Brand Management Challenges in Changing Times
Last few decades have changed our world beyond recognition. There has been unprecedented progress in all spheres of life. Technology and scientific advancement has played major role affecting all parts of the economy, politics as well as markets. With globalization and opening of markets we see a sea of changing in the way business is conducted and organizations are structured. Global and open markets have changed the structure of consumer economy. The financial mechanisms that aid in trade and consumer buying too have impacted the consumers buying habits. Online trading and buying, online payments, mobile banking etc have empowered the customers to make their choices and buying decisions at their discretion.
Marketers job has always been very challenging, but the complexities that they face in the market today are different from the earlier times. With markets opening up the competition from Me Too brands have increased considerably. Brands face competition from local brands as well as foreign brands and generic products as well.
With brand logo and image being central to brand, the brand logo, color and image or design hold the key to the brand image as perceived and recalled by the consumers. Good brand management calls for strengthening and re-affirming this brand image association with the consumers at all times. Any slight change in the brand image be it the color, logo or image, the consumer loyalty gets affected resulting in change of buying decision by the consumer. As the consumer perceives an image and associates a pleasant or unpleasant experience with a particular brand, the consumer perception management is a very important part of brand management. With the changes in the technology and lifestyle, the expectations of the consumers with reference to the brand image too changes. Consumers are likely to expect trendy, stylish and modern brand images that go with the current trends rather than an outdated logo that is perceived to be old fashioned. While the brand logos and image have to be modified to suit the latest trends and reach out to the customer, the logos have to retain elements of the old brand components mainly of colors, image etc in modified but familiar pattern so that the consumers continue to recognize and recall the old brand familiarity and image.
Over the years with change in communication, publishing and electronic media, the advertising and promotion of brands too have had to change and keep up with the new trends. Traditional mass advertising of brands is no longer prevalent. The concept of personalized and customized advertising to the target customers is in. On one hand the consumer segment has become highly fragmented and warrants that the brand communication reach out to the consumers at an individual and customized manner. On the other hand, the consumer behavior and expectations too have changed. Consumers expect much more from the brand than ever before. Consumers today are very demanding in terms of their expectations of the product as well as of the brand reputation, image and value etc. The well informed customers of today, having access to electronic media like to ask for more information, compare with competition and arrive at their decision based on rationalization. The brand communication has to take into account the change in consumers buying process and position the brand image as well as the communication accordingly to the individual customers.
Social Media networks provide an interactive platform for the brand managers and consumers to interact with one another. The social media networks are participant driven and the consumers have access to a larger audience to discuss, share, question and voice their opinions. Thus this media provides an exciting as well as challenging platform for brand managers to position their brands, to engage the consumers to get to know the brand, to get the already consumers to influence the others positively and build loyal communities supporting the brand.
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Authorship/Referencing - About the Author(s)
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