The brand development process, branding for a national and international marketplace


The brand development process, branding for a national and international marketplace: literature review

Yasmeen Khan; Student I.D# 06410522

Programme Title: MSc Marketing Communications

Tutor: Ruth Ashford

Due Date: 17th May 2010



Factors to Consider In Brand Development Process—————————————–3

Building Brand Equity———————————————————————————–4

Variables that Affect Successful Branding Process——————————————-7

Branding and Brand Categorisation Theory—————————————————–8

A Conceptual Framework for Product Branding————————————————9

Figure 1 Conceptual Framework————————————————–11




This literature review is an attempt to bring a deeper understanding of the brand development process with respect to the international and national marketplace and create a strong basis for business organisations to adopt a systematic process when carrying out branding process for international and national marketplace. Thus, the literature review critically digs into the works of other researchers in order to set a basis for the study. This is achieved by exploring the various works and research studies done by scholars and available in journals, scholarly databases, manuscripts, articles and books among other sources of information.

Branding as a business practice has a long history though the most widely identified period of modern branding process is the period that covered the early 20th century. During this period, branding process was basically a means of establishing product labels and names. Although this ideology still forms part of the modern branding, modern branding process is affected by many other factors than the traditional marketplace. In the traditional marketplace and especially during the early days of branding process development, brands were used as means of conveying how strong the manufacturer was and the stability or prestige of the producer.

Factors to Consider in Brand Development Process

Deresky (2007) identifies the importance of building successful brand equity for the multinational business organization by stating that brand equity is a vital and salient constituent of the global marketplace with respect to the trends in the global marketing context where brand equity is vital in giving the multi-national corporation a competitive advantage and help in achieving customer loyalty.

Manning (2002) identifies culture as one of the factors that greatly determine the success of the brand development process. To strengthen this, Manning evaluates the impact of culture on the success of Starbucks in the Saudi Arabian market. Although Starbucks is a renowned multi-national coffee house and major trader in the coffee industry on the global market, its entry into the Saudi Arabian market presented sufficient cultural challenges that forced it to change its long-held logo.

Product branding is closely related to the contemporary marketing theory which leans toward promoting quantitative sales. However, Day (2005) identifies a lapse in the link between the two variables by pointing out that there is a branding crisis which the marketing theory has failed to provide sufficient perspectives of guidance and interpretation. For this reason, Day (2005) goes ahead to argue that it is this gap that leads to a marketer-oriented focus in the brand development process thus making the branding crisis even worse. Even though there is also focus on the impact of the branding on the immediate consumer, branding, whether for international or national marketplace should also focus on the free-willed behaviour of the ultimate customer. In addition, branding for international and national marketplace must also put into consideration the impact that has cumulatively resulted from marketing efforts by other firms on the context of global society or even national societal context.

Building Brand Equity

Brand equity is considered by a majority of researchers as the key concept in brand managements and is representative of the overall value of a brand. From a theoretical dimension researchers have for years sought to determine what constitutes brand equity (Fetscherin & Toncar 2009). Managers gave on the other hand taken interests in brand equity as an avenue to improving their marketing processes so as to improve their positioning in the market (Taylor 2005). However, despite varied research and multiple perspectives a common definition of brand equity is still elusive. The dominant views of brand equity emphasizes that it is a set of customer based brand related associations held by customers. Under this dimension, brand equity is made of attitudes, beliefs and other subjective experiences associated with a brand. Additional consumer constructs such as purchase intentions and brand loyalty are increasingly being included in the conceptualization of brand equity (Laidler-Kylander & Simonin 2009; Rego, Billett & Morgan 2009). Many researchers are keen on determining the effect that brand loyalty and purchase intentions have on purchase behaviours (Rubinson & Pfeiffer 2005). This implies that brand equity is more than just a network of brand related associations for it transcends consumer attitudes and purchase behaviours (Villarejo-Ramos & Sánchez-Franco 2005). This complexity is central to the varied strategies that have been adopted by researchers in determining what constitutes an effective approach to branding and brand development.

Brand development activities are internal strategic efforts that have to be carried out with keen considerations on the strategic positioning of a firm and its products. The availability of resources and expertise that can be channelled to branding activities may also affect the extent of the brand development strategies adopted by a firm (Lin & Wang 2008). This implies that the internal positioning of a firm plays an important role in determining the efficiency of the brand development strategies. This is further supported by findings positing that good branding strategies can potentially result in gain of competitive advantage and enhance employee experiences (Ind & Bjerke 2007).

