Brand Building Strategy Research Paper

Severe competition of modern mass markets raises the question of survival greater than ever. The path to success, or at least to maintain a stable position in the market, is possible only through management of customer attitude. Thus, the most important tool for the formation of the desired relationship to any product or service is a brand that is unique and attractive image for the consumer. In today’s world, the brand has become not just a sales tool, it has become a major factor that determines the success of the business, if we talk about business aimed at mass consumer (Moor 3). The need for branding for any market where there is at least some semblance of competition is indisputable.

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Today brand is considered to be the most important tool for the ensuring the consumers commitment that allows not only achieve fame but also significantly improve a financial performance. However, we have to remember that brand is not a logo and it is not a well-known company. Brand is not even a unique style and massive advertising. Brand is an image that a consumer has formed, a unique and attractive image, guided by which he/she exercises his/her choice (Moor 5).

The concept of a brand extends to the person, idea, organization, product, or service. As defined David Ogilvy, brand is: “The intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised. Brand is also defined by consumers’ impressions of the people who use it, as well as their own experience” (Kotler and Keller 139). If the tangible product has physical properties, different characteristics, it has a price, than the brand is, rather, from the senses. Brand is a personal sense of the consumer, affection, trust and loyalty to the product.

The basis of the perception of the brand is a set of ideas, views, images, and associations. In the people’s minds these aspects are inseparable from human, idea, organization, product, or service. For instance, in the fashion industry brand is associated with a designer name, company, products and services, while all of these ingredients, i.e. the identity of the designer, company, products and services, complement each other. The basis of the brand is tied with an importance for others. The concept and brand image are constructed in accordance with its importance to the surrounding world. Brand is a way of communication between the firm and its clients, between the designer and his fans.

Brand is an informative basis for all methods of communication with the social environment. For market relationship, these methods of communication include advertising messages in a broad sense such as direct advertising in the media, PR campaigns, presentations, the entire visual range, including the design of signs, a trading hall, the behavior of staff in personal contact with customers, etc.

Certainly, the brand is not just about advertising, this is a multidimensional concept, in which the advertisement is playing one of the main roles. Brand is a number of attributes, the product and service, recognizable style, and much more. It is difficult to determine the vector of brand and find the very reason why the consumer should choose this particular company with its range of services. However, when the market is not saturated with brands, when the advertising activity of the players is imbalance, when advertising does not carry anything except the very existence of a particular product, then there is no need for expensive research. Any clear statement will attract consumer’s attention. It is only necessary to define a list of values that may be relevant to the market and select the best matches (Moor 7).

A good example of promotional strategy can be seen in the tobacco industry. The tobacco industry uses a comprehensive marketing and brand strategy to create the impression that tobacco use is widespread and acceptable. In its marketing strategy, the industry links with the tobacco use the desirable qualities such as popularity, glamour and sexy, and underestimate the seriousness of health risks (Moor 22).

The goals of marketing strategies aimed at the consumer are as follows:

  • Join the ranks of new users of tobacco in order to replace those who gave up smoking, or died from smoking.
  • Maintain or increase the level of tobacco use among smoking people.
  • Reduce smoker’s desire to quit.

Encouraging ex-smokers to start again to consume tobacco (Fill 112).
Tobacco companies have to attract a new generation of consumers of tobacco in order to replace those who gave up smoking, or died from smoking. To do this, tobacco companies are developing massive marketing campaign to attract young people to smoke and make them lengthy smokers. It was shown that the marketing of tobacco, along with advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, contributes to stimulate the start of smoking among young people.

  • A review in 2003 of nine longitudinal studies, in which more than 12 000 young people took part, concluded that tobacco advertising and promotion increases the likelihood that adolescents will start smoking.
  • A study, in the UK between 1999 and 2004, found out that for each type of tobacco marketing, identified by young people, the likelihood of start smoking stimulation has increased by 7%.
  • According to the study 2004, in Spain, familiarity with local billboards advertised tobacco has increased the chance of stimulating the start of smoking among adolescents 13-14 years old.
  • A study in the United States found out that advertising in stores has increased the likelihood of start smoking stimulation, while the presence of promotional material has led to the existence of increasing the likelihood of switching among young people from experimenting to regular consumption (Kotler and Keller 146).

Tobacco advertising and images of tobacco products act as an incentive for those who smoke.

  • Studies show that the desire to smoke among smokers of all ages is increased when they are offered images of smoking such as a person smoking, or a pack of cigarettes, or other items associated with smoking. Advertising of tobacco use many such images (Hirschfelder 4).
  • Tobacco companies deceived smokers on the benefits of “light” cigarettes or cigarettes “with low tar” cigarettes by marketing them less harmful in comparison with conventional cigarettes.Smokers of the “light” cigarettes and cigarette “with low tar” increase the number of cigarettes consumed daily, do more and more frequent or deeper smoke tightening, or cover the ventilation openings of cigarettes. All these are made in order to maintain the level of consumed nicotine in order to support the habit of nicotine addiction. International sales of “light” cigarettes and cigarettes “with low tar” significantly increased from 388 billion cigarettes sold in 2000 to almost 500 billion in 2005, which indicates the success of deceptive marketing practices for the tobacco industry (Kotler and Keller 157).

Tobacco companies hinder attempts to quit smoking by developing and advertising products that seem to be less dangerous, in terms of dependence, or more acceptable socially. The impact of appeals calling for smoking provide unwarranted comfort and weaken resolve to quit.

  • In order to prevent smokers, who concerned about their health and their environment, to decide to give up smoking, tobacco companies form an association of their products with the strength, athleticism, and social acceptability besides other desirable qualities.
  • Studies conducted in adults indicate that exhibition stands of packs of cigarettes in retail outlets encourage the impulsive buying among smokers and those who are trying to quit smoking. Researchers in Australia found that a person, who trying to quit smoking or just recently dropped out of smoking, try not to go to stores where the exhibition stands of cigarettes are particularly evident (Fill 124).

