Branding, Pricing, and Distribution Gary D. Tate Strayer University Marketing-500 Instructor: Brett Jordon 5/17/2012 Branding, pricing, and distribution are all integral parts of a strategic marketing plan. Each segment of the plan needs to be developed individually with the entire culmination of the plan in mind. In other words, each segment should be a link in the chain to a completed marketing strategy.
The ultimate goal is to reach a successful culmination of all three tiers that will have a successful impact in introducing the brand, pricing it correctly, and forming a distribution model that will maximize the competitive advantage to the company or service in question. This report will outline the steps in developing a local branding outline as well as an international branding strategy . The idea behind branding is to differentiate your product, value, quality or service from your competitors, and make it more readily identifiable to the end user.
There are at least four questions that need to be asked before implementing a branding strategy. The first of course is whether to brand the product vs, a no brand decision. The second decision would be to use a manufacturers brand vs. a private label strategy. The third question entails whether to go with a single brand vs. multiple brands. The final decision is to decide whether to brand in a local market or a global market or a combination of both. Branding in a global market is much more complicated than branding in a local market. When branding in a global market. Culture becomes a major consideration.
It is generally wise to chose countries that have similar or closely related cultures and, or language skills to expand your brand globally. International marketing is the last frontier of the marketing discipline. International marketing is yet to be fully explored but is being increasingly tested to reach an ever growing sea of future consumers. The Lanham Trade-Mark Act of 1947 defines a trademark as “any work, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof adopted and used by a manufacture or merchant to identify his goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others. Preoccupation with the marketing aspect of branding without giving due consideration to the legal aspect may easily defeat the main purpose of a trademark and protection of the owners valuable property. Onkpisit (2001). The legal rights to a registered trademark do not necessarily prevent others from illegally using it from counterfeiting in other countries. Branding in the host country (United States) is protected by law but this does not extend to foreign entities. A brand is an idea or image of a specific that customers can identify with.
It can be associated to the product or service by name, slogan, or image portrayed by the initiating company. Branding is when the idea or image is recognized by more and more people. Branding is especially important in e-business. People will naturally search for brands or names they can quickly associate with. The foundation of your brand is your logo. Branding is developed through your website, packaging, and all promotional materials. Your brand strategy consist of how, what, where,, when, and to whom you are to communicate your brand message to.
Branding is a continuous marketing strategy that may continue through numerous generations of existing and potential customers. The brand should add intrinsic value in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. The brand, slogan or logo should be placed on every aspect of your business. The brand is what helps to differentiate your product from all others. The significance of branding is important whether you are involved in a domestic market or a global campaign. One of the most difficult is to decide how much to charge for your product or service.
There is no single or right way to determine the correct price for your product. There are several considerations that may be considered when pricing your product or service. How do want to position your product or service. Do you want to be perceived as a discount outlet? If this is the case, you will want to keep your prices low. On the other hand, If you want to be perceived as a limited edition or luxury product or service, you will command a higher price structure. People really do equate price with quality. Other criteria for pricing would be to estimate what the demand will be for your product or service.
The price will normally affect the demand curve. The higher the price, the less the demand in most cases for the product or service. In order to get the best possible price, a marketer might do some test marketing in several similar markets using a different price for each. Generally, the best price will be the one that provides the maximum amount of profit to the company. Example: 100 widgets for $1. 00 get 78 sales. 100 widgets for $2. 00 get 49 sales. 100 widgets for $3. 00 get 14 sales. The middle price would constitute the biggest profit for the company.
The first example provides 78 dollars in revenue, the second 98, and the third 42. The $2. 00 price would be the most appropriate. Another consideration concerning pricing involves the costs associated with the manufacture and distribution of the product or service. All costs fixed or variable must be considered in pricing the product to maximize profit. The main consideration for any business is to maximize profit. Profit margins can vary drastically from industry to industry, but no matter the margin, a profit must be maintained to sustain the company. Environmental considerations must also be taken into account.
Certain regulations place constraints on the price the company can charge. Lowering your price to low might trigger price wars from your competitors. A company needs to examine what external factors might affect the price charged. The next step is to determine what pricing strategy should be used in implementing your price. Short-term profit maximization might be considered for optimal cash flow for a cash strapped company, but may be a hindrance to long term profits. Short-term revenue maximization may be the approach used to lowering costs through economies of scale.
This approach is frequently used when trying to lure investors. The company realizes little profit but builds market share. Maximizing quantity can be used in lowering long term cost or to maximize market penetration. A company may chose to maximize profit margin. This strategy is used when sales are lower than expected or sporadic in nature. Differentiation is another extreme that sets the company up as different from other competitors and generally commands a higher price. The perceived differentiation is one created by the marketer to command a psychological benefit to the customer.
No matter what pricing strategy you may chose, the price must seem fair to the consumer, or they will not buy. Strategic distribution channels lead to a competitive advantage from the configuration network. The company must determine what type of distribution channels will be used to supply the product or service to the end user. Two basic methods are basically used to channel goods or services to the customer, direct and the use of subsidiaries. If you will be dealing directly with the customer, a simplified warehousing and shipping department should suffice.
If you are using intermediaries to deliver the product or service, it is crucial to select partners who will be excellent stewards for delivering the product or service to the customer or end user in a timely manner. The distribution strategy should be defined on the number and types of customer interface. Much of the decisions will depend on the order entry points and how fulfillment to the customer is handled. Careful thought must be given to the cost factor when establishing a distribution network. Consumer products fall into two basic categories, remote access( web or catalog sales or local access( typically brick and mortar operations.
Remote access is generally made by phone, mail, e-mail, or from a website. Fulfillment of an order is generally shipped directly to the end user by Fed-Ex, UPS, or Postal carriers. Local access is still the most prevalent form of distribution. Sales from the web have been increasing and according to news reports have reached a staggering six percent of all sales. In many cases the distribution strategy has led to a cooperative mingling of both remote access and brick and mortar retail or wholesale outlets. This trend should continue to grow with the increased ease of shopping through advanced technical means.
Shopping by phone is becoming increasingly popular. The downside of this type of transaction lies in the security issues that abound. References Distribution Strategy retrieved May 19th from Faculty. msb. edu/homak/homahelpsite//WebHelp/Distribution_Strategy. htm Onkpisit (2012). , What is Branding? Retrieved from Entrepreneur Media, Inc. on may 20th, 2012 from www. entrepreneur. com Allen, Scott, Pricing Strategy How much should you Charge? Retrieved on May 21st, 2012 from http://entrepreneurs. about. com/od/salesmarketing/a/pricingstrategy. htm