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Brand Management: Rolls Royce Company

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Question:

1. Identifies the main elements that shape the current “personality” of the brand. Assessing the current brand strategy, focusing on the organisation’s approach to creating a competitive positioning for the product/service and maximising brand.

2. Sets out your analysis of the potential weaknesses of the existing strategy and identifies the brand strategy you would recommend to address these weaknesses.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

Businesses look for achieving higher level of growth and development over their performance and they adapt various major strategies and initiatives aimed at achieving success over it. An important factor that is essential to consider by businesses is mainly the brand management. Brand management is an important activity that involves differentiating a product or service or an entire company from that of its competitors. This involves the application of appropriate strategy so that a unique personality can be created that becomes highly appealing to customers. Brand management is concerned with creating a distinctive image so that it can be easily identified from a range of products as offered by competitors. There are different companies offering similar products to its customers which make it often difficult to customers in identifying the best possible products. The creation of a separate brand image is crucial in this context as it allows the customers in easily tracking the specific company’s product from large range of choices as available to them. This suggests that brand management has been highly important to businesses from the point of view of allowing its customers in distinctively identifying it from large range of choices as available to them.

This report is aimed at performing a critical analysis of brand management as carried out especially in respect to Rolls Royce. The analysis in particular focuses towards identifying the main elements that shapes the current personality of the brand and it also assesses the current branding strategy that has been applied by Rolls Royce in creating competitive position for its offerings within the brands as available in the market. Based on the analysis of the current branding strategy, the weakness of the existing branding strategy would be identified and appropriate brand strategy would be recommended for achieving improvements.

Background about Rolls Royce

An analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that it is a car making company that specialises in producing high quality premium class cars for its consumers worldwide. The company has its headquarter in Sussex Downs at Goodwood, UK. An analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that the company is shaped by the vision of world renowned architect Sir Bicholas Grimshaw. The workplace conditions that have been provided as Rolls Royce has been highly inspiring to everyone working within the company and encourages the designing and development of latest technology modern cars so as to create a distinctive image within the car providers in the market. The challenge behind building the first new Rolls Royce car in the 21st century is mainly to build the best car in the world. However, the case analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that there are significant numbers of such models that have been introduced by the company aimed at revolutionising the entire car industry in particular. There are various such branded models as produced by Rolls Royce and this includes Phantom, Ghost and Wraith. These are the most significant brands of Rolls Royce in creating a separate identity in the markets.

 

Main Brand Elements that Shapes Current Personality of Rolls Royce

An analysis of Rolls Royce in particular indicates that it is most fascinating and well known brand in the world and it defines the luxury factor in the car industry. The company has been engaged in the production of cars for more than 100 years, and it is distinctively identified within its customers for the features such as outstanding engineering capabilities and reliability and quality in its offerings. There are various such elements that shapes the current personality of the brand and these brand elements are discussed as follows:

Brand Position: This has been the most crucial element that shapes the personality of Rolls Royce completely within its target customers. The brand position indicates about the organisation and tells important questions such as what a brand does and for whom, what unique value it provides to its customers, and also the differentiating factors that it offers to its customers. In this context, an analysis of Roll’s Royce indicates that the brand is being positioned as ultra luxurious brand in the car industry that accounts for meeting out the customised needs of high profile customers. As described by the carmaker that its target customer includes those people having a net worth of $30 million and posses five to six other luxurious cars. The unique value as offered by Rolls Royce indicates that the company is renowned for its integrity, reliability and innovation. These aspects are integrated within its offerings which allow it in providing a luxurious experience and comfort to its customers (Rolls Royce Values and Culture, 2015).

Brand Promise: This has been another important element of branding strategy and it indicates that the organisation promises the delivery of single most important thing every time to its customers. This particular element is also evident in respect to Rolls Royce that helps significantly in shaping the current personality as being the provider of luxurious and highly expensive cars to its customers. An analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that the company promises to deliver ultra quality cars that rank significantly higher on comfort and the association of luxury factor. These important elements are evident in respect to all the major cars brands such as Phantom, Ghost, Wraith etc within its customers (McCarthy, 2013). The current brand promise of the company is identified as trusted to deliver excellence and this requires everyone within Rolls Royce to be trusted with respect to their role in organisation.

