The Brand Techniques simulation is based on cosmetic company’s building of a new brand. Ca’Shara is a United States based cosmetic manufacturer and marketer of skin care, hair care, and make-up. Ca’Shara has an established brand presence and known for quality products. The recent consumer interest in natural products has made Ca’Shara management decide to cater to this segment of the cosmetic market. The company has decided on a 5,000 year old health care system from India called Ayurveda. As the newly appointed Brand Manager, I will be responsible for building the new brand Three executives gave their expert advice in the decision making process throughout the simulation exercise. They were Tina Trotter, Head of Sales; Monique Knight, Brand Consultant; and Jim Reding, Country Manager.
The simulation give the psychographic profile of the Ayurvedic customer as Caucasian to African American, age 18-35 with an income of $50,000 or higher. The consumer survey shows the customer base largely holistic and classy with a combined 55%. Meaning they like the natural base products and exclusive products. The principles of Ayurveda are explained as the Three Doshas. This is important to understand because it shows the three skin types the new brand will target. This will be dry, oily, and irritable. The brand position choice made was high on both holistic and classy and titled Enduring Secrets from the East. This was incorrect. The correct choice was high holistic and low classy.
Correct title is Perfect balance, mind and body. The reason for the choice was because of the psychographic percentages only contained a slim difference in weighted value. I didn’t realize this choice meant the brand would need to carve out a new niche instead of competing against another company’s products. The choice made meant the perception of the product would be set as a lofty, unreachable goad of perfect in every way alleviating all concerns and possible disadvantages.
Brand Name, Logo, & Slogan
Two choices were made correctly using the focus group information. The brand name chosen was Natural Balance because it aligned with the brand positioning. Logo number 2 was chosen because of the market survey’s information. The logos green color and curves match the preferences of the focus groups. The shape gives the feel of feminine soft. The slogan of A Return to Nature was chose, but was not the best choice as it was similar to a competitor’s slogan. This choice doesn’t allow the brand to stand alone and differentiate itself in the market. It could dilute the brands identity. According to Cron.com the choosing of a name, logo, and slogan are nearly as important as the products sold.
“If you choose your name and logo well, they will stay in your customers’ minds and remind them of the value your company offers. In fact, a well-chosen name and logo can help you to stand out amount the competition. Your customers will instantly think of your memorable business name and logo whenever they are in the market for your products or services.” For this very reason, the slogan that is similar to another like product is a grave error.
Brand Associations- The Final Look
Now we are down to choosing the brand associations. Who will promote and what events or causes will be align our brand with? The focus groups chose Maria Switzer as the spokesperson. They also pointed to two functions of interest, Partner with GreenEco and providing grants to women’s trust funds. These choices used $27,300 of the allotted $34,000. Total cost of these choices is $327,000 and under budget. It makes sense for a product that is built around natural ingredients to be associated with an environmental group like GreenEco.
It also shows the company’s long term commitment to the environment. The choice of providing grants to women’s trust funds is a choice that gives back to the community in a broad spectrum. The customer base can see where they may see benefit locally for the dollars they’ve spent. The choice of Maria Switzer was that of a strong, independent female with her own sense of style. The public’s view of longevity is associated with this individual’s unique persona.
Beyond the Simulation
The simulation was good about applying the principles of brand positioning, but there are more ways to make your product stand out among similar brands. One additional aspect is to show ownership. The simulation had a spokesperson picked, but customers like to be able to identify an owner. This is true for large and small company’s ability to stand out from the competition. Knowing the face behind the product is important to keeping the consumer engaged. Per the SBA, “Businesses really thrive when the energy of the owner is there.” A good example was Steve Jobs involvement with Microsoft. Small businesses can equally benefit from the consumer having a face behind the product or service.
It lets people know the owner is involved and active with the business. Another way to have stood out was not only the shape of the container, but to have the container recyclable, biodegradable, or refillable would have been a good aspect to have. This would further appeal to the profile of being environmentally friendly and support the GreenEco cause the brand is supporting. The brand in the simulation, Ayurveda, immediately had a sense of well-being and soothing associated with the brand. Not only is it not irritating to the individual’s skin, but the environment too. The brand was immediately associated with everything “green” in today’s society.
Service vs. Tangible product
Had the simulation used a service instead of a tangible product application there would have been no real difference. A brand is in the minds of the consumer. It is setting or understanding their perception of the product or service offered.
The simulation was an excellent tool in learning and applying the branding techniques. It was only after wrong decisions were made and explained, that I understood why they were incorrect. At that point they seem obviously wrong. Making sure to use the differences of a product or service is the key to finding a niche and making a product stand out among the masses.
Chron, retrieved March 9, 2014 from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/choose-company-name-logo-2348.html SBA retrieved March 9, 2014 from