MY SPAR MY BRAND: GROWTH STRATEGIES

“Brand Strategy is a long-term plan for the development of a successful brand in order to achieve specific goals”. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments.

There are quite a number of strategies that can be used by products developers to grow their brands.  Strategies a brand can use to grow their brand(s) are;

  • To launch a new brand
  • Extension strategies
  • Multi-brand strategies
  • Endorsement strategies.

 If I am to be given an opportunity to pitch a potential growth strategy for SPAR the below are strategies I will propose to my client.

Extension Strategies

Brand extension strategy is where by a company which is already branded in the market make use of the same brand name to market a different product category. By using the new product category linked with the existing brand name, the market reach of the new product can be easy.

  1. Brand Extension

“Brand Extension strategy happens when an existing brand creates a new product in a different category”. The product will be new but the brand will remain the same. SPAR could produce many of their own branded products (SPAR brands) since the name resonates well with its consumers. SPAR is an already known brand and as such there is an element of trust. Customers tend to trust any product by the name Spar. Strong brands with a good reputation are used internationally to launch new products.

Another strategy which SPAR could adopt to extend their brand to other markets is by supplying small rural retailers with SPAR brands. This is meant to push SPAR brand in far fetching areas as well as to increase the sales.

An image of a retailer in villages

Who ever thought retailers such as Pick ‘n Pay will get into clothing line business? More and more supermarkets got in to the clothing business to grow their brand and of course to push their brands. SPAR should not be an exemption should they want to grow their brand.

B) Multi Brand Strategy

SPAR should seriously consider using an existing manufactures brand in their operations. With this strategy they will be using a manufactures brand to facilitate market growth, for example CELLPHONE Kiosk where they sell cellphone, or provide cellphone service for a specific cellphone network they would have entered into a partnership with. Customers need to own cellphones or to at least upgrade on what they already have, therefore retailers are the perfect places to provide such a one stop shop. SPAR cells airtime and many other consumables. Why not electronics like cellphones?

  • Endorsement Strategies

Celebrity endorsements is a form of marketing strategy/brand extension strategy which involves using celebrities/well known people to promote a product. Endorsement strategies are used hoping that the positive image celebrities they possess will be passed on to products. SPAR should consider using local celebrities as brand testimonials in their marketing campaigns. This will definitely make the targeted audience to want to associate with the brand.

Future Benefits of these Strategies

SPAR strives to operate a sustainable business by continuing to prosper in an increasingly pressured and volatile environment – and in doing so actively growing its capital. All this is could be possible through the implementation of the proposed strategies in growing the Spar brand.

The proposed strategies brings into the table lots and lots of benefits to the brand, among them being to expand the SPAR brand and to create new foot prints where it could not reach and create new relevance to its new consumers as well as to provide alternative options in product offering, i.e. cellphone business.

Sources

http://www.brandingstrategyinsider.com/2007/10/benefits-of-bra.html#.XL0uG4kzapo

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DAS AUTO:VOLKSWAGEN

Volkswagen is a German automobile manufacturing enterprise headquartered in Germany. “Originally named as Gesellschaft Zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagen (Society for the preparation of the German People’s Car)”, the company was founded in 1937 by Deutsche Arbetsfront. It was at some point renamed and named as Volkswagenwerk.

The main aim of the company was then to manufacture the Volkswagen car, now popularly known as Beetle. Shortly after its factory’s constructions were done, World War II started. The company then started manufacturing military vehicles.

VW’s logo and tag line

Volswagen Group handles 12 brands in their portfolio and that is;

  • Audi, Seat, Skoda, Bentley, Porshe, Lamborgini, Scania, Ducati, Man, Bugatti, Volkswagen and Commercial Vehicles.

How VW Manages its Portfolio Segmentation

Since Volkswagen operate in 12 independent brands, the group mix of demographics and geographic segmentation variables to cater ton the needs of the customers in existing as well as emerging economies. It uses differentiated targeting strategy in their offering. This helps in understanding where the products stand in the mind of the potential customer and the image built in their mind.

Distribution Strategy

Volkswagen’s strategy in terms of managing its brand portfolio is its Distribution Strategy. That is their winning formula. The group is extensively using its dealership networks and expanding it to the developing nations to make their brands available to the existing as well as new markets. “In the year 2015, the distribution expenses rose from 16% to 23515 Million Euro”.

VW’S Reputation?

In 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Volkswagen has been installing sophisticated software to cheat diesel emission tests. As a result, its cars produced up to 40 times more pollution than allowed by US standards – Volkswagen’s cars were environmentally friendly no more. Reputation Institute’s research shows that with the EPA announcement, the general public’s trust was highly damaged. The company has also been accused by the EPA of modifying software on the 3 litre diesel engines fitted to some of their brands at some point.

