The article chosen is written by De Chernatony (1999). It is mainly about brand management. It mentions that many classical model of brand management focus on brand image rather than staff which could build the brand identity. However, brand image is the relationship between brand and consumer. It is passive and it may be change by latest advertisings or events. In order to make the brand last longer and provide consistent value, company should pay attention on other method to construct brand. The paper clarifies that building brand is more than convey the brand image to pubic. Brand building should not only concentrate on brand image, but also brand identity. Brand identity involves how the managers and employees diver brand value and culture to customers.
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Firstly, the article reveals that corporate should move from line branding to cooperate branding. Lind branding mainly use advertising packaging and little staff as the way to deliver brand’s value. However, cooperate branding requires stakeholders and staff reach a consensus on company’s culture and value. The next part of this paper presents the integration paradigm which emphasizes the homogeneity among the organization defining their culture. It concludes five basic assumptions which could be used to analyze the performance of organization. Furthermore, the differentiation paradigm is mentioned. It suggests brand culture as a metaphor which means culture is the corporation “are” rather than corporation “has”. The article states the possibility of that company with stronger culture may perform better. However, De Chernatony (1999) also shows that the literatures about culture-performance do not provide sufficient prove.
In this article, De Chernatony (1999) refined other scholar’s view of brand identity into four components of brand identity. According to Abratt (1989, p. 70), ‘Management first needs to develop a sense of identity, an understanding of who the company is, what it believes and what it stands for.’ Thus, the model of brand identity provides managers a method to build brand and assess brand identity. The four components are brand vision and culture, positioning, personality, and relationships which all present the brand identity. Brand vision is the destination where the brand wants to go. Brand culture comprises visible artifacts, staff’ and managers’ value and the mental framework involved in brand building activities. Brand positioning is many distinct capabilities which allow customers distinguish a brand. Brand personality is a metaphor that could reduce information and processing because ones could quickly recognize brand personality. Brand relationship emphasize that relationship is not only customers to brand, but also staff to customer, staff to staffâ€¦ and so on. After building the four components above, corporation should assure the presentation from employees and from portraying advertising are coherent. All in all, the components of brand identity could be used to build and examine brand identity. The main aim of the proposed key elements is giving managers a model to build brand. By using this model to examine existing brand value, managers could check the gap between brand identity and brand reputation and reduce this gap by changing each element.
There are many reasons of choosing this article as an assignment. Accompanying with more prevalent internationalization and globalization trend, competition becomes much stiffer nowadays in many industries and many countries. Thus, company should invest in creating brand value which could help company and customers to distinguish the brand with others. While many pay attention on building brand image which largely use advertising, this article explained the drawbacks of only focusing on brand image when building brand. It also introduces many aspects into brand building and brand identify. These aspects reveal insights for managers who want to manage the brand. By using these approaches to examine or build brand, a brand could avoid being inconsistent from inside to outside the organization.
This paper provides a fairly simple paradigm explaining the core elements used as tools to build brand. The key components listed are something which is fundamental but easily to be forgotten. This article reminds managers to keep an eye on these elements when building a brand. By checking these factors constantly, a corporation can ensure the brand conveys a consistent and coherent message to target customers. Furthermore, by building a strong company culture and brand identity, new staff recruited could appreciate the company culture that they will fully commit and deliver the brand image better.
Contribute to Academic
This article marshals many literatures associate to building brand identity. It elaborates on many aspects. From this paper, one can see different methods for building brand identity in order to create coherent brand identity and brand reputation. This literature contributes on providing systematic collection on brand building methodology.
At the beginning of this article, De Chernatony (1999) indicates that many classical modals of brand management emphasize on brand image, and pay little attention on employees which are responsible for building brand. The brand image, however, is the communication between brand and customer. This sort of communication does not cover other factors relating to brand. A corporation only focuses on brand image might provide incoherence value and culture from different departments. This symptom shows the need for creating more comprehensive approach in brand management. Otherwise, the incoherent messages delivered by different staff might confuse customers and weaken the brand image. It also indicates further suggestion in this area.
De Chernatony (1999) reviewed many literatures in brand management. Mitchell’s work is mentioned firstly. This work describes people has moved from industrial age which accents visible artifacts to information age which pursues intangibles. From this point of view, customers will seek deeper understanding of a brand’s culture and the nature of the company. Thus, branding should look for corporate branding rather than only build on brand image. The aim of corporate branding is integrating the culture internally in order to deliver coherent value externally. This coherent value could lead employees have better understanding for corporation and present consistent behaviour with corporation’s value. De Chernatony (1999) emphasizes the importance of corporation’s culture and value. Corporation with clear and convincing value would motivate staff appreciate the value and make contribute to this culture. However, in corporation without clear value, employees would not commit to the culture since the corporate has lost its direction. Moreover, recruitment is an important part in branding because new staff should recognize corporation’s culture and fully engage in conveys this culture. In academic standpoint, researches can be conducted to explore to what extent customers care in intangible messages a company delivers.
