International marketing strategy includes detailing showcasing system over a scope of nations. Various distinctive methodologies have been taken in examining worldwide promoting method, including the exchange cost viewpoint, institutionalization / adjustment, arrangement/coordination point of view, worldwide incorporation point of view, and the transformative viewpoint. Commonly, every spotlights on diverse choices or parts of worldwide promoting method and relates in numerous regards to contrasts in the experience of the firm in global markets. Contingent upon the level of involvement in universal markets, the firm must manage issues identified with starting operations in worldwide markets, refining and creating worldwide showcasing method, or merging/incorporating worldwide procedure. In this dissertation, the proponent intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the international marketing strategies being used by various fashion brands in UK.
In this study, the researchers used survey questionnaire focusing on the respondents profile such as age, sex, educational attainment, and employment status. The chosen respondents accomplished documentation by answering all the questions posted in the questionnaire. The researchers followed the step by step gathering procedure in conducting the study. First, the title was formulated and then approved by their adviser. Second, the researchers asked the approval of the professor for the research to be conducted. Questionnaires were then distributed which was immediately followed by the collection of data. The data were tallied, analyzed, and interpreted using the appropriate statistical treatments. Through these methods, the researcher was able to see that the international marketing strategies being made by the observed fashion brands were performing effectively.
To investigate the group of writing identified with international marketing procedures and practices
To investigate British Fashion brands regarding international marketing methods viability
To conduct a near study with respect to the benefit of diverse international marketing methodologies
To conduct an interior and outer industry examination of British Fashion brands and its vicinity in today’s globalized economy
To make suggestions for British Fashion brands through compelling internationalization exercises in today’s very focused environment
How Effective Are Branding Approaches For Electoral Campaigning?
A review of branding approaches in the context of Obama’s electoral campaigns of 2008 and 2012
Change – as soon as the word flashes across television screens or on placards, the average American thinks of President Barrack Obama (Keller 2009). Getting people to attribute the value of change to Obama’s persona has been a deliberative and purposeful branding strategy, and this paper looks at how ‘Brand Obama’ has been established.
Brand Obama signifies transformational change that transcends racial boundaries, where Brand Obama itself is a symbol of the rise of an oppressed minority to the rank of a leader. Barrack Obama made history by becoming the first African-American President of the USA, and challenged the status quo through his candidature. This challenge to the status quo, and the change that he promised was translated by him and his team into a single, focused underlying motto that has shaped Brand Obama’s persona. Even though Barrack Obama had everything that a candidate on merit would have, the spread of his credibility and vision was something that would be vital in Obama winning the elections. This spread of a leaders’ promise could be accomplished only through purposeful and strategic marketing.
This paper is founded on the notion that branding strategies were an important element in the success of Brand Obama and that they bore down heavily on election results (McDonald and Chermetony 2006). The topic of this paper has been chosen so that the impact of branding in the political arena can be better understood to provide a wider base of knowledge in applications of branding theories.
A sound branding campaign can create affinity between the brand and the consumers and can become a part of the consumer lifestyle much the same way as a family member. In a similar manner, President Obama has been marketed as a premium up-market brand and his campaign appears to be engaging in political branding. A surprising fact however that is the components of Obama’s campaign and presentation were quite similar to Hillary Clinton (Adolphsen, 2009).
Barrack Obama’s campaign was instrumental in changing the way election campaigns are run. His campaign benefitted from the fact that he is the first African-American to fight for presidential status in the country. That is the reason why there was a revolutionary tinge to the campaign designed to benefit from this facet. The campaign focused on the youth segment of the American population through the use of ICT (Information Communication Technologies) and social media sites. In this respect the campaign was effective in targeting the idealistic sentiments of the youth, and urged the new voters to participate in a process that promised them change (Keller, et al. 2011; Takaragawa & Carty 2012). However there have been concerns that the branding campaign was a lot of rhetoric aimed only at helping Obama win the elections of 2008, but the efficacy of these short term strategies in making a long term impact is yet uncertain.
According to Takaragawa & Carty (2012) “Throughout the election cycle Obama talked about changing politics in Washington, ushering in a new era, and how his experience as a community organizer provided him with unique skills to listen to and work with the grassroots. This resonated deeply with those disillusioned with politics as usual, especially with young voters. Yet, these changes have not manifested themselves. This begs the question, was the goal of the Obama team to merely get him elected without pursuing a progressive agenda as promised?” (Takaragawa & Carty, 2012).
President Obama’s campaign was a hallmark for short-term branding success because it had the mix of appeal and practical elements that convinced the youth and people looking for a transformation in the status quo. The message that the campaign held was that America had finally made it so far that it was ready to have a President from a previously oppressed race and that people who voted for him would finally be part of this change and progress. The campaign had a message for the rightly targeted audience which worked very well as a brand-building strategy (Bearden & Etzel 1982; Keller, et al. 2011)
This paper addresses the topic of using branding in election campaigns, particularly the 2008 campaign of President Obama due to the fact that Obama’s campaign were different from any of those in the history of American politics. The initial campaign functioned as a social movement, inspired people and encouraged voter turnout. According to many experts the secret of his success lay in the integrated and sound marketing strategies that the Obama camp employed (Cornelissen 2001; Ewing 2009). That was the reason why Obama was successful in the 2008 elections, and this paper seeks to examine how branding was part of the reason for his successful elections.
The 2012 elections scenario; however, was markedly different, while the 2008 campaign promised change, the performance of Obama in the four years after was not as many had expected it to be. According to USA Today reporter Susan Page, (Page, 2011) Brand Obama was established on Hope and change in 2008, but 2012 dynamics were different as the economic indicators – most important for the American public, were not up to their standard.
There has been a lot of interest shown in the academic world with regards to this aspect of branding given that political figures are always in the limelight; however, this paper is different with regards to the answers it aims to achieve. This paper, unlike others already available, seeks to establish the link between branding activities and success of those activities in retrospect, providing readers with anecdotal as well as statistical evidence based on an analysis of the material and content already available.
The main research problem that is being addressed here is as follows: ‘How have branding theories been useful in making the campaigns of president Obama successful in 2008 and in 2012?’ This research problem is quite broad and attempting to answer it holistically requires that the problem be broken down into its component objectives which are mentioned in the section below.
Analyse and evaluate branding theories and frameworks suitable for political campaigning.
Select a model that is ideal fit for political campaigning and compare that with ground realities of the policies implemented in the presidential campaign of Obama.
What has been the role of branding and implementation of branding theories in making Obama win the elections in comparison to his rivals
How did his campaign team respond to the changed contexts in 2012?
The research objectives have provided a structured process of answering the research problem and each objective serves a unique purpose. The first objective aims to analyse existing branding theories in order to evaluate which seems to be most suitable for election campaigns. Some of the theories in branding that have been considered here include ‘customer value proposition’, ‘value-based marketing’, and ‘integrated marketing communications’ (Finne & Gronroos 2009; Hartley & Pickton 1999).
The second objective is to identify one particular strategy from among those discussed as answers to the first objective. This strategy is a mix of several strategies discussed and the selection has been based on observation of the marketing campaign of Obama, and how the marketing team built the brand of Obama for the American public.
The third objective is to identify how these strategies were effective, and whether or not they had any role to play in the success of Obama’s campaign.
This paper therefore is analytical in nature and considers the Obama campaign in retrospect as it is easier to link actions to results and evaluate them in detail in order to find consistencies that enable a better understanding of the causal relationships, if they exist, between the actions taken and the results achieved.
