Farmers trading company is one of the most successful department store chains in New Zealand. In the recent years the company has experienced a reduced profit margin due to increased competition that has risen from online shopping. This is a threat to the company and the managing directors are worried on ways to improve its shopping experience, the companys image as well as its profitability. A great understanding of brands and how branding influences an organization is a great way to begin improving on a companys profitability. Farmers trading company can diversify its brand by considering its trademark portfolio; a brand portfolio that specifies the brand roles and the relationships that exist among the brands and different contexts in the market. Branding has emerged to be one of the top managements priorities in these recent years due to the growing realizations that brands are one of the most valuable tangible assets a firm can have.
Branding is crucial to ensure that clientele is continuous as well as sustainable growth is achieved. Owning a brand provides some element of attractiveness and esteems that are important for a success of any business keeping in mind that customers are always willing to pay more for stronger brands. For centuries, brands have been used as a means of differentiating between the goods of one firm from those from another. Branding in simple terms can be described as the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a specific product in the consumers minds so that they can be differentiated from other products. Brands are always a major issue in product strategy.
The purpose of this paper is to create a deeper consideration about how brand name affects consumers. Marketing strategies that have been termed successful consists of consumer, the identity and the brand; all linked together (Knowledge, 2002). Moreover it identifies if there is any connection between brand name and consumer decision making. Building a brand starts from the product itself to how market activities accompany the brand to finally customers use them. Brands are important to individual consumers for many reasons since they impact on the mindset of consumers. The research method involved a critical analysis reviews on secondary research upon the subject of relationship that co exists between brand name and consumers. The method provides a comprehensive understanding that consumer behavior and consumer decision making are correlated with brand equity and emotional branding. Primary research for instance the use of questionnaires enhance our understanding that brand name is the most important aspect identified with individual feelings when people want to purchase. Brands simplifies a consumers choice, they also have ability to promise a particular quality level that a consumer is looking forward to get as well as reducing risks (Keller, 2005).
Brands are criticized to have an extremely waste of resources in large scale in promotion and advertising. However consumers continue to purchase branded products since they feel that brand name provides them with product information and consumer safety and is not that they have been manipulated or misguided to do so. Brands as a source of information; when a consumer wants to purchase a product for instance automobiles he would no visit a market where products do not have brand names or manufacturer identity. Consumers ought to seek for any information relevant to the product before making any purchase. The final purchase decision will be ultimately more of an art than a science since there is more of quantitative information than qualitative based on the choice made. Brands as a consumer protection; in the past people based their purchase decision making from the people they closely relate by having faith that the products are of quality and are safe. That is to say that was the only means that affect products choice. On the contrary, as our economy became more specialized consumers also became detached from the producers. Consumers grew to value the potential that came along with quality consistency and savings. They no longer recognized the people who manufacture the products. Similarly, as individual consumers became more specialized in their new roles as producers, they made fewer of the products they consumed and relied majorly on other specialists so that their material needs could be met. The preference of consumers has changed from who manufactured the products to how the product performs and how they will meet their expectations. Branding creates the protection the consumers demanded by not purchasing a product before they are fully convinced on how they perform. The brand name provides the consumers with a signified level of quality and consistency that they can rely on and trust. Products whose consistency varies from unit to unit have brand names that are limited to number of consumers since consumers need to obtain confidence from a product.
Farmer trading company in New Zealand should incorporate branding as part of the companys corporate strategies. Great branding is used to overcome competition and make great profit margins. Some of branding strategies Farmer trading department store chain company should use include theory of brand loyalty, the branding theory and the value-based brand theory. These three elements frequently work together for the purpose of attaining great profit margins and building companies images. In brand management, brand theory is responsible to make clients aware of the products. For Farmers trading companys case it can be used to improve on the shopping experiences by their customers. Creating strong brands can be achieved through extensive advertising and promotions to create awareness in the markets of the products and services (Purdue University, 2005). A strong relationship between clients and the company can be created potential clients eventually creating an interest. Promotion and a better brand image puts a firm in a better position by making it dominant in the market even when the economy is undergoing crisis. If sales and profit margins increase or are steady across the year is a reflective action of the unique branding theory strategy.
