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Description As a brand consultant, you have been invited by a large international corporation to provide a report on a new brand they wish to develop or extend, and market into a single geographic market. This organisation plans to develop or extend a new brand, therefore you are required to provide a brand plan for a twelve-month period that aims to create a brand plan to develop or extend a new brand for the organisation. This organisation will need your advice and reasoning behind all aspects of the brand’s development and marketing. You must clearly outline any assumptions you have made and incorporate academic literature to support/justify your ideas. Unsubstantiated statements will not provide credibility to your discussion. You can choose any one organisation from the following industry:


1. Online gaming or Virtual Reality
2. Energy/soft drinks industry
3. Food industry
4. Sporting apparel industry

Positioning Strategy for ENCOKE

Coca-Cola a name synonymous with refreshing energy drink is a 132 years old organization which was founded in the 19th century by John Pemberton and was later bought by businessman Asa Griggs Candler. Coca Cola is a beverage company which offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries. In addition to this, the company product portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands such as Dasani Waters, Minute main juices, Gold Peak Teas and coffees, honest tea, innocent smoothies and juices, sprite, coconut water and many more. The company is constantly infusing innovation in its product offering by reducing the intake of sugar and bringing new products into the market. At the same time the company is working with various strategic partners to reduce the impact on the environment by replenishing water and promoting recycling. The company which employees over 700,000 people is working towards its goal of bringing economic opportunity to the local communities across the globe (Coca-Cola Company, 2018).

                                                                               

Coca-Cola is the only brand in the world which is known to over 98% of the world’s population, this shows that Coca-Cola as a brand is absolutely invincible and has a truly global appeal. India is a significant and one of the largest consumer markets for the company, the company there faces stiff competition from Pepsi, the rival brand and other local manufacturers. India is the best suitable market for Coca-Cola to launch a new energy drink due to extreme temperature condition in the Indian sub-continent. The idea here is to launch a new energy drink by the name of “ENCOKE” and create a dent in the already existing energy drink market. The company will use the strategy of product development to launch a new product in the existing market (Coca-Cola Company, 2018).

With regards to the report and a brand development plan for the following 12 months, the below mentioned assumptions are being referred to:

  • The market to be in a position of status-quo, with no new competitor entering into the market.
  • Stability in the Indian economy.
  • Absolutely no constraint on the budget.
  • Market research has been conducted well in advance, before even launching the new product in the Indian market.

Positioning strategy can be understood as the major source to design the consumer values and preferences with the brand. In order to create an ideal positioning strategy, the brand has to focus on its unique selling points in tandem to the consumer market in focus (Solomon, Dahl, White, Zaichkowsky & Polegato, 2014). The positioning strategy of ENCOKE here will be to give Indian customers a taste of Coca cola in the category of energy drinks. ENCOKE will thus be positioned as a part energy drink akin to red bull and will be priced in the same range as that of red bull in the market. The competitive pricing will help the company in gaining a sizable market share in the Indian sub-continent (Keller, 2013).

Market Analysis and Segmentation

India is the sixth largest economy in the world with a population of over 1.3 Billion. The company is one of the fastest growing developing nations with the economy showing growth over 7%. India is a fairly young country with the media age of 26 years; this makes it an ideal market for the offering of Coca-Cola. India’s energy drink market was valued at USD 155 million in the year 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% for the forecasted period of 2018-2023. The energy drink is widely consumed by adolescents as the product is aimed to improve the performance, endurance and alertness of the individuals. It is the growth in urbanization; rising disposable income and the growth in health consciousness amongst the Indian youth are the major drivers for the growth the non-carbonated drink (Ansoff, 2007).

The new product of Coca-Cola is being launched to dominate the energy drink market in India by using its strong brand association with the 1.33 billion Indian customers.

The table below will show the segmentation bases, variables and Target market for Coca-Coal in India.

Table 1 Market segmentation their variables to develop the target market

India is the 6th largest global economy with a population of 1.32 billion. The male female ratio in the country stands at 940 females in comparison to 1000 males (Courage & Baxter, 2005).

