Influence of Branding on Consumer Purchasing Behavior Research Proposal

Pages: 44 (12200 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 100  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Branding Strategies

Assessing the Influence of branding on consumer purchase behavior is begins with an analysis of how the accumulated effects of marketing strategies contribute to the permanency of branding and their accumulative effects on consumers. The impact of Web 2.0 technologies (Bernoff, Li, et.al.) is re-ordering the dynamics of branding on a global scale based on social networking. Broader still is the cultural assimilation of branding on a global scale. Learning and cultural assimilation is actually becoming more pervasive as a result of more effective branding strategies that are being implemented. This cultural assimilation and focus isn't at the expense of cultural richness and identity at a local level however. Research completed in this dissertation shows that branding and messaging is interpreted and synthesized into local cultures more quickly than before due to the pervasive availability of the Internet, greater focus on global brands by consumers, more effective use of non-traditional approaches to public relations, branding, and communications; and a greater level of fluidity of promotional, selling, and services strategies through nations' cultures.

Using a multi-phased research methodology to capture the most critical success factors to enterprises who are actively using branding strategies globally to attract, sell and service prospects and customers, this research discovered that globally there is a definite trend towards being a trusted advisor to prospects and customers alike as connoted by the execution of branding strategies both through traditional marketing channels and those emerging from social networking's rapid adoption globally. One of the key objectives of this research is to evaluate how effective traditional strategies and techniques for branding compare in effectiveness relative to the emerging social networking approaches that are now becoming pervasive globally.

Branding as a communications and teaching mechanism and as an overt and focused strategy by the most successful enterprises is anticipated to emerge from the research, and underscoring this role of brands as an educational approach is the deliberate strategy of invoking, sustaining and retaining the trust of prospects and customers. As a result of this dynamic of brands evoking trust, this dissertation also concentrates on how brands can nurture and foster the creation of trusted advisors. It is a position that a brand cannot "purchase" however, it must be earned through a continual and consistent strategy of execution. The defining of this specific aspect of branding is one of the cornerstones of the research to be completed.

As a result of this focus it is anticipated that one of the primary critical success factors that will come out this research is that the most effective brands are continually in the pursuit of trust, and especially for services companies, the need for attaining the status of trusted advisor in the prospect and customer base is critical. The criticality of the role of trusted advisor pervades the survey results, with the majority reporting that attaining this role as critical for their long-term growth globally. It is anticipated that when the data is analyzed by the relative growth rates of enterprises it will become apparent that those companies, both privately held and publicly traded, are orders of magnitude more profitable and stronger financially long-term as a result of choosing to pursue and excel at attaining the role of trusted advisor via their branding and marketing execution. This dynamic of becoming the trusted advisor in a given global marketplace has a strong correlating effect with long-term profitability and growth, and is an area of future research that needs to be addressed within this dissertation.

The critical nature of branding however as a series of initiatives, programs, and strategies is clear when the most predominant approach to attaining and keeping the role of trusted advisor with prospects and customers alike is captured in the proposed research

The second anticipated critical success factor is the challenge of continually defining value both from a product and services perspective across multiple geographies through the use of coordinated branding strategies. It is anticipated that respondent scores will reflect a global focus of retaining credibility through stressing value-based selling over features, functions, benefits and other product-centric messaging. This second critical success factor centers on positioning and messaging with high credibility to support the trusted advisor role. This second critical success criteria reflects the impact of market-driven organizations on product strategies and accuracy of branding. It is anticipated that the market-driven organizations in the sample will report a significant statistical link between marketing, branding, analyst relations, and investor relations. Imagining an overlapping Venn diagram of these items a best practices model emerges for messaging synchronization across a global enterprise

It is anticipated that a third major finding from the research will be the reliance on measuring the value generated from branding activities over time. The Return on Investment (ROI) of branding is a major focus within the companies achieving the highest revenue and profit growth globally. Hand in hand with this focus on the ROI of branding specifically and marketing overall is an increased reliance on key performance indicators, or KPIs. The combined effects of tracking ROI and supplanting this effort with a reliance on analytics is re-aligning the relationship between public relations, marketing, sales, support, and advertising functions in the companies achieving the highest ROI on their branding investments. The implications for marketing departments and the trajectory of growth they are already experiencing speak to greater structural changes in the companies interviewed as part of this research program. As part of the literature review for this project, the re-alignment of branding as part of the marketing function is also analyzed and reviewed. The concepts of brand equity measurement and value are also discussed.

Respondents to the surveys ranking the measurability and accountability of branding in their companies as growing the need for better analytics is changing the nature of how branding strategies are initiated, maintained, and modified over time. This shift in branding practices away from the more static approaches of communicating to the more fluid and interactive forms of communicating with audiences, prospects, and customers is also critical in the overall direction of the strategic mix of branding strategies in firms globally.

Blogs, Wikis, and the rise of user-generated content have a much greater potential for affecting a company today than does the publishing of a simple press release or the defining of more statistically. This point ties into becoming a trusted advisor, as secondary research suggests that press releases are not as trusted as blog entries made by actual consumers relative to a product or service. The dynamics of social networking need then to be taken into account from the standpoint of branding with greater focus on analysis than ever before.

This makes the point of being a trusted advisor all the more critical, and a strategy of being a trusted advisor throughout all served segments is the cornerstone of an effective branding strategies. Blogs, Wikis, and other forms of user-generated content's uncontrollable aspects make them especially challenging for branding teams to manage for companies globally today. Traditional forms of communicating through branding activities are not nearly as trusted as user-generated forms of content, and the globalization of branding activities is large part due to this fact.

Emergence of the Branding Maturity Model

Based on an analysis of literature reviews and research completed, the cumulative responses a Branding Maturity Model begins to take shape, and is shown in Figure 1.

This model defines the relative level of synchronization or integration of branding to the many other organizations and functions within the enterprises scaling their operations on a global level. What became apparent from the analysis of results was the fact that enterprises when they choose to pursue a globally-based strategy have to content with both Process Maturity and Information Maturity.

Figure 1: Branding Maturity Model

At the highest levels of maturity, what would be considered "best practices" in the context of this research model is the level of orchestrating functions across a federation of departments, divisions and even like-minded corporations who form joint ventures and alliances.

As would be expected, only a small percentage of respondents fit into the Orchestrating layer of the Maturity Model. This is primarily due to the fact that many of the joint ventures and alliances where branding has become an integral part of the total operating strategy are not as pervasive as the lower layers of the model and companies sharing those attributes.

Companies occupying the second highest layer, Collaborating, are using portals and other Internet-based tools to maximize information sharing and co-development of strategies and the co-sharing of communications tools and ultimately platforms. Collaborative Branding strategies, as they are defined from the research completed, are marked by their shared use of Voice of the Customer (VoC) programs and shared ownership of branding strategy results.

Anticipating, the second highest level in the maturity model, is where the majority of companies are today, which is to say "every branding team for themselves." The focus on making a strong correlation between making information flow optimized vs. striking a collaborative focus with other global branding… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Influence of Branding on Consumer Purchasing Behavior.  (2008, November 29).  Retrieved December 17, 2018, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/influence-branding-consumer-purchasing/696046

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