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Emotional And Functional Branding In Washing Detergent Brands Marketing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 2958 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Branding is a very important factor in today’s highly competitive business environment in any given industry for company it’s very important to invest in building strong brands rather than marketing products. Products is anything that can be offered to market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a need or want. Keller (1998)

Emotional branding and functional branding is a very important aspect in branding, when an organization builds a brand, organization considers about emotional branding and functional branding, it’s a brand manager’s prime job to decide which branding approach should be given priority for detergent products after the recession time. I will analyze the laundry detergent market in UK and in conclusion I will address what branding approach is suitable for P&G Ariel brand.

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Since laundry detergent market is very hyper competitive market in UK. It’s very important to differentiate the laundry brands to customers, because t v commercials are not reached by target customers (customers eliminate advertisements), customers are exposed too many commercials where customers cannot recall the brand when making purchase decision. For marketers it’s becoming a tough job to attract, retain customers and differentiate brands, can emotional and functional branding give a solution to marketers for this problem?

Has we all aware because of recession all organization cut there marketing budget to save money, its very crucial at this time to spend companies money very wisely there for its very important to understand in which branding should the company spend its money on to attract and sustain its target customers.

Research objectives

To investigate whether emotional and functional branding offers competitive advantage for washing detergent brands.

To understand the emotional and functional “cues” that influence consumer purchasing decisions for laundry detergent products.

To find out whether emotional branding offer more form of sustainable differentiation than functional branding.

Are there more effective and efficient approaches to advertising budget allocation?

1.2 Research questions

Are functional and emotional “cues” important in consumers purchase decision in laundry detergent brands?

Do consumers value emotional branding more than functional branding in UK now?

What are the most valuable attributes customers look for in laundry detergent brands?

Can organization reduce advertising budget when it emotionally connected with customers?

1.3 Research motivations

My research motivation for this topic is personal reason; laundry detergent market is a hyper competitive and very challenging industry in to day’s context, by understanding the concept of branding from emotional and functional branding perspective where companies can add more value to there products. Am planning my carrier in brand management, in building a brand emotional and functional branding plays a major roll, its my pleasure to do my dissertation on washing detergent brands which will add value to curriculum vita when am applying for jobs.

1.4 Research context

The Procter & gamble (P&G) was founded in 1837 by an Englishman, William Procter and an Irishman James gamble it began as a small family company manufacturing soap and Candle in America but now P&G operates in 80 countries and employs 135,000 employees’ world wide and markets 300 brands in 160 countries, world head quarters of P&G is in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. (P&G.com)

Net sales for P&G in 2009 was $79 billion and net profit is $13billion, world market share of home care category is 18.69% and market share of Western Europe home care category is 16.94% respectively in 2009 (Euro monitor 2009)

The Unilever Plc was formed in the 1890 by William and James Lever and started manufacturing sunlight soap, which has 40 market leading brands and sells it products in 170 countries, employs 163000 employees’ world wide, world head quarters of Unilever, is in Blackfriars, London, United Kingdom.(Unilever.com)

Net sales of Unilever Plc is $39 billion and net profit is $3.8 billion, world market share of home care category is 10.15% and Western Europe home care category market share is 12.12% in 2009 (Euro monitor 2009)

Washing detergents (fabric care) represents 52.1% of the total household detergent and cleaners market in UK. With a retail sales value of £ 1.13 billion which has increased by 1.9% in 2008, according to keynote washing detergents continue to be lead by power format which takes 40% of sales, tablets and liquids account for 22% and 21% respectively while capsules hold 17% of the washing detergent market share.(Keynote)

In 2008 UK population is 61.4 million and increase of 2.6% comparing to 2004, growing population is positive for household detergent market. Key note forecast that UK household detergent and cleaner market will increase to £ 2.42 billion in 2013 which will give total growth of 19.4 %.( keynote)

Literature review

preliminary literature review is defined as selection of available documents (both published and unpublished) which contain information, idea, data, and evidence from a particular stand point to fulfil certain aims or express views on the nature of topic and how it is investigated by other authors or theorist. Hart C, (1998)

A brand is a symbol, logo, name that represents the consumer’s experience with organization, product or services. That evokes feelings of belonging, love and affection of customers (CIM UK), when constructing strong brands its vital consider the brand characteristics which consist of two major types of attributes which are;