India is the second largest market in terms of population density. The growth in disposable income makes it easier for Coca-Cola to penetrate in the middle class customer base in India.

A fairly young country and the product is targeted especially to the millennial comprising the college going audience, business executive and family audience (Dillard, 2008).

16+ and over, Middle class. The middle class sector comprises of over 600 million people and comprise of people who are spending between USD 2-10 per capital per day.

Hardworking, open minded, college going, business executives, confident and early adopters.

These kinds of people prefer Non-carbonated drink due to the health reasons.

Hard core loyal and switchers. Sense of achievement and belonging, determined and ambitious, recreation and self-expression (Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders & Wong, 2002).

Trend setter or trend buyer behaviour demonstrated here.

This is an assessment of the strength and weakness of the potential competitors of Coca-Cola. As a result of which a framework can be created to better understand the competition the company has been facing in the Indian market (Hills & Welford, 2005).

India is one of the largest and the fastest growing consumer markets in the world. At present the energy drink market in India is dominated by multinational brands on the likes of Red Bull, Cloud 9, Monster,Spitz KZ and many others. However the winner takes it all and Red Bull is the winner in this category. Red Bull GmbH dominates the market by capturing a market share of over 69%. Despite the fact that Cloud 9 was the first energy drik to be launched in the Indian market, but it was only Red Bull which was able to get the attention of Indian customers. Coca-Cola during the year 2010 launched the drink by the name of Burn, but the drink was called off from the shelves due to poor sales, thus this new drink will also serve as product recovery for the earlier failed product (Roth, Quinn & Hart, 2015). Pepsi also wanted to enter the energy drink market in India, the drink brand SoBe failed to earn the appreciation of the customers and was soon called off. Thus, the biggest and the only competition of Coca-Cola in the market is strictly only and only with Red Bull (Fleisher & Bensoussan, 2015).

Competitors in the Indian Energy Drink Market

The biggest challenge for the company in order to outsmart the competition from Red Bull will be to initially go with market penetration strategy and offer the product at a very nominal rate to better penetrate the Indian customer market. The company has to come up with the strategy akin to Red Bull and make the customer fall love with the taste, experience and the feel of drink before making them hard core loyal, and make them switch from the brand Red Bull.

The last analysis gave an indication of the competition the company has been facing in India. Further investigation on the subject will delve into the Points or parity and Points of difference for the brand, which needs to be developed.

Points of Parity can be understood as the attributes of the brand or the benefits the customers associated with the brand. Points of parity are more important than POD, as they can have the ability to negate the impact of the POD.

Product- The product is a cool refreshing energy drink with Zing in the drink to give the customers an immediate adrenalin rush (Paswan & Sharma, 2004).

Style-The bottle will be red in colour to keep the branding similar to Coca-Cola, however the name of the brand ENCOKE will be in dark blue to merge with the branding element.

Price-The company wants to penetrate the middle income audience of India, thus the product is medium priced and will fall in the range of INR 60-80.

Quality-The company is lowering its marketing costs, and taking a little hole in the pocket here in order to not compromise with the quality.

USP-The product for the initial period of 3 months will be available at discounted pricing so that people can get the taste, feel and experience of the product before getting a hang of the energy drink.

Table 2 Table of POPs

Points of difference can be understood alternatively as the associated attributes and benefits a consumer has with the brand. These attributes are specific only to the brand, and the competitors lack in them. These attributes helps the customers in making the decision to purchase the product. Coca-Cola in this case will use its industry experience, market research and the knowledge company has acquired over the years. The company also gains a Point of difference from the reputation on the notion that India is the second largest and one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world.

Table 3 Table of PODs

Coca Cola will set its manufacturing facility and source all the ingredients from the local manufacturers. Thus it will be first of its kind 100% Indian Product.

The company is experimenting with 4 different flavours and design elements to give a look and feel of India.

Coca-Cola is a very reliable and trustworthy name in the Indian household

Apple for the first time will be using an Indian celebrity as the face of the Phone.

Innovative marketing campaign across the city using the technology of Artificial intelligence and giving the customers a feel of what goes into creating the product at Coca-Cola (Karnani, 2014).

