Branding and Promotion in Business

 

Branding and Promotion allows a business to present itself in an identifiable way to the consumer that allows them to leave a slight lasting impression of their existence that should aide repeat purchase or identification of their qualities.

Types of Business Promotion

  • Advertising – The most common way of increasing brand coverage is through advertising, because of the potential reach and scale of platforms advertising is available on it is very easy to meet the metric a business desires, this also has become more easy to segment further by having online advertising to deliver ads on a uniquely measurable and quantifiable scale, whereas before the amount of impressions and effectiveness of the adverts was not individually classifiable in the real world, using online advertising changes the game as advertisers are able to segment the market down to the age, location and interest.
  • Promotions – Offering promotions allow a business to make itself more noticeable to the consumer as they will see the promotion as a deal, and then associate the product and brand. Promotion may also increase brand awareness by sponsoring a stadium or event, that allows them to receive some of the publicity that the stadium has with it.
  • Direct Marketing – Marketing to the customer directly through more orthodox methods, such as telemarketing or shopping channels, typically requires a lot of sales cost and sometimes isn’t always effective expenditure, whereas advertising or promotion is more effective at reaching consumers as they are able to form their own opinions, rather than have one forced upon them.

Benefits of Strong Branding

Having a strong brand enables a business to sell to their consumers consistently as consumers will actively recognize and seek out their brand. A strong brand is identifiable, recognizable, aspirational and flexible.

Having a strong brand should enable a business to sell its added value effectively to customers, provide the brand with the ability to charge for the brand at a premium rate and have a reduced price elasticity of demand; enabling them to sell to customers even though there are competitors.

Branding and Promotion Word Cloud

Building a Strong Brand

Building a strong brand can be hard to get right.

  • Having a Unique Selling Point allows the customer to differentiate their brand from the others, having something other than a generic product allows the business to market on that principal and build their brand on its effectiveness to the consumer.
  • Using Advertising should increase coverage of their brand and make it recognizable to potential customers.
  • Sponsorship enables businesses to build a positive relationship with their customers, sponsoring a racing event, for example, presents a positive relationship for customers who watch the race, and need one of the sponsor’s products.
  • Social Media and Online presence allow a business to be seen from the internet.
    • Viral Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing allow a business to sell its products, often without the need for expensive advertising budgets. However, this tactic can often be hit and miss.
    • Emotional Marketing can be used to target the emotions of a customer, by playing on the nostalgic or romantic side of individuals for example.
  • Seasonal Marketing can be used to reach customers during festivities and events.

 

The Design Mix

The Design Mix consists of three components, often arranged in a triangle,

  • Aesthetics – How the product looks.
  • Function – How the product performs its task.
  • Economic Manufacture (Cost to Produce) – How much it costs to produce the product.

Examples of paradigms the Design Mix,

Aesthetics

Maintaining a good product image that will appeal to customers is only one small portion of aesthetics, one must also consider consistency and differentiation. A product may be very aesthetic but may have shortfalls when it is used or may have a much lower profit margin than other products of lesser quality. A product like a smartphone that is top of the line may look and feel better than its competitors, however if it has a small processor that cannot perform tasks to the same standard as other phones on the market, it may be left behind when other competition sacrifices some of their aesthetics for performance, such as a camera bump or metal case for use as an antenna for better reception. Typically when a product is made, Aesthetics are one of the first considerations, whilst also factoring in cost.

Function

An Ink-jet printer is much less functional than a modern day laser printer, however for most people, all they require is at most a few family photos, therefore a cheap, and a possibly unreliable printer would be more preferable than an expensive laser printer.

Additionally, most people would much prefer a non-consumable product over one that requires a refill or maintenance if the products are functionally similar, with the exceptions being things like coffee machines, where it is much quicker to have it made from a capsule.

Therefore the functionality of a product and its associated cost must also be considered.

Economic Manufacture

A company that wishes to sell its products must do so at a profit, selling highly functional products with aesthetic appeal may move a lot of orders, but if the business does not cover its break-even cost it may struggle to expand.

Design Mix Triangle

A Design Mix Triangle can be used to show the struggles between the relationship of each corner, a product may be functional and aesthetic, but not economical to manufacture.

Changes in Response to Social Change

  • Concern over limited global resources
  • Reducing Waste
  • Reusing Materials
  • Recycling
  • Reducing Consumables
  • Ethical Sourcing and Management
  • Fair Trade

 

Factors Influencing Supply

A Demand and Supply Graph

Demand and Supply Graph

Factors Influencing Supply

This article serves to supplement the article Influences for Supply and Demand, that I wrote a while ago. For a more general overview of supply and demand, I suggest visiting there first.