Brand Personality: Brand personality indicates about the factor that the organisation wants its brand to be known for. As in respect to Rolls Royce, the most significant factor that can be described as the personality of the brand is mainly its focus towards ultra premium quality. The brand is made for ultra luxurious people that want to enjoy a distinctive image and maintains their personality as that of high profile people (Soehadi, 2003).

Brand Story: This important brand element indicates about the history of the organisation in terms of its performance in the past in maintaining current image within its customers. An analysis of the case of Rolls Royce indicates that the car maker is known for having a strong history that supports the luxury factor. The organisation is positively involved in performing the manufacturing of luxury cars and aimed at meeting out the customised needs and requirements of ultra luxurious customers since its evolution. The customers of Rolls Royce have the expectations of achieving exclusivity from its offerings, and this has been positively satisfied by the Rolls Royce brand (Torrance, 2015).

Brand Association: Brand association can be defined as specific physical artifacts that make up the brand. It can be defined as logo, colour, taglines of the brand. An analysis of the case of Rolls Royce indicates that there are specific taglines and slogans that have been utilised by the car maker in positioning its brand image as the provider of high quality and premium class luxury cars. Some of these taglines include “The best car in the world”, “Trusted to deliver excellence”, Design without Compromise”, At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in the Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock”. These specific taglines defined the personality of Rolls Royce within its customers (Rolls Royce Motor Car, 2014).

An analysis above has indicated about different important elements of brand personality as applicable in the context of Rolls Royce and they differentiate the current personality of the brand in a positive way towards luxury provider of quality cars in the world.

 

Current Brand Strategy in Creating Competitive Positioning

The above analysis has indicated about the important elements of Rolls Royce brand strategy that has allowed the organisation in creating a distinctive personality within their target customers. This section of analysis is now focused towards performing a critical assessment of the current brand strategy that has been applied by Rolls Royce brand in creating competitive positioning within its target market. The branding strategy analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that the company continues to promote itself as the luxurious maker of quality cars. The company has the rich tradition of being the provider of superior quality cars, and it continues its branding strategy upon such quality and innovative factors in satisfying the needs and requirements of its customers in a positive way. Rolls Royce provides its customers with cars that are renowned for their supreme quality factor, exquisiteness and attention towards finest details in its models. The designing and development of its car models such as Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith is performed by keeping this branding strategy of supreme quality which satisfies the company’s long lasting richly traditional history (Rolls Royce, 2015).

The branding strategy effectiveness in respect to Rolls Royce is evident from the fact that the company has been successful in building up positive brand image which in turn results into the maintenance of leadership position by the company in the industry. An analysis indicates that Rolls Royce reaffirms the leadership position in the industry especially in respect to super luxury market segment for the fourth successive history record. This indicates the higher level of acceptance of Rolls Royce brand within customers, as higher profitability performance has been possible because of increasing level of demands for Rolls Royce cars within its customers. In terms of branding effectiveness, the motor company has been successful in maintaining the position of world’s leading super luxury automobile. Such leadership position has been reaffirmed by Rolls Royce at Pinnacle of British Luxury Goods Manufacturing (Rolls Royce, 2015).

Thus, the analysis above has indicated that the car selling company has focused especially towards positioning it as the luxury provider of quality cars. According to DinWoodie and Janis (2008), there are various such factors that shapes customer perception towards a particular brand and these are mainly identified as product experiences, quality of the products, pricing factor, placements and advertising etc. These particular factors need to be efficiently satisfied in order to ensure that the brand is positioned effectively within its target customers. The case analysis of Rolls Royce indicates that its specific focus towards the attainment of leadership especially in respect to premium quality cars has allowed it in achieving distinctive position within its target customer groups as being the leader in the industry. The company has specifically focused towards offering luxury cars by offering specific features such as comfort, luxury, association of premium quality and many more. The pricing strategy for Rolls Royce car has designed with a view to cater to the needs of rich class people (Rolls Royce, 2015).

Overall, the positioning strategy has been carried out by the company in a manner that best matches with the brand image that has been developed by Rolls Royce over the years. By way of targeting the premium class customers, Rolls Royce has been successful in maintaining the leadership position especially in the segment of offering high quality cars to its customers. The organisation competes on the factors of quality, innovation and technology as these aspects are clearly evident in respect to the specific models as offered by Rolls Royce such as Phantom, Ghost and Wraith.