Will use real time tracking of the customer reaction by creating Coke Zones across the city with a video monitor. The feed will go directly into the experience and journey section on the Coca-Cola website and also on all of its social media platforms (Tang, 2018).

Strong and coherent brand strategies are employed to be creative and to create strong brand equity. Brand equity can thus be understood as the overall value of the company, which is dependent on its future sales (Keller, 1993).

Brand awareness is the first step in creating brand equity. Coca-Cola in India is well established as the manufacturer of quality beverages,  the company is on the mission to disrupt the existing energy drink market in India and outsmart the competition by creating a drink which will not only quench the thirst of the consumers, but will result in infusing energy and euphoria in them (Keller, 2006). In order to do so, the company will be using Web 2.0 and traditional methods to crate the awareness of the company’s new offering to the middle class audience of India. Creating brand awareness is like creating a familiarity regarding the brand or the product in the mind-set of the consumers. Brand awareness leads to top of the mind recall for the customers while making a purchase with the company or the brand. Coca-Cola already has good brand awareness across the globe and in India, and the people perceive the company to be provider of quality beverages and building the connect with the Indian audience (Keller, 2009).

Points of Parity and Points of Difference

Brand elements come to use while creating and building the brand identity. Brand elements can be seen as trademarkable elements which are responsible for driving the uniqueness of the brand. Many researchers and experts have advised to deploy and use Logo, URL, Symbol, Jingle, slogan and packaging against a set of criteria namely, memorable, meaningful, likable, transferable, adaptable and protectable. Brand elements are also important even with the strategy of Product development as it helps in creating substantial brand awareness (Kotler & Keller, 2011). The brand elements for Coca-Cola are:

The choice of the brand name can be seen as one of the most important thing and also the first step which the brand undergoes in order to create an impeccable product.  The brand name is important because it helps the consumers to connect automatically with the brand and its product. Thus, the brand name has to be meaningful, easy to spell and pronounce, distinctive, appealing and should be meaningful so that the customer can associate with it. The company has decided to go with the name ENCOKE, as it is derived by using EN from energy and using the brand name Coke to build a connect with the customers (Omeno, 2007). The name ENCOKE makes it easier for the customers to perceive the contents of the energy drink, thus creating strong brand associations with the customers. Also, the name ENCOKE is easy to pronounce and the company hopes that it becomes a familiar name amongst the Indian youth audience.

Logos play an important role as they help in creating a top of the mind recall for the customers. It is an astonishing fact that Coca-Cola is the only brand which has a brand awareness of 98%, and the customers easily recognize the brand by looking at the bright red colour on the products of Coca-Cola (Coca-Cola Company, 2018). Thus, in order to not dilute the already established or the created brand awareness, the idea here is to wrap the name ENCOKE around the red tinned bottle. Along with the name, two energy signs will also be put up on the bottle to further demonstrate that it is an Energy drink. Also, it has been observed ad seen that images create better brand associations in comparison to the plain text (Anta, Georgiou, Kowalski & Zavou, 2018). The figure below shows the logo in its nascent stage, further development will be done as the product gets into the final stages. 

Brand Strategy for ENCOKE

                                                                                 

The URL of the company will be the same as coca cola, which is www.coca-colacompany.com, the company does not want to divert from the brand name of Coca-Cola. However for the first six months the company will create a micro site by the name of www.encoke.com and will create a collection of experience, memories and journey of the customers along with the drink ENCOKE. The micro site will have a look and feel of India which will make it appealing for the Indian audience.

Slogan is another important brand element which helps in creating strong and positive brand association with the customers. Further to it, slogan became catchy and the consumers use it to define the product. Hence for ENCOKE the aspiration of the company is to make the slogan really catchy, so that the youth can use it in their daily lives, hence it has to be aspirational. The slogan for ENCOKE goes as “Get energized Get ENCOKE, relish the taste of a True energy drink”. The slogan in itself is meaningful, appealing and is able to create a perception in the mind of the consumer that they are associating themselves with an energy drink to reenergize them (Choi, 2017).

