After being manufactured in factories brands are made available on retails shelves for consumers. In this physical sense, a brand is taken as a physical entity. Apart from being a physical entity, a brand is an intangible occupant of perceptual space. Though a brand is legally owned by the company, it is possessed by the people. The following are the challenges facing brands.
Common challenges faced by brands
1. Brand Knowledge: A brand to become strong, must establish linkage with the brand node in a customer’s memory. A brand is a key node having a network of other nodes. It is a knowledge structure. Brand knowledge consists of a brand node in the memory to which a variety of associations have been linked. These include the brand name, the brand’s characteristic advertisement, other advertisements about the brand, the product category, evaluative reactions to the brand and advertisements. These associations can make or break a brand.
2. Brand Value: When a customer responds favorably towards a brand, he adds value. If he adds negative differential, the brand loses value. A brand manager’s task is to create awareness so that a brand triggers discriminating customer response.
3. Enhancing Brand Perception: The essence of brand management is protecting, preserving and enhancing a brand’s perceptual entity in consumer’s mind. Some brands which were strong once have become obsolete, weak or inconsistent.
4. Brand’s Appeal: Some brands ride high on a wave of fortunes. But soon they meet with utter failure. The problem before the brand manager is that the product should ensure continual adherence to a brand’s core idea. Where deviations occur, they will reduce a brand’s appeal and equity advantage.
5. To maintain Brand Consistency: The brand must respond to changing market conditions. It must adopt and evolve. It must maintain consistency in its focus and positioning.
6. Brand Association: Brand associations are a source of brand equity. These associations must be protected, maintained and nurtured.
7. To maintain Brand Image: Many brands tend to be symbolic and experiential. Non-product associations drive the brand’s equity. Brands are imagery based images can be easily changed by consistent marketing campaign.
8. To maintain Brand Position: Product ingredients must be improved to reinforce its commitment to customer satisfaction. For example, Cadbury in order to arrest its decline relaunched Bournvita in 1999. It took care of the daily requirements of essential vitamins and minerals which growing children need. The company has even set up a Bournvita Nutrition centre. In terms of positioning, the brand was earlier positioned as a taste enhancer. Now, it has been repositioned on a nutritional platform.