Branding in Service Markets Dissertation

Pages: 50 (12522 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 50  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising


Consequently, the message starts to stimulate customers starting to consider making a purchase.

The brand also serves as a substantial financial and political power in the macro-level focus of culture; particularly as it relates to issues and discussion regarding globalization concerns. As noted in the first chapter of the AMP, just as the growing impact of marketing touches most aspects of the consumer's lives, brands and branding have likewise become "an increasingly dominant market economic and commercial ideoscape" (Heding, Knudtzen, & Bjerre, 2009, p. 210).

With organizations like WTO implementing branding in its marketing and management practices, branding will likely remain central to structuring commercial and economic activities -- in large as well as in small countries globally.

Branding Evolution

The process of branding reportedly even existed during the Stone Age as hunters chose particular "brands" of weapons to help ensure their hunting would be successful. According to Hampf and Lindberg-Repo (2011), however, brands similar to contemporary ones did not begin to materialize until the 16th century. Knowledge, procedures, and theories within branding began to substantially develop in the 18th-century in England and France. "On a very practical level consumers like brands because they package meaning. They form a kind of shorthand that makes choice easier" (McDowell & Batte, 2005, p. 17). The development of commercials in mass media largely contributed to current branding theories originating and beginning to evolve during the mid-20th century.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Prior to the advertising industry fully organizing as an institution, the following two diverse principles or strategies guided branding:

One principle, consistent with economic ideas of branding, was to establish a name to represent an ongoing business; to convey the legitimacy, prestige, and stability of the manufacturer; to educate the consumer about the product's basic value proposition; and to instruct on the use of novel products.

TOPIC: Dissertation on Branding in Service Markets Amp Assignment

The second principle . . . was to treat consumers as gullible dupes who could be swayed if only product claims were inflated enough. (Holt, 2002, p. 80)

During the 1920s and forward, specialists began to replace the above two strategies; ushering in the contemporary branding paradigm built on the following two pillars:

Abstraction and cultural engineering

Advertising typically highlighted product benefits; functional results strongly related to the product's attributes or made incredible claims. Earnest Elmo Calkins, reported to be one the earliest branding leaders, constructed the concept that manufacturers needed to attempt to position their brands as solid expressions of esteemed moral and social ideals. He "championed a new style of advertising that proposed that products materially embodied people's ideals (e.g., their aspirations concerning their families, their place in society, their masculinity and femininity), which were only tenuously linked to functional benefits" (Holt, 2002, p. 80). Advertising renovated allegories, metaphors, and brands to symbolize psychological and social properties.

Instead of magical messages praising product benefits, marketers started to blatantly reveal their intentions regarding branding efforts. They meticulously promoted a relationship linking product attributes with a package of enviable personal characteristics that when conjoined "declared to constitute the modern good life. . .. They [advertisers] directed consumers as to how they should live and why their brand should be a central part of this kind of life" (Holt, 2002, p. 80). Compared to contemporary concepts, the approach to advertising during this time period appears adolescent yet moralistic. Also at the time, companies assumed the role as cultural authorities.

During the 1920s, firms adapted scientific management principles used to organize workers to try to orchestrate their customers' preferences. Behaviorism also started to influence advertisers, who consequently began to perceive that their expertise replicated methodical science. In time, marketing progressed from a low-profile function primarily focusing on distribution to "a significant strategic tool for senior management and from a quasi-professional trade to an institutionally legitimated science supported by academic research, education, expanding doctoral programs, and licensing organizations" (Holt, 2002, p. 81). The erroneous belief, albeit, prevailed that marketers could methodically utilize sophisticated academic theories and methods as tools "to direct consumers to value their brands" (Ibid.). Although Holt significantly contributed to describing the evolution of branding, nevertheless, a dearth of literature exists to explain branding's evolutionary development. Little research also identifies the cause and effect inherent in the evolution of branding theories. Consequently, as the causal connections among the various theories had not yet been explored, Hampf and Lindberg-Repo (2011) extended their research beyond the current literature to examine this realm.