Is VW transparent!!

Besides all the “noise” made about VW’s emission scandal, the Company is somehow transparent in their production process. Customers are allowed to get closer look during their production processes. In VW’s transparent factory a customer can accompany their “future” vehicle along the production line. The customer is able to actively get involved but obviously under expert guidance. That is how transparent the company is. “With us, not only are customers able to be there during the production of their car, but can also get involved themselves. Electric mobility that you can touch: this experience is unique in the automotive world”, said VW’s Head of Sales at some point.

I therefore with all the good and bad stories about “DAS AUTO” recommend the below reputation t;

  1. VW should always tell the truth. There is a saying that Companies/Organizations should always in any tight situation “say it first and right”. Digital and social media have ensured that wherever we go, reputation will proceed us.
  2. Always be Transparent
  3. The Customer is always right principle should always apply. It is important for VW to always listen to their customers. The art of cherishing feedback is always vital.

https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/group.html

Click to access Brand-Architecture-and-Portfolio-Management.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Group

HEINEKEN OPENS YOUR WORLD

In 1873 a great Dutch brand was born. Hundred and forty six years later, the brand is keeping on, available on the shelves of many outlets across the Globe. That is Heineken. Heineken is known for its signature green bottle/tin and a red star. Heineken is an international brand having being sold in more than 170 countries and incorporated with numerous beer brands all over the world, the latest in Africa been the opening of a brewery in Mozambique on the 13th March 2019.

HEINEKEN’S UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION

Bringing people closer to each other and sharing their life moments is Heineken’s unique selling point, with their famous tagline, “Open your World”. Heineken is inspired by its consumers to brew the best beer.

HOW IS THE BRAND DIFFERENT

Heineken is “FRESH AND ELEGANT”. Heineken is CLASS, it is a brand of “STATUS”. Its advertising ideas have made it a brand of choice for elites. Its high pricing strategies and sponsorship strategies have also helped in the establishment of this “elegant” brand. Heineken follows differentiated marketing from its packaging to its Integrated Marketing Communication strategies.

It is different from competition. Heineken has always maintained its image, that is the “grass green tone and the natural casual feeling”. It has positioned itself as a high-end beer in the consumer’s lifestyle targeting middle and high income groups.

HOW HEINEKEN USES DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Heineken is very active and visible in the world of digital and social media. There are a number of campaigns Heineken have being running in the digital space. In fact Heineken became one of the most well-known brand through its creative marketing campaigns that resonates well with its customers, i.e. through different campaigns such as;

The Insider
  • The Insider: This is one amusing famous Ad from Heineken. In the advert, a young man hijacks a tour guide’s authority and takes them on an unforgettable journey, an experience that radically changes their trip. Those include naturally a masquerade hidden in crypts beneath the city with guests wearing plague Doctor’s masks. They ended up getting in to a hidden party down the city where everybody is.
  • Know the Signs Campaign; Heineken executed its Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy through this campaign. The campaign aimed to prove comprehensive information about the upsides and downsides of drinking too much.
  • Share the Sofa Campaign: The brand created the Share the Sofa Campaign to give its customers the opportunity to interact with the world star players. Research shows that this campaigned was talked about in 94 countries and generated more than 1 billion media impressions, reaching over 13 million Twitter handlers in each tweet.

Heineken communicates its market position and its purpose of existence through SPONSORSHIP. Heineken sponsors major sporting activities like UEFA Champion League and Rugby World Cup. All these campaign sponsorship reach almost everyone targeted.

UEFA Champion

YOUTUBE

Back then in the years TV was the only new visual media used. The 30 seconds rule controlled the world. The introduction of YouTube somehow liberalized most of the brands, including Heineken. The brand introduced a variety of videos to be broadcast through the platform.

FACEBOOK

This is Heineken’s most popular social media platform with over 20 million people subscribed to their timeline. Heineken’s active participation on Facebook has seen the customer’s loyalty to the brand. The brand resonates very well with its larger community due to their instant and activate involvement on Facebook.  Heineken has created its Facebook pages in a way that it target its audience geographically. The message is designed in a way that it reaches different target groups at different locations.

TWITTER

The brand (Heineken) runs multiple accounts targeting customers at different locations as well. Its main group account is @Heineken

INSTAGRAM

This is one account which Heineken use to capture its great moments and share with customers. It communicates its journey through this platform with its catchy snapshots.

LINKEDIN

Heineken also is very active on this platform, publishing something almost everyday to connect with its customer. Heineken has over 60 000 followers. The brand mostly communicates opportunities available for its audience through their page, mostly being job vacancies.