This research is aimed at a retrospective analysis of the election campaigns of President Obama in a bid to understand the key success factors of the campaign. Therefore, the main crux of the research has been focused on secondary research in which available literature and information has been analysed and evaluated in order to better understand how the campaign worked. However, there are two different aspects of the research and secondary research has been used to address both these elements.
The first aspect is the review of material based on the marketing and branding theoretical models, which includes detailed discussions on all the contemporary marketing and branding theories. Journal articles from peer reviewed and established sources have been used here for topics related to branding in mass consumer markets. B2B market articles are not relevant here as the election campaign was intended to appeal to masses, in a similar manner to that of mass-consumers’ products and services.
The second aspect studied published work that is available on the presidential campaigns and analysed the published material on rivals as well as Obama. Election campaigns in America receive world-wide coverage from authentic as well an unauthentic sources, which means that while there is a lot of information available regarding it, not all of it can be relied upon in a research such as this. For this reason authentic and creditable sources have been used, in a bid to have original and verifiable information that has validated the conclusions drawn from this paper.
As a part of the literature review: journals, articles, opinion pieces from periodicals have been reviewed which have particular reference to papers addressing topics such as branding political campaigns. The key topics that were given special consideration were top of mind recall, brand-building, social movement and marketing, and a positive brand image. In order to analyse the information collected, content analysis has been carried out of the relevant material available so that justifiable conclusions can be drawn.
This literature review focuses on publications that cover all the aspects of the topic that the paper aims to cover. Starting from branding, which is a marketing concept referring to the psychological and physical advantages associated with a product or service, to how branding has been used in politics, the review aims to cover what experts have said about the issue.
As a concept, branding refers to the psychological representation of a product or service (Scammell 2007). Branding therefore involves not only the product that offers core features but also refers to the emotional and psychological advantages that ownership offers. Politicians have long used the concept of branding in their campaigns, and lately so, in Obama’s campaigns of 2008 and 2012, it could be seen that branding in politics has really become a necessity – a must for success.
Woods (2004) cites a model of branding which states that at the outset, a brand has boundaries which are the functional and economic advantages that a consumer derives from or perceives in a brand. This is the tangible benefit that the product confers. This is followed by an inner boundary, which can also be called the brand differentiator or the emotional elements of the product that the consumers associate with it. This emotional association can be of three different types. The first is the psychological differentiator which includes everything that appeals to the consumers’ cognition and subconscious. Another type of differentiator is a social one, in which consumers relate some social advantages. These could be associations of social status in owning a brand, for example owning a particular brand of a car might be associated by a society as a success symbol, and it is this symbolism that works as a social benefit for the consumer.
Branding as a projection of the products’ perceived benefits and values resides in the minds of the consumers, and marketers can change this projection by attributing value to the brand that the consumers prefer. Keeping the fact that the image can be enhanced or distorted, marketers strive to send out messages that enhance the image of the brand in the direction that they would like. This is what makes branding an ideal tool for political campaigning.
The aim of political campaigns is to garner votes by convincing people of the suitability of a candidate to be a leader for the country for the next four years. By using branding, as part of political campaigning effectively a leader such as Tony Blair and Bill Clinton got into office, but this was not long-lasting as both the leaders became unpopular due to their actions in office. Bill Clinton and his Scandalous affair alongside his inability to take a strong stand on political and economic matters made him loose credibility. The same was the case with Tony Blair, leading to the conclusion that branding and marketing is effective in helping candidates win elections, the same way in which advertising and marketing are able to convince people to buy the brand at least once. However, unlike branding in products and service where these don’t impact lives in a long term and profound manner, political campaigning enables political leaders to win the elections and obtain the office. Once in office, the next term is dictated mainly by the past performance of the candidate (Rutledge, 2013).
Moreover, political campaigning in the United States has been used more frequently and as compared to any other country in the world. Millions of dollars are spent by candidates vying for congressional slots, while a president’s campaign can run into hundreds of millions of dollars, to be specific President Bush’s campaign was worth $600 million only in terms of television advertising in 2004 (Kaid & Holtz-Bacha 2006).
Given this rising awareness of what branding and purposeful marketing can achieve, election campaigns are increasingly becoming innovative in their approaches. A book on the people’s choice was published as early as 1948 and focused on the two-step communication flow, and the techniques behind conveying information to voters. The book was a classic, and works on political campaigning in subsequent years used the book as a guide in order to develop the theory of branding and marketing political campaigns in the same way that marketers execute product marketing campaigns (Lazarsfeld 1948).
Lazarfield stated that the power of the two step model was not in the mass media, but that it lay in an individual interaction of candidates with opinion leaders. Opinion leaders are individuals who have influence in their groups and communities, which meant that convincing opinion leaders would lead to a spill-over effect, where once opinion leaders are convinced; they would be able to convince others in their groups of their ideas as well. The advent of social media in recent years has made developing connections with individuals easier, and as people are able to share information speedily in communities, conveying marketing messages too has become easier.
Elements of Successful Branding
Branding theory has several models, all of which have defined certain elements that make a branding exercise successful. Some models will be discussed here in order to evaluate the presence of these elements in Obama’s campaigns, and how this presence resulted in success for the first African-American president of the USA.
Needham (Needham 2005) uses a framework which defines six main elements of success in branding which include simplicity, uniqueness, reassurance, aspirational, value-based, and credibility (Duckworth 1991). This implies that the branding exercise should not be complex so as not to confuse the consumer, should be brief and focused. The campaign should also be such that brands and brand personas cannot be copied, and at the same time is should reassurance consumers and evoke aspirational values that not only adhere to personal benefits, but also adhere to the value systems of the consumers. Credibility, the last element implies that a brand’s promises are to be trusted and that the company and the brand will not let the consumers’ expectations down. (Needham 2005)
Value-based marketing suggests that brands should be socially responsible and should espouse values that can create goodwill in the minds of the consumers. (Doyle 2000) Peter Doyle, in his book about value-based marketing presents a framework through which the mind, heart and the spirit of consumers can be touched so that the brand remains firmly entrenched as a part of their lives. Marketing 3.0 as it has been labelled by a renowned marketing expert, Philip Kotler has been presented in a matrix framework below.
Marketing 3.0 Matrix Framework (Philip Kotler)
According to the principles of value based marketing, the mind, heart, and spirit of consumers interact with three aspects of a company, which are mission, vision and value. The mission answers why the company exists, the vision answers what the company aims to achieve, while the value answer how the company aims to achieve its goals.
Kotler’s strategy can be helpful in analysing Obama’s strategy where the success purely in marketing terms can be measured by how Obama’s campaign was able to touch the mind, heart and spirit of the voters (Kotler, et al. 2010).
Integrated Marketing Communications
Integrated marketing communications (IMC) is a model framework that has been in existence for a few decades, and is now considered a must in branding campaigns. This model holds that all types of marketing communications should have a consistent message that would help build a vivid and distinctive image of the brand in the consumers’ minds.
Companies’ that use this model effectively know that using brand colours and emblems are only one part of the IMC philosophy. IMC entails that the consistent message that is sent across should establish a clear image of the brand among consumers so that they are able to associate a single, lasting and distinctive attribute to it. Consistency of marketing messages is vital in brand-building as it reinforces the values that the brand stands for, and at the same time enables the consumers to recognize it immediately from competing products.
Engaging the Voter
Obama’s campaign was not only emotive, it was also practical. According to Chris Gallery, brands not only need to evoke emotion they also need to get people into action. And Obama’s campaign did precisely this. It channelled people’s feelings into actions by providing voters with the tools to help out in the campaign. Obama’s own team was marketing the brand Obama, but using portals such as myobama.com, and other blogging sites, voters sitting in the comfort of their own homes were also encouraged to spread the word about their favourite candidate against a payment for their services. (Gallery 2009)
According to Denise Shiffman, in her article in Advertising age: Political commentators believe Barack Obama is more popular with web surfers because his followers are younger, and young people are more likely to use blogs, social networks and other new media. That may be true, but it’s far from the only reason he’s faring well. Obama’s campaign is immersed in his audience’s experience (Shiffman 2008).
