- a) Street awareness
Street awareness enables the manager of a brand to have control over the market by having a commodity that is unique. The low operation costs could be derived from the reduced need for advertisement. “A company can outdo its rivals if it can possess a unique trait and be able to preserve it”. (Porter 1996) Differentiation allows the product to be picked from the shelves. This reinforces the relationship between the consumers and producers and their link- the retailers as friends. The cost of winning a new customer is perceived to be as much as six times that of maintaining an old one. (Peters 1988) Consumers purchase according to experience they have with the product. Like the New York Times a brand built for over 160 years has about 19 million readers in print and online. No cost would justify pushing them out of the market.
- b) Perceived quality
The cost of production is subsidized by the fact that consumers are willing to pay high amounts because they believe the product delivers value for their money. Customers are willing to buy durable high quality products at high prices. As it is known high quality products are relatively cheaper than low quality for the buyer and seller in the long run. The integrity, credibility and trust that the 190 million readers associate NY Times with is the perceived quality that what they publish is well researched, has reliable sources and virtual truth. HP is known to produce digital solutions, computer peripherals and accessories.
- c) Strong brand association, patents and trademarks
Brands with market share of 40% are known to make three times as much profit as those with only 10%. (Buzzell and Gale 1987) These are translated into prospects and share value. Patents for example HP printers have gained the company initial benefits before other related players were allowed to copy. Companies that launch software would also like to be associated with market leaders of hardware as an assurance of quality to customers. The NY Times has a great potential for advertising in retail goods like jewelry, live entertainment and book advertisers because these advertisers what to associate with the strong brand. HP on the other side spent 10% of its advertising on brand in 2002 and 50% in 2005; the campaign was “you and HP” was projected to cost $400 million and that brand is most important in America.
- d) Channel relationships
Suppliers, retailers and distributors would also link to high ranking brands as they add value to the supply and distribution chains. Rarity could be an advantage distributors would like to utilize.
The HP campaign in 2005 of $400 could show the worth of a brand.
- Buzzell D and T Gale, (1987) linking strategy to performance, The Free Press New York
- Porter M E (1996) what is a strategy? Harvard Business Review
- Peters T (1988) thriving on chaos: Handbook for management revolutions, New York, Harper
Retention of customers through innovation and invention
Companies that leads the market have an accumulation of skills, talent and funds thus they lead even in invention of related products. These new products define them as market leaders and ensure the brand remains relevant through ages.
Brands are developed over a period “over influences on commercial stimuli such as promotion and availability” (Doyle 1999) Brand value is calculated upon the perception of the consumer on the maker of a product. The product gets some additional value other than the real price. Dynamic brands such as technology rely on evolution of the products to have a competitive advantage. Quality is measured by the response got from consumers. The need to launch new products ensures the leaders are approaching towards the consumers expectations. When they expect a new development the consumer will seek it elsewhere if the company they are loyal to does not produce it and consumers purchase trends are based on experience. Buying from other company could result to them transferring their loyalty as well if the experience is good.
“Get there first”
Launching product after product is also like promotion ensuring the company captures the attention of the customers at all times. This helps to build the bond of sellers to buyers as buyers perceive the sellers as responding to their needs. Buyers want to associate with value addition. These could be the same products but modified to carry additional functions; value addition could be through tangible or intangible parts. Microsoft could be launching a new version of Windows year after but the difference could only be speed of processing or capacity to handle data or a few features which to the person who is not keen may not even notice difference. But there have to remain leaders they have to fill the gaps which may entice new entries or be used by existing competitors.
Customers measure performance through:
Reliability and responsiveness: the company has to be a partner consumers can rely on to deliver what is needed when needed.
Assurance: ability to inspire trust and confidence through well researched knowledge about consumer needs.
Tangibles and empathy: appearance of the products or where the services are offered matter to the consumer. Empathy refers to the attention the company would give to an individual in case he/she had issues with a product.
Companies have to keep up in response to customer expectations.
- Zeithaml, V.A. and Bitner, M.J. (2003), Services Marketing: Integrating Customer Focus across the Firm, 3rd Edition, McGraw-Hill.
- Jim Doyle (1999) the business coach: A game plan for new work environment
- Charles J. Fombrun and Cees van Riel (2004) Fame and Fortune: How Successful Companies Build Winning Reputations