Supply has many factors that influence a market, such as;-

  • The availability of raw materials.
  • The time it takes to process a set, batch or quantity of stock, like aged wine or hard sweets.
  • Disruptions to the distribution chain of competitors, such that their prices or other aspects change.
  • Natural Disasters utility supply issues or storage issues.
  • Advertising could increase consumer interest or make the product more noticeable to customers or potential customers and cause a shortage due to unforeseen interest or popularity.
  • Branding or PR could be used more prominently or advertised to cause similar consequence.
  • New Machinery or Technology could make the production of items much less time consuming or much cheaper such as new methods of batch processing.
  • A monopoly may artificially limit the availability or raise the price or perform anti-competitively.
  • Automation could speed up production and therefore increase availability.
  • Government Subsidy or Tariffs could increase or decrease supply in a domestic market.
    • A subsidy devised to increase sales in a companies domestic market could raise consumer interest.
    • A company may be forced to maintain a domestic market orientation as shipping externally may not be competitive due to tariffs.

The overall effectiveness of a product is readily available to be supplied by manufacturers depends on consumer interest, the availability of raw materials and the lead time it takes to produce a product.

Agricultural products may be much harder to maintain during droughts or other natural disasters as they take the time to grow naturally and no amount of investment can speed up the process much more than what people are willing to pay for.

Preventing Misuse of Data Between Tenants and Landlords

tenants and landlordsAll companies must abide by the data protection act, and as such have strict rules to follow to ensure that they do not leak sensitive client or otherwise information which could be deemed insecure or negligent.

For my example, we will use a property lettings company to illustrate where policy may be implemented.

External Policy Implications (Data Protection Act)

A company that lets, sells and rents houses will have many types of information that they will keep in their database, for example;

Their landlord customers data

  • Personal Details (Name, Bank details).
  • Address of the property they live at.
  • Address of the property they are selling or letting.
  • Contact details of for maintenance contractors.
  • Letting Agreement.
  • Tenancy Agreement and permissions.

Their lettings customers data

  • Customer details (Name, Bank details).
  • Address of the property.
  • Conditions of their contract.
  • How long they have lived at the property.

These are just two sets of multiple tables a letting company may keep about agreements between tenants and landlords. The data protection should first prevent the following;

  • Information about the landlord being given to the tenant without the landlord’s permission, if the landlord has requested that, for example, their address is not shared with tenants.
  • Tenants accessing the database to view other tenant information.
  • The public accessing the database.
  • The public being able to change the database.
  • The data is not kept for longer than needed.
  • The data is not backed up.
  • Proper access control restricts access to the information.
  • Data is not shared with other parties. (see Internal Policy Implications for exceptions)
  • The data is obtained lawfully. Stealing or asking for information about a customer’s data should not be tolerated without their consent.

These are just a few examples of the principles of the data protection act that prevent the data being used unlawfully.

In addition it should also not be the responsibility of the landlord to hold information that relates to the property lettings company, This falls under keeping data secure as it could be argued that data that is not held by the company but is crucial to the agreement is the responsibility of the letting company, as if there was to be a dispute between the tenant and the landlord, it would be hard to retain the information if the landlord has the only copy.

Additionally, data that is old or outdated should be deleted or updated, if a lettings company was to retain information of past customers, if they were to face a breach, they could worsen the damage if the data leaked was harmful to a past customer.

Internal Policy Implications

In addition to the data protection act preventing the direct breach of client data, the computer misuse act should prevent the unauthorised access to systems that are publicly available as it is necessary that the property lettings company take the necessary precautions to ensure that the data is kept secure from anyone except those are permitted to see it through some form of access control.

Landlords are however allowed to pass the names of clients on to third parties so long as it is to ensure that proper billing addresses and such are directed to the client accordingly.

It is not appropriate to provide a landlord with a tenant’s references without first contacting the tenant that they (the lettings company) wish to do so.

Landlords cannot disclose to the public tenants who are in arrears as this is information about individuals, this can only be provided to tenants or anyone who is responsible legally for the tenant.

In general, landlords should make clear to tenants when they sign the tenancy when and how their information will be given out. Information about a tenant should be considered very personal and in cases where the data is needed to be disclosed in an emergency, it should be given out only with proper consideration for the law.