The excerpt suggests that while Obama might be considered to be popular because of tech savvy youngsters who use social media, it has to be noted that Obama’s campaign has been a success because he has allowed these youngsters and other voters to take part in the campaign personally. General election campaigns talk about the suitability of the candidate, and do not make an effort to engage voters in dialogue. However, Brand Obama broke these perceptions, and was able to interact with voters, and was able to convince them to be a part of his team of brand ambassadors, spreading the message of change alongside the rest of his team (Shiffman 2008).
Use of Social Media in Branding Political Campaigns
Barrack Obama’s campaign is a case in point as an effective use of innovative marketing tools such as social media. Even though the readers of today would not think in wonder about the impact of social media on communities, having been witness to evolutions such as the Arab Spring in 2011, use of social media in the 2008 elections was awe-inspiring and risky. The reason for this is the fact that in 2008 smartphones were not widely used, and social media was in its infancy. Twitter had just started operations, and personal interactions of brands and companies, nevertheless leaders was unheard of. Obama’s team realized the potential of social media, and became a pioneer in using social media extensively for branding and relationship building purposes.
Obama’s opponent in the 2008 elections was Mr McCain, who did not consider the use of social media at all, and this led Obama to be able to target opinion leaders who used social media more effectively and without any contention from opposite quarters. It has to be noted here that Obama truly understood the power of Social Media as a tool to brand himself, and as a tool to reach out to people in an individual manner. Moreover, through extensive use and monitoring of the media, the campaign was able to get real time feedback which was useful for understanding the psychology of voters (Rutledge 2013), which is akin to what author Lazarsfeld noted. He said that communication with voters is effective only when it comes from a trusted source, word-of-mouth messages from a reliable source can be trusted more, and this is the factor that Obama and his team understood well (Lazarsfeld 1948).
Obama’s team considered social media’s power to yield impact as vital, and their spending on this media reflected the importance that they placed on it. While in 2012, Obama’s social media campaign was $47 million, Mitt Romney spent only $4.7 million (Rutledge 2013).The team was able to mine data and use it to arrange voters according to how easy it would be to persuade them. Obama’s team invested heavily in collecting online data, and used it also to predict donor behaviour as well as to determine what factors influenced people’s decisions in going out to vote (Rutledge 2013).
Obama understood that the real drivers of an effective social media campaign are based on the psychology of social behaviours and are not based on knowledge about current technology, and Obama and his team understood this aspect really well. Therefore, the easier and the more interesting it was to spread content from one campaign, the more popular that campaign would be. Considering that in 2012, Obama’s messages and content had twice as many likes as compared to Romney and Obama’s tweets were twenty times more likely to be re-tweeted. This meant that Obama’s messages were motivational, inspirational and appealed to users in a way that they wanted to share these with their friends, family and colleagues (Rutledge 2013).
Appearances and Success in Election Campaigns
A study shows that when there is a match between the personality traits of the candidate, based solely on his or her appearance, and between the party’s mottos and traits, there is a higher likelihood of success. (Hoegg & Lewis 2011) In fact according to the paper, results show that the competence and intelligence of candidates is decided through the match between the candidate’s looks and the party’s stance. The paper concluded that Democrats gain when they look or appear intelligent, while Republicans gain success when they look competent. The subliminal messages that appearances have on voter trust is indicative of the fact that consumers do get influenced by marketing activities and branding initiatives.
Moreover, when looking at how negative advertising impacts the trustworthiness of a candidate, it has been observed that candidates who look like they are a good fit with the party agenda are less susceptible to damage from it. (Hoegg & Lewis 2011)
Secondary literature analysis has yielded several interesting results. The results were analysed separately in terms of the different election campaigns in 2008 and 2012. This distinction between the two years is necessary as there were differences in the social, economic as well as political contexts in the two years. While during the 2008 campaign all the campaign team needed to do was to attract voters with the appeal of a Black President and a promise of change, voters in the 2012 campaign had lived the dream of this promise.
Adam Curtis in the ‘Century of the Self’ links Freudian psychoanalysis to political campaigning, indicating that politics today is more about people’s desires and wants rather than about rational political thought.
Edward Bernays the pioneer of the field of PR was Freud’s nephew, and he was the first one to manipulate the masses in terms of their unconscious needs. He linked the needs of the masses to their desires and made them want things that were irrational, and in some ways defeated logical thought. This concept has been used repeatedly in US election campaigns to manoeuvre the masses into thinking that they desire a certain candidate for certain aspects, which might not make sense rationally (Happiness Machines, 2002).
The branding aspect of the electoral campaigns of Obama, just as the ones of his contemporaries as well as those before him are based on Freud’s psychoanalysis theories in which candidates try to appeal to the masses by making the individuals in the masses feel that each and every one of them is cared about. But the appeal of the subconscious can wear off when the promise is not delivered upon consistently, and four years of a leader’s term are enough to judge a candidate by.
While Obama’s polling show that he fell out of favour from majority vote, the polls show that his re-election was helped not only through branding techniques and clever use of psychoanalysis in which people were guided to be aspired by Obama and his wife’s highly credible and sound academic backgrounds. Moreover, the campaigners made Obama and his wife ideals of success by making them sound aspirational through narrations of their personal success despite belonging to a racially oppressed class (Happiness Machines, 2002).
Therefore the framework that has been chosen here to analyse the campaigns are different based on the distinction between the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. The 2008 campaign is analysed using the model by Needham that has the elements of simplicity, uniqueness, reassurance, aspirational, value-based, and credibility (Duckworth 1991). This model is being used here, because it encompasses all the necessary elements of successful branding and at the same time can be used to apply various schools of thought in the field and this will make the analysis more comprehensive. (Takaragawa & Carty 2012)
Obama’s 2008 Campaign
Obama’s 2008 campaign was lauded the world over for the intensity of emotions that they created, for the inspiration they provided, and for the change that they promised. According to (Gallery 2009) Obama’s campaign was emotive, and inspiring, and that is what appealed to voters who were tired of the status quo in 2008. Moreover, Obama’s campaign allowed for voter engagement, and also allowed voters to use their own versions of promoting him.
Brand Obama, was a well strategized and a far-reaching brand that has attracted voters to a new candidate with nothing but the promise of a changes and brighter future in 2008. When Obama promised change in his campaign, which was the single, underlying message of all his communications, he demonstrated it by having an election campaign that had never been there before (Gallery 2009). When voters were encouraged to spread their own versions of the messages of Obama, brand Obama took a risk, and by adhering to the single message of ‘change’ that was conveyed, changed how presidential candidates and individuals interacted (Gallery 2009).
The 2008 campaign, the message that Obama sent out was “change we can believe in”, which was the party slogan. The simplicity of the statement and the inspiration that it provided to Americans, who were correctly identified as being tired of the status quo, was one of the major drivers of the campaign. Moreover, the slogan was also followed by a chant of ‘yes we can’ which brought around everyone in the crowd to participate.
