Branding and Product Development| LGMW01/05

by David Thompson March 07, 2016
Stages in New Product Development 498 × 328

Branding and Product Development – Marketing Management

At the heart of a successful marketing strategy  lie two core aspects – a product and a brand. According to Philip Kotler, marketing is a social and managerial process by which individual and group obtain what they need and want through creating, and exchanging product or value with other. This value creation takes place at the product and brand level.

A firm’s marketing mix consists of four components namely product, price , place and promotion . Kotler states that a product is a thing that can be offered to a market to satisfy a want or need. It can include physical goods, services, people, ideas, organisations and places.

A brand, on the other hand, varies from a product. Branding is a process by which firms aim to differentiate themselves, their products and services from those of competitors as described by experts of ExpertAssignmentHelp.

Product Development

Once a firm has successfully executed and implemented its STP strategy , it moves into the development of a product or service that effectively meets the specific needs of the target segments.

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Source: https://richardvelazquez.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/new-product-development-lecture-overview/

  1. Idea generation: Once the needs and wants to be satisfied are identified, along with the feasibility in terms of profitability and development, product or service ideas are identified. The sources for these ideas can come from various sources such as market research, employees, customers, competitors, consultants, suppliers and distributors
  2. Idea screening: The numerous ideas that are generated are subject to a screening process where only the ones that are physically and financially feasible are selected
  3. Concept development and testing: The concept or the feasible idea needs to be tested for its acceptability, appeal, usage and benefits and issues, if any
  4. Marketing strategy development : A marketing strategy to launch the product or service must be devised, which lays out segmentation, targeting and positioning plans, pricing, distribution, promotional strategies, expected sales and profits
  5. Business Analysis: At this stage, a detailed analysis of the financials  “profitability, expected volume of sales, cost of production, sales and marketing, cash flow position, and market share”  is undertaken
  6. Product development: A prototype of the product is developed at this stage; once created, it is subject to a series of tests
  7. Test marketing: The product undergoes test marketing within a specific geographical area, so that the marketing mix and strategies can be tested, monitored and modified if required
  8. Commercialisation: Once the product clears the test marketing phase, it is ready for release in its target markets. The firm needs to make decisions regarding the timing of the launch, the medium and location of the launch, and if the launch will be nationwide, or region-wise

Post this, the product can be found to fit into one of the four stages in the Product Life Cycle.

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Source: http://www.mrdashboard.com/Product_Life_Cycle.html

Product Levels

In order to better explain a product, Philip Kotler describes it to contain five levels; each level indicates a certain value that customers attach to a product. Customer satisfaction takes place only when the perceived or specified value exceeds or meets the customer’s expected value.

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Source: http://www.toolshero.com/five-product-levels-kotler/

  1. Core Product: The first and most basic level of the product, the focus is on the purpose for which the product is intended. The core purpose of Sydney based Chilli Surfboards is to provide manoeuvrability for surfers over waves
  2. Generic Product: This level represents all physical attributes of the product. Chilli Surfboards are known for their bright colours,shape, sturdiness and durability
  3. Expected Product: Consumer expectations of the product are reflected at this level. A customer may expect long lasting performance and speedy manoeuvrability from Chilli Surfboards
  4. Augmented Product: This level describes additional factors that work to set the product apart from those of competitors, including brand image and identity. Innovative and cutting edge designs, twin fins, unique colour schemes are what set apart Chilli Surfboards from its competitors, including its brand name
  5. Potential Product: Any future additions or changes to the product are reflected at this stage. Chilli may work towards making its surfboards from reclaimed wood, or carbon-wrap flex, add additional fins and thrusters, and so on

Branding

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

Brand elements are the various components of a brand that help to identify and differentiate it from competitors such as name, logo, symbol and package design. For example, the brand elements of Tourism Australia are its name and logo.

A brand is more than a product in the sense that it differentiates it in ways other than product related means; it helps the firm achieve competitive advantage through rational and symbolic means. Brands seek to create a positive experience for a certain product or service in the minds of the target consumer through continuous efforts, both from a product as well as marketing perspective. Branding is all about creating unique and significant differences between a firm and its competitors, through Points of Parity and Points of Difference .

One of the best ways to create a strong brand with strong and favourable associations in the minds of consumers is through Strategic Brand Management, which is the design and implementation of marketing programs and activities to build, measure, and manage brand equity. A brief overview of the strategic brand management framework is shown below.

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Source: http://brand-strategies-guide.blogspot.in/2011/02/strategic-brand-management-process.html

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Closure

It is equally important for a firm to focus on its product benefits as well as its branding efforts. An innovative product, developed using cutting-edge technology, will be a market hit provided it is effectively tested and marketed. However, the life cycle of products is becoming shorter day by day, just as the pace of technological developments in increasing rapidly. A good illustration for this point is that of smartphones. Competing firms release new models faster, in order to capitalise on the emerging technologies. However, inadequate branding exercises can cause these firms to disappear into oblivion as newer technology and players enter the market. Companies like Apple have done a remarkable job of branding themselves and their products, such that they can leverage both, their technological expertise as well as their brand image.

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