Tag Archives: brand management

2020 Top Global Brands

The year 2020 has been rough on businesses as they pivot to account for the pandemic. Yet, strong brands seem to have become even stronger during this time. Consumers view their purchasing choices as a vote for a brand’s value and impact.

But, what is a brand? Does a brand have a financial value? These are critical questions that drive the strategic marketing decisions of corporations around the world. In general, marketers define brand as the position that a company/product holds in the minds of the consumers. It follows then that if the brand holds a position in consumers’ minds, then it would definitely translate into a financial value for companies.

Each year, Interbrand does a financial analysis that seeks to define, in dollars, the value of a company’s brand – the result is the annual Best Global Brands ranking. In order to be included in the report:

  • The brand must be global – it must have successfully crossed geographic and cultural boundaries.
  • At least 30% of revenue must come from outside the brand’s home region.
  • The brand must have a significant presence in at Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as geographic coverage in emerging markets.
  • There must be sufficient publicly available data on the brand’s financial performance.
  • Economic profit must be expected to be positive over the longer term, delivering a return above the brand’s cost of capital.
  • The brand must have a public profile and awareness above and beyond its own marketplace.

Interbrand’s brand valuation methodology seeks to determine, in customer and financial terms, the contribution of the brand to the company’s business results. There are three key components in the methodology for the valuations: analyses of the financial performance of the branded products or services, of the role the brand plays in the purchase decision, and of the competitive strength of the brand.

Brands in the top five include Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Samsung.

Did you guess these correctly?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students to define “brand.” What is it? Does it have value to a company?
  2. Have students take out a piece of paper. Ask them to choose what they thing are the top 10 most valuable brands in the world.
  3. Then show the top 10 list from the Global Brand report: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/
  4. How many did they get correct? What surprised them?
  5. Show the video explaining the report: https://www.interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/methodology/
  6. Show students several of the sections within the site and view some of the videos as a class.
  7. Divide students into teams and assign each team an industry category to examine: automotive, apparel, beverage, electronics, energy, etc.
  8. Have each team present key findings from the industry sector they examined.
  9. How can these findings be applied in marketing strategies?

Source: Brandchannel.com, Interbrand.com

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The Ford Bronco Returns to Action!

As we’ve written in previous articles, no product lives forever. There are always new innovations, trends, social forces, competition, and technologies that push products forward. Every product eventually reaches its final stage in the Product Life Cycle (PLC) – decline/harvest – when the product is put to sleep and resources are reallocated to up-and-coming new products.

But every now and then consumers grow nostalgic for products from the past. Perhaps the product brings back a happy emotion or a strong memory. Or maybe it’s a little bit of longing for days gone by. Or maybe it’s a desire for something different and cool-looking. Trends have a habit of cycling back as years go by.

New to the trend cycle is the resurrection of Ford’s iconic Bronco. The company has announced a new retro-looking Bronco that recalls the rugged, boxy looking original from the 1960s. (The Bronco was retired from production in 1996.)

Bronco has its work cut out for it as Jeep Wrangler holds the top position in the off-road automotive category. To compete with the leader, Ford has two Bronco models and pricing starts at $29,000 up to $60,000 for larger engines and more options and trim.

Welcome back, Bronco. It’s good to see you.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. How are cars moved through the PLC?
  3. Next, discuss the life cycle of the Ford Bronco.
  4. Show video introducing the new Bronco: https://youtu.be/-v1urLWR5zg
  5. How is Ford repositioning the car on the PLC?
  1. Show Bronco’s Web site: https://www.ford.com/bronco/
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle or be reinvented for a new life.

Source:  Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Wear Lululemon Gear While Working Out on Mirror

Acquisitions can be tricky. Companies need to assess what markets to enter, and which products and services are needed for those markets. While it is common for food and beverage companies to use acquisitions to gain market share (consider Pepsi’s recent purchase of Rock Star beverages), it can be a tad trickier when combining other companies. A key consideration is that companies find synergies that can be capitalized on when combining organizations. Recently, Lululemon may have found a good acquisition as it expands beyond athletic apparel to acquire fitness equipment manufacturer Mirror.

Mirror is a high-tech, interactive mirror that streams workout classes, offers live classes and on-demand classes, plus more intensive one-on-one personal training session. Mirror launched in 2018 (and received an investment from Lululemon in 2019). The Mirror equipment is a low-profile mirror – yes, a mirror – priced at $1,495 purchase plus a $42 monthly membership fee. Personalized training is $40 per session. Lululemon has a strong brand and loyal customer following. In addition to its trendy athletic gear, it offers fitness classes in stores and online.

The acquisition is happening at a time when Americans have been impacted by Covid-19 and are working out at home instead of going to the gym. Even with new safety measures, many people are opting out of gym memberships in favor of home workouts.

Shall we work out inside today?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the four key marketing strategies: product development, market development, market penetration, and diversification.
  2. Discuss acquisitions as a marketing strategy. When is this effective? When is it not effective?
  3. Show Lulemon’s web site: https://shop.lululemon.com/
  4. Show Mirror’s web site: https://www.mirror.co/
  5. How do these two companies complement each other?
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a promotional plan that the companies can use to promote their union.

Source: Associated Press; CNN News; New York Times; other sources

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