The slogan and the chant were both giving the population of America a sense of being part of an ideal society, which had reached the milestone of equality for all ethnicities. The chant was a wise branding strategy by the campaign managers, and the simple slogan and chant, which were understood easily by voters made the impact on everyone’s mind-sets very substantial. (Hartley & Pickton 1999)
According to a piece which analysed Obama’s campaign only in terms of the branding, PR and marketing activities experts have suggested that Brand Obama was one of the most well executed political campaigns of its times in 2008. Marketing expert, Allen Adamson, states that while the strategy to market Brand Obama was simple, the execution was relentless, and in this execution, Obama was helped by the army of people siding with him (Sullivan 2009).
Expert Scott Shamberg, the vice president at a renowned marketing agency claims that Obama understood the marketing process and the psychology of his consumers very well, and this is the reason why he was able to use marketing channels in an effective manner to convert people into Brand Obama voters (Sullivan 2009).
Branding is concerned with creating a positive image of the product or service in the minds of the consumer, and this is what the simple slogan and the chant brought about. Under the slogan and by chanting together with millions of other voters, each individual felt that he or she was contributing to changing the society for the better (Takaragawa & Carty 2012).The element of simplicity was present in the communications, where there was no better representative of change in the society than the 44th president of the country being from a historically oppressed race.
In terms of uniqueness Obama’s campaign was distinctive as it also allowed the people to participate in a way that they deemed fit. Consider the case of the Hope poster that was designed by Shepard Fairey. This was a stencil sketch of Obama, and was distributed independently by people favouring Obama. Later on, it was recognized by the campaign managers, endorsed, and distributed widely, becoming one of the well-recognized symbols of the campaign. (Needham 2005)
Uniqueness therefore emanated from the fact that the branding strategy of Obama was not planned strictly, but was in such a way that it allowed for flexibility and modifications that could help the campaign along. The additional advantage was that voters could feel engaged in the brand, and would feel that they were also contributors to the success.
The Obama brand reassured its voters of the change that they would bring by talking about policies that were consistent with his slogan. Some of the policies included Obama’s take on the illegal population, which he thought should be given an opportunity to get citizenship. In addition to that, there was an immigration rally in 2006 in which Obama walked as a part of it, and claimed that he had not run away from any issue. This was a factor that made him a credible candidate, as his claims were widely marketed as part of building integrity and trust among voters (Cornelissen 2001).
Many marketers in an effort to define branding state that brands are a promise, consumers come to know a brand because of the trust they place in it to be able to deliver the values that are associated with it. In a similar manner, the Obama’s campaign also offered the promise of delivering on ‘change’ and reassured people by pointing towards his last performance as a senator in the 2008 campaign (Shiffman 2008).
Aspirational slogans have been the hallmark of both of Obama’s campaigns, and these have been touted to be the key in bringing voters out of their homes to poll. George Bush’s Presidential years brought a low to public sentiments where he was considered to be an elitist president, favouring those near to him, and being very confrontational, as well high on war rhetoric. The world-wide goodwill and reputation of the USA also went down in that period. Obama saw this as a gap and pursued this as an opportunity to take advantage of the general public sentiment at the time (Doyle 2000).
However, according to a political science paper, it was noted that people who are more likley to vote are those who are not impacted by negative advertising, and even though a bulk of advertising by both camps was negative, persistent or engaged voters were not offended by the dirty politics being played out on media (Hunt, 2012).
George Bush was seen as a traditional, conservative president, who was alienated from the idealistic youth that form part of any society. This too was a gap that was unnoticed by everyone but the Obama camp, which then concentrated a lot of its efforts on the youth. Obama talked about change, and the youth, who tend to be less cynical of promises and political talk as compared to adults, were driven by this motto. The youth was swayed by the promises of a highly-educated African American young man who inspired them with his talk on the inevitable utopia that society would become under his leadership.
Obama’s 2008 campaign was value-based. The values that the campaign was propagating were that the youth were capable and that with hard work, sound education and merit there was nothing that could stop them from being successful. Obama was the shining example of this doctrine of equality and meritocracy that America’s foundation was based on (Kotler, et al. 2010).
According to Philip Kotler’s marketing 3.0 theories, branding and marketing has to touch three elements in a consumer. The first element is the mind, where the appeal of the brand should be rational and logical so that there is no disputing the benefit that the brand will provide to the consumer. The next aspect is the heart, where the emotions of the consumers have to be touched in order for them to be able to relate to the consumers on a more profound level. The third element is the spirit of the consumer, which has to be satisfied with the brand. By the spirit it means that the consumption of the brand, the consumer should not be causing any harm to the society. Companies do this by aligning themselves to an initiative that is beneficial to the community as well as the consumers, or is one which tries to minimize the harmful impact its products might have on the environment, for example green initiatives (Takaragawa & Carty 2012).
It has to be noted in case of election campaigns that the individual in question is there to improve the conditions of the society. By appealing to segmented groups and by addressing their group concerns in a targeted and focused manner, Obama appealed to the heart as well as the spirit of the people. Such targeting can only come about as a result of through study of the data obtained and a sound data mining program that the campaign of Obama had.
The campaign was made credible as it was perfectly aligned with the kind of personality Obama depicted. As was mentioned in the literature review that the appearance of the leader has to be a match to the values he portrays, Obama was a perfect match for the slogan of ‘change we can believe in’ as he himself was the story of success in America (Gallery 2009).
Obama was born to a Muslim father, which made him a subject of much debate. This however was cleverly played to Obama’s advantage through the use of psychoanalysis to sway the masses. This fact was presented to the public to show that Obama was a candidate despite all odds.
Obama Campaign in 2012
The 2012 campaign, on the other hand had forward as a slogan, which simply stated that the progress towards change was going forward. The slogan added an element of continuity to the last campaign, and promised that the change that had been carried out so far would be going on further ahead. The idea was easily communicable to the masses and was self-explanatory which made its impact even stronger (Bearden & Etzel 1982).
However, he was unable to deliver as effectively as promised, which was a let-down for the public. According to a news report citing what to expect in 2012 elections, a journalist noted that (Page, 2011): “Obama’s initial presidential job-approval rating in January 2009 was 64%, the highest of any new president in more than a quarter-century. In the daily Gallup survey, his approval rating was a middling 46% just before the bin Laden raid, then rose to 52% within a few days.” (Page, 2011)
This goes to show that while branding enabled Obama to get the office in 2008, a lot was relying on his actions as a leader in the 2012 elections, as people saw a weaker leader in him than was expected. In some ways then, a strong initial election campaign in 2008 was a double-edged sword. While Obama was able to win the 2008 election comfortably based on the high and mighty claims, once, when Obama failed to live up to the larger-than-life expectations of change, 2012 proved to be a difficult year as he had failed to live up to voters’ ideals. Therefore even if his performance was mediocre, high expectations subdued these acheivements.
The 2012 campaign of Obama was decidedly different. According to a news report nearly 80 per cent of the advertising messages sent out by the Obama camp were negative, while 84 per cent of his opponents’ were negative (Hunt, 2012). The two campaign differed in their approach and while the 2008 campaign relied more on promises, the 2012 campaign was based on mitigating the effects of Obama not fulfilling expectations attached to him in 2008. The results are proof of this lack of trust in Obama, which branding was able to marginally address. Moreover, eexperts have felt that Obama seems to have lost control of his brand positioning, and that Obama has to come back on track with policies that should be centred on his message of change (Sullivan 2009).
There were some positive aspects in the 2012 campaign for instance when Obama tried to bring in the factor of uniqueness by announcing that he was in support of same sex marriage. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) society of the USA had been a major contributor to Obama’s campaign, and after the announcement, the LGBT community become the largest contributor to the campaign. This was a purposeful strategy through which Obama identified a target segment which was in his favour, and could be easily converted into campaign money and votes (Hartley & Pickton 1999).
