Managing Brand Equity

Because consumer responses to marketing activity depend on what they know and remember about a brand, short-term marketing actions, by changing brand knowledge, necessarily increase or decrease the long-term success of future marketing actions.

Brand Reinforcement
Marketers can reinforce brand equity by consistently conveying the brand’s meaning in terms of 

  1. what products it represents, what core benefits it supplies, and what needs it satisfies; and
  2. how the brand makes products superior and which strong, favorable, and unique brand associations should exist in consumers’ minds.

Reinforcing brand equity requires that the brand always be moving forward—in the right direction and with new and compelling offerings and ways to market them. While there is little need to deviate from a successful position, many tactical changes may be necessary to maintain the strategic thrust and direction of the brand. When change is necessary, marketers should vigorously preserve and defend sources of brand equity.

Brand Revitalization
Any new development in the marketing environment can affect a brand’s fortunes. Nevertheless, a number of brands have managed to make impressive comebacks in recent years.

After some hard times in the automotive market, Cadillac, Fiat, and Volkswagen have all turned their brand fortunes around to varying degrees.

  1. The first step is to understand what the sources of brand equity were to begin with. Are positive associations losing their strength or uniqueness? Have negative associations become linked to the brand?
  2. Then decide whether to retain the same positioning or create a new one and, if so, which new one.

Sometimes the actual marketing program is the source of the problem because it fails to deliver on the brand promise. Then a “back to basics” strategy may make sense

Example: Brand Revitalization of Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, A Pepsi product, was launched in 1969 with the tagline “Yahoo Mountain Dew” that flourished in the market till 1990. 

After that the sales of mountain dew declined due to which it was re-positioned, its packaging was changed, and the tagline was changed to “Do the Dew”. It targeted the young males showing their audacity in performing the adventurous sports. This led the Mountain Dew to the fifth position in the beverage industry.

In other cases, the old positioning is just no longer viable and a reinvention strategy is necessary. There is obviously a continuum of revitalization strategies, with pure “back to basics” at one end, pure “reinvention” at the other, and many combinations in between.

The challenge is to change enough to attract some new customers, but not enough to alienate old customers.

Brand revitalization of almost any kind starts with the product.