The Use of Brand-Power
The objective of brands is to have a power that allows influencing buying decisions. In business, the brand power is the final goal to be achieved by any organization that intends to grow in a competitive market. In functional monopolistic markets such brand power is an inhibitor of the entropy that ensures long-term relationships in the environment.
On the one hand, the brand building process (product/service brand) enables the empowerment of the brand and makes the brand power tangible.
On the other hand, the image of a business sustains the implicit weaknesses that every brand has, giving it an institutional coverage.
The core object to be used to catalyze marketing processes is the brand of the product. The influential power of the catalyst fully depends on the power of the brand.
The possibility of having an influential brand-power in the market is based on the existence of unfulfilled needs of the environment. It is necessary that the brand builds the possibilities to satisfy these unfulfilled needs in order to be influential.
Once this has been defined as possible, it is required that the brand-power be catalyzed by the capacity of building a unique solution that allows establishing the differentiation of what is being proposed. This differentiation needs to fit into a preexisting category of products or services, but establishing a subcategory that has its own identity.
Innovation marketing needs to be managed when the uniqueness of a solution exceeds the boundaries of a category. The market growth of innovations is notoriously slower than the market expansion of products/services that fit within a preexisting category.
The purpose of the brand-power itself is to have a social influence that allows building a social capital in the environment. It implies that the influence be sustained by a complementation between the needs of the market and the promise of a value proposition.
This process is activated by the construction power of the company, which allows expanding the market and is sustained by the dissuasion power of the business that ensures results and avoids entropy in the marketing processes by ensuring the establishment of stable relationships.
The Ontogenetic Map of Brand-Power
The final objective of a brand is to establish a stable bond with its users, consumers, buyers and prospective buyers that catalyzes marketing actions. The development of this relationships requires beginning by having a cooperative attitude towards the market by seeking the satisfaction of the needs of the market. These actions are naturally segmented by the conceptual segments that define differentiated needs of the market.
This cooperation is sustained by a competitive positioning that ensures the dissuasion power of the relationships, avoiding the entropy of the cooperative complementary actions.
Social influence begins to exist when a social capital has been built in the market. Social capital can be defined as “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively”.
Construction Power – The Maximal Strategy
The maximal strategy of the use of brand power requires building the relationships with the market. This requires having influential power, which is sustained by the differentiation of the solution to unfulfilled needs of the market. The influential power requires seeking a complementary bond with the market that requires having the necessary resilience to adapt to the changes of the market and the actions of competitors.
As the buying process is driven by the concepts buyers have in their minds, the conceptual attributes of the value proposition are the drivers of the building of influential power and establish a cooperative attitude with the markets. The accuracy of the concepts is what makes the influential power tangible.
The influential power is driven by unfulfilled needs, which have included weaknesses that cannot be satisfied by the value propositions and drive the evolution of the market. To complement this weaknesses, it is necessary that the brand-power includes an idealistic differentiation that establishes the pathway for the satisfaction of latent needs.
Idealistic differentiation is the catalyst for the minimum strategy, which establishes the framework to ensure the achievement of the goal of establishing a complementation driven bond.
Dissuasion Power – The Minimum Strategy
The minimum strategy of the use of brand-power is having a dissuasion strategy that enables ensuring social influence. Social influence includes an entropic process which requires being minimized in order to ensure the existence of stable relationships.
This requires that the operational attributes that are implicit in the value promises included in the brand be fully reliable. The operational attributes are those that add immediate value to the market and sustain the functionality of the value propositions.
The dissuasion power is sustained by what has been named a mythical differentiation, which means a differentiation that fits into the beliefs and myths of the market. This mythical differentiation is the price that needs to be paid by ensuring that the differentiation is immediately perceived by the concepts the potential buyers have in mind.
The Levels of Brand-Power
We have defined four levels of brand-power that influence the market. To design marketing processes, it is necessary to know the level of influence that is available. These levels are
- Identification brand
- Driving brand
- Catalyzing brand
- Benchmark brand
Identification brands establish a formal identity of a product or service based on the operational attributes of the products, but do not include functional attributes.
They allow establishing the operational boundaries of their value propositions within a category of product or service.
They are functional for low price strategies, for non-differentiated and hygienic products. This level of brand requires the support of external catalysts to work within their natural segments.
Driving brands sustain products that have an operational differentiation that allows establishing stable relationships with some segments of the market.
These brands work when they are fully focused on specific differentiated segments of the markets where they establish a functional relationship.
They are functional for products with operational differentiation. To expand markets, these brands require the use of external catalysts.
Catalyzing brands allow introducing products with functional differentiation in the market due to their capacity of building an open space where the product or service is perceived as a first choice.
These brands are fully segmented and allow developing sub-categories in existing categories. They increase the speed of buying processes an establish a structured positioning for the products/services.
They are functional for all those products that have a notorious differentiation. These brands work naturally as contagious entities that influence the adjacent segments of the market where the products/services are installed.
Benchmark brands establish a category of products/services. They begin by being benchmarks in niches and expand based on the functionality of the value propositions.
These brands require time to be installed and their installation is strongly influenced by the context. Their introduction is successful when they are based on changes of the wide and restricted contexts.
Their functionality fully depends on being able to influence the restricted and wide contexts. They allow building different sub-categories in the category they created.
Brands have “potential energy” to drive actions. This potential energy is what we named brand-power.
Brand power is the core of structural market expansion. The installation of brands fully depends on the differentiation of the products/services that are proposed and the segments of the market that are being addressed.
When the brands do not have the necessary threshold of influence, they inhibit buying processes.
The paradox is that the overselling of products implies including a superior level of brand power that automatically produce paradoxical effects if it has not sufficient power.
The investment in brand building is the core investment in marketing. Brand attributes are in fact the openers of empty spaces in the market and for positioning products and services as first choice proposals.