This points to the effect that branding activities have on the internal capabilities of an organization. Having the ability to design internal systems such as customer relationship management systems may also affect brand equity development within firms. Poor customer relationship management strategies develop a bad brand image for an organization and its products (Wiedmann 2005). Such organization wide strategies can easily be managed by small organizations that on the other hand may lack the technical capability and financial backing to develop effective customer relationship management systems. Furthermore, different divisional cultures within an organization which is a common phenomenon within multinational companies may adversely affect the implementation of branding strategies (Henseler, Wilson, and Götz & Hautvast 2007). A strong uniform culture provides a uniform platform for a firm to develop internal strategies whereas a divided corporate culture is associated with multiple threats that complicate the implementation of strategies.

A large number of international companies start their operations as local companies and diversify to other nations. Moreover, the operational model adopted by most international companies support both centralized and decentralized decision making (Taylor, Becerra, Stuart & Case 2009; Madhavaram, Badrinarayanan & McDonald 2005). International businesses that have a global brand name for instance Nike depend largely on consumption experiences in improving memorability of a brand name or logo. In general, developing quality products and ensuring that this quality is felt by consumers may affect the development of brand attitudes (Holt 2007). Moreover, companies have different approaches to quality management which may affect their brand development efforts.

The experience that a businesses has had in operating in a given market segments may provide it an edge over new entrants. Though many international firms may have some difficulties in determining market trends in new niches, their experience in operating in varied products segments and in different market conditions may give them an edge over local businesses (Roehm & Brady 2007). Furthermore, the experience or brand knowledge that an organization has may present it an edge over others. Established brand names generally have advantage over others due to the high loyalty they enjoy and a deeper understanding of what variables customers value in their brand. This knowledge is accumulated through years of operating within the same product and market segments (Maheswaran & Yi 2006). This implies that international companies like Coca Cola have established a deeper understanding of their brand development initiatives than local bottling companies due to their experiences. It is therefore not surprising that such established companies are associated with strong brand names and high loyalty.

Variables that Affect Successful Branding Process

The strategies adopted by a business in branding are dependent on their capabilities, knowledge of branding and brand development, positioning in the market and structure of their operations. Branding activities are financially intensive which implies that businesses have to strengthen their internal systems if they are to make the most out of their available resources. The structure and cohesion within a business may also affect its ability to carry out branding activities (Reynolds & Phillips 2005). Despite the multiple dimensions and even models that have been developed to analyze branding activities, few researchers have sought to determine if there are any differences in branding between local and international firms (Chiang, Lin & Wang 2008; Wright, Millman & Martin 2007). Though a review of the requirements in branding reveals a likelihood of the existence of such differences, there are no clear direct steps on the part of researchers to determine the exact differences and the implications they have on branding. This is an issue that ought to be awarded preference considering the importance of branding in the modern business environment and the intense direct competition between local and international businesses in both local and national markets.

Branding and Brand Categorisation Theory

Companies have come up with various strategies to ensure that their brands stand out in the market. One such strategy identified by Reast (2005) is brand extension or brand stretching where companies that wish to build greater trust in their new products use already established brands that have higher levels of customer trust and loyalty. Grime et al (2002) add that high quality brands stretch improve the average quality of a company’s brands and if this is intermarried with successful intervening extensions, the impact will be an improved consumer evaluation of the brand. Kerin et al (1996) on the other hand give an elaborate evaluation of how proper brand categorisation is helpful for a business that wishes to introduce a new produce line, class or form into the international. The authors (ibid.) continue to state that a good product brand categorisation strategy is that which identifies the needs of the consumers on the international marketplace and by attempting to solve the consumer needs, motivates product search by the targeted consumers. In this manner, the authors argue, consumers are able to uniquely identify the original brand of the products with the class that has been introduced (Kerin et al 1996). Chernatony (2001) attempts to connect the ideas highlighted by Kerin and associates (ibid.) with brand evaluation process but points out that a firm must imperatively consider the brand stretching objectives and try as much as possible to align them with the brand vision. Through such a systematic process in brand development, the business will not only have a basis for monitoring brand performance but will also be able achieve high brand essence in the market; whether national or international. By way of admonition, Chertony (2006) advices that businesses should be careful and must keep themselves abreast with the negative effects of brand extension. For instance, if a brand extension exercise leads to dilution of already established brand name this could be detrimental to the business. Nevertheless, some scholars have felt that strong brand names like coca cola are not greatly affected by the brand extension failure. Despite this, many scholars agree that research has evidently given sufficient evidence to show that brand dilution affects brands of all forms.

A Conceptual Framework for Product Branding

The research study done by Zevedo (2004) provides a good foundation that a business can use to achieve image transference from branding of product to the place branding. Even though Zevedo provides analysis based on the Marinha Grande Glass region and its brand transference in promoting tourism through place branding, this concept can provide a conceptual framework which can help other business organizations that wish to transfer place brand to product brand and vice versa.

