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Communication Challenges Facing the Organisation

This paper evaluates the importance of the need for an organisation to distinguish its brand with the aim of raising its profile in the eyes of the target audience and the local news media. The paper analyses the theme by examining the operation of Dove Company in Singapore. It presents communication challenges facing the organisation on the dynamics and characteristics of the global business industry.  The paper then discusses a detailed communication plan that can be that can be adopted by the organisation in addressing the identified challenges with a focus on ways of distinguishing the brand of the organisation.  The paper concludes by presenting the possible challenges that can occur in executing the suggested plan as well as the strengths and limitations of the plan. The aim of the strategic communication plan is thus to increase awareness, provide more access to customers, establish transparency, increase engagement, and reinforce credibility.

Dove cosmetic company started its operation in 1957 as a beauty shop selling soap bar, a product that was then proven as a milder for sensitive and dry skin than other leading soap of the time (Bissell & Rask, 2010).  The company is providing a wide range of cleaning and personal products that help in making the hair and the skin look better. Dove is striving for creating a better understanding of the beauty of women in helping them realise the potential of how beautiful they can be (Aleksandra, Maria, & Miroswal, 2013). The vision of the company is fulfilling the promise of the inner beauty that remains the primary objective of the organisation to contributing towards the global campaign for the real beauty. As part of the campaign in Singapore, the company re-launched the Dove Self-Esteem Fund in 2014 aimed at raising awareness of the link between body and beauty-related self-esteem to communicate its commitment to the mission of the brand (Whitehead, 2016). The mission of the company is making women feel beautiful every sing day by widening the view of beauty while inspiring women to take great care of their body and themselves in general. According to (Griffin, 2014), the company also introduced the Body Talk schools and workshop in Singapore mainly to train and motivate women on self-esteem by ultimately nurturing and protecting their body.

Figure 1: Communicating the brand for the company (Adopted from Raey, 2016) 

 Communication Challenges Facing the Organisation

Despite the step of the organisation to work towards expanding their market within the company and beyond, it still faces brand communication challenges that greatly make the whole marketing process very complex and difficult to predict Campo (2016). In communicating its brand to the target audience, the company faces the following challenges;

  • Proper way of reaching the millennial generation
  • The changing lifestyle mainly evident in the millennial generation
  • The increasing awareness of the possible negative side effects of the cosmetic and beauty products
  • Competition from the advanced beauty treatments
  • Attractive marketing strategies and the changing packaging styles that may render a brand communication strategy useless after a short period.
  • The use of natural ingredients preferred as a result of the side effects

Dove Company in Singapore

The cosmetic industry is a diverse global industry that is directly affecting the lifestyle of the millennial generation. By category, the market involves hair care products, fragrances, colour and makeup cosmetics, and deodorants while the distribution channel involves the brand outlets, drug store, general departmental stores, as well as retail supermarkets (Kaluza, & Lohrisch, 2016). The major target of the industry is the millennial generation that uses the cosmetic products to enhance their odour and appearance with the products stated above as predominantly available for human use. The retail stores include exclusive brand outlets, speciality stores, and supermarkets among others with the online distribution channel gaining increase in popularity. According to Linda (2016), the nature of the global economies involves changing lifestyles and rising demand for the sun and skin care products as a result of varying climatic conditions lead to the drastic global economic growth of the cosmetic industry market. Campo (2017) also adds that there is a rise in demand for the herbal, organic, and natural beauty products to create potential opportunities for manufacturers to develop and advocate new products depending on the consumer preference.

Dove Company in Singapore faces not an only regional competition but even that from other global cosmetic industries (Bissell Rask, 2010). The stiff competition facing the company is as a result of the diversity of the product manufacturers and retail distributors in Singapore and beyond. However, like any other beauty and cosmetic company, different factors affect Dove hence impacting its performance in the global cosmetic market. These include;

  • The rising GDP of the global market
  • The changing lifestyle mainly evident in the millennial generation
  • The increasing awareness of the possible negative side effects of the cosmetic and beauty products
  • Advanced beauty treatments
  • Attractive marketing strategies and the changing packaging styles
  • The use of natural ingredients preferred as a result of the side effects

Beyond having a memorable logo, Griffin (2015) denotes that a good branding contributes to the value of and performance of a company. Good branding helps in providing employees with motivation and direction hence making it easier for them to acquire new customers. A brand hence presents a sum of the perception of the customers towards the advertisement, logo, reputation, and level of customer service that makes an organisation distinguished from other competitors. The overall brand of an organisation is often healthy and successful when all of these parts of the business work well. In many cases, there are many companies that offer good service and products but are often have a tarnished brand as a result of poor customer service. In his study, Griffin points out the importance of branding for an organisation as to include;