Theory of brand loyalty is a second branding strategy. When a company has a strong brand name, it will definitely have clients loyalty. The image and the awareness have kept companies dominant in the market since their consumers will continue purchasing products and services from them.
The value-based brand theory is the third brand strategy. Farmers trading company need to use numerous techniques to create brand that is value-based. This places a company to get an opportunity to have an ease entry to a new market, build a strong brand name and create clients that were initially not your customers. For farmers traders to reduce competition from the online shopping they need to embrace new technology, offering quality products and affecting their operational strategies to be more reliable. The store managers should be offered with training facilities so that they can enhance their efficiency in executing duties and during times they need to make critical decisions for the company. Special services also need to be offered to attracting new clients to the company. Branding strategies are not limited to the three discussed above but companies are encouraged to be aware of the global trends and keep up with any changes that are likely to occur. Farmer Traders Company should identify a market niche; that is identify what online shopping is not doing and venture into it in an effective manner.
New Zealand is experiencing a significant change in the structure of its population, its population is ageing. The population is growing at a decreasing rate since deaths are likely to increase since the majority of the people are the old (Allan, 2013). This indicates that the business activities in the region are going to be adversely affected. As much Farmers trading company is aiming at increasing profitability margins, that target population is not present. Similarly, the labor force in the region would also have reduced. The young people are ones productive on farms since they are energetic, so if New Zealand population only consists of the ageing population then there is no much hope for productivity. There are forces for change in future labor markets for New Zealand. There is a wider perspective on long term demographic trends worldwide-New Zealand is not an exception, evolution of the workforce bring implications and if not dealt with effectively will lead a worldwide crisis (OECD, 2014). New Zealand should be able to consider instruments such as including international mobility as part of the solution in order to curb the challenges posed by ageing population.
The following are recommendations of how Farmers trading company can improve its marketing strategy for maintaining brands. Farmers trading company in New Zealand can maintain its brand by improving its marketing strategy through social media. This platform opens up opportunity for the company to be in the same level with online shopping since what online shopping basically does is online marketing. A few tips such as building branded communities-creating a site alternative where followers cannot get anywhere else. Creating pages to promote events of the company is also attractive.
Personal relationships within customer organization help to maintain the brand. Farmers trading company must ensure that the personal relationships are maintained across the 58 stores nationwide. The company needs not to forget that maintaining all the stores is important to reduce certainties that retail reach is an issue. Research shows that retailers obtain higher percent margins if the stores have a high brand share (Ailawadi, 2002). For farmers trading company to successfully maintain a brand that it has built for years they need to create a community sense. This is to say, consumers are given a sense of belonging, so that they feel free to express themselves as they are served or as they use the products. The company needs to ensure that the brand equity is extremely strong in all the stores. Brand equity is viewed as way of understanding how customers are emotionally associated with particular named products or services (MRA, 2005). Brand equity can further be developed in terms of marketing communication through promotional elements such as publicity, public relations among others.
Another way to improve marketing strategy is through increasing the value of the same product or service, adding more attractive features to a product can increase profitability. Selling out additional products to your customers attracts new clients as well as maintaining a brand. The concept of adding features to products and adding customers with products is basically to increase revenues without having to incur more expenses. The strategy should include both internal and external marketing so as to reach business prospects both inside and outside of the region. It should also be provide access to resources and expertise that it does not have by agreeing to collaborate with public and private organizations.
Introducing brands to an already existing business can be successfully be achieved through choosing the right rewards and incentives to consumers. For farmers trading company to introduce a brand in all its stores, a remarkably incentive scheme should be structured. The scheme has to get the attention of many. This can be a long term plan to increasing profitability margins. The incentive schemes can only be relevant an...
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