Say What You Mean What You Say? The Jargon of Brand Management Digital marketing


Branding is the process of naming a product or service in order to distinguish it from its category competitors. In broadcasting a brand name would be the name of a network, station, or program. For example, Eyewitness News is a branded local newscast. However, true branding is more than attaching a name to a product or service. The intent of branding is to make the brand name something unique, memorable, and valuable in the minds of consume.

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Brand extension is the process of branding a new product with an already stabslashed brand name. The marketing premise for this action is that the established brand has valuable branding assets that can be transferred to the new product. Positive thoughts and feelings that consumers have about the original product will hopefully carry over to the new product.

The one note of caution when dealing with brand extensions is that the two products must have something in common. Adding the Ford brand name to a new kitty litter product doesn’t make sense, nor would add the Eyewitness News brand name to a new half-hour game show. There are many case studies in which a poorly conceived brand extension has actually hurt the stature of the original brand. In this era of ownership duopolies (and triploids!) and extended digital channels (multicasting), this notion of brand extension will become a vital issue for station management.

Brand awareness

When all brands under consideration are thought to be equally satisfying, top-of-mind awareness becomes extremely important in brand marketing. This narrower view of awareness looks only at the brands that are recalled first by a consumer (or audience member). Experimental studies have confirmed that simple top-of-mind brand awareness can be the deciding factor in choosing a brand. Top-of-mind recall is sometimes measured by what researchers call accessibility from memory, meaning that in a purchase situation, some brand names are more likely to be “accessed” than are other brands. This heightened awareness of certain brands is often the result of heavy exposure to advertising.

Brand involvement

Brand involvement is the degree of “consumer energy” invested in a purchase decision. Some product purchases are more involving than are others. For instance, buying an expensive new car is far more involving than is buying a cheap tube of toothpaste.

Most television viewing is considered a low involvement activity, in which the media consumer seldom agonizes over what network or program to watch. Consequent, our prior concept of top-of-mind awareness becomes a critical brandin consideration. If the viewer is not motivated to do a thorough analysis of each brand (low involvement) and if, on the surface, all available brands appear to offer the same level of satisfaction, top-of-mind awareness can drive the channel “purchase.”

Brand attitude

Brand attitude can be viewed as an extension of brand image in that the term refers not only to thoughts and feelings about the brand but evaluations and, most importantly, predispositions to respond (purchase). In other words, although brand image asks what you know and feel about the brand, brand attictube asks what your appraisal of the brand is. How strong are your intentions to buy the brand? Some brand researchers merge brand image with brand attitude and use either term.

Here again, the idea of reputation works well. You can know a lot about a person and have certain emotions associated with this knowledge. Consequently, you probably have formed an attitude based on what you have experienced; all of which are the ingredients of a reputation. It seems plausible that we can also assign a reputation to a television network or program.

Last word

Similarly, the owner of a media brand, such as a new local television news franchise, may be more than happy to have news viewers believe that, compared with its established competitors; the new entry is equally satisfying. Conversely, more aggressive broadcasters may discover through research some vulnerability in the competition and accordingly position their new program as distinctive as and more valuable than the old tried-and-true program already airing.

As with most brand terminology, brand positioning dimensions should be consumer-centered, meaning that what is most important is how customers think and feel about the brand. Remember, we are talking about psychological posittoning, not a count of news vans, bureaus, helicopters, and weather radar units. This means getting outside the boardroom and investing in meaningful audioonce research. This research will be the foundation on which you will build the branding efforts.

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