1.What is a brand Community? How is it used by marketers to enhance brand equity? Explain
2.Which were the key marketing strategies that Nutella implemented to build its brand community? Explain.
3.Explain what are the risks for Nutella of embracing a "customer empowerment" approach to creating a brand community.
The case study is mainly based on the concept of brand community that has been developed by the organizations which provide products that are targeted towards a niche market. The marketers have many doubts regarding the effectiveness of brand community for the purpose of providing advantages to the organizations. The ownership that is claimed by the members of the brand community on the companies or the brand of which they are a part is a major issue that has been described in the case. The process of consumer empowerment has thereby led to another which is termed as brand hijack (Cova & Pace, 2006). The marketers of the organization have lost control over the ways by which the brand will be represented in the industry. The customers who are a part of the communities have taken control of the ways by which the brand will be represented among the members. The case study is totally based on the research of the experience of Nutella based on the ways by which the “my Nutella The Community” had been created in the year 2004. The empowerment of consumers was a major issue that was being faced by Ferrero and its brand Nutella. The strategy that was appointed by Nutella in Italy has been a major focus in the case (Cova & Pace, 2006).
Consumer empowerment – The opinion that the customers have about the products of a brand or an organization is important for the productivity of the organizations. The customers were not given importance by the traditional business organizations. However, the consumers have gained much more importance in the recent business environment. The companies have also started listening to the issues that are faced by the consumers regarding the products and services. This has given importance to the concept of consumer empowerment. The major brands have started providing high levels of importance to the consumers and their desires as well. The concept of consumer empowerment exists is all types of modern organizations has gained utmost importance in various industries (Keller, 2003).
Brand hijack – Brand hijacking can also be termed as brandjacking. This term mainly combines the notions that are related to branding and hijacking. The process of brand hijacking can be defined as the ways by which a particular brand and the perceptions about the brand can be changed in an effective manner. A brand hijacker may try to use the reputation that has been created by a brand for some selfish reasons (West, Ford & Ibrahim, 2015).
Brand repositioning – The concept of brand repositioning is mainly based on the ways by which the brands are able to change the ways by which customers associate with the products and the services that are offered by the brand. This process further helps in changing the notion of the brand and the features that are offered to the customers. The brand thereby tries to communicate with the customers with the help of the changed promises and features (Menon et al., 2015).
The consumer empowerment based theory has been implemented in the case of Nutella where the company had created a community for the purpose of empowering the various communities in Italy who were not able to associate themselves with the products that are offered by Nutella. The tribal branding process has been undertaken by Ferrero to create a new base of customers in the country within a short period of time (Morgan, Pritchard & Piggott, 2002).
The brand hijacking based issue was faced by Ferrero after the brand communities were created and the products were promoted among the tribal groups in the country. The notion that the consumers had about the brand were highly affected by the opinions that were provided in the personal pages. The fans of the company were thereby able to create a new thought about the products that are offered by Nutella in the community page (Cova & Pace, 2006)
1.Brand community is mainly a community that is formed by judging the basis of the attachment of the consumers with the products or the brand itself. The modern business organizations have provided a lot of stress on the ways by which the brands are perceived and the communities are created. The behaviour of the consumers towards the brand is an important part of the entire concept of brand community. The brand community based concept mainly focusses on the connections that have been created among the consumers. The consumers who are a part of the brand community mainly share similar interests related to the brand. The members of the community mainly share a collective identity among themselves. The marketers of an organization refer to the term brand community as the customers and the fans of the brands (Chernatony & Riley, 1998).
The marketers of an organization are capable of using the brand communities for the purpose of increasing the number of loyal customers. The increase in the loyal customer base will further help in increasing the profitability of the organization and the ways by which it operates in the environment. The brand equity is also increased in an effective manner with the help of the loyal customers of the brand. The marketers can use the brand communities for the purpose of increasing the customer base and providing the products and services that are desired by the members of the community (Cova & Pace, 2006).
2.Ferrero has a huge customer base in Italy as more than 90% of the population of the country is known to use the product Nutella. The company had thereby taken the community approach in this country for the purpose of promoting the brand in an effective manner. The health related values that were provided by the product were used for the purpose of creating a community. The relationship of the company with the internet was also improved for the purpose of increasing the brand value. The organization has become much more open to the huge opportunities that are provided by the internet. The company thereby used the internet for creating the community named “My Nutella Fans” (Robertson, 1989). The customers or the fans were able to create their personal pages so that they are able to connect with the company and provide their valuable inputs. The fans are also able to narrate their daily lives with the usage of Nutella with the help of these personal pages. The fans are also able to form online clubs which can help them to interact with each other even without meeting. The concept of consumer empowerment was implemented by Ferrero so that they are able to create their own perceptions about the brand (Cova & Pace, 2006).
3.Ferrero had taken a risky step by providing power of the consumers who have the capability to reshape the entire brand. The risk that has been taken by the company has been effective as the consumers have become an integral part of the entire operations. The process of two step marketing has been implemented in an effective manner by Nutella. The Nutella community includes the processes of both mass marketing and mini marketing as well. The consumers have been able to explore the brand effectively which is the main reason behind the success of the strategy (Cova & Pace, 2006). The website is however facing some major issues from those consumers who have been posting their pictures just for the purpose of gaining attention and has not been able to provide any benefit to the company itself. The analysis has however depicted that the online communities are not able to provide all the major benefits that can be gained by the offline communities which can help in analysing the real life experience of people who are a part of the consumer group (McQuiston, 2004).
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