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Branding Management in BillabongResearch Proposal

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Planning / Strategic Management in Billabong

Billabong is one of the most renowned companies in the retail industry that in the recent years has been facing severe issues in its management. A change in the business setting has seen rival companies grab a hold of the market share, the price per share significantly deteriorate from $14 to 70 cents per share, executive managers resigning and the company could be facing bankruptcy and more likely a takeover owing to the poor leadership that has steered the company (Knight, 2013).

The management issue at hand is that Billabong made poor branding management decisions over the past two decades. The simplest clarification to the problems and deterioration perceived in the case of Billabong is that the company involved itself in reckless spending on brand acquisitions and this for most part is the reason as to why the company is failing at the moment (Knight, 2013).

Issue Identification

The issue identified is that Billabong was beleaguered with poor investment resolutions, strategical mistakes, hubris and flat-footed management reactions to organizational changes in market conditions. The simplest elucidation to the issue identified in the case with Billabong is that the company was overspending on brand acquisitions and is largely the reason why the company is presently failing (Knight, 2013).

The aspect of branding and branding management is indeed an issue not only for the organization but also on the whole. In the contemporary times, a brand signifies the quality of the products of a company and not the name or logo of the company as it was deemed in the past (Farquhar, 1990); in other words, the view or opinion of the consumers towards the company. As a result, businesses are forming strong brands in order to have a competitive edge and be a step ahead of their rivaling companies.

Therefore, they are coming up with and advancing strategies to increase the equity of their brands. It is imperative to note that the companies that could not develop and advance such strategies face difficulties in competing, often fateful. It is important to note that concerning international competition, one of the significant elements of present day management is the creation of a strong brand (Karadeniz and Cdr, 2010).

Critical Discussion

A brand ought not to be considered as a product but rather the source of the product, its significance and its bearing, and it delineates its distinctiveness in time and space. Products are scrutinized, in most cases, through their constituent measures such as the brand name, its emblem, design, packing, marketing, or name acknowledgement. Real brand management, on the other hand, commences much earlier with a stratagem and a constant incorporated vision. Its fundamental conception is brand identity, which ought to be well-defined and managed (Tuominen, 1999).

The model that is pertinent to this management issue is the model of brand pyramid, which is appropriate for analyzing as also gaining an understanding the idea of brand equity and brand identity (Doyle, 1998: 172; Kapferer, 1992: 12). This model is made up of three levels or phases. The important and upper level of the brand pyramid model is referred to as the brand core, which continues to be fairly constant over time. The middle level of the model is referred to as the brand style (Keller, 1993).

It enunciates and speaks clearly the brand core about the culture that it expresses its character and its self-perception. Lastly, the lowest level, which is the base tier of the model, consists of the brand themes. In particular, these themes offer an indication of the manner in which the brand of a firm communicates at the present moment, for instance, by means of its advertising, press statements and also how it packages. Brand themes encompass the physical aspect of the brand in terms of its logo, the color of the brand as well as the packaging (Keller, 1993).

Kapferer (1992) and Doyle (1998) opine that, brand themes are more flexible in comparison to the brand core and the brand style and can easily alter or transform apropos the predispositions in fashion, style as well as technology. The collection of brand themes and brand style can be outlined as an identity prism or model that has six sides. The identity prism places emphasis on the identity of the brand as a designed complete of six incorporated aspects of culture, nature, self-image, figure, likeness, and affiliation (Kapferer, 1992; Doyle, 1998).

The initial three aspects of culture, nature and self-image are integrated within the brand itself and the latter three features of figure, likeness and affiliation are the social aspects which offer the brand its external manifestation. These external aspects are connected overtly and they are noticeable and substantial (Kapferer, 1992; Doyle, 1998). The expressive and representative constituents in the identity prism are more valued, for the reason that the element of physique only creates the first phase in brand building. The intangible features allude to the philosophies and values fashioned in the thoughts and observances of customers. These intangible and representational features consist of the brand nature, the manner in which the brands strengthen consumers' self-perception and brands' capabilities to characterize customers to others (Kapferer, 1992; Doyle, 1998; Tuominen, 1999).

In opposition, according to Kapferer (2012), in advanced communities, the explosion of brands within the similar classification and the upsurge of trade brands have profoundly taken aback management spheres. The model is still applicable in the present, however in an advanced manner. As a result, brand meanings in addition to brand equity measures brought together placing an importance on consumer loyalty and replication purchase (Doyle 1998).

A brand imposing no loyalty is not considered to be a strong brand; however there can be enforced loyalties or loyalty by means of inertia. What brands far ago, sought after was an affianced loyalty, constructed and centered on emotional connections and consumer dedication. The description of the brand in the present day has emphasized the role that communities play and this is helped with the aspect of web 2.0 (Doyle 1998).

In the contemporary times, a brand cannot be condensed to simply a benefit but instead it has to form a community. The present day's prevailing role of social media is perceptible here. In order to be existent on the net, a brand has to have friends, followers, experts, converts and new believers (Kapferer, 2012). In conclusion, having a comprehension of the brand's core and style benefits in determining how far the brand can be expressively extended to other products and market subdivisions (Doyle 1998).

Recommendation

To invest largely on brand equity by building a strong brand and considering the perceptions of the consumers is recommended. The biggest priority at the moment for Billabong is to revert back to its main consumer base who are the surfers whom the company overlooked after acquiring other brands. Karadeniz and Cdr (2010) have shown that lack of a company taking into account of its brand equity and the outlook of the consumers on the company's products will eventually cause irreparable harm. This is because the lack of the consumers implies financial losses of the company in terms of revenue and thereby deterioration as time goes by.

Kapferer (2012) also asserts that brand equity, in present times, encompasses having the loyalty and commitment of the consumers and not just financial gains. Having a community that follows the company implies that the brand of the company is strong and this is indicative of financial success for the company. Therefore, it is recommended for Billabong to form a strong brand in order to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace against all the other rivaling companies. It is important for the company to cultivate and thereafter develop strategies to increase its brand equity.

Conclusion

The aspect of branding and branding management is indeed an issue not only for the organization but also on the whole. In the contemporary, it is not the name, emblem or design of the brand that signifies the brand of a company but rather it is the quality of the products of the firm. It is a significant aspect as it encompasses the outlook of the consumers towards the firm. For that reason, companies are forming strong brands to have a competitive advantage over their rivals in competing in the market place (Burnett and Hutton, 2007).

Failure to do so can cause companies great risk and may even drive them out of the market. The description of the brand in the present day has emphasized the role that communities play, and this is helped greatly by the existence of web 2.0. In the contemporary, a brand cannot be condensed to simply a benefit but instead it has to form a community. In order to be a successful brand in the digital space, it has to have followers, friends and also converts (Kapferer, 2012).

References

Burnett, J., Hutton, R. B. (2007). New consumers need new brands. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 16(5), 342-347.

Doyle, P. (1998). Marketing Management… [END OF PREVIEW]

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