 

Potential Weaknesses of the Existing Branding Strategy

A critical analysis has been performed in respect to the branding strategy that has been considered by Rolls Royce brand in performing its branding. On the basis of performance of analysis, significant level of findings has been achieved with regard to the specific branding strategy in promoting its cars by the company. However, there are certain major positive points and certain weaknesses that are evident in respect to the branding strategy of the company. This section of analysis is focused towards performing a critical analysis of the weaknesses that are evident in respect to the branding strategy of Rolls Royce so that there could be efficient recommendations that could be possible in enhancing the overall branding performance of the company.

According to Shankar, Carpenter and Hamilton (2012) branding strategy of an organisation should be such that it positively affects the customer perception towards the brand as offered by the company. In respect to Rolls Royce, its analysis indicated that the company has been successful in positioning itself as the provider of superior quality branded products, but there are certain other ground whereby its branding strategy has been lacking in sufficiently catering to the needs and requirement of its customers. As for instance, in respect to advertisements, there has been little over focus of Rolls Royce in promoting its brand within the target customers. Consumer brand perception is also shaped adequately through the word of mouth communication which has also been lacking in respect to Rolls Royce because the target customers that uses its cars are belong to high profile groups, and they do not normally shares the effectiveness of their products with others (Dinwoodie and Janis, 2008). Thus, the area involving the promotion of brand image is significantly lacking in respect to Rolls Royce and this requires adequate level of attention.

Apart from the above indicated weakness, another crucial weakness as noted in respect to the branding strategy of Rolls Royce is mainly the approach that has been considered by the company in branding its products and services. The branding approach as followed by the company is highly specific and narrow based, as the company has given attention especially towards comfort factor and also towards providing cars that makes less noise out of it. The quality strategy is therefore driven by these factors of comfort and premium price for the products, but the other major areas have been ignored. As for instance, it is highly essential that there should be competitor’s strategy that should be integrated within the products and services as offered by the organisation. However, the major competitor of Rolls Royce i.e. Ferrari’s strategy has not been considered by the company which may create problems to it in maintaining its own separate identity (Sengupta, 2005).

The brand promise as analysed in respect to Rolls Royce implies that Rolls Royce positioned itself as trusted to deliver excellence. This implies that the company is required to maintain excellence with respect to the processes that are being carried out within it, and till date, it has been able to provide excellence in its offerings of large range of car models. However, a major limitation as identified in this context can be in terms of sustaining its brand promise that it made to customers. There could be chances whereby the company would fail to recognise the customer requests or there may be quality issues because of inefficient technological systems as utilised by it. As a result of this, this poses significant level of risks over maintaining the brand promise of the company. In order to fulfil the brand promise, it is highly essential that there should be excellence that should be achieved with respect to the products and services as offered by the company. This particular brand promise exposes the company to higher level of risks from its operations (Nagel, 2010).

Another major weakness of this strategy is that Rolls Royce has to serve only a single particular segment with its branded high quality cars mainly because of the fact that it has positioned itself as catering to the needs and requirements of its premium class luxury customers. The market for low priced cars has also been significant but with this branding strategy as considered by Rolls Royce, there has been higher level of limitations being identified in respect to the company in targeting the lower end customer groups. They have to be highly focused towards meeting out the needs and requirements of such distinctive market segment that has been selected for their car. Further, Rolls Royce become a provider of supreme quality cars and its branding strategy needs to be highly effective in ensuring that the target customers are efficiently encouraged to become its customers. There has been higher level of pressure that is likely over the company in performing its operations in a positive manner (Sagar, 2009).

Overall, the analysis above has indicated about the problems that are evident in respect to the performance of Rolls Royce’s branding strategy. The company has although achieved higher level of success and effectiveness in its performance levels with respect to the brand positioning that it has undertaken over years, but the main weakness is evident especially in respect to maintaining the continuity with respect to its performance.