Functional branding (intrinsic attributes)

Emotional branding (extrinsic attributes)

Functional branding is related to the tangible, rationally assessed product performance and benefits that satisfies consumer’s practical needs. (Mowle & merrilees)

Emotional branding is encaging the consumers on the level of senses and emotions; forging a deep, lasting, intimate emotional connection to the brand that transcends material satisfaction; it involves a creating a holistic (emotional) experience that drives an emotional fulfilment so that customer develops a special bond and unique trust in the brand. Kotler & Keller et al (2009)

Emotional branding can be referred has extrinsic branding, intangible branding, sensory branding and holistic branding.

2.1 Importance of branding

From customer perspective;

Identification of source of product – for consumers it’s easy and convenient to identify a brand.

Risk reducer – brand can reduces the functional risk, physical risk, financial risk, social risk, psychological risk and time risk to consumers.

Search cost reducer – consumer can save time by choosing a brand.

Promise, bond, or pact with maker of product – brand offers a promise on product performance, creates a trust, creates bond emotionally and rationally to customers which makes life easy and convince.

Symbolic device – brands allow consumers to project there own self images by associating with specific brands .Keller (1998)

From manufacturer’s perspective;

Means of legally protecting unique features – brand offers the firm legal protection for unique features or aspects of the product.

Source of competitive advantage – when organizations have strong brand name it’s easy to differentiate brand from products which offers competitive advantage.

Source of financial returns – strong brand name give high financial returns to the company.

Attract shelf space- strong brands get prime location in super stores across UK. Keller (1998)

2.2 Branding equity models

There are two leading brand equity models

David Aaker brand equity model

Keller consumer based brand equity model

David Aaker brand equity model is the most comprehensive and well known brand equity model.

2.3 David Aaker brand equity model

Aaker defines brand equity as set of five categories of brand assets and liabilities linked to the brand, brand name, symbol, which will add or reduce the value provided by the product to the firm or its customers.

These categories of brand assets are;

Brand loyalty

Brand awareness

Perceived quality

Brand associations

Other property assets (trade mark, patents and channel relationships)

2.4 Sensory branding

More sense the message appeals more strong the message will be According to Lindstorm i.e. m (2005) our entire understanding of the world is experience through our sense, our sense are linked memory and tap the emotions, humans five sense are; touch, see, feel, smell, taste and sixth sense is religion. In to day’s context 99 percent of brand communication focused on what we see and hear, 75 percent of human emotions are generated by what we smell.

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The more number of sense and sensory touch points the company appeals more strong the message will be perceived, Singapore airlines Kellogg’s and ford have created a totally sensory experience through touch, see, feel, taste and smell to there customers. Since there are no studies done on laundry detergent brands on sensory branding, how ever P&G and Unilever attractive colour packaging will attract customers, oval shape handy bottle will give good feeling when they touch the bottle and will attract customers, Ariel and Persil brands have good fragrance it will give good smell to users, by touching more sensory touch points P&G and Unilever can have more emotional bonding with customers.

2.5 Aesthetic and design

When consumer making the purchase decision aesthetic and design will influence the customer positively to make the brand purchase according to Nanda et al (2008) argues that aesthetic design, different colours and overlay patterns of black berry smart phones impact the emotional reaction of male customers. Consumers rate smart phones operations 22 percent, physical design 24 percent and features 20 percent according to study conducted by J.D power and associates, research indicates that better aesthetics (Design & shapes) lead to increased usability,

Aesthetically pleasing design will build a strong brand sense by influencing the most important sensory organ eyes and consequently increase the emotional attachment to the brand. Mobile phone different colours provide users with personalized options to devises which have transformed from functional tool to a fashion accessory.

How ever there is no studies done on laundry detergent brands aesthetic and design but P&G and Unilever oval shaped 30c bottle will increase brand usability because bottle is well design and easy to squeeze the liquid to measurable cup and use, Ariel & Persil bottle is aesthetically pleasing design will increase the emotional attachment with customers.

