Branding in marketing is creation of a perception within consumers to think that a certain product is implicitly better than the existing substitutes- or distinct from others- in terms of quality and economic horizon. Consumer branding is a significant tool employed in marketing strategy by different industries to have competitive edge insofar as market share is concerned. This paper will succinctly analyse the significant role of consumer branding in organizational strategic framework. The paper adopts an analogy of Heineken- an alcoholic brand- and its competitors in the industry. The paper relies on Denham’s “How little things can make a difference” and Grassl’s “Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity” to analyse the consumer branding.
Branding, in general rests on three salient features: design symbol, name and sign. The overall symbol that gives Heineken identity is the red star, which is the official logo and the slogan, “PREMIUM QUALITY.” It is also identified by its green colour. The success or survival of companies is underpinned on the content of information carefully gathered from observing consumer behaviour (Denham, 2000).Denham postulates that reliable information is substantive tool in consumer branding and it is the reason behind colossal investment- both finance and time- by companies into the study of social and behavioural aspects to understand consumer spending patterns (2000). Companies go extra mile by employing brand-managers who oversees on the management of the brand. This is to ensure that organization gains an accurate insight on the consumers’ taste.
For instance, Heineken is perceived as premium quality alcoholic drink, meaning it is sold at a price that is higher compared to other medium quality like Carlsberg and Tuborg. In this context, consumer is assumed to achieve experience that suits the price tag. Blind tests have- however- negated the perception that Heineken is significantly better in terms of colour, taste, and smell. Therefore, it is imperative to additional quality to the beer in order to maintain the higher price (Grassl 2000). Concisely, branding can play a substantial role in increasing consumption of the beer. Therefore, to sustain competition, Heineken has to develop and prioritize on maintaining and building an exclusive brand that will appeal to their customers beyond just taste.
Due to up surging level of competition in both local and global platform, branding remains an organizational asset that should extensively be utilized to satisfy the consumer needs. Strategist should adapt objectives that meet the expectation of consumers in terms of the core value. Consumer branding is the key to achieving a profound and implicit comparative advantage in marketing.
Denham, B. E. (2001). Book: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big DifferenceJournalism & Mass Communication Educator, 55(4), 82-83. doi:10.1177/107769580105500412
Grassl, W. (2000). Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring, and Managing Brand Equity. Upper Saddle River, NY: Prentice?Hall 1998. xxvi + 636pp. + 122pp. (cases, epilogue, credits, index) $60.00. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 17(3), 263-272. doi:10.1108/jcm.2000.17.3.263.3
History of Heineken. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.dwcomm.com/static/products/files/36~History_of_Heineken.pdf