Another factor that rendered the 2012 campaign unique was the team’s approach towards building Obama’s brand. The campaign headquarters was Chicago, Obama’s hometown, rather than Washington DC. This fact lent to the uniqueness of the campaign as they were able to communicate with voter groups in a targeted manner. If Obama’s campaign would have been based in Washington, the uniqueness would have been played down as voters would have perceived him as a politician behind the elitist bars. However, by operating from Chicago, Obama was perceived as being someone who was accessible to the masses, and as someone who was not elitist, but someone who knew his roots and held secure to his values.
Additionally, in 2012, the expenditure on social media by Barrack Obama was very high at $47 million; his competitors’ was much smaller at $4.7 million (Finne & Gronroos 2009).Therefore, Obama recognized the importance of the youth as social media users, and the importance of social media as an effective tool to communicate and change the opinions of the masses in his favour. In turn the social media wave was focused on aspiring the youth towards change, and towards voting for a president that was promising them an ideal society with values that would help America redeem its reputation in the world (West 2014.)
The paper is based on a secondary research of the campaigns of Obama in 2008 and 2012. What this study aimed to do was to find out the root causes of the branding aspect of the election campaigns and how they lent to the success of Obama in both.
The changing dynamics of the world owe their progress to technology which has made information processing and sharing easy, cheap and convenient. Facts, figures, knowledge and opinions can be shared with worldwide audiences at the click of a button or a tap of the finger. Mobile cameras make it easy to capture images, and internet connectivity costs nothing to share. As more and more information is available publicly it becomes difficult for political leaders to remain in the shadows, forcing transparency to take the lead. (Hoegg & Lewis 2011)
Obama’s 2008 campaign was relatively better in comparison to his candidate solely because the campaign managers knew how the social media worked, and more importantly how the minds of the people on social media worked. Even though in 2008 twitter and Facebook were new, and there was no iPhone, Obama’s campaign was clairvoyant in recognizing the dynamics of voters and the importance that would be placed on social media.
That is the reason why Obama’s campaign spread like wildfire on the internet, which was further abetted by the fact that Obama’s managers knew that once the information was shared and once it spread, it would be difficult to control it. And acting out of a clear sense of purpose, the campaign managers realized that rather than controlling information, they had to guide the information sharing process in such a way that it would lead to success. That is the reason why, when people made additions to the campaign contributing, for example, as Shepard Fairey did by distributing the sketches, the campaign managers officially endorsed it and made Shepard and all other followers an active part of their campaign. In this way, it was not only the official employees who were campaigning; it was also the individuals who took a liking to Obama to be part of the campaign. This helped in not only churning out votes, but also helped in in terms of contributions made online (Finne & Gronroos 2009).
However, as compared to the 2008 campaign where all there was to Obama’s campaign was promise of a better future 2012 was about his accountability in being able to deliver on his promises. Given the fact that the economy was still bleak and the unemployment rate was at 9 per cent along with there being no real progress on his rhetoric on healthcare, the 2012 votes were more than those of his competitor, but less in comparison to 2008. According to a Washington Post report: “President Obama carried fewer states in 2012 than he did four years ago. He won a second term by dominating the nation’s large urban areas — although mostly by smaller margins compared to his 2008 vote totals” (The Washington Post, 2012).
The research problem that this paper set out to address was: ‘How have branding theories been useful in making the campaigns of president Obama successful in 2008 and in 2012?’
The answer to this problem is that the knowledge of consumer dynamics is more important as compared to the knowledge of technology in making branding strategies a success, and Obama’s campaign struck the right cord when it identified the groups, their needs, and how they could be reached. The voter lists to be contacted were arranged in terms of their likelihood of voting in favour of Obama, and this implies that trends among various groups were studied, and the each group’s psychodynamics were evaluated in order to bring the ideal lists into conception. These lists were then used as the basis of further campaigning and communications with target groups in accordance to their aspirations and desires.
The research problem was further divided into research objectives in order to comprehensively address the problem. The first objective of the paper was to analyse various branding theories that exist, and the models that were analysed include staid frameworks that have been tried and tested. Some of the theories discussed in the paper are integrated marketing communications, value-based marketing and the elements of branding success. A psychoanalysis theory that was suggested by Adam Curtis’s Century of the self has also been proposed here (Happiness Machines, 2002). In accordance with the second objective, a model was selected to analyse the branding campaign, and this was the framework that was used by Needham in his paper.
While integrated marketing communications and value based marketing have their advantages, an all-encompassing framework was needed in order to evaluate Obama’s campaign thoroughly. Integrated marketing communication figures into the framework under the category of uniqueness and reassurance, where integrated marketing communications focus on developing a consistent image.
Value-based marketing comes under the brand being aspirational and value-based; therefore the framework selected by Needham was considered sufficient for Obama’s election campaign evaluation in 2008, while in 2012 the election campaign was better analysed in context of the psychoanalysis theory as well as in light of realities as compared to perceptions.
The next objective was to evaluate how these branding strategies were useful in making Obama’s campaign a success. As it was discovered in the final section of discussion, the election campaigns used all six elements of the model and termed the campaign of Obama as resounding success in all elements of reaching out to voters. The role of branding was very important in creating Brand Obama in 2008, in comparison to rivals -in fact the campaign of Obama was so successful that it enabled the name of Obama to be recognized the entire world over as a household name. (Bearden & Etzel 1982) In 2012, however, the story was different as the context differed
The final objective asked about how his campaign team respond to the changed contexts in 2012. Obama’s branding strategy was similar, only it attacked the opponents claims more, and was more on the defensive side, as his actions were accounted for and asked about. The economy, which the 2008 campaign promised to change was more or less the same, and while Obama persisted by saying that his actions would have long term impact, the lower margin of win in 2012 as compared to 2008 clearly indicates that he lost votes and that branding was successful only to a limited degree (The Washington Post, 2012).
Obama’s election campaign can be considered as a model also for services and product branding as the campaign worked from scratch to bring in a previously unknown brand into public cognition. Obama’s brand image was built in a purposeful manner with target audience psychosis considered and segmented in a manner that was strategic as it was well-thought.
Multinational brands can also learn from Obama’s example and target their market in a segmented way which makes the communication effective and impactful. However, as compared to product branding, political branding is best when coupled with affirmative action following the promises and rhetoric in order to build a lasting brand.
To conclude, it can be said that branding can be an important element for political leaders not only in the USA, but all across the globe in order to gain a following, and while it can be used to create leaders, sustaining them is a matter of real actions and measurable economic results- at least as far as the Americans and their obsession with the economy goes. The paper can therefore be looked at in terms of a starting point, from which more empirical and scholastic studies can surface, and which would probably be more profound if public opinion through primary research methods filtered out. (Cornelissen 2001) Primary research is an element that can be added to this paper in order to enhance the conclusions and to provide a more profound perspective on the topic.
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Global Branding and Integrated Marketing Communication
Integrated Marketing Communication is a process which involves co-ordination of communication elements in marketing and communication aimed at assisting an organisation to have a consistent and clear communication of its brand. This process improves an image of a co-corporate to its customers and stakeholders.
Integrated Marketing Communication is used in a firm after proper analysis of customer needs and after a review of the market situation Schultz and Kitchen (2000). Customer views and other markets which are a target are relevant to the customers Kotler (2006).
In every organisation, theirs need for marketing and corporate communication which helps an organisation to interact with appropriate markets with an aim of communicating ideas and knowing various perceptions of brands, services and products.
Marketing concept has developed from logic focused transactions and products to development of long term relationships and improvement of resources in order to maintain customer satisfaction on value. This development is aimed at listening, informing and response to customers. Value added services need to positively evolve to provide consistency and clarity Kotler (2006).