As mentioned earlier, benefits and attributes are the two categories of associations. Brand attributes are the features which help in characterization of the product, on the other hand the benefits are the benefits customers sought related to the personal value of the consumer with the product. The core association of the brand highlights and creates some 5-10 attributes and benefits which are most important for the brand (Westberg & Pope, 2014). The 5 core association for ENCOKE have been developed as:

The logo, colour palette and the energy drink with a Zing is most definitely an embark of a modern drink (Coca-Cola Company, 2018).

The drink will serve the young audience or the youth of the country, the uniqueness in taste will be amalgamated with the live feed of the experience of the customers on social and web platform.

Edgy drink and a catchy slogan followed by commercial featuring the Youth Icon of India.

Leverage the strong brand awareness of Coca-Cola and its experience and knowledge of the Indian sub-continent.

Superior quality with a recyclable bottle.

The focus is on the youth and increasing the awareness on health consciousness amongst the Indian audience (Huang & Sarigöllü, 2014).

Table 4  6 core associations

In the similar manner the secondary brand associations can be understood as the connection which the brand has with another entity. Secondary brand association has a leveraging impact on the brand, and at the same time it has to appeal to the customers. In this manner, the customer is able to relate himself with the brand in accordance ot the brand attribute which causes a leveraging impact on the association with the brand in the mind of the customers. The secondary association which will be created via the marketing program and initiatives by Coca-Cola are:

The same colour palette is being used as is done by Coca-Cola. This will help in creating the same feeling with ENCOKE, as Coke does with its customers. The taste of happiness will be merged with the taste of energy and create brand association with the customers.

India is known for its extreme weather condition, the summers in the subcontinent are of longer duration and lasts for almost 7-8 months. Thus the thirst quenching energy drink will be a perfect fit for the Indian market (Barreda, Bilgihan, Nusair & Okumus, 2015).

Table 5 actions to leverage secondary associations

A brand mantra is not to be confused with the slogan or a tagline and in most of the cases companies do not use it publically. A good brand mantra has the potential to bring a lot of change in the customer perceptions about the product. It is a depiction in the form of a short phrase which demonstrates the essence of the brand. The three elements which are pivotal in building the brand mantra are:

This is related to how exactly and in what ways the benefits are being served by the brand.

This is simple in the case of ENCOKE as the brand just wants to reenergize the Indian audience.

This is the in depth analysis classifying the nature of the product (Singhal & Brown, 2018).

This is related to the quality offering by Coke in the form of ENCOKE

Table 6 Parts of the Mantra

Communication is pivotal to remind the customer about the product offering of the company and to create brand association in his mind. Communication plays an important role here to inform, remind or persuade the customer about the brand, which then helps in building a long term relationship with the customers (Xie, Xu, Zhang & Chu, 2016).

The communication strategy is to be created after defining the objectives of the brand or the business organization, based on the objectives communication strategy is created with a plan of action to implement the same. The objective to the brand here is to create brand awareness regarding the new product and engage the customers by stressing on the Points of difference of the brand. This will help in creating a good brand awareness which will ultimately result in added revenues for the business, in turn a higher market share in the industry (Quirke, 2017).

Many researchers and communication experts have devised a basic communication process to ensure that the intent of the message creates the same impact on the consumers. Hence, there is always a sender who sends the message and the receiver has to decode the message to extract the meaning of it. The message the brand wants to communicate along with the creative strategy serve as example on how to perceive the perception in the minds of the customers (Reilly & Hynan, 2014).

The need of the hour is to create such a message and creative strategy that engages the customers with the offering of Coca-Cola Company. The intention of the ENCOKE here is to appeal to the youth, adolescents and the health conscious people with the product offering. In order to do so, it is extremely important to get a youth icon on board, who has a massive fan following in the Indian sub-continent (Austin & Gaither, 2016). Hence, two people are being chosen from the Indian fraternity, namely the India’s number one shutler P.V. Sindhu and one of the biggest Bollywood star Ranveer Singh. Both the youth icons have their own fan base, and are primarily popular amongst the youth. For instance, P V Sindhu will be able to tap the youth who is interested in sports and would like to achieve the feet as done by the Badminton player. On the other hand, Ranveer Singh is undoubtedly an energy powerhouse, which is the right fit for the brand ENCOKE.

