Good Example Of Marketing Management Essay
In marketing, brands represent companies’ or products’ identities, encompassing the sum of perceived values associated with them, transmitted through graphical representations meant to create meaning in the audiences’ minds (Aaker, 1996). The brand identity concept defines the strength of the brands, but also how they are perceived in the consumers’ minds, how consumers consider that specific brands can resolve or answer to their needs, entering into the psychological or emotional field (Batey, 2012). Commercial agents utilize various promotional mechanisms for generating emotions and psychological associations between their products and the customers’ needs, inculcating the idea that the brands that they advertise can generate specific benefits.
Brands do not just happen, products, services or companies do not turn into brands overnight. There is consistent effort in developing and growing a brand, which requires, among others, an advertising strategy. From the graphic symbol, color, sometimes sound and words or sentences that constitute a to conceptualizing what these feature stand for, advertising shapes perceptions, influencing consumers’ minds to create mental associations brand, through which brands obtain identity and personality (Aaker, 1996). The brands define the market on which the products, services or companies compete, but in the same time they also summarize their mission statements and transmit promises for their targeted audiences (Batey, 2012).
The purpose of advertising in creating a strong brand is primarily to generate awareness, in order to assure that the targeted audience is exposed to the brand promotion, actions intended to produce mental familiarity with brands that were already positioned in consumers’ minds (Business News Publishing, 2013). Batey (2012) observes that through awareness the consumer are able to associate the name of the brand with a specific product category.
The above the line promotion refers to paid advertisement space or time in television, radio, printed media, poster advertising or cinema, with the purpose of generating mass audience (Winterberry Group, 2006).
Through advertisement, but also through consumer experience, there is created the brand loyalty, which indicates the possibility clients might purchase the same brand in the future due to positive past experience (Business News Publishing). Placing advertisement billboards, posting newspaper or magazine layouts, promoting a brand through televised or radio broadcasted commercials will increase the brand awareness and will contribute to generating brand loyalty, to the reconfirmation of specific brand values, with which the client interacted in past experiences. Bernard (“Building Brand Loyalty”) indicates that for creating loyalty, consumers must travel across the entire sales process, which includes awareness, connection, engagement and re-engagement. For connecting, engaging and re-engaging the clients, companies need to invest not only in above the line promotions, but also in developing consumer experiences through direct interactions (Aaker, 1996).
Taking the brand Apple as an example, McCormack (2013) indicates that the company Apple does not invest in ATL, but rather its partners, mobile operators, are using this promotional strategy for generating awareness, brand loyalty, product quality, brand association and competitive advantage. While Apple does not engage in branding activities, this does not mean that the brand can exist without ATL. Its ATL is developed by other companies, but it is Apple that still takes control of the message that they send and implicitly of the associations that they create. McCormak (2013) writes that the network operators comply with Apple’s branding standards when advertising Apple’s products, paying for Apple products’ ATL expensive promotion.
In the process of developing brands through advertisement, there must be assured that the competitive advantages are communicated and understood by the consumers, as particularities that only one brand possesses, which can generate unique benefits (Business News Publishing, 2013).
The ATL promotions deliver and enhance Apple values, generating brand associations such as trendsetter, technological innovator, next-gen experiences. The media advertisement in newspapers, magazines, radio, television, outdoor posters or cinema strengthen Apple’s awareness, making Apple products more attractive, generating in consumers’ minds the idea that they possess specific benefits that might satisfy their needs. ATL advertisement continues to enhance the Apple brand even after individuals have acquired an Apple product, with the purpose of reinforcing the client’s decision, reconnecting with the client and re-engaging the client in the new acquisition process, generating brand loyalty.
Further on, the positioning of Apple as the quality brand they choose to other similar products for satisfying their needs is another objective accomplished through ATL promotion. Apple defines strict branding guidelines, requesting the network provider that advertise its products to comply with its guidelines (McCormack, 2013). Through these strict branding guidelines, Apple communicates that it delivered its promise in terms of quality, providing the values that the customers expected its products to offer in terms of advanced technology, style, which position Apple products ahead of its competitors.
For Apple, the unique features that generate its competitive advantages are the trend-setting technology, but also a statement of style, social and technological status, modernity and innovation. These unique features generate benefits for the users, answering their needs of being updated with the technology trends and being in-style, while wearing trendy gadgets, Apple branded.
In Apple’s case, ATL contributes to generating the awareness of the existence of Apple technology, which produces the desire of owning Apple products. ATL strategies further enhance the brand loyalty, by reconnecting consumers with the brand and re-engaging them in the process of purchasing new products. In time, through consumer experience, Apple uses ATL strategies for optimizes its qualities that make Apple products to be perceived as better than similar products. In the end, through continuous ATL engagement and following strict branding guidelines, Apple creates competitive advantages, by delivering to its consumers the Apple promises in terms of innovation, style, advanced technology, trend-setting.
Aaker, D, A. 1996. Building strong brands. New York: The Free Press.
Beatey, M. 2008. Brand meaning. New York: Taylor Francis Group.
Bernard, V. n.d. Building brand loyalty – let your customers show you the way. [online] Available at < http://www.experian.com/blogs/marketing-forward/2013/05/21/building-brand-loyalty-let-your-customers-show-you-the-way/>. [Accessed 5 March 2015].
Business News Publishing. 2013. Summary: Building strong brands – David Aaker. Primento.
McCormack, F. 2013. Apple’s iPhone marketing strategy exposed. [online] Available at < http://www.business2community.com/marketing/apples-iphone-marketing-strategy-exposed-0661613> [Accessed 5 March 2015].
Winterberry Group. 2006. Tracking the trends: A comparison of above – the – line & below the line expenditure trends. New York: Winterberry Group LLC.