The standpoint of corporate branding which emphasize on staff’s realization of company culture reflects modern customer-oriented organization chart presented by Grashaw (2009) in some ways. Although modern customer-oriented organization chart proposes method of doing business, the article focuses on building brands. These two articles happen to coincide indicating that every staff in company will reflect company value to customers or react with customers. This viewpoint emphasize that every employee within company is equally vital, and each staff can influence customers or influenced by customers.
De Chernatony (1999) presents integration paradigm of corporate culture. Integration paradigm stresses parity in corporation’s culture among the corporation. There are three levels could be used to analysis the company culture. The first level is visible artifacts. This includes office design, logos, and employees’ dress. A company should assure the artifacts and the company culture convey the same message. The second level staff’s style and behaviour. If there is an inconsistency, an organization should explore the problem which leads the incompatibility. The third level is culture. The three levels suggest manager should always insure these three levels remain consonance with each other. In addition, Schein (1984) cited in De Chernatony (1999), describes managers can analysis the brand building process by using five basic assumptions, ‘(i) the firm’s relationship with its environment, (ii) its view about establishing “truth” and decision making, (iii) the firm’s view about human nature, (iv) assumptions about what is right for staff to do and (v) the way staff should relate to each other. These assumptions are indicative for academic research in this field.
Another paradigm involved in this paper is differentiation paradigm. Differentiation paradigm views company culture as a metaphor which is equal to the company itself. A proposed assessment could be used to check the parity of corporate culture. (Martin 1992, cited in De Chernatony 1999) Is there any inconsistency in action, symbolic, or ideological? The inconsistency can resulted from every corner in a company. In order to fix the inconsistency, managers should show employees how their work relating and influencing others and how these interactions contribute to the company. The differentiation paradigm and integration paradigm both stress on corporate culture. However, there are different in define the relationship between an organization and corporate culture. Survey could be undertaken on customers to examine the two paradigms.
Strong Culture Theory
De Chernatony (1999) mentioned the possibility that stronger corporate culture could result higher performance. This theory describes that culture will generate staff’s motivation since staff feel proud about contributing for the culture. Thus, employees will dedicate and become loyal to the company. However, this article indicates the literatures in this area are often anecdotal that it is week in methodology. This suggests researchers can conduct more research to verify this theory.
Brand Identity Management
In the article, De Chernatony (1999) proposes components of brand identity management. This model is refined by De Chernatony (1999) from other literature’s contribute on brand identity. (Markwick and Fill 1997; van Rekom 1997; van Riel and Balmer 1997) The core of this model is brand vision and culture. This will drive company to develop its position and personality. The three elements will shape the relationships inside the company. Finally, all of these will present the brand identity.
The brand’s vision is the destination a brand wants to arrive. This should be discussed between managers and stakeholders in order to reach a consensus. Hatch et al. (1997) presents that brand culture comprises all members in the organization, the development history, and artifacts in material aspects. The article stresses more on the values between members. The values in company can conflict with each other. To avoid this situation, company should divide between the core values which remain for long and peripheral values which might need adaption from time to time. Likewise, a consensus should be reach between managers, staff, and stakeholders. However, when there are differences within company, it is not proper to authoritative ask every one agree on certain value. Moreover, to exploit the brand’s value, company should seek an independent external organization. This can provide more possibility for corporation to undertake.
The brand’s positioning should be uniform with brand’s culture and value. Hooley et al. (1998, p. 105) states ‘The competitive positioning a firm chooses to occupy is a combination of its choice of target market and the different advantage it is seeking to create as a means of securing that market.’ If there are differences about positioning within company, everyone should examine their positioning with the desired positioning the company needs in order to reach coherent objective.
The brand’s personality is shaped by brand’s value. De Chernatony (1999) indicates that managers sometimes neglect the link between personality and positioning. It is vital to insure these two components remain coherent. Nevertheless, it is hard to present the personality through media or employees’ behaviour.
The brand’s relationship emphasizes that there are many kinds or relationships rather than only customer to brand relationship. This element indicates there are relationships between staff, between staff and customers, between staff and stakeholders, and others. Likewise, all relationships should be uniform with each other.
The brand’s presentation consists of two aspects. The first aspect stresses that stakeholders and staff reach a consensus on brand identity. However, this involves many communications. Different stakeholder groups might have distinct opinion. Also, staff might have distinct views. The second aspect requires corporation reflect the self-image of stakeholders. The final step for this model is to ensure the brand’s desired image portrayed by advertising is coherent with staff’s behaviour.
All in all, this model provides a new method in brand management. It is effective in illustrating key elements relating to brand building. However, this proposed model does not be verified by any method. It should be implemented into practical which might show further improvements for this model.