On the same issue, Day (2005) argues that destination branding in businesses that deal in tourism-based business is a vital instrument of marketing and constitutes cornerstone constituent of its success in international business. This, Day (2005) argues forms a basic part of the reason why most countries have national tourism promotion boards that carry out the tourism branding. Though Day (2005) set out to analyse the US National Tourism Brand by exploring the branding process with intentional bias on the branding process by nations in bid to promote their tourism products, the study provides a concrete constituent of the conceptual framework by strengthening the need of organisations to realise the complex nature of international marketing especially with respect to tourism as a product. In addition, the study provides a strong basis to underpin the role which every stakeholder must play in the international marketing strategy to guarantee effectiveness in the ultimate branding developed. The study reveals that throughout the branding process, stakeholders who are not market-driven must effectively liaise with market-driven stakeholders to guarantee success of the branding process for international marketplace.

The conceptual model clearly shows that seeking brand equity which is the main goal in brand development and branding activities helps firms gain value through enhancing internal capabilities and customer experiences. The conceptual model further emphasizes the importance of brand loyalty, brand awareness, perceived quality, brand associations and proprietary brand assets that emanates from developing strong brand equity. Evidently, brand equity can be looked at as a composite made up of the five brand assets variables. Organizational ability to comprehensively address each of the brand asset variables in its brand development and branding initiatives therefore plays a role in determining the gains that they will make. However, the business model adopted by a firm may affect the specific strategies that are adopted by a company. International companies are generally defined by complex matrix structures whereas local organizations have simple structures depending on their business model (Carlson, Meloy & Russo 2006). These differences may affect the requirements in brand developments and the specific strategies that are adopted by firms in branding.

Conceptual Framework

Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1: Integrative Brand Model

Source: (Kaynak, Gultekin & Tatoglu 2010)

One of the major aims of having a systematic branding process is to garner a firm brand loyalty. Therefore, the organisation must attempt to understand the underlying perceived brand quality and use this as a basis for creating the necessary brand awareness. Throughout that process, the business organisation must endeavour to determine the costs involved and establish any existing brand associations that may help to increase value in the brand development process.

When it comes to the connection between destination branding and general branding process for consumer goods and services, brand strategy development process is more than just creating a brand that attracts target consumers in the international market. It requires careful assessment of the target destination image especially if this is tourism-based brand development process. In addition, the process must also include creation of a brand positioning plan that matches the destination image identified and bolsters the intentions of the destination brand identity. And these processes must generally be confined to the objectives of the communication strategy that was initially designed by the organization to meet brand objectives. The destination branding process is not a stand alone process but it is basically designed to strengthen and increase the brand equity of the product of the organization or country (Margarita 2003). Since the activities of branding for international marketplace are undertaken in the specific context of the particular target market, they should be developed with main purpose of delivering the intended benefits to the destination market. This is in light with the increased contemporary public awareness on the social responsibility of businesses at all levels including international and national levels. Thus when a business is coming up with a brand for international marketplace, it must include this factor as part of the commercial offering.

Many research studies have directed their focus on branding activities and destination marketing which directly relate to targeting the international marketplace (e.g. SSP 2006; Deresky 2007; Nusair & Kandampully 2008). In bid to assess the brand process development and evaluate the effects of product line extension as a feature in the branding process, Grime et al (2002) highlight that consumer perceptions have a considerable effect on core brand evaluations and brand extensions. The authors further provide their assessment of the effect of consumer perceptions of fit on the success of the branding process and argue that there are a number of factors that affect the relationship between what the consumers perceive to be fit and their evaluations of extensions and branding process development.


In conclusion, throughout this chapter, endeavours have been made to place the study in the context of other similar works carried out earlier. On that end, it has been identified that an entity that wishes to carry out a branding process or a brand development strategy for the international and national marketplace must be aware of all the factors that might affect the success of the branding and brand process development. The first factor identified is culture of the target market. Another factor is the context of the destination marketplace. Whether it is a branding and brand development intended for the national or international marketplace, it is important that the branding entity considers everything in the context of the target market. This includes perceptions and evaluations of target consumers. Other factors include the cumulative impacts of branding and marketing efforts by other firms and organisations, and stakeholder involvement in the brand development process.

The literature review has also provided brand extension as an alternative course of brand development and branding process. In this case, a business that has had previous strong brands may opt to use brand extension as a way of gaining sales by using the image of the previous strong brand or brands. Brand extension is a part of brand categorisation theory which attempts to explain why it is important for firms not to come up with many brands that confuse the consumers. According to the brand categorisation theory, consumers will tend to identify with brands that are already developed in the market whenever there is a confusing outburst of brands in the market. However, the organisation must be careful and consider the possible effects of brand extension failure especially if it is a small brand that has not developed sufficient market loyalty.


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