Prior to the 1970s, significant consumer movement contested the utilization of brands. As companies were not secure as to how to best highlight their brands as well as whether and if so, how much the typical consumer cared about those brands. As a result, marketers considered it critical to employ research to ascertain the significance of brands in the purchasing process. Research on everyday products during this time indicated that consumers preferred products with a well-known brand. Only 25% of the respondents participating in a study by Marquardt et al. "did not pay attention to the brand at all (Hampf & Lindberg-Repo, 2011, p. 2). These consumers reported they perceived price not brand to be the primary consideration when purchasing the product. Hampf and Lindberg-Repo (2011) explain that the marketing mix which Neil H. Borden constructed during the1950s depicts a well-known term in contemporary marketing. Hampf and Lindberg-Repo also note E. Jerome McCarthy promoted the popularity of marketing mix, however, when he proposed the following four P's as vital to the process: Product; Price; Place; Promotion. These components "symbolize marketing tools that companies could use to achieve their goals" (Hampf & Lindberg-Repo, p.2). Ironically, more recently, these four P's, do not explicitly link to branding. The idea supporting the postmodern branding paradigm purports that brands prove more valuable when proffered as cultural resources; when presented as cultural blueprints, as functional elements for one to produce the self as he or she chooses. Consumers, however, must perceive resources to be authentic. "To be authentic, brands must be disinterested; they must be perceived as invented and disseminated by parties without an instrumental economic agenda, by people who are intrinsically motivated by their inherent value" (Holt, 2002, p. 83). Because most postmodern consumers see contemporary branding efforts to reek with their sponsors' commercial intent, they do not typically perceive modern branding efforts as authentic. After approximately a decade of experiments, however, a number of effective strategies started to evolve.

Due to recession constraints during the 1970s, these branding techniques fell lower on the marketing agenda until the mid-1980s. They resurfaced at that time; augmented with numerous extensions and refinements (Hunt, 2010). Holt (2002) asserts that five new branding techniques emerged by the 1990s that aimed to present brands as pertinent as well as genuine cultural resources. Holt, however, only presents the following four:

Ironic, reflexive brand persona. The ironic, reflexive brand persona diametrically opposed the fatherly voice contemporary ads. These ads attempted to detach the brand from blatant attempts to influence the consumer, a common practice during the 1990s.

Coattailing on cultural epicenters. The coattailing on cultural epicenters technique wove the brand into cultural epicenters like the "arts and fashion communities . . . ethnic subcultures (e.g., the African- American ghetto for Tommy Hilfiger, Nike, Sprite, and Fubu), professional communities (e.g., professional sports for Nike, commercial arts for Apple), and consumption communities " (Holt, 2002, p. 84). When the brand builds an ongoing, credible relationship within a community, it crafts an impression of the brand as a vested community member, worthy of its standing within that community.

Life world emplacement. Life world emplacement asserts that the brand's value stem from unbiased daily life circumstances, not from commercial sponsorship. "Consumers[, nevertheless,] recognize that marketers promiscuously stitch stories and images to their brands that may have nothing to do with the brands' real history and consumption" (Holt, 2002, p. 84). Consequently, consumers search for proof that indicates a brand has actually earned its status.

Stealth branding. Stealth branding permits marketers to break away from consumer ascriptions of cultural coercion. Rather than implementing branding efforts, companies access the allegiance of tastemakers to invest efforts to distribute the concept of inherent cultural value in the brand. "The promise of stealth branding has stimulated a publishing and consulting frenzy, promoting concepts like grass roots, viral, tribal, and buzz" (Ibid). In the past, marketers would place their products in popular films or television shows as well as contract celebrities to use their particular products (Holt, 2002, p. 85).

According to Hunt (2010), the trend toward social marketing which asserts the marketing challenges for nonprofit organizations to be nonprofit, micro, or normative depicts one of the two trends which also materialized during the 1970s. "The second can be termed the societal issues trend. It concerns topics as diverse as consumerism, ethics, marketing and ecology, the desirability of political advertising. social responsibility, and whether the demand for public goods should be stimulated" (Hunt, p. 15). Both these trends tried to calculate the allure or correctness of particular marketing techniques.

In 1985, results of the debate that occurred within the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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