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CONSUMER BRAND PREFERENCE – ROLE OF ADVERTISING
A crucial step in the branding strategy is deciding on a specific brand name for the product that is being introduced. In the earlier times the concept and practice of branding was much less developed, the common method of branding was by way of addressing the product range of the company. Pepsi brand in Europe performs either to indicate the source or the origin of the product or indicate the product range. However, Pepsi brand name has emerged as one of the most important elements of the merchandising function in the recent times and will become more and more crucial as the competition becomes more severe.
Brand is a word, mark, symbol, device or a combination thereof, used to identify some product or service. The definition clearly focuses on the function of a brand, that is, to identify, irrespective of the specific means employed for the identification.
Brand name is a part of a brand consisting of a word, letter, group of words or letters comprising a name which is intended to identify the goods or services of a seller or a group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.
Comparing this definition with that of a brand, it is found that the function remaining the same, and is only one of the means that the brand can use for identification. Brand name is a word or a combination of words/letters that is pronounceable, e.g., Pepsi Co. Europe Plc.
Since a brand name is used in identification of a product amongst a competing set, it is necessary that each brand must have only a unique identity and it must also be protected by law.
1.2 Problem Discussion
Advertising prevails in all walks of human life and it has acquired the distinction of being the most visible and glamorous method of marketing communication in Europe. Advertising is any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. Some of the major marketing and communication functions performed by advertising today include to inform, entertain persuade, influence, remind, reassure and add value to the product or service advertised. Before going to observe the role of advertising and managerial aspects of advertising, it is to be seen how advertising works and the various types of advertising and how Pepsi fairs over its rivals in the soft drink segment and contrast its long term strategies.
In the pursuit of its purpose, the economic and social effects of advertising have become the subjects of continuing debate. A quick flavor of the arguments put forward on both the sides are the two view points, one considering advertising as an information disseminating utility function and the other viewing advertising as a source of market power.
On balance, advertising has carved an indispensable place for itself in the marketing mix of a firm. In the following situations advertising is likely to make greater contribution and these are:
• When buyer awareness is minimal
• When industry sales are rising rather than remaining stable or declining
• When the product has features normally not observable to the buyer
• When the opportunities for product differentiation are strong
• when primary instead of secondary motives can be tapped.
In the above situations if the product is able to win the customer, the product is going to have a brand name and may get the market share for its existence.
1.3 Purpose and Research Questions
In modern times advertising prevails in all walks of human life. It has acquired the distinction of being the most visible and glamorous method of marketing communication and has helped in consumer brand preferences in Europe.
We may approach the goal by following the important points which needs elaborate processing:
1. What is Pepsi branding?
A Pepsi brand name has emerged as one of the most important elements of the merchandising function and will be more and more crucial as the competition becomes more severe. Brand is a symbol, mark or a combination of both used to identify any product or both. The definition focuses on the function of a brand rather than the specific purpose employed for the identification.
2. What role advertising play in influencing the consumer brand preferences in Europe?
Advertising affects consumer preferences and tastes, changes product attributes and differentiates the product from competitive offerings. Consumers become brand loyal and less price sensitive, and perceive fewer substitutes for advertised brands.
3. How are advertisements in Europe customized to appeal to Europeans?
Advertisement has made consumers compare competitive offerings easily and competitive rivalry has increased. In Europe advertising has informed consumers about product attributes and des not change the way they value those attributes.
To facilitate the realization of advertising objectives, it is necessary that these are laid down in specific operational terms and are linked to the time span during which these are to be accomplished.
The research on the practices of corporates has pointed out that corporates in Europe pursue a wide spectrum of advertising goals at different time periods and in relation to different products. Even similar companies placed in more or less similar market situation pursue different advertising goals depending upon a host of factors like advertising philosophy, past experience and the level of expertise existing in the company.
An analysis of the advertising goals pursued revealed that these basically focused on:
Moving the customer from one stage of the purchasing process to the other, expansion of the market and creation of favourable image, besides the overall goal of improving sales. The goals set, in general, lacked specific mention of the per cent of target market to be reached and influenced.
1.5 Outline of the Thesis
Brand management is one of the most important areas of marketing especially with reference to consumer products. For Pepsi in Europe, advertising is an impersonal mass selling and communication method. It makes use of various types of media to reach the target public in a short-time. Being persuasive in nature, advertising broadly aims at gaining exposure, creating awareness, changing attitudes of target customers in favor of sponsor’s products and services, and also at effecting sales and improving corporate image. Besides, it can also act as a good offensive/defensive tool in managing competition.
Management of effective advertising requires that the process be initiated by setting of measurable and realistic goals. Matching with a firm’s advertising needs’ advertising budget be determined, message formulated, copy developed, and media selected and scheduled. Identification and knowledge of the economic, demographic, cultural and psychological characteristics of the target customers should trigger the process of advertising planning. This should be followed by selection of appropriate appeals, proper illustrations and unique copy themes in the language which the audience understands and should be transmitted to them through such media vehicles which have a meaningful reach and desired credibility.
Pepsi Co. – Consumer Brand Preference
The present study aims to understand the Pepsi brand amongst consumers and to study the effects of advertising amongst the European consumers. The organo-gram above outlines the study strategy and covers the fields for the respective study analysis. It also outlines an interview diagnosis amongst prospective customers and strategic analysis of competitor branding and advertising strategies.
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