2.6 Emotional branding offers sustainable advantage.

When companies branding products it will consider emotional & functional branding characteristics but if companies give priority to emotional branding it offers sustainable differentiation than functional branding values according to Mowel and merrilees (2005) have proved that brands require a blend of functional and emotional (symbolic) values in branding. Since wine is life style product it’s more beneficial to embrace the concept of symbolic value that relates to consumers self expression needs. Symbolic values (emotional branding) are more sustainable in the form of differentiation than functional values, harder for competitors to replicate and offers brand consistency to customers. Care must be taken to ensure that both functional values and emotional values convey the similar concept to customers.

If wine manufactures focus on functional branding (functional values) marketers consider on quality, taste and varieties of wines or value for money concept.

If wine manufactures focus on emotional branding, symbolic values are developed through experiential components like prestige feelings, fun, enjoyment, exclusivity, laid back enjoyment, sophistication and tradition it’s hard to competitors to replicate and will offer sustainable differentiation than functional branding value.

How ever there is no article on laundry detergent brands, emotional branding and functional branding but in laundry detergent brands in UK require blend of functional and emotional branding values, how ever P&G and Unilever can focus more on emotional values because it offers a sustainable differentiation than functional values because shopping is a becoming a fashion in UK customers, consumers prefer to have branded products on shopping trolleys and at home which gives a prestige felling, exclusivity and emotional satisfaction to consumers which can lead to tradition in future. If P&G and Unilever focus more on emotional values it offers sustainable differentiation comparing with functional values. For competitors it’s hard to copy the emotional bonding which customers have on Ariel & Persil brands.

3.0 Research methodology

Research is diligent and systematic inquiry or investigation into a subject in order to discover or revise facts, theories, and applications. Methodology is the system of methods followed by particular discipline. Research methodology is how we conduct research.

3.1 Strategy

case study approach will be the strategy to do my dissertation, because my research objectives are to find out the emotions, feelings and experience on Ariel brand which will present the findings very clearly, case studies provide meaning full way of exploring different facts of real life events and organization can make strategic decision based on findings. Saunders et al (2000)

3.2 Data collection methods

Quantitative and qualitative research design will be used to collect data to make the finding accurate. Priority will be given to collect secondary data first because it’s easy to obtain, less time consuming and gives an overhaul idea what information need to look in primary research.

Primary research will consider on questionnaire because it can reach a wider and large number of participants to make the research finding more accurate.

Fully structured interview with target customers to probe more on consumer feelings, emotions and experience when making a purchase decision on laundry brands.

3.3 Sampling

Sampling will consider using probability sampling because my dissertation is on laundry brands it’s widely used by every house hold in UK. By using probability sampling every participant has an equal opportunity to be selected to the sample frame.

3.4 Sample size

100 questionnaires will be send (e-mail questionnaire) to target customers and interview 15 targeted customers for my dissertation.

3.5 Ethical issues

Wells (1994:284) defines “Ethics in terms of a code of behaviour appropriate to academics and the conduct of research” The appropriateness or acceptability of our behaviour as research will be affected by broader social norms of behaviour Saunders et al (2000)

For the research interviews there will be many ethical issues which will need special attention at the time of conducting interviews. Non interested members will not be harassed into participation. The arrangement will be undertaken in order to ensure the confidentiality and anonymity of the information shared by the participating members. All gathered data will be protected under data protection act according UK.

4.0 Proposed time line

Research activity












Submit proposal


Literature review

Research methods

Data analyses

Conclusion and recommendations

Dissertation submission

5.0 Limitations

5.1 Resources constrains

The following factors can be the limitations or risks before and during the study bad response from a certain number of respondents can be as big barrier in conducting my research and related materials for assisting in accomplishing the research study as intended.

5.2 Time constrains

Time allocation can be clearly proved to be short to enable the researcher conduct, gather, write and ultimately production of a concrete research study report. The main limitation in this research can be availability and accuracy of data.

6.0 Conclusion

This research will be valuable to show how emotional and functional branding can be used as an opportunity to attract and retain customers for betterment of laundry brands in UK. The model and theories obtain in this research will also be useful for the growth of laundry sector in UK. This research accomplishes a range of important areas and can assist in providing valuable insights for other researchers. This research will open the door for more discussion on a certain topic with the fellow researchers on both the methodology and the outcome derived from the research.



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