In marketing roles, service sectors have systems where communication represents the central element of marketing activities which is a key element in all company functions Ouwersloot and Duncan (2008).
There are models outlined which help increase customer value based on customer, cost, convenience and communication. This models focus on what the customer needs rather than what an organisation can make. This involves understanding customer cost and the most convenient place to buy.
Global Branding and Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction can be defined as an inconsistency between a customer’s awareness and perceptions. Customers in the market, research items before they purchase them. This product assessment enables the customer to make a purchase choice. Most customers end up choosing well-known brands which reduce any purchase risks Smith (1999).Using such models of communication is most preferred rather than using persuasion Kotler (2006).
The goal of Integrated Marketing Communication is to build brands which are preferred by customers and well known to increase chances of purchase which increase brand equity. Integrated Marketing Communication has benefits which provides brand differentiation and improves accountability in a firm which makes customers gain trust with the organisation.
Business environment has changed over the years due to improvement of technology and knowledge transfer Caywood (2012). Due to globalization of trade many firms have responded by using Integrated Marketing Communication to be able to access the market. Globalization has led to a variety of problems such as competition for resources where more customers have immense power in decision making.
Firms have improved their operations in expanding market share which lead to sustainable marketing performance for their customers through shared value. Due to globalization, firms apply marketing strategy which creates profitability with corporate social responsibility. Integrated Marketing Communication involves brand equity and market sensing orientation which brings forth a competitive edge to a product Belch (2009).
For a business to be successful marketing performance is key Belch (2009). Having access to search, experience and credence is a sign of customer loyalty which leads to higher levels of information behavior. This leads to greater integrated strategies which influence marketing outcomes.
Customer value has the ability to respond to need and solve customer problems rather than transfer benefits to customers. Values created by consumers can pay high prices for products based on social issues. This value is usually inferred from customer satisfaction. Consumers may buy a brand from a firm due to additional value on utility which is established by a brand equity strategy Chitty (2012). Due to globalization customers are demanding and willing to pay higher prices for brands which are of quality Caywood (2012).
Importance of Global Branding
For perfect market outcomes there is need for brand identity, which involves brand vision, culture, positioning, personality, relationship and presentation. Brand vision is an idea made to check how a brand will work in a certain environment and how it will make changes in the future of firms and for the consumers.
Brand culture involves assessing visible artifacts, employees and managers values who are involved in the brand making activities. Brand positioning creates positions for a corporate name and takes into account the competitors position. This argument was based on the idea that consumers need brands with a consistent message Ferrell (2011, p.53).
Brand personality is positioned to help stakeholders groups who can appreciate what the brand can do for their firms. Brand relationship means how customers and business associate themselves with the brand. This promotes customer loyalty and helps management know how and why the brand is been used. Brand presentation is a way of coming up with different ways to present the brand which takes into consideration opinions of all involved stakeholders.
Brand equity is the added value on products and services. This is reflected in the way customers feel, think and respond to the brand. It also looks at the pricing, market share and the profitability for the firm. Brand equity is used to look at the financial and strategic aspect of it Kotler (2007, p.240).
For products to survive, the market must have proper advertising and marketing activities. Brand awareness is built on product quality. Proper quality of a brand leads to higher returns. Building brand awareness builds a strong brand image Kotler (2006).
Price is an important element in marketing strategy because it provides outgoing costs and creates profit. Customers look at price as the value attached to the product been sold by a firm. Customers expect price to reflect the quality level of the product. Price premiums reflect the brand ability to command a higher price than its competitors. A product with strong brand loyalty is able to push its upper limits which enable a price premium to be achieved Erickson and Johnson (1985).
When final products are made the place for marketing is a major factor, this helps in knowing how effectively it can be distributed to the consumer. Distribution channels need to be in line with the brand expression which involves analyzing customer needs, establishing channel objectives, identifying major channel alternatives and evaluating major channel alternatives Percy (1997).
Promotion of brands is a channel of information and persuasion used in order to sell goods and services in promoting ideas. Promotion also involves advertising through sales promotions and tailored messages that encourage a target audience to respond to the product. It also may involve public relations which maintain good quality relationships with other firms.
The concept of Integrated Marketing Communication which involves promotional activities of communication in the marketing sector seeks to have all of a company’s marketing strategies which promote a consistent and clear image in the market place.
There is need for Integrated Marketing Communication since there are conflicting messages from different places or promotional approaches which may confuse a firm or even the image of a brand. Also the Web cannot be able to be used only to build brands and brand awareness is limited Percy (1997).
Integrated Marketing Communication has enhanced business outcomes from a number of inter-related factors. Customer attitudes towards loyalty have improved patterns arising from clear and consistent experience of brand value. Improvements on customer attitudes and behaviors have had a positive effect on profitability Caywood (2012).
There has been a more effective use of communication media choices where business processes have had an effective flow adding to higher added value. There has been an increase in learning of brand organisation Schultz and Kitchen (2000). Work rate and cohesion and creativity has improved while eliminating stress levels among workers in a firm which has resulted in more cost effective use of agencies and business associates which later produce better results.
Integrated Marketing Communication has led to saving of money as it avoids duplication of graphic which are used in advertisement of sales Percy (1997). Agencies use one channel for all communication and this reduces costs in the firm
It has consequences on firms which are found in marketing communication, performance and stakeholders. Most results achieved show how well Integrated Marketing Communication has worked effectively with regards to public relations, sales promotion, and advertisement and direct marketing Schultz and Kitchen (2000).
Integrated Marketing Communication has a relationship with marketing communication because different functions within the organisation are implemented during marketing campaigns. It has led to saving of costs relating to many facilities within a firm. This enables increased knowledge of brand preference and purchase intention among customers.
With the use of Integrated Marketing Communication it has positively improved operation efficiency and reduced battles within an organisation. Brand performance has also improved due to proper brand reputation, brand knowledge, improved attitudes and customer loyalty Tuckwell (2011).
There are however barriers to Integrated Marketing Communication due to communication with a wide range of organisations. They include rigid organisational structures, time scale conflicts and poor management skills. Some managers protect both their budgets and power base. Lack of experience in the firm about all the marketing communication disciplines is a major barrier to improvement in a firm.
An organisation can be able to implement Integrated Marketing Communication if it takes certain considerations. The size of an organisation maybe one of them .Larger organisation may find it difficult to implement Integrated Marketing Communication unlike smaller organisations who may have less complex brands.
Type of organisation maybe another factor to consider. Service oriented companies are better placed for integration than product based firms. Service firms have a direct link to the customer .Large service manufacturing firms can be able to integrate Integrated Marketing Communication than smaller firms.
The levels of competition and institutional environment have a major role to play in Integrated Marketing Communication implementation. A hostile environment with aggressive competition and technological innovations may lead to positive outcomes in the organisation Schultz (1994)
Competition pushes a firm to increase awareness and brand quality which results in better brand messages. Technology has made firms to push forward in brand awareness which creates a need for integration Waller (2012).
The relationship between Integrated Marketing Communication and the financial outcomes is very elaborate since it has improved on how price ranges are managed. It promotes the markets in terms of finance by making a variety of products in the market firms. Such products include products, ETFs equities and derivatives.
Integrated Marketing Communication helps in market firms where it provides regulatory and technological improvements since it deals with equity and derivative market products. It has an order entry control which prevents entry of erroneous orders which affect the financial market negatively. This requirement prevents anomalous traders in the market and builds customer faith in such products which turns into better profits Ferell (2011).
Market Integrity Rules have guidelines which are very clear and consistent based on cancellation of erroneous policies and systems. Integrated Marketing Communication supports such rules so as to make sure that products in the market are efficient.
