The common ground is that most companies in this world of capitalism always want more. They want more profit, more shareholder value, and more market share, among others. The realizations of these objectives have been attained through the successful initiation, development and management of marketing strategies in most instances. Ray-Ban Company is one of the known companies around the world dealing with sunglass as a product.
Ray-Bans were created in 1937.Ray-Ban in its operations targets consumers of the age between 12 and 30. This was initiated after critical analysis based on eye testing conducted in Zhejiang, Japan. Ray-Ban maker of the shades that are being worn by stars of the men in black movies has introduced its first global branding effort. The name of the targeted group is young professionals. The table below analyzes the young professional’s population and income status.
|Groups||Population in millions||Income|
Consumers have perceived value in Ray-Band because it costs less for them to buy as contrasted with competing brands offering similar benefits-costs driven benefits-and or when they have unique benefits that offset their premium prices-value added brands. From Ray-Bands point of view, the options presented are on whether to pursue a cost-driven or value-added competitive advantage in the support of either a broad or narrow approach to the target markets.
This group prefers anti-glare glasses because of their good educational background and steady income generation.The analysis factors that targets customers make a purchase of sunglass and also sympathise with the product. Towards this, critical elements makes Ray-Band more personal and thus be endowed with the capacity to achieve long lasting customer loyalty. It is vividly seen that out of this group, 70% are male while 30% are female. This is due to the fact that in Zhejiang, engineering works that produce intense light are subjected to males. This has varied the spending ratio of male to female. That is ratio of 4:2.
However, the occupations of young professionals has presented challenges, especially in the case where Ray-Band have not been able to accurately evaluate and assess their brands particular strengths and weaknesses objectively, take keen cognizance of intercultural communication and underline customer preferences.
The frequency in which the sunglasses are bought by the group has been depicted to be high. This is due to the fact that their choices based on sunglasses are of quality. The maintenance of sustained value added attributes to be derived from a consumer brand and determine brand attachment or detachment is in essence the key to competitiveness. According to Reda, (1999), brands are a direct consequence of the strategy of market segmentation and product differentiation. This point has been buttressed by Brassington and Pettit (2000) who have pointed out that branding act as a means of linking items within a product line or emphasising the individuality of product items. Other definitions have been advanced in literature but the key concurrence has been the emphasis on uniqueness and value provision to the consumer in a more efficient manner. This in essence has given rise to competitiveness in the market of ray-Band products. It been has noted, the key to success lies in finding a competitive advantage that others find hard to copy or imitate. Indeed, academic and empirical literature is of the opinion that companies such as Ray-Band that develop brands with a strong consumer franchise to be sufficiently insulated from any promotional strategies by the competitors. According to the author, this has been the reason why it makes sense for a supplier to invest heavily in order to create strong or even global recognition and preference for its brand name.
The table below analyses the buying rate of sunglasses in Ray-Ban Company.
|Consumers category||Spending per shop||Annual spending||Potential spend|
The attribute as advocated for by Keller (1993) is the need for consumers to fully develop an understanding of what the company means to the consumers. Consumer should appreciate the totality of all their brands images including such elements as the different perceptions, believes, attitudes, and behaviours customers associate with the brands whether created intentionally by the company or not. When an organization is confident about the customers likes and dislikes as well as the core attributes and associations that are interlinked with the brand, a well-grounded framework can be ascertained as regards whether any given action will dovetail nicely with the brand or will result in conflicts. This will go hand in hand with the 9th postulate that a brand is given proper support which is sustainable. This is because brand equity must at all times be carefully constructed on the basis of a firm foundation so that the customer develops a broadened awareness and strong, favourable and unique associations with the brand in their memories (Stewart, 1998).Consumers have contributed to the monitoring of the sources of brand equity largely attained through good and frequent use of in-depth brand audits and on-going brand tracking studies.
According to Batra et Ray (1986), brands succeed in stirring deep emotions in consumers because they are positioned to capitalize on their unique characteristics which, in one or more aspects, their rivals find hard to emulate and hence their competitive advantages. This competitive advantage gives it a basis for outperforming competitors because of the value that consumers are able to present to the company. Consumers may sympathize with a company when they perceive value in brands when it costs less for them to buy as contrasted with competing brands offering similar benefits-costs driven benefits-and or when they have unique benefits that offset their premium prices-value added brands. From an organizations point of view in Ray-ban, the options presented are on whether to pursue a cost-driven or value-added competitive advantage in the support of either a broad or narrow approach to the target markets.
In addition to the above, consumers in this case has comprised of 200 customers who have recorded complete trust in a particular brand in the Ray-Band product. It is easier to gain access to the consumer of the study because most of the organizations and companies behind these products have lists of loyal customers that assist in customer relations management.