  • Improves recognition- According to Leonard (2010), one of the major components of a good brand is the logo. The logo acts as the face of the organisation, hence the design is critical because the graphic will be on every piece of advertising and correspondence. A professional design of a logo should be simple enough to be remembered but powerful as well to give the desired company impression.
  • Supports advertising- the demographic targeted and the medium is chosen for an advertisement will help in building a brand for the company. As a result, a narrow focus of advertisement will put the company at a risk of losing their ability to expand into a new market. However, a broad advertising focus will also put the company at a risk of creating a definable impression of the company in the ‘would be’ customers' minds.
  • Builds a financial value- companies that often trade public stock exchange tend to be valued as the actual hard assets of the company, a fact that often arises from the branding of the company. A strong brand hence guarantees future business as it can easily borrow funds for rolling out or expansion, hence a better financial return.
  • Inspires employees- Most of the focused employees always need something to work towards more than just work. A strong brand comes with clear vision hence giving them pride of work, the reason to be focused, and working hard towards the same direction of achieving the set goals.
  • Creates trust- the professional appearance of an organisation helps in building trust and credibility for an organisation as customers are more likely to purchase from a business that appears legitimate and polished. Raey (2016) denotes that emotional reactions are often hardwired into our brains as major influencers of our decision-making. A good brand hence creates a positive reputation for the company hence increasing its customer preference.
  • Generates new customers- Branding enables an organisation to get referral business, an aspect that is considered suitable word used for the concept of creating an indelible impression. Sethi and Adhikari, (2016) denote that a word f mouth referral is only possible when a company delivers a memorable experience with its customer.

In the analysis on the aspect of cosmetic business communication, Allied Market Report (2016) denotes that the millennial generation is a generation that is ambitious, genuinely talented, and eager to achieve milestones in different facets of industries and life in general. As compared to the other generation, the communication styles, work habits, and expectations of the digital generation are quite different from the earlier generations. Reaching them as part of the target customers in the business industry hence require a company to carefully and effectively integrate their desires into the culture of the company with ways such as having a unique brand. With the generation forming a larger population of the global business market, every organisation with a focus on sustainability and effective competition, as well as a successful future performance, need to adopt a communication strategy that can address every need of this population of customers. The organisation can hence adopt the strategic communication plan below with assurance of a positive reflection on performance within the first six months after its adoption.

Month

Phase Component

Objectives and activities

April

Phase 1- Define and assess the strategic plan aspects

The phase will be focused on defining and assessing industrial research information by focusing on the following;

·         Identification of the organisation touch points

·         Defining target audience

·         Conducting data collection through emails, workshops, and interviews.

·         Identifying the revenues and financial goals of the port

·         Exploration of industry and associations

·         Reviewing existing competitive intelligence

May

Phase 2- Strategic planning

The strategic planning will involve;

·         Holistic brand plan focused on the internal (involving employees) and external (credibility for prospects and customers.

·         Developing the messaging plan conveying the value proposition, mission/values/mission, tagline, brand platform, and brand identity

·         Planning on a creative direction for the graphic design, layout, reviewing logo design and design functionality strategy website, and liaise with the print, website, and graphic vendors.

June

Phase 3- Creative approach

The phase will focus on the style and brand guidelines for all relevant media on the following aspects;

·         The corporate system of identity such as design, logo, business cards, the signature for auto email, a proposal template, and cross-departmental branding on HR forms, etc.

·         Websites having optimised Search Engine Optimisation for the videos, copywriting, management and content development, webinars, and lead generations.

·         Content marketing approaches for the corporate brochure, fact sheets for products, company timeline, custom newsletters, and social media platforms (Twitter, LinkdIn, and Blog).

·         Sales Toolkit on proposal language, elevator pitch, and the corporate deck.

·         Event marketing using brand messaging and exhibit booth graphics

·         Public communication approaches involving telling brand stories on social media platforms, brand announcement cards, press release, experience dialogue, and customer's voice.

July

Phase 4- Execution and implementation stage

Will focus on the;

·         Copywriting and content development

·         Production of product digital prints

·         Media plan over the TV and radio media tours, newspapers, brand launch press conferences, and youth speaking engagements.

·         Direct marketing through trade shows and conferences

August

Phase 5- Measurement and analysis phase

The phase will focus on a brand asset management aimed at developing measurement tools for assessing brand awareness

September

Phase 6- Observation and report

It will be the last phase of the plan that will mainly involve;

·         Observing the organisation from its current state to the rebranded state

·         Monitoring the response of the media and the target audience.