Where there are complex financial products markets are supposed to cancel them after a mutual consent has been made Belch (2009). Integrated Marketing Communication focuses on technical resources which are in the markets. This process ensures executions of financial products are at their best.
Price is the value attached to a financial product which is a major factor when it comes to Integrated Marketing Communication. When a participant trades, there are not aware that some traders are at fault. It helps the market operator in controlling anomalous orders and prices which disrupt the market Percy (1997).
Market operator control improves the market integrity which helps participants to have a view of what constitutes best practice controls. Integrated Marketing Communication helps in controlling cancellations which is very beneficial in derivatives markets in reducing risk where market operator’s controls may fail for one reason or another Caywood (2012). With such public action of thresholds it allows participants to develop trading strategies.
Derivatives markets are controlled from Integrated Marketing Communication to ensure efficiency and transparency. This gives participants an opportunity to help in market transaction which results in price movement. Price movements expose markets to loss due to lack of consistency. Integrated Marketing Communication favors predictability on how erroneous trades can be handled. The market policy recognizes different needs of different products markets which are appropriate for cash equity. Greater commercial certainties are usually in line with the degree of flexibility to provide price formation and protects the interests of retail investors.
There are errors which happen on option and strike price. Such errors are cancelled with consent from both participants involved Ferrell (2011). High frequency trading firms have a high turnover and high capacity.
Market making strategies display relevant market platforms which seek to increase profits on quotes accepted by investors. Prices are adjusted by investors after massive public enquiries. With risk premiums, factors like trade fees and clearing fees are factors which are determined Smith (1999).There are arbitrage strategies which seek to profit from price from products such as futures, equities and ETFs.
Integrated Marketing Communication has an effect on market integrity where market participant’s benefit from competition among trading firms which may include retail investors Caywood (2012).Competition in the market place promotes efficiency. This leads to pricing modes and market data which promote efficiency and controls pricing imbalances in the market.
Integrated Marketing Communication has a major impact on quality of markets which has continued to contribute significantly to liquidity in financial products. There is a properly targeted relief from short selling restriction which mitigates uncertainty which secures the product.
When it comes to price investor protection infrastructure costs can upgrade placements on orders connecting to each exchange as well as best execution obligation. With reduced enforcement and compliance costs, a participant performance can enforce it to avoid uncertainty. Attention to cost is high which is monitored from a range of points by the market operator.
Price transparency increases higher trading volumes which are borne by investors as providers of liquidity including market makers. Placing orders in such market contributes to the important public good of price discovery and formation.
Market capitalization is defined as valuation of a firm based on its share price and the total number of available stocks. Firms calculate this by multiplying the current market price of the firms share with the outstanding shares. This helps customer and investors know the risks of brands which they have a share in.
Integrated Marketing Communication uses financial strategic Integration where data is used to drive such planning for example product offerings. Collection of customer preference towards a product is collected to establish preference. Integration is achieved among all stakeholders to establish value chain. This helps to achieve customer satisfaction together with attaining a firm’s objective Belch (2009).
With Integrated Marketing Communication developments such as return on customer profitability, value, customer migration rates and market share it establishes a platform for marketing investments which impacts on consumer minds, market performance and increases value for their shareholders.
Integrated Marketing Communication has had a positive impact on many organisations relationships with other organisations. It has improved customer attitudes, customer loyalty and retention. Brand performance also impacts on financial outcomes when it comes to returns in a firm.
Integrated Marketing Communication has positive relationship with market outcomes and financial outcomes which is enabled with customer loyalty, brand awareness and brand quality.
The Integrated Marketing Communication concept has many driving factors and effects. It is customer based to maintain customer loyalty. It has benefits in brand communication and marketing and on stakeholders and agency relationships.
Due to development in business more research is been done on Integrated Marketing Communication to be used as a tool for brand awareness. The boom of social media is a major boost especially with support from smart phones is driving more business to use the internet which has become a powerful tool for marketing. This creates a perfect platform for implementation of Integrated Marketing Communication since it enhances interaction in social networks. It therefore has a positive effect on market outcomes and financial outcomes because brands are of quality and this increases customer loyalty which promotes sales. Integrated Marketing Communication therefore should be a priority in many firms as it boosts sales in a firm and ensures customer loyalty.
Market outcomes are based on customer loyalty to a brand which depends on advertisement of a product, promotion and brand awareness in the market. Customer satisfaction is key and is established after information has been collected to determine which brands are more preferable.
Integrated Marketing Communication is a very important aspect in any firm as it helps to coordinate other agencies that interact with the firm in promoting certain brands. This helps to access price fluctuations and what the customers want. Firms can customize on products so as to satisfy customer needs. Integrated Marketing Communication reduces major costs and therefore promotes positive financial outcomes in terms of increased revenue. With effective use of Integrated Marketing Communication firms have a better chance of increasing returns and creating an efficient platform for their business.
It has revolutionized the market industry where customers have more information and easier accessibility to firms. This creates an easier way of doing business and more is achieved. Customers have been able to set their own prices on products they require. Integrated Marketing Communication is a better tool which should be used in the market place.
Belch, G. E. (2009). Advertising and promotion: an Integrated Marketing Communications perspective. Sydney, McGraw-Hill Australia.
Belch, G. E., & Belch, M. A. (2012). Advertising and promotion: an Integrated Marketing Communications perspective. New York, McGraw-Hill.
Caywood, C. L. (2012). The handbook of strategic public relations and integrated communications. Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill Professional.
Chitty, W. (2011). Integrated Marketing Communication. South Melbourne, Vic, Cengage Learning.
Ferrell, O. C., & Hartline, M. D. (2011). Marketing strategy. Australia, South-Western Cengage Learning.
Kotler, P., Pfoertsch, W., & MICHI, I. (2006). B2B brand management. Berlin, Springer.
This dissertation seeks to evaluate the relationship between brand trust and loyalty cards and show the impact of loyalty cards on brand trust of customers. In context to carry out the investigation, it has explained the facets of brand trust, customer satisfaction, perceived value and customer loyalty. The research is a quantitative, deductive study where primary data have been collected from three stores of Tesco Plc., in the UK (Birmingham Region) through the survey questionnaire method. The research has assumed Uncles’ Research Model (2002) in the background and has modified it according to the objectives of the research. The questions in the questionnaire are mostly close-ended questions based on Likert Scale Rating which has been analysed through factor percentage analysis method. The research has successfully identified 4 factors with various sub factors and established the suggested research framework through justified literature review and data evidences, based on the conceptual model of Uncles’ et al. (2002). It has also accomplished all the four research objectives showing that loyalty programs are considerably effective in earning trust from old and new customers by perceptible and imperceptible constituents, which can be explained both in behavioural and attitudinal aspects. This research has also considered several literature gaps which were present earlier and tried to answer several of them.