Another important thing in the creative strategy is the usage of the parent brand Coca-Cola in all the promotional messages and the marketing campaigns. The product will be marketed as ENCOKE-An Energy drink by Coca-Cola Company, this will help in creating an impression in the minds of the customers which will reach to their brand association with Coca-Cola Company. In order to create a differentiation strategy the company will conduct nationwide marketing campaign engaging the audience in their natural surroundings. For instance, the company is planning a three month promotional campaign where it will visit more than 2000 colleges in India and drive the brand awareness amongst the youth.

Media mix or media vehicle can be understood as the platforms which the organization will be using to deliver the intended message to the target audience. India with a population of over 1.32 billion has a social media penetration of over 30 percent, which are approximately some 270 Million people. As the target audience is millennial, the company has to mostly focus on tapping those audiences on the social media platforms. Millennial are the category of people who consume maximum information from the web or social media, thus it will help in creating a better engagement with the customers. Apart from this, country wide events will be conducted along with drive across 1000 plus colleges to further penetrate the drink and collect the real time feedback from the customers. Word of mouth and promoters will also play a strong role in spreading the word out to their friends, peers or any other person. Thus, the creative message strategy has the major objective of getting the customers accustomed to the taste of ENCOKE and leverage on the brand awareness of Coca-Cola to drive awareness of ENCOKE (Weinberg & Pehlivan, 2011).

This is for targeting the family audience who now can include ENCOKE in their drink cabinet. India is a land of auspicious occasions, and the drink will be projected in the similar manner through the medium of TV

4 new commercials in duration of 12 months.

STAR Network

Sports Network

All the TV channels viewed by family audience particularly sports and family seriels.

The newspaper ad will create a country wide awareness and will target all the audience and not just the millennial, The purpose here is to just showcase to the world the launch of a new drink by Coca-Cola

The newspaper ad will be running through entire 12 months with a frequency capping of one ad/Month

Times of India

The Hindu

Hindi daily and regional newspapers

Economic Times

Mumbai times

Daily Mail

The purpose of conducting Events is to get a real time feedback from the audience. It will also create sufficient traction on the website and will become an excellent source of collection for the section of journey and experience on the website.

2 events will be conducted every month in all the metropolitan cities of India.

The theme of the Event will be “Energized India, The real India” Taste the ultimate energy drink and give wings to your aspiration.

The cities selected are:

Mumbai

Pune

Bengaluru

Jaipur

Chennai

Kolkata

Assam

Lucknow

Dry run will be held across the UG/PG colleges. The purpose here is to give a taste of the drink to the customer audience and create a good brand awareness on the millennial

The campaign will be for a three month duration

Some of the colleges selected are:

IIT’s

IIM A,B,C,K,L

Pune engineering college

D Y Patil College

Mumbai University

Delhi University

BHU

With 30 Percent of Penetration and almost 80% of which is millennial. Social media platform is the best medium to build a connect with the audience and engage them with the brand offering. Social media posts will be in form of quiz, video experience and other forms of contest to build the engagement with the brand.

Daily 4 Posts

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest

Blog will be both company written as well as user generated. The blogs will be used to provide the experience the customers felt after tasting the drink and the transformation in their lives.

A blog every other alternate day

In –house and external bloggers.

The idea of YouTube ad is drawn from the fact that visual ads are more engaging. The you tube ads will be in the form of snippets of customer experience. Other online ads will be in the form of GIF and rich media to build attraction and engagement

A campaign for round the clock

Mask head of Youtube will be booked for three months. Affiliate marketing will be used on the following web channels:

Lifestyle and Fashion

Education

News

Sports

Entertainment

Table 7 Media Mix

India is a price sensitive market and the customers often look for value proposition before making a purchase. The value proposition of ENCOKE is to reenergize the Indian audience, especially the youth who are the drivers of the Indian ecosystem. The youth is the flag bearer for development in the Indian sub-continent and thus it is important to engage the in the healthier options in drinking. The pricing strategy of ENCOKE is competitive and is in accordance to the current price being charged by Red Bull and Cloud 9. The pricing strategy can also be seen as:

  • Price has to be in the range of (INR 65-80).
  • For the initial three months the company will give a flat discount of 50% to the customers to build awareness on the brand, and also to give them a taste, feel and experience of the product at a subsidized product (Nagle & Müller, 2017).

