ARC: Teaching: Assignments: Branding and Brand Management
areas: product: teaching
ARContribution by Sylvia M. Chan-Olmsted, Mark Forehand, Michael S. McCarthy, Barbara E. Kahn, Dan Przybylski, Deborah Roedder John, Soni Simpson, David E. Sprott, Philip Sugai
Related ARContent: Brand Management Course Materials
In many of the assignments below, either you or the students must pick example brands. A great resource for this is the Interbrand Top 100 Global Brands, at http://bwnt.businessweek.com/brand/2006/
Also choose brands based on current events. Link to Trade Press - Useful source for current stuff
Self Positioning Statement
Have students write a positioning statement for themselves. This could be part of an early-semester in-class small group exercise which also helps students to get to know each other.
Critical Brand Reflections
Students Identify (1, 2 or 3) great or favorite brands and describe what makes them great or why they like them.
Likewise, students could be asked to identify three “bad” brands and describe what makes them bad.
In either case, students could then identify a major competitor of the brand and to compare these competing brands in terms of positioning. Are they positioned differently? What are the points of parity? What are the points of differentiation?
Variation: Have students analyze the brand(s) from one or more of the following perspectives: Brand Personality, Brand Experiences, Brand System or Brand Architecture, Brand Community or Word of Mouth. Other models from your textbook might be brought in instead.
Extensions Gone Wild
Students identify a brand extension that you feel is totally inappropriate or ineffective. Why?
Bring a picture or advertisement or the item to class if possible.
The class can then cast votes for the worst brand extension presented.
Competitive Brand Message Analysis
The easiest option is to have students collect print ads. Then the students analyze the ad in term of brand equity and a concept or model from advertising (Hierarchy of Effects), or possibly persuasion (Elaboration Likelihood Model), or other concepts touched upon in your textbook.
This could be a group project requiring students to perform some primary buyer research about a brand that they (or you) choose, and to suggest recommendations to the brand's manager. The research could focus the brand's current tactical and strategic situation.
Identify (1-3) brands that integrate their brand elements well and critically reflect on criteria for choosing brand elements as described in your text book.
Critically reflect on the brand’s use of the options and tactics as related to brand elements
Describe for all three brands how the brand elements promote the brand’s equity.
A good candidate for a group project, this exercise has students developing brands. Papers and/or presentations could include
- Industry/Category Analysis
- Competitive Analysis (Positioning Map)
- Brand Strategic Plan (Vision/objectives/stategies/tactics)
- Target Customer Segmentation Analysis
- Customer Insight
- Brand Essence/Equity Elements
- Brand Positioning
- Brand Concept
- Strategic Brand Promotional Mix
- Profit and Loss Forecast(Projected Market Shares)
Problems in the news
Related ARContent: Product and Pricing Trade Press Links
Students identify a company that is having significant difficulties either in establishing or maintaining its brand. Groups will create a detailed assessment of the overall Brand vs. competing Brands, identify the key attributes contributing to current and potential Brand Equity, and create a strategic branding initiative for the company to undertake.
Have students make entries in a class blog. You can see an example at http://brand2006.blogspot.com
Brand Audit Project
Brand Audit Project, often assigned as a group project. Brand audit formats appear in various textbooks on brand management.
The brand audit is a diagnostic tool designed to assess a brand's sources of equity and it's current position, and to suggest ways to improve and leverage the equity, identifying possible opportunities for brand extension and threats to the image identified, in the form of a strategic plan.
There are two parts
An overview of how all products and services are marketed, branded and sold by the company.
- Identify all brand elements (logos, symbols, characters, packaging, slogans, trademarks)
- Identify the inherent attributes of the product/idea/service (pricing, communications, distribution policies, other relevant marketing activities)
- Profile direct and indirect competitive brands for points of parity and points of difference.
This will yield
- the basis for current brand perceptions,
- The consistency and continuity of marketing programs
- Perceptions of line and product extensions by customers and the distribution channel
An investigation into consumers: their knowledge of the brand, awareness, and the strength, favorability and uniqueness of associations including categorization, use, and the brand promise. Plus customer's purchase, use and disposal patterns. The goal is to find out what consumers think, feel and do about the brand and product category in order to identify sources of brand equity, and to uncover any problem areas.
Sources for this can be company sources, trade magazines, business publications, Google searches or even primary research executed on fellow students. This will be easier for a top or well-known brand.
The students finish with recommendations for brand positioning and marketing strategy which leverages and extends brand equity.
Variations: You pick the brand, the brand must be foreign, or the brand could have something going on in the news.