 

Recommendations for Achieving Effectiveness in its Branding Strategy

The entire analysis as performed above has indicated that there is a need to ensure the management of efficient branding by businesses, but at the same time, there are various important factors that are required to be considered by them so that the requisite level of brand strategic management can be maintained. An analysis of the case of Rolls Royce as performed above has indicated significant level of findings with respect to the branding strategy that has been adopted by the company, and it has also indicated about the limitations that have been faced by Rolls Royce in its branding strategy. In order to achieve improvement in its branding strategy, the following recommendations are considered essential:

1. On the basis of analysis as carried out above, it is recommended that Rolls Royce should consider the adaptation of separate strategy aimed at achieving higher level of improvements in its performance. The company has inefficient advertising and promotional strategy at present and it is therefore essential that there should be adequate level of awareness created within its target customers regarding the specific branding strategy that has been followed by the organisation. As a result, efficient level of promotion of premium quality feature as offered by Rolls Royce is essential within its target customers (Meister, 2012).

2. In addition to the above major recommendation, it is also highly recommended that the organisation should encourage its customers in involving themselves into word of mouth communication so that the brand image can be positively created with large target audiences. The people within the social networks can be encouraged to create desire in purchasing Rolls Royce cars in achieving higher level of satisfaction (Keller, Apéria and Georgson, 2008).
 
3. Thirdly, it is recommended that the branding approach that should be followed by an organisation should be broader enough to equip necessary changes in the strategy as pursued by the company. An analysis of the given case of Rolls Royce indicates that the branding strategy has been highly narrowed down especially in focusing towards satisfying the needs and requirements of premium class customers. There has not been any provision being made in respect to satisfying the requirements of lower or middle end customer groups which represents a larger market segment. As a result, it is recommended that the branding strategy of the organisation should be such that it offers adequate level of scope in catering to the needs and requirements of larger customer database (Budelmann, Kim and Wozniak, 2010).
 
4. Finally, it is also recommended to Rolls Royce that it should consider the maintenance of successful branding strategy of targeting the ultra premium class and at the same time, the important elements of the competitors branding strategy should also be considered so that customers could be provided with high quality offerings to their customers (Dhar, 2007).

The above indicated recommendations are important from the point of view of maintaining unique and distinctive brand image in front of their customers and thereby in achieving positive level of growth and success in its operations.

Conclusion

This report involved the performance of critical analysis with regard to the branding strategy as adopted by Rolls Royce. An analysis as carried out has indicated that Rolls Royce is a car manufacturing company that accounts for providing premium category cars to its customers. The cars as offered by company are aimed at serving the needs and requirements of ultra premium class customers. The branding strategy has been assessed through examining the important brand elements of the company which includes brand promise, brand personality, brand association, brand story etc and the performance of analysis has indicated that Rolls Royse has positioned itself as the provider of supreme quality cars to its customers. The cars as produced by the company are aimed at satisfying the needs and requirements of its specific customers which belong to high end premium class customer groups. The brand strategy is although identified as effective, yet there are certain major weaknesses that have also been identified in respect to such branding strategy that has been considered by Rolls Royce. As a result, there are important recommendations that have been provided in achieving improvement over positioning itself as the most prominent brand that focuses specifically towards the quality factor. Rolls Royce is required to make it sure that it continues to perform consistently over its focus towards premium class factor so that it can continue to create positive image over its customers.

 

References

Budelmann, K., Kim, Y. and Wozniak, C. (2010), ‘Essential Elements for Brand Identity: 100 Principles for Designing Logos and Building Brands’, Rockport Publishers.

Dinwoodie, G.B. and Janis, M.D. (2008), ‘Trademark Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research’, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Dhar, M. (2007). Brand Management 101: 101 Lessons from Real-World Marketing. John Wiley & Sons.

Keller, K.L., Apéria, T. and Georgson, M. (2008), ‘Strategic Brand Management: A European Perspective’, Prentice Hall Financial Times.

McCarthy, J. (2013). 95pc of Rolls-Royce vehicles received bespoke elements in 2013.

Meister, S. (2012). Brand Communities for Fast Moving Consumer Goods: An Empirical Study of Members‘ Behavior and the Economic Relevance for the Marketer. Springer.

Nagel, S. (2010). Analysis of value, image and positioning of a brand: An analysis of the brand Apple in Regard to the VIP-Criteria. GRIN Verlag.

Rolls Royce Values and Culture, (2015).

Rolls Royce Motor Car, (2014).

Soehadi, J. (2003). Brand personality is key element in marketing expensive cars.

Sagar, M. (2009). Brand Management. Ane Books Pvt Ltd.

Sengupta, S. (2005). Brand Positioning: Strategies for Competitive Advantage. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Torrance, J. (2015). Rolls-Royce revs up record year as customers demand exclusivity.

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