In conclusion, I am quite comfortable in saying that HEINEKEN’s digital and social media presence is very visible and effective. The messaging is even always clear and consistent. All the digital and social media platforms communicate one cohesive message#openyourworld.

SPAR’S EFFECTIVENESS IN ITS BRAND CONTACT PROCESS AND INTERNAL MARKETING

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“Spar was founded in 1932 by Andrian van Well in Holland”. It continued to develop during the 1930s and later started its expansion across the globe. The growing success of SPAR in the countries where the brand is present is the evidence of a great brand supported by effective brand contact processes and internal marketing as the foundation. Internal marketing is said to be the foundation of a great brand.

SPAR’s growth and its sustainability is based on the below,

Value for Money; SPAR’s “tagline is value for money”. Their goal is to have an aggressive winning price strategy that attract and retain customers.

The Expansion of the brand; SPAR’s international presence is very essential in the brand’s growth. There are currently SPAR outlets operating in 45 countries globally.

SPAR’s Brand Contact

Brand contact refers to any information-bearing experience a customer has with the brand, the product category, or the market that relates to the marketer’s product or service. This is the first touch point which influences customer decision.

To create an impactful brand contact a brand contact planning process should be followed to the latter. There are five steps of this process as suggested by Klopper and North and they are;

  1. All points of Contact
  2. Primary brand contact patterns
  3. Most important brand contact points
  4. Brand Contact cohesion strategy
  5. Managing the brand Contact

Through a commitment to outstanding service and excellence in fresh foods, SPAR meet the needs of all its customers by selling freshness, choice, quality and good service. 

SPAR’S brand contact points

The below are what makes SPAR tick;

Look and Feel; Spar shops are continuously being designed in a way that is convenient to its customers.  SPAR’s look and feel is modernized and refreshed. Almost all SPAR shops have a larger sense of appealing space. Free open space where customers are able to do their shopping freely without feeling pressurized to do quick shopping. All the departments are well synchronized and nicely brandedPromotional banners are well put with visible black writings.

Fig 1…Interior look of one of the many SPAR shops across the globe

SPAR’s Internal Marketing

Internal marketing is the integrated internal management of all activities that directly and indirectly support the satisfaction of customer requirements, especially through employees. Organisations should ensure that employees leave the brand at all times.  They are the first contact point for any brand and as such they should be treated as number one brand ambassadors. SPAR employees have a bigger share in making the brand what it is today.

One of the key enablers of SPAR Strategy is attracting and retaining competent, motivated employees. It is critical in mitigating skills shortages in key technical areas.

Also, building an employee base that reflect demographic base diversity is a crucial part of SPAR’s success. It values the cultural diversity of its consumers and as such SPAR hires mostly who can relate to customers’ expectations. Employees are very much aware of the localized cultural expectation.

Employee Development

SPAR cares about its customers, hence it has invested on employees who take a personal interest in customer needs. SPAR employees are the ones who make great brand contacts through their level of customer service, and that alone grows the brand perception. The commitment to customer service has always been part and parcel of the SPAR brand philosophy. SPAR continues to be relevant in today’s competitive market because of the quality service they provide through their friendly empowered staff.

SPAR’s internal branding initiatives include but not limited to its internal employee development programmes which are run through the SPAR Academy of Learning. SPAR has developed programmes such as;

  • Programme for Management Development
  • SPAR Leadership Development
  • Management Growth Programme
  • Supervisory Development Programme
  • Graduate Training Programme

SPAR also provides various training programmes to grow its internal branding such as first aid training drivers training and many others.

For SPAR to implement any major change in its processes and operations, employees are normally engaged as they value employee consultation very much.  SPAR shows its commitment to maintaining a positive relationship with employees to agree on terms of employment and that would bring about major changes, i.e “a minimum of eight weeks’ notice prior to the implementation of any significant operational change. This is a clear indication that SPAR is very much alive to the fact that unhappy customers are brought about by unhappy employees.

SPAR also have a comprehensive risk management programmes meant to protect the health and safety of its employees. This is one of the many employee branding initiative meant to show how SPAR values its employees as brand ambassadors.

SPAR’s employee recognition is meant to ensure that everyone understands that the customer is king and to also empower them in taking pride in their contribution to the brand.

Where to Improve?

It has been proven that Corporate Social Investment (CSI) is one effective way of making a brand relevant and accepted by targeted audience. This is one area where I am of the view that SPAR needs to do much and to equally distribute its resources. Currently its CSI and sponsorship programmes are not distributed equally in all countries where the brand has foot prints.

Conclusion

Having noted the above, I can confidently conclude by saying SPAR is very effective in its brand contact process and internal marketing. That is what sustained the brand in all the years since inception.