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Contribution from Chosen Article
Aside from academic contribution, the work from De Chernatony (1999) indicates many methods for managers to undertake when building brand. This paper not only details theories themselves but also provides practical suggestions for managers.
De Chernatony (1999) states that staff are crucial in branding. When managers try to build brand, one should consider the staff which play significant roles in brand building. Also, this article describes brand building is not only external, but also internal. It suggests that managers should take care inside the organization when building brand.
Corporate branding is one of the theories respond to the claim that brand building involves internal integration. This theory shows managers that inside the company, staff should have clear recognition about the desired vision and commit to it. It also means recruitment plays crucial part in brand building.
Integration paradigm in this article provides two methods for managers to investigate the efficiency of brand building inside corporation. Firstly, managers can use three levels to examine brand’s integration. The three levels are visible artifacts, employees’ style and behaviour, and company’s culture. To ensure company is well-integrated, managers should check the uniformity of the three levels constantly. Moreover, Schein (1984) cited in de Chernatony (1999), describes managers can exploit the integration process by using five basic assumptions, ‘(i) the firm’s relationship with its environment, (ii) its view about establishing “truth” and decision making, (iii) the firm’s view about human nature, (iv) assumptions about what is right for staff to do and (v) the way staff should relate to each other.
Similar with integration paradigm, differentiation paradigm offers managers another method to check if there is any problem happens. This theory suggests manager check is there any inconsistency between company’s culture, action, symbolic, and ideological.
De Chernatony (1999) in this paper presents a model of the components of brand identity. This model shows managers a full set of elements relating to brand building. When building a brand, managers should assure the company has a well-defined vision. The brand’s culture which includes visible artifacts, staff’s value, and brand building activities is uniform. The brand’s positioning is vital since it makes consumers distinguish a brand from others. If staff within a firm have different view of positioning, managers can use card sort technique to reach a consensus. (de Chernatony et al. 1994) De Chernatony (1999) in this model indicates that there is a linkage between brand’s personality and brand’s positioning and managers sometimes overlook this link. The brand’s relationship means the relationships between staff, between staff and customers, between staff and stakeholders, and others. Managers should also check the consistency between these relationships. The brand’s presentation requires managers look on two aspects, the desired identity is coherent between staff and stakeholders, and the portrayed brand image is coherent with staff’s behaviour.
Altogether, this article requires managers check the parity of every aspect in the company to reduce the gap between brand identity and brand reputation when doing brand management. The author elaborates on many points of view relating to this issue to ensure a corporate can convey a consistent value.
Dangerous of Brand Parity
However, there is one more thing that manager should notice when applying these approaches. Keller et al. (2002) in their work states an example of the dangerous of coherence when extending brand. When Nivea, which is a company emphasized their skin cream is protective and gentle, began selling deodorants. Marketers could stress the existing idea of protective and gentle on this product since it is relating to the brand. On the other hand, Dove is a brand known for moisturizing products. It launched new business in dishwashing-liquid with the promotion of moisturizing hands. This promotion ended up with poor sales. The customers wanted washing-liquid to clean the greasy dishes rather than moisturizing hands. This case shows that when company expands to new business, managers should consider the core brand value carefully that this will not obstruct the product’s key function.
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Narrowing Gap in Service Brand
Zeithaml and Bitner (1996), cited in de Chernatony (2001), describes service brand can narrow the gap between internal (services) and external (consumers) by minimizing four gaps. The four gaps indicate the approaches how managers can improve their services. Gap 1 is that brand does not knowing customers’ need and this can be reduced by understanding customers more. Gap 2 is the brand select wrong services design standards which can be lessened by strong leaderships and defining standards better. Gap 3 is a brand does not delivering to service standards. This gap can be narrowed by design better service delivery systems and human resources policies. Gap 4 is brand does not match the promised performance which can be minimized by giving achievable promises and improving internal communication. Moreover, Levitt (1976) suggests that service brand can reduce the heterogeneity of services by replacing human activities with technology. By minimizing the heterogeneity of service, service can reduce the gap between brand identity and brand reputation.
The idea of branding has been discussed for years. Many corporations devote in develop a strong brand to gain more market share from competitors. There are also many literatures provides approaches for company building brand. However, there are few literatures focusing on the difference between brand reputation and the brand identity. In order to enable the brand staying on the market for long, company should insure the brand reputation remains the same with the brand identity that company desired. Otherwise, customers might feel disappointing if the brand image is different with the brand performance. In order to satisfy customers’ expectations, the firm must check the consistency between brand image and brand performance.
The article written by de Chernatony (1999) stresses on the importance of reducing the gap between brand identity and brand reputation. By narrowing the gap, company ensures there are no difference between what company wants to be and what customers perceived company performance. Through using the methods proposed by de Chernatony (1999), a brand can insure the brand conveys what it really is to the customers.
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