Brand equity Essay
How much a product can earn over its identical competitor by virtue of its brand, determines its brand equity. It can be a neat result of many factors like years of experience, proven track record of quality, legacy, emotional bondage and company outlook, where it adds more value to the product and thereby helps the product to score over its identical competitors. Without brand equity a product loses its competitive advantage, and for that matter some companies “measure brand equity relying on financial measures of brand performance” (Dobney, 2007).
Thus Brand India should be able to score over its Asian counterpart. Figure – 3 The brand management chain (Based on Wood, 2000; Kapferer, 2004) Integration of the theoretical constructs brand equity (Aaker, 1996) and brand orientation could be instrumental in the understanding of brand value, where brand equity commands more attention as it aims for generating long-term values for the company by “understanding the conceptual basis for the value of brand and its implications” (Keller, 1993). Brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty refers to the customers’ consistent preference to buy a selected brand in a particular product category, irrespective of other provocative options presented by the competitor of that brand. This situation occurs after the customers make a trial run of the brand and get convinced about the efficacy of that brand towards fulfilling certain needs of theirs and decide to buy that brand again and again. That practice “forms the habit and thus customers continue purchasing the same brand because the product is safe and familiar” (Giddens, 2002).
This situation speaks of the dual responsibility of branding too, where on one hand it should influence the rationality of its prospective customers, while invoking the emotional response among them on the other. As for example, a particular meal in a restaurant might declare about a possible health benefit with the inclusion of tomato in it by saying, “lycopene in tomato lowers the risk of cancer”, thereby influencing the rationality of the customers, and at the same time it can evoke the nostalgia in customers by labelling the meal as “grandma’s special recipe”.
In this strategy lies the clue of embedding medical/healthcare tourism with general tourism and Incredible India should utilize it. Figure – 4 Brand Awareness: Brand awareness is “a gauge of marketing effectiveness measured by the ability of a customer to recognize and/or recall a name, image or other mark associated with a particular brand” (Waters, 2008). Though brand awareness cannot measure the customers’ approach towards the brand, yet it is very helpful in forming a positive attitude among the target audience about the brand. Incredible India Campaign should take care of that.
Figure – 5 The above diagram shows that recollection or identification ability first created ‘aided awareness in the prospective customers, which might convert into a top-of mind awareness, if the brand convinces customers either with its logistics or direct service. Thus, brand awareness can work on two folds, primarily making its way into the mind of the customer and then working on its way to achieve the recognition, where the brand first generates strategic awareness in customers, where the customers understands the distinctive qualities of the product and associates them with their need.
Current campaign strategy of Incredible India lacks that finesse. Brand Value While brand loyalty proves to be a cost-saving yet effective tool to garner higher sales, brand value “reflects how a product’s name, or company name is perceived by the marketplace” (Free, 2004), which involves both target audience and the general audience. Brand value can be tangible too, in the event of a brand being sold, where extracting the value of the brand from the value provided by other, tangible, resources becomes possible (Simon, C. J. & Sullivan, M. J. , 1993, Conchar, et al, 2005).
From this perspective, even the title of the campaign in discussion, Incredible India needs to be reviewed and if needed may be replaced. The name should denote the power and strength of a brand. As for example, “if Coca-Cola’s facilities Atlanta were to burn overnight, the company would still be able to start up the next day due to its brand value” (What, 1998). Therefore it is the success story of a company that earns its brand value. However, to gauge the impact of brand value, the company needs to take help of empirical research. The process might then looks like below (Persson): Figure – 6
Brand value is the outcome of consistent and successful brand building, where the action of the company would speak louder than words, besides proving its ethical standings in the marketplace. IV. 7. Brand personality Much like a human being, a brand too serves as the ambassador of the company personality, depicting its outlook and aspirations, besides its services and promises. Thus much depends on the carriage of the brand, because it is the coveted message of the company to the outer world about its activities, aims, aspirations and promises – in short, a package of total company outlook.
From this angle too, the campaign in discussion needs to be reviewed. Figure – 7 A strong brand does more than it meets the eye, however, its activity should be powered towards achieving the targeted benefit out of it. For that matter, the first step towards creating a strong brand “is to identify the benefits” (Saarte, 2008). Target benefit would surely help to determine the nature of the branding, which would help the company to identify the necessary elements into branding, such as company image, the USP of its product, type of promises, and desired platforms of bonding and more.
Incredible India is yet to create a clear USP to position itself. V. Conclusion/Recommendation The detailed discussion and analysis above clearly shows that Incredible India Campaign falls far too short in achieving its desired outcome and thus needs to be thoroughly reviewed and modified to meet the demand of the time and position India as a strong brand in the global tourism market. Thus this study recommends following steps towards achieving the target of building a strong Brand India in the global market: 1. Incredible India needs to review its name, packaging, price and its history and modify it concerning the current demand.
2. Ensuring that it becomes capable of Delivering the message clearly. Confirming the credibility of the company. Connectingthe target prospects emotionally. Motivating the buyers. Concretizing the user loyalty 3. Incredible India has to focus more on emphasizing emotional bond with UK through exploiting the earlier history of close communication. 4. It must study and research other Asian countries pros and cons in this sector to ensure that Brand India should be able to score over them. 5. It should embed medical/healthcare tourism with general tourism to generate brand loyalty.
6. Through constant, consistent, cohesive and cogent campaign, it should create the brand awareness (UK still have a poor awareness, around 30%) 7. Periodic assessment of the campaign is a must to check the brand value. 8. Campaign should get facelift periodically with a central theme of personality. Ends.
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