufacturer’s brand, a private brand, or partly manufacturers brand & partly private brand.
- In most developed counties, where large chain/departmental stores dominate the retail distribution system, retailers buy the products from manufacturers & sell them under their brand.
- It is a growing phenomenon in the Indian context as we see the emergence of a large number of super bazaars and chain stores coming up with different product categories. E.g., Mother Dairy, Amul, Food bazaars from Pantaloon, BPL Garage, Kids Kamp, and Crossroads are some of the upcoming supermarkets.
- Thus, brand sponsorship decisions involve the branding decisions of using the brand manufactures name or the retailer’s name. This decision largely depends on who has more power in the value network.
4. Brand Quality Decisions
- The brand manager should decide on what kind of attributes and what quality level he should offer in his product to satisfy his consumers while considering branding decisions. Developing a matrix of such desirable attributes helps in both product & brand positioning. A marketeer has the option to position his brand in any segment of the market—top, bottom, or intermediate.
- Single Branding Vs. Umbrella Branding
The brand manager needs to decide whether he will adopt the Umbrella branding or the Single boarding approach.
All the products are branded with the same name. E.g., Godrej, Videocon, and L&T. It reduces the cost of launching, marketing, and promotional expenditure. The firm has to promote only one brand.
It suggests giving each product a different brand by name of its own. E.g., HUL sells its products under brand names like Rin, Surf, Annapurna, etc. Every product has a specific identity of its own.
5. Brand Portfolio Decision
A multi-product firm has to manage its brand portfolio so that each portfolio has distinct and unique features, differentiated value promises, and a distinct image in consumers’ minds.
The portfolio branding decisions about a brand portfolio is guided by.
Category Development Index explains the entry of the product category.
Brand Development/Index explains the level of brand building in each category.
Brand managers can decide about the combination of brands that a company should offer to the customers.
6. Brand Repositioning Decision
As the market situation changes and brands complete different life cycle stages, they become less attractive & redundant. It is relevant to save the brand and make it necessary to save the brand and make it more relevant to the consumers through repositioning branding decisions. Customers correspondingly move in the value life cycle with the ageing of brands. Unless brands are rejuvenated, they will not be able to sustain their market share & brand image.
In conclusion, we say that marketers should make all the branding decisions properly for the smooth running of the product in the market. Branding is essential to the immediate attention of consumers and makes it distinctive in customers’ eyes.