A multi-attribute model (MAM)
Basic positioning strategies give a mixed result. Multi-attribute attitude models are used to predict consumer choice in multiple criteria decision making situations. Low price and low quality affects the economy as depicted in many manufacturing system. Multi-attribute is used in a cognitive modeling of a consumer’s choice process. In addition to the above, Multi-attribute model can be used to decide positioning focus on key attributes or give a before and after MAM choice process on changes to attitudes via either changes to beliefs or importance ratings or introducing new attributes.
There is abidance in the fact that MAM has successfully combined this focus with an insightful understanding of intercultural communication. Marketing has been a crucial concept of philosophy that has draws its origins from the understanding of the market situations from the customer point of view. In the concept of marketing, Ray-ban has made it an important assignment to find out gaps existing within the market in efforts to fulfilling customer needs and taking efforts in providing products to satisfy those needs. The multi-attribute model process of doing so in Ray-Ban involves a number of steps that determine the effectiveness of such a process. These include situation analysis, Marketing strategy, marketing mix decisions, implementation, control, and segmentation. According to Stern, El-Ansary, and Coughlan, (1996),
To help achieve this goal, the field of intercultural business communication should more strongly emphasize how to understand one’s own individual cultural identity: the sense of self derived from formal or informal membership in groups that impart knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, traditions, and ways of life.
An understanding of the consumer cultural perspectives best captures these needs and desires. The concept of cultural identity that has been widely exploited by Ray-Ban Company in its marketing of sunglass efforts has translated into a bundle of benefits in its brand management and promotion. According to Stern, El-Ansary, and Coughlan, (1996), “more accurate conception of cultural identity, business education, and training would improve.” This would effectively enhance the intercultural communication of people’s from diverse backgrounds. It is on this premise that company has exploited approaches to intercultural business communication in its market segmentation. An analysis of cultural identity components that have been used by Ray-ban in the development and marketing of its products to customers include vocation, class, geography, philosophy, language or biological traits with cultural aspects.
Vocation within the broad aspects of intercultural business communication defines relevant cultures in business, technical and professional communication. McDonald and Dunbar (2007), expounds that some professional and vocational fields have profound impacts on particular attitudes and traditions. Positioning strategies has effectively employed vocation as a component of cultural identity in its development and marketing strategies. This is the reason behind the development and marketing of sunglass among sports lovers.
The three marketing concepts that have been advanced in literatures include “customer orientation; an organization to implement a customer orientation and long-range customer and societal welfare” customer orientation element of marketing concept proposes that the whole process of marketing focuses on the needs, wants and desires of the customers in line with individual cultural identity. An organizational implementation of customer orientation means that the philosophy of marketing involves all people in an organization who combine efforts to put the interest of the customer at the forefront of all activities while making an in-depth understanding of customer cultural identity at the focal point of these efforts.
In conclusion, one common characteristic of change in basic positioning strategies is that it stays closer to the economy in efforts to achieve competitive advantage over their rivals and enable their consumers identify with their products along geographical and language lines. The reason behind the adoption of this philosophy is to discover the root causes of differences in basic positioning strategies changes based on geography and language cultural aspects of the customer ahead of their competitors. Jameson (2007) illustrates that rregional differences within countries also affect values, attitudes, and behaviour of large groups of people.” It is these difference along regional and geographical lines that marketing strategies are aligned to respond to the diverse demands of the diverse groups.
Ray-Ban has seven main lines in their sunglasses collection. These include; Families, Icons, Active Lifestyle, High Street, Fast and Furious, Tech,and Craft.Company branding is not a simple task to carry out in a competitive environment. However, Ray-Ban has managed to carry out market segmentation in a better way through the best use of marketing tools and application of cultural components of identity. The first criterion that Ray-Ban Company has used in its marketing segmentation is through the criteria of customer demographic analysis with a combination of biological traits with cultural aspects. For an organization to consider a group as a segment there is need to classify them under homogenous and heterogeneous groups. The second criterion is through the analysis of the existing competition on a given market segment.
One of the key parameter that must be analysed for the success of implementation of brands is the corporate strategy. This is because brand architecture theory projects that In today’s fragmented markets, with their aggressive distribution networks and consumer segments, it is far better to exploit the targeted reputation (in terms of product and values) of the brands that people have bought precisely because they were brands.