NANDO’S IS LEADING THE PACK

“The Nando’s journey started centuries ago when the Portuguese set sail for the East”. That what inspires the brand PERI PERI brand.

What makes this brand different?

Peri-peri is the “heart and soul” of Nando’s story. www.nandos.co.za

Nando’s Restaurant specializes in serving peri-peri grilled chicken flavor with pepper spice. The look and feel of all Nando’s Restaurants across the world is very unique and appealing. Through their physical appearanc, the brand communicates their roots, where it all began and what inspired the establishment of the brand.

Steps taken in Positioning Nando’s brand

  • Understanding the Content

Nando’s message has always been clear and consistent. They have positioned themselves as the peri-peri guys, serving grilled chicken not “oil”. They always differentiate themselves from competition. They at some point undertook a campaign at which their message was “oil is meant for your car, not your chicken”.

I have also recently came across one intriguing advert/billboard in one of the restaurant malls in Gaborone, Botswana where Nando’s Restaurant was going through renovation  and they had put an advert that reads “ when the chicken is out chicks will play” which one can speculate was directed to competition on  the open side of the complex. This is a sign of putting your brand ahead of competition in terms of perception and messaging.

  • What makes Nando’s different?

In a competitive business world, any organization/company need to constantly examine their products and services to better serve customers. Product differentiation and positioning are key parts of a company’s strategy and are necessary to keep ahead of competition. The incorporation of attributes, such as quality or price, into a product to encourage the intended customers to perceive it as different and desirable and how one provide their product or service brand identification in the market are vital traits of a successful brand (Brand Positioning and differentiation).

Legitimacy

Nando’s is stable in their recipe across all their restaurants all over the world, inspired by the Portuguese Explorer, The restaurant specializes in Portuguese styled chicken dishes with peri-peri marinades

  • Communicating the Difference

Nando’s clearly communicates their product offer and how different they are to their competition. The message is about grilled chicken which is meant to burn fat. They are somehow promoting healthy lifestyle. They do not only communicate that but also emphasize on their flavor, peri-peri chicken which makes it different from competition.

From Temporal (2002: 37-49) and Senguta’s (2005: 76-107) list of positioning strategies that are available for use to differentiate and position a brand, Nando’s has considered the below;

Corporate Identity

 Strong brand name and appealing colours have been incorporated in the Nando’s brand. The logo also is based on the roaster of Barceló’s hence it has a meaning on what inspires the brand. The font used by Nando’s is equally appealing and very unique.

Features

Their recipe is very unique. Some competition have tried it before and dismally failed to copy.

Usage, time and application

Nando’s is about chicken but not just any other chicken but flamed grilled peri-peri chicken. The brand has positioned itself as the number one chicken fast food restaurant offering healthy lifestyle. 

Nando’s has at some point named one of the world’s 30 hottest brands across the globe. All the accolades are a true reflection of a successful positioning and differentiation statements of Nando’s Restaurant. It is about healthy lifestyle. A brand determined to lead the pack…

LG’s visual and verbal language

Brand tone of voice

LG’s philosophy is about people and sincerity. It is to understand customers and to offer solutions and new experiences through ceaseless innovation, thus helping them leave better live. LG is all about exploring life with no limitations. The brand has been developed consistently to always the beauty of life, “ Life’s Good.” LG strives to reach out to its customers with keen sensibilities – people who continue to explore new activities and take on new challenges to experience more and achieve a better life. The history of LG has always been surrounded by the company’s desire to create a happier, better life. It is all about giving something better in life.

Brand Symbol

The letters “L” and “G” in a circle symbolize the world, future, youth, humanity, and technology. LG’s philosophy is based on humanity and also represents its efforts to keep close relationships with its customers around the world.  Red, the main colour in the Logo, represents the brand’s friendliness, and commitment to deliver the best. 

Further it is said the letters represents happiness, through a symbolic smiling face.

Brand story

LG is a household name which protects and maintains its reputation by offering its consumers an added value in their products. Pioneering in technology through its innovative concepts, LG has positioned itself as a household name and a smarter global brand of the future. Global, Brighter future, Humanity and Technology are the pillars of LG as a brand. These are clear fundamentals of the brand.  It is said that the capital letters L and G (brand name) are positioned inside a circle to center the brand’s ideals above all else, humanity. The symbol stands for long lasting relationship with customers.

To highlight LG’s dedication to delivering differentiated values and experiences, LG some years back launched a brand identity strategy themed, “It’s All Possible.” This was an acknowledgement of the many changes in technology and customer behavior. In addition to complementing LG’s famous Life’s Good identity, the new theme was to position LG as the only brand which has something better to offer.

LG’s message is very much clear on what they are offering, very direct and different from that of its competitors.

Reference:
https://www.lg.com/global