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The Image That Represents a Company

Abstract

Have you ever traveled to a country where there are other sodas being sold other than Pepsi and Coca Cola?  Will you even consider drinking a brand that’s not known to you?  That’s what these giant beverage producers had gone through before they were able to establish a very good reputation for its brand.  Any business that’s serious to stay in operation for a very long time invests heavily on the quality of its products and services.  When the business gets known for its products’ quality, the business will earn a reputation from it, thus, a brand is known.  When a brand is known, the business will do everything just to keep the brand’s image appealing to the market through changing times.  Because of its brand, the business will always get customers.  They will eventually patent the idea of the product, so no other person could profit from it without their approval.  Maintaining the quality level of a brand is, indeed, tough.

The Image That Represents a Company

             In order for us to determine what brand management means, let’s take a look at an article about Starbucks.’  Starbucks’ is the leading franchise coffee provider in the world today.   Currently, it is trying to re-evaluate its brand’s appeal to the market.  Due to a lot of branches and franchises, the appeal of Starbucks to the public gets weaker every year, and people opt to choose another coffee brand that’s more exclusive.  The original ambience of Starbucks’ cafes is changing to something less intimate too.  It was said “Stores no longer have the soul of the past and reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store.”  (Quelch, J.)  On top of that, Starbucks’ is offering products out of the usual coffee line they used to sell.  This means that there are a lot of products being sold, and the baristas don’t have time anymore to mingle or chat with customers about their coffee experiences.  Now, the board members of Starbucks’ are thinking of shutting down 600 of its cafes to maintain its exclusivity.

            The name of Starbucks’ in itself, sells.   This is due to the fact that they’re not just selling any Italian coffee; they’re selling a coffee “experience.”  In Brand Management, a company has to maintain the integrity and appeal of its products to the market.  In the article, the author can’t help but state that Starbucks’ appeals to the coffee-loving public with discriminative tastes.  It should not be as common as McDonalds where one could pass by several Starbucks’ in one small area.  Now they’ve seen that the veteran clients of Starbucks’ are starting to go for rival coffee shops that are more “exclusive.”  This is exactly what brand management is about:  maintaining its clients and name by taking care of its image.  It is true that franchising is the best way to generate income for the business and is part of the marketing strategy.  But come to think of it, Starbucks’ is losing its clients because the name is losing its appeal as its becoming more common.  Starbucks’ figured that as part of their marketing strategy, instead of spreading out their branches like wildfire, they agreed to apply the concept of “less is more.”

            I had my own first-hand experience about brand management too.  I was able to help a group of people create a website for their advertising business.  They bought their own domain so that other businesses can post their ads for a fee.  As part of the marketing strategy, I suggested that in order to maintain the quality of the website’s services and so that customers will prefer to go to our website for advertising / campaigns, the website will showcase videos, animations and flashes as part of the service in order to attract a lot of clients.  There will be a standard quality of the websites showed in the domain.  We initially hired experienced web developers / designers in our team with an impeccable eye for art.  On top of that, there is an efficient search engine optimization program that will boost the ads posted on the website so that a lot of surfers can see the ads even on Google. Until today, for more than five years now, their website maintained its brand of service reputation and had been the choice advertising service company of most businesses.

            This article of Starbucks on brand management is very important to the subject of marketing management.  This article is a case study, too.  It provided one marketing strategy in order to save the name and reputation of Starbucks.’  Brand management is, indeed, a part of marketing management.  Isn’t it true that in order to effectively market a product, one has to know the profile of its target market?  Starbucks’ target market is not the same as Dunkin Donuts or McDonalds.  The profile of its customers had to be very clear and well-defined.  I certainly agree with Starbucks’ plan to make it more exclusive by restricting its franchises, but not closing its 600 cafes.  I would hate to see my favorite Starbucks’ café at the mall nearby closed.  Brand management is not just the sole solution for Starbucks’ case.  It is just one of them under marketing management.

References

Quelch, J.  July 9, 2008.  Starbuck’s Lesson for Premium Brands.  President and Fellows of

Harvard College.  October 12, 2008. [http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5973.html].

 

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