The second step is the business model; in this respect it is interesting to compare companies within the same sector, since their brand policy is often a reflection of their business model, the driving force of their competitive edge and their profitability. From an organizations point of view, the options presented are on whether to pursue a cost-driven or value-added competitive advantage in the support of either a broad or narrow approach to the target markets
The secret weapon in the entire process of branding is taking a keen cognizance of the needs of the particular segment of the market (McDonald and Dunbar, 2007). The criterion is use by Ray-Ban in its market segmentation includes targeted advertising, new product development, and brand differentiation (McDonald and Dunbar, 2007). The differences in positioning, product, price, distribution or communication has been based on the demographics of the targeted market such as size of the market segment, level of affluence, and the differences in the brands that divide the segments. The advantage of advancing a single brand is that company has the capacity to pool all its resources towards the promotion and success of the particular brand. This can in return promise the highest returns in marketing investments and branding initiatives.
Ray-Banhas also effectively employed the components of cultural identity of class, philosophy, and language in its viral marketing initiatives of sunglass. The principles of viral marketing hinge on the ability to exploit common motivators and behaviors among a specific group of people. Brand creation and leverage has been recognized as a powerful retention strategy by a number of organizations. This is because employees feel loyal and proud to work in organizations whose brands are respected by a wider population. According to Chernatony, and McDonald (2002), “the creation and promotion of brands enables an organization to retain the employees it needs for future growth”. “The brand has thus become the magnet that pulls in the best employee and this strategy only works when a company has defined its culture and created a clear value proposition” (Fukuda, 2003). These are core vertical integration strategies that define business success through HR management and policies. This underlines the reason behind brands such as
According to Verbeke, Bagozzi and Farris, (2006)
The purpose for segmenting a market is to allow marketing/sales program to focus on the subset of prospects that are like to buy the company’s offering. Given that the process is operated properly, it insures the highest return for the company marketing/sales expenditures. Based on whether one is selling his offering to individual consumers or a business, there are definite differences in what you will consider when defining market segments.
Marketing decisions are however, influenced by a myriad of factors that also determine largely the effectiveness of marketing efforts within an organization. According to Payne, and Frow, (2005), “the five micro and macro environmental factors that influence marketing decisions are technology, demographics, government, culture, and economics.” These factors have different levels of influence on organizations and depend primarily on the type, size, scope, and marketing activities carried out by an organization.
From the above analysis, it can be adjudged that Ray-Ban Company can adopt two broad strategies by either focusing on costs driven or value added strategies in their branding initiatives. However, it should be noted here that the choice on what strategy to adopt is dictated to a large extent by the strength of the particular brand. Ray-Ban is a company with a broad opportunity for the future given the fact that it is well known but suffers from inactive spell on its image building
According to McDonald and Dunbar (2007), “there are four major characteristics which define the marketing oriented organizations including shared values, organization, strategy, and stakeholders.” In addition to the above, decision making processes within marketing oriented organizations in regard to intercultural communication focuses on the needs of the customers first and share common value and high quality of their products above their competitors. Ray-Banchain of command is constitute very few ranks within the management to ensure easier and faster decision-making processes that takes the advantage of softer policies that seek to reconceptualise cultural identity. Whereas Ray-Ban Company takes greater considerations of the suggestions and expectations of their stakeholders in important decision making processes, their structure allows for faster policy and decision institution. Last, “their core strategy is market oriented that views the market as a form of a long term perspective and are flexible and participative” (McDonald and Dunbar (2007).
Content analysis of the communications of the Ray-Ban company
The internal analysis of the communication will not only help in revealing the strength and weakness but also use the information in drawing a strategic brand management plan. In this endeavor, the external analysis takes a critical examination of the market and competitive business environment and further goes ahead to analyze the possible external factors which may affect the branding strategy laid down. Business success requires a continuous content analysis of the communication of the strength, weakness, opportunities and threats of that affect the business. In this case, an investor can easily tract the performance of the marketing and plan appropriately. In this line, Ray-Ban Company will in the same way apply the concept and model of SWOT analysis in their branding pattern analysis.
The SWOT analysis will take into stock the basic elements of marketing concept that include focus on customer satisfaction, needs, wants and requirements, the philosophy behind the marketing needs to be owned by all stakeholders and it must address and identify future needs.
Best strategies to avoid the pitfalls associated with the introduction of a new product and subsequent communication will therefore be addressed by the SWOT analysis. This is well expounded by ref in stating that it makes sense to understand that communication is not about getting your target market to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting your prospects to see you as the only one that provides a solution to their problem.
The decisions on product policy are on the other hand related to the assortment and the type of product. As Stone et.al (2002) has warned, customers are at times frustrated with the different assortment of the products offered because of lack of delineation on efficient communication. However, it should be borne in mind that companies that have opt for clear distinction of their products through strong and unique branding techniques have achieve much access especially in the introduction of new products into a competitive environment.