An indirect approach which is lead by CBBE is an important source to identify and measure the brand equity and to gather in depth insights on customer brand knowledge to identify the sources of leverage equity. The indirect approach used here helps in identifying the indicators for various response towards the product and the brand. A multi-measurement need to take place in order to meet the multi-dimensional brand knowledge. Brand image has to be evaluated using the qualitative and quantitate techniques.

This technique is employed to characterize the association which are coherently connected to the brand. This can also be understood as the first step, as there is a lot of scope for both the researcher as well the consumer. Questions like what does the Brand ENCOKE means for you, and many more can open plenty of avenues for the brand.

There are cases wherein the consumer is unable to convey his true feeling, expression, emotions and thought towards the brand. In such cases projection techniques are being used, in which the consumer is asked to compare the brand of ENCOKE with the animal, and later questions are asked him on his choice of animal akin to the brand. Relation between the brand personality and relationship can be drawn by using the model of Aaker(1997). Another model such as Fournier(1998)  and Brand relationship quality (BRQ) can also be used to support the theoretical notions of the brand.

Qualitative analysis is exactly opposite of qualitative analysis and it uses variation in scale in order to make numerical representation which leads to strategical and tactical recommendation for the brand. It becomes extremely important while measuring the brand equity, that the customer is aware of the brand elements when being confronted with them. This can also be done for customers by replacing one letter of the brand, and asking the consumer to complete the brand name, the same can be extended to the brand slogan, logo and the jingle.

In order to build a strong brand equity, the brand image is equally important as the brand awareness. According to the Keller model of 2006, the lower level consideration are related to the perceptions of specific benefits and attributes in comparison to higher level consideration which are related to consumer responses and judgements and feelings with the brand. Then, there exists a relationship between these two levels which is due to the specific attributes and benefits of the brand. 

                                         

                                                      Table 8 Brand Equity Model & Measurement by Keller (2006)

The below mentioned table demonstrates the marketing timeframe for the period of next 12 months, starting w.e.f August.

                                                                               

                                                                           Table 9 12 month Brand launch plan

In accordance with the brand plan a set of strategical and tactical recommendation are suggested for ENCOKE.

Strategic Recommendation

Positioning

The positioning for ENCOKE has to be as an energy brand and specially to the Youth audience (Millennial)

Brand Mantra

The brand mantra has to be communicated on all the web 2.0 and traditional platforms

Tactical Recommendation

Head on competition with Cloud 9 and Red Bull

Coca-Cola has to beat the competition by having a direct competition with its competitors. Thus, the company has to be present in all the market where it competition is doing fairly good.

Engagement with the customers

The section of Journey, experience on the Microsite and the social media page has to be utilized at its full potential in order to gain the maximum attraction.

Build a strong connect with the young audience

The drink is made for the young audience, thus Coca-Cola has to build a good engagement strategy to tap the sentiments of the young audience

Leveraging the company’s brand value

Coca-Cola has 132 years of history and it has a brand awareness of 98%. ENCOKE has to ensure that it does not dilute the brand value of Coca-Cola and leverages it to gain full mileage.

Table 10 Recommendations

Conclusion

The brand plan here has been developed and created for the brand extension of the existing brand Coca-Cola. The newly launched product is an energy drink “ENCOKE” and has been created specially to tap the growing consumer market in India. The brand plan here includes the positioning strategy for the brand based on its POD and POC, utilizing the CBRE approach to build awareness. A communication strategy has been created to ensure that the creative message reaches the target audience and both the web 2.0 and traditional marketing tools are being utilized for the media vehicles. Recommendation are provided to bridge any lacunae in the existing brand plan of ENCOKE.

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