The Importance of Branding for the Organisation

According to Decker (2015), major aspects of implementing a proper communication strategy and ensuring success in the reputation changes in the company toward the objectives of the communication plan is the consistency of advertisement of the plan. The organisation should ensure that it has a brand promise that matches the reality as well as a mutual support with the agents and agencies promoting the brand message (Sethi & Adhikari, 2016). While doing these, it is recommended that the management of the organisation as well as the employees recognise that a brand is not just a tagline or a logo, but should be experienced by the target audience which is the media and the Millennial generation for this case. It is hence recommended that the brand chose to be effective and memorable and hence should be simple to understand and direct to the theme with strong graphics. It is thus recommended that the planning stakeholders ensure that communication for the suitable brand covers the following sections before presenting it for adoption by the company;

  • Passes the key message to the target audience
  • Is simple, direct, and clear for easy understanding
  • Is in line with the organisation standards so that it can drive its vision, mission, and values
  • Clearly, communicates the media and the millennium generation which are the target audience
  • Selects appropriate media that is preferred by the target audience for effective communication
  • Includes opportunities for participation and feedbacks

Possible challenges in executing the communication plan remain to be the major factors affecting the beauty and cosmetic industry in general. The plan might face challenges due to the instability in the global economy leading to the rising GDP, change the lifestyle that my render the strategy irrelevant after a short period, and the increasing awareness of the possible negative side effects of the cosmetic and beauty products. There is also increase in the awareness of the need of using natural ingredients as a result of the side effects of the cosmetic products as pointed out by Senge (2014).

Conclusion

A strategy should focus on engaging users in its brand campaign contests in reviewing how the Dove Company products work on them so as to evaluate on the necessary adjustments focused on a better communication to the target market. It will hence include a direct Learn More page where users can engage with the company website and interact with the products it offers. In addition to the ad unit, the brand strategy focuses on reaching a sharp target through demographic and channel segmentation by leveraging Millennial media audience. Such a platform will emphasise on topics that directly affect women and girls such as stress management, pregnancy, and colouring/bleaching so as to track their attention to the industry brand.  However, the plan faces limitations from the complex nature of the beauty industry that changes dynamically with time. It will also be expensive to achieve and may be a great loss in the case any of its objectives is not achieved. 

References

Aleksandra, L., Maria, C.K., & Miroswal, L. (2013). Global beauty industry trends in the 21st Century. Internal conference journal, 43(4), 318-332. https://www.toknowpress.net/ISBN/978-961-6914-02-4/papers/ML13-365.pdf

Allied Market Research Report (2015), Cosmetic Industry Research Overview, Retrieved from

https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/cosmetics-market

Bissell, K., & Rask, A. (2010). Real women on real beauty: Self-discrepancy, internalisation of the thin ideal, and perceptions of attractiveness and thinness in Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty. International Journal Of Advertising, 29(4), 643-668. doi:10.2501/S0265048710201385

Campo, S. (2017). Does the Artist’s Name Influence the Perceived Value of an Art Work?. International Journal Of Arts Management, 19(2), 46-58.

Decker, B. (2015). Communicating a Corporate Vision to Your Team. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 2-5.

Dove Campaign for Real Beauty case study. (2005). Dove Campaign for Real Beauty Case Study: Innovative Marketing Strategies in the Beauty Industry, 1-14.

Griffin, W. G. (2014). The Face of the Brand: How Art Directors Understand Visual Brand Identity. Journal Of Advertising, 43(4), 318-332. doi:10.1080/00913367.2013.867824

Kaluza, M., & Lohrisch, N. (2016). Brand Audit for Cultural Institutions (BAC): A Validated and Holistic Brand Controlling Tool. International Journal Of Arts Management, 19(1), 54-68.

Leonard C. (2010). State of industry. Global Cosmetics Industry.

Linda, H (2016). Muslim beauty and personal care: A market poised for astronomical growth, Retrieved from

https://www.futurereadysingapore.com/2016/muslim-beauty-and-personal-care-a-market-poised-for-astronomical-growth.html

Marcom Point  Solutions. Brand Strategy Plan Template. Retrieved from

https://www.brandandcontentguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/brandstrategyplantemplate_bacg.pdf

Ostillio, M. C., & Leone, G. (2017). Corporate Museums to Enhance Brand Authenticity in Luxury Goods Companies: The Case of Salvatore Ferragamo. International Journal Of Arts Management, 19(2), 32-45.

Raey, J (2016). Stand out from competition by sharpening your brand identity, Retrieved from

https://monitor.icef.com/2016/04/stand-out-from-the-competition-by-sharpening-your-brand-identity/

Senge, P. (2014). Peter Senge on the 25th Anniversary of The FifthDiscipline. Reflections, 14(3), 1-12.

Sethi, A., & Adhikari, B. (2012). Impact of Communicating 'Vision' on Organizational Communication Effectiveness. International Journal Of Marketing & Business Communication, 1(3), 43-48.

Tyler, J (2015). The Five Main Components of a Strategic Brand Communications Plan, Retrieved from

https://www.jacobtyler.com/five-main-components-strategic-brand-communications-plan/

Whitehead, K. (2016). A Corporation in Feminist Clothing? Young Women Discuss the Dove ‘Real Beauty’ Campaign. Critical Sociology (Sage Publications, Ltd.), 42(1), 123-144. doi:10.1177/0896920513501355

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