The main purpose of this research dissertation is to evaluate the relationship between brand trust earned through loyalty cards used in many conventional retail stores. Many companies have now adopted the practice of loyalty cards because they consider this an excellent way of earning trust from customers and creating a special bond with them.This in turn helps in the retainment of old customers and also creates a good reputation in the market. The loyalty card system gives some privilege facilities to the member customers because they get bonus points and discount offers on products. This study will delve deeply into the concept of brand trust, the effects of loyalty cards in relationship marketing and the impact of loyalty cards on brand trust in reality, by considering the case study of Tesco and their Loyalty Club Card facilities for the UK customers. The main aim of the research is to evaluate and find out the relationship between brand trust and loyalty cards. It will identify and evaluate whether loyalty cards can confer brand trust in the customers. To fulfil the main aim, the following objectives will be further accomplished;
To investigate the impact of loyalty cards on brand trust of customers by a questionnaire analysis of Tesco club card members from three different stores in the UK
To critically evaluate the effectiveness of loyalty programs in increasing the perceived values and customer satisfaction which contributes to brand trust
To test the hypothetical assumptions regarding the relationship between loyalty programs, perceived values and brand trust
To prove that loyalty programs offer a good index of customer brand trust
The survey results will be interpreted through percentage analysis and deductive reasoning, thus proving the suggested theoretical assumptions
Discuss the purpose of corporate communication strategies
Corporate communication is the overall effort of an organization to communicate effectively and profitably. For the achievement of set goals of an organization, it depends largely on character and organization’s relationship with its stakeholders such as community, employees, clients and suppliers. Thus, it is a strategic tool for an organisation to have competitive advantage over its competitors. It is used to motivate, inform employees, lead and persuade the clients. Corporate communication strategies should be aligned according to different organisation members who may not necessarily be having the same interests. Below are the purposes of corporate communication strategies. Public information: here communication is described as dissemination of information through the media such as bronchus and newsletters. Two ways symmetric: here is a dialog rather than a monolog, communication efforts are seen in terms of its research based and the use of communication in enhancing understanding with stakeholders. Press a gentry: it tries to gain coverage from mass media. Here information is given and no more information is collected from the stakeholders.
Assess how corporate communications link to corporate objectives
Significant relationship between corporate objectives and corporate communication is evident. The top management should ensure that the corporate objectives are clearly communicated to the lower management through the middle. Lack of effective communication may lead to poor or no strategy implementation. Percentage growth, market share in the market, future revenue targets as well as creating more values for stakeholders are examples of corporate objectives, which helps in running of the organization. This makes the organisation have a strong link between the corporate objectives and the corporate communication.
Analyze the relationship between corporate communication and corporate branding
There is a great relationship between the corporate communication and corporate branding. Corporate branding is the symbol used by corporate to identify itself to its audiences or clients. Corporate branding is important as it helps in creating awareness and act as a reminder of the existence of an organization. It is through effective communication in an organization that will enhance corporate branding. In addition to corporate branding, we need to consider the corporate image, which is the perceived sum of organization such as plans and objectives. It includes management style, services, products and communication activities.
Demonstrate how you would plan an internal corporate communication audits
A communication audit is an indicator of a corporate current communication practices and their effectives. A communication audit can cover internal and external communication as separate or both depending on the desired outcome and the objectives of the corporate. An audit points out problems such as information blocks, information duplication and misunderstanding. When planning for a communication audits, formal and informal strategies should be used. For instance use of surveys which is a form of quantities research, use of interviews (qualitative research), analysis and reports and action planning. A communication audit is important in that it helps in highlighting current practices as well as possible lacking elements in an organization.
Explain how you would conduct an internal corporate communications audits
Here we have to consider various steps in corporate communication auditing. Determining key areas to audited. By considering both the internal and the external communications; consider everything from your standard branding pieces such as logos and business cards.
Choose research method. When conduction a corporate communication audits you have to select from a variety of research methods such as online survey, interviews and focus groups. This helps in collecting relevant information.
Collect and evaluate your past communications. Here you have to consider all the types of communications and information passed from the management to the middle and lower management. You need to ask questions like; who were our key audiences? Key messages? Did we reach our clients with the correct information? This helps you in knowing where to start with your corporate communication audits.
Look outward. This is where you focus on the customers and your community. Use questions to analyze your communication from your community and customers point of view. Try to find out what is their perception about your organization.
Look inward. Staffs and volunteers are the most important consideration in this stage. You need to collect their views about your organization’s communication. Ask, what are your reactions of communications during the past year? What could be improved? Did internal documents serve your needs? This helps you to have an overview of what is required of you, Put together a plan for future communications. You need to use your research as the starting point for making a corporate communication audit for your organization.
Critically evaluate the effectiveness of the current levels of practice in your organisation
In evaluating the level of effectiveness, you need to consider the commitment of the organisation. In terms of commitment, the organisation should be effective in that it ensures that all the objectives of organization are achieved through proper communication.
Another effective practice is the human resource. Through effective communication in the organization, various functions such as section, recruitment, in-services training are taken care off. Administration and finance control. In the running of the organization through effective communication of the set objectives, the management is in a position to control how the finances are used.
Explain how you would conduct an external corporate communication audits
An external communication audit is an indicator of current communication practices in an organization. It gives an organization’s information to the external stakeholders such as the local community, the government, the media, clients and suppliers. When planning for an external corporate communication audits you should consider various factors such as the target audiences. This will help in knowing the type of information you are going to pass from your organization to the target audience, thus enhancing the effectiveness of communication.
Demonstrate how you would conduct an external corporate communication audits
When conducting an external corporate communication audits, you have in use things like signage, posters, newspapers, voice messages and bronchus. The following steps are used in achieving it.
Understanding strategic communication practices. This helps in measuring your communication efforts. You need to ask questions that will help you determine strategic communication practices such as what is your communication vision. In addition, how does it relate to your organization’s mission? Are your communication goals well defined and measurable?
Identify the level of practice. There are various levels of practice such as institutional practices that are routine and improved over a time, Optimized practices are continuously evaluated and improved over a considerable period with sufficient resources.
Access the current performance. Here you need to know the levels of your organization performances through interviewing your audiences, use of focus groups. This helps in understanding where to start and what information to change about your organization.
Identify the areas for improvement. Getting feedback from your audiences, you now have an idea of where to change or improve in the organization. This enhances how communication has been done in the organisation. Here you need to ensure that media coverage is taken care off to pass the relevant information to the target audiences. After all this is done, you need to plan for future communication. This increases the effectiveness of your organization.
Critically evaluates the effectiveness of the current levels of practice in your organisation
As a result of effective communication in the organization there is a great change in practices such as community relation. This is as a result of corporate communication branding and imaging in the organization which helps the organization to change a lot. Through enhancement of communication with the local community; the organization has known the tastes and preferences of the community. Program management is another sector that is effective. Due to communication done with various departments in the organization, programs are run effectively thus enhancing the relationship
Financial management: It is through effective communication in the organization that budget administration is taken care of by knowing what the target audiences need you are in a position to budget well.
Demonstrate how you would plan the development of a corporate communication strategy
Having in mind what you need to achieve, you need to know what your communication plans are by asking yourself the following questions; do you want to improve your organization reputation? Do you want to generate more online or offline news coverage? You just need to lay down your organization objectives. The objectives need to be SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and time.
In planning your strategy, you need to define how you will achieve you objectives. Your strategy should include a profile start such as; do you want to generate maximum or minimum coverage? By having this in mind you are in a position to have an effective corporate communication strategy in your organization.
Selecting the audiences to influence with a corporate strategy
When selecting audiences to influence your corporate communication strategy you need to consider both the internal and external audiences in your organization. First consider how employees who are the internal audiences influence your communication strategy. What information about your organization do you want to pass to your employees? Consider the external audiences such as the media, suppliers’, clients and how they influence your communication strategy. The information about your organization passed to the audiences should be clear information in order to protect the image of your organization. Both the internal and external audiences influence your communication strategy as you need to know how to deal with them.
Plan appropriate measures to monitor a planned corporate communication strategy
Participatory monitoring and evaluation covers any process that allows all stakeholders – particularly the target audience – to take part in the design of a Project, its ongoing assessment and the response to findings. It gives stakeholders the chance to help define a programme’s key messages, set success indicators, and provides them with tools to measure success. They include problem ranking, surveys and mapping. This helps in monitoring your communication strategy.
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