The majority of smokers in their attempt to quit smoking a cigarette start again within a week. Images of tobacco used by tobacco marketing encourage the desire to smoke and lead to the re-use of tobacco (Brierley 155).

  • Smokers who are paying more attention to environmental tobacco incentives much faster start smoking again in a short period than those who are paying less attention to such incentives.
  • A study conducted by the tobacco industry found that most of those who quit smoking were young people. Tobacco companies target at youth as a potentially “lifetime consumers” trying to encourage former smokers to smoke again (Fill 154).

A comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship is one of the most effective measures to decrease tobacco consumption. Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) is the first in the world a contract of health care. It establishes a framework for reducing the devastating impact of tobacco in terms of health and the economy. Advocates of the FCTC should enact a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco in the five years since FCTC confirmation (McFall 37).
Finally, it should be highlited the following key points:

  • The tobacco industry uses a comprehensive marketing strategy and all possible elements of brand to create the impression that tobacco use is widespread, socially acceptable, and glamorous.
    Tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship encourage beginning tobacco use, particularly among young people, encourage smokers to continue smoking, adversely affect the desire of smokers to get rid of this habit, and encourage those, who quit smoking, to smoke again (Nixon 97).
  • A comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship reduce tobacco consumption; the partial ban has a limited impact on tobacco consumption.
  • Within the framework of a number of effective policies to combat the tobacco, the advocates of the FCTC are required to enact comprehensive bans on advertising, promotion, and sponsorship of tobacco in the five years since FCTC confirmation (Cronin 100).

Marlboro Cigarettes is living proof as defined in detail advertising campaign cannot only save the sinking brand but made it a legend. For the first time the brand Marlboro appeared in 1924 and positioned itself as the first ladies’ cigarettes. During these years the fact of the sale of cigarettes to women was a cultural shock, just as if today the cigarettes were specifically made for infant’s toddlers. Ladies’ cigarettes appeared through suffragette who fought for universal suffrage. These ladies wanted equality for all, including the bad habits, and they got it.
It was the great difficulty to make purely masculine brand for feminine for the advertising creators in the beginning of the century. Marlboro was presented as feminine cigarettes. It was picked the purely feminine slogan: “Mild as May”. The star Mae West was invited to Hollywood as a brand image.

To change the presentation of the cigarettes with the filter as about the product for “girls”, it was needed a brilliant marketing decision and Morris decided to invite one of the best American specialists on advertising Leo Burnett. The future legend of advertising decided to kill in the brand all the feminine with the help of an embodied masculinity. A number of images that was created by Burnett such as “steeplejack”, “war correspondent” had to add a fair dose of testosterone to the cigarettes Marlboro. However, the first and essential image was “Cowboy”. Namely around this character Leo Burnett has crafted a future advertising campaign (Thibodeau and Martin 95).

First, the cowboy dots one’s i’s and cross one’s t’s proving that the cigarette’s filter does not affect the taste of tobacco. «The filter does not get between you and the flavor». Western campaign, in which the model participated, later replaced by their real cowboys, had incredible success. Cowboy as the embodiment of the American spirit stung people to the quick. Prints reminded about the real heroes of America, about brutal guys who conquers the wild steppes. He conquered both men and women, black and latino. Sales of Marlboro for only one year grew so much that have occupied the fourth position in the ranking of sales of all tobacco products (Fill 183).

In addition, the new Marlboro’s pack became a packaging sensation. Namely, this brand of cigarettes has become available in “Flip-top” packaging, which is popular till now. Such a package had as a purely practical (cigarettes did not yield to pressure) as the tremendous marketing importance that is from now the smoker should have been demonstrate the pack of cigarette to other people each time as he is going to smoke because the open «flip-top» in your pocket was inconvenient (Thibodeau and Martin 101).

Logo is one of the key decisions in the operation of “on changing sex” of Marlboro. Together with the acquired image of the brutal cigarettes for real man, the brand has got rid of superfluous aristocratic signs in image. Initially, in the era of “feminine” nature, it was required association with the surname of the Duke of Marlborough. Then, the company had to get rid from it.
Designer Frank Gianninoto developed for Marlboro the new, not devoid of masculinity, the pack: the white color, here, like an arrow enters in red. Since that time, “Cowboy Marlboro” has become one of the most successful advertising images in advertising and cigarette Marlboro is the most buying up brand.

The success of the company depends on many factors such as the right strategy, the dedicated staff, good information systems, capable plans. However, successful companies at all levels have one common feature – they are focused on the consumer and therefore pay full attention to brand and marketing. All of these companies bring a desire to understand and meet the needs of the buyer. In such a company, each employee is focused on the production of goods of excellent quality leading to a higher level to meet consumer demand.

Brierley, Sean. The Advertising Handbook. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Cronin, Anne M. Advertising myths: the strange half-lives of images and commodities. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Fill, Chris. Simply Marketing Communications. New York: Financial Times/ Prentice Hall, 2006.
Hirschfelder, Arlene B. Encyclopedia of smoking and tobacco. Oryx Press, 1999.
Kotler, Philip and Kevin Keller. Marketing Management. USA: Pearson Education, 2008.
McFall, Elizabeth Rose. Advertising. Verlag: Sage Publications Ltd, 2004.
Moor, Liz. The Rise of Brands. Oxford: Berg Publishers, 2007.
Nixon, Sean. Advertising cultures: gender, commerce, creativity. Calif. :SAGE, 2003.
Thibodeau, Michael and Jana Martin. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: A Fine Blend of Cigarette Packaging and Design. New York: Abbeville Press Inc, 2000.


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