In other instances, the issue of lack of communication between the brand name and the logo may offer very little incentive and thus bottleneck to the communication strategies of these brands. The best approach is to make a simple have the greatest impact. Consumers are best comfortable with an idea they can easily understand. Lastly there is need to create humor in the communication message to attract customers. There is a demonstrated link between customers and things and their drive their positive sides of emotion.
Brief advertising content analysis and means-end chain analysis
Ray-Band Company is an international company that deals with sunglass product. Ray-Band is well known as the company seeking to deliver quality products as well as customer service. The ability of Ray-Band to maintain its customer has generated recommendable profit in recent past.
For Ray-Band Company, advertising and brand promotion and the other intangible assets represents a significant proportion of a corporations absolute value. The globalization and changes in business practices has however meant that the traditional approaches to advertising strategies and brands management are rapidly evolving as Ray-Band to gain an edge over its rivals for the same customers. These changes in management represent a move away from a management systems focused on the individual management of a broad to a more holistic management of the entire customer management in an organization, while paying added cognizance to the management of specific brands configurations, increasing role of advertisement, the promotion of brand awareness and brand image. These have been observed to have greater impact on consumer perception to purchase Ray-band product such as sunglass.
The evolution and emerging paradigms of brand management have been well documented in the works of Zeithaml (2002), who trace the evolution of brand management from the origins of the first national brands to present status, whereby the important perspectives affecting brand management are well highlighted.
Other aspects have added a lot of inputs on how efficient advertising and brand management away from the traditional formats should be carried out to elicit and instigate customer perception to purchase. For example, Barney, (1991) have sought to bridge the gap in literature that exists in advertisement, the promotion of brand awareness and brand image by gauging consumer perceptions of localized and standardized advertisements in Hong Kong.
The global advertising strategy as advanced by the authors through the moderation of the role of brand familiarity and execution style translate to the fact that well-known brands with transformational appeals are more likely to succeed when transferred to Hong Kong, while localized advertising messages will be more effective when brand familiarity is low (Barney, 1991). Other authors have advanced several other postulates in regard to the role of advertising in affecting & promoting brand awareness and brand image development triggering consumer perception to purchase. Caniëls and Gelderman (2005), has pointed out that there are some similarities and differences among customers with different levels of brand familiarity regarding satisfaction formation and behavioral intentions. The levels of familiarity has however been pointed out to revolve around the strategies in advertising employed by a firm. Through the assessment of a self-reported item, the author was able to measure the level of familiarity of a given product and relate this to the generating factors in levels of familiarity.
The issues of advertisement as concerns product-market environmental issues are seen to take relevance within the contexts of the competitive threats and opportunities facing firms given the changing consumer markets, which has necessitated the need for adaptive reactions in advertising strategies has also dominated literature in the past . Kim (1992) has investigated the effectiveness of advertising in the light of the shift of marketing budgets in favor of promotions. According to Kim (1992), firms are seen to adopt different approaches towards such redresses including corporate downsizing, changes in services and relationships dimensions and changing brand management focus in an attempt to achieve reapportions that are compatible with their objectives. As a consequence, corporations need to pay increased cognizance to their advertising and branding initiatives, including the search for initiatives that will ensure for the strength of their brands. As earlier delineated, brands are symbols that customers have leant to trust over time and they signal intangible product qualities.
The attainment of objectives of advertising strategies has been presented as a multifaceted issue though, given the current market operatives and the increasing value imperatives by the customers. Park and Srinivasan, (1994) in his work explains how marketers have begun to pair their new brands with existing brands that have powerful images attached to them in the hopes of linking these positive images with their products. The author attempts to investigate the impacts of advertisement on brand image building and brand development. The author proceeds to give a list of companies that have successfully promoted and developed their brands throughadvertisement based on classical conditioning, a method for developing associations.
Within the cacophony of brand creation, awareness and advertising, substantial influence of celebrities has long been acknowledged and exploited by advertisers. Celebrities are used to endorse all number of products with varying success. A considerable amount of academic research has been conducted into the phenomenon with obvious implications for the advertising industry. Such research has found a number of variables which moderate the effectiveness of an endorsement. The role of celebrities in the development and triggering consumer perception to purchase and the impact on the brand they endorse has also been investigated, albeit to a limited extent.
Indeed, the effective advertisement and management of brands of Ray-Band Company has become a major priority for its operations of all sizes in the different department and markets. The reasons for this are certainly clear; strong brands are positively correlated with customer loyalty and profits. However, the efficient management of brands can present challenges, especially in the case where managers are unable to accurately evaluate and assess their brands particular strengths and weaknesses objectively. One major limitation that has been presented in both academic and empirical literature is on how to deal with the multifaceted issue of products development, advertising, celebrity endorsement and brand promotion.