As the marketing director for GGI, it is my responsibility to implement a dramatic and large-scale rebranding of the company in order to increase overall sales and improve the brand recognition of the company. Given the strong, established housewares market that has already been established in the American economy, the Black & Decker appliances & housewares brand is the chief competitor to consider in order to penetrate said market. In this report, their brand recognition will be examined, as well as the branding strategies that GGI can use in their marketing project.
History is the primary benefit to Black & Decker's longevity; they are a company that has lasted for nearly a century, being formed in the early 1900s (The Gourmet Kitchen, 2011). Their primary benefit has been to allocate resources to direct manufacturing; timing was also advantageous, as many of their parts were used in World War II. Their branding involves a large, recognizable logo and orange-and-black color scheme that have become synonymous with quality and durability. The purchase of General Electric (GE) helped to cement their dominance over the housewares market, and they have more resources by combining the R&D efforts of power tools and housewares (FundingUniverse, 2011).
When building brand recognition, there are several challenges to consider. First, existing brands such as Black & Decker have already carved a place in the American cultural consciousness; when many people think of power tools and housewares, they will think of Black & Decker or some other large company like Craftsman. The biggest challenge is acquiring enough initial visibility to mark out a niche in the housewares market that is not covered by Black & Decker, as it provides so many different types of power tools.
There are advantages to building leveraging brands in the housewares segment of the market. First off, the primary advantage to brand leveraging is carrying over the reliability and goodwill of an existing brand name to this new market, thus gaining that share of the market that is already committed to the previously established product lines of that brand (Kotler & Keller, 2008). For a company like Black & Decker, who primarily worked with power tools before acquiring housewares, can be trusted to carry that exceptional level of quality to that similar market. Black & Decker is synonymous with quality power tools, which creates the expectation of quality housewares.
Some challenges to leveraging brands also appear, however. There can be a fair amount of doubt as to whether or not the existing brand can carry that same level of quality to a new brand, especially if the new market is dissimilar enough to the first one for which the brand is known. For example, a coffee company entering into the furniture market may be perceived as not having sufficient market knowledge to provide trustworthy products. Brand leveraging can also cut into profit margins, which can create challenges with financing and being able to afford the expansion into new markets (Kotler & Keller, 2008).
Branding strategies to help GGI marketing project
In order to provide the appropriate marketing for the GGI brand's leveraging into housewares, there are many strategies that could be kept in mind. First, the chief move is to create a look, a packaging and aesthetic style to the products that allows the product to be identified with the company. In lieu of the current "plain brown wrapper" strategy, a stronger brand image must be attempted, with bolder packaging that carries a consistent logo and color scheme. While it may cut into the profit margin, it will allow for a significant brand identity to be formed in the consumer's mind, something that has been integral to Black & Decker's success (Skold & Karlsson, 2007).
Secondly, expanding into housewares must happen swiftly, given the diminished brand presence of GGI in the market. A substantial budget must be maintained for the marketing campaign, in order to establish the brand and its quality as a visible, existing entity. Otherwise, the company runs the risk of being completely ignored, as they are not introduced to the public. Opening more stores would increase visibility further, and brand awareness would be much higher within the public eye.
In conclusion, GGI must look to Black & Decker both as a competitor and an inspiration. Their use of bold packaging and streamlined brand leveraging of similar products has helped them achieve market dominance. In order for GGI to do the same, they must take several notes from this large company and create a similarly bold aesthetic. A large initial push to establish brand awareness and identity must be done in order to introduce the brand to those purchasing housewares, and to GGI's existing audience to make them aware of the brand leveraging.
Funding Universe. (2011). The Black & Decker Corporation - Company History. Funding
Universe. Retrieved from http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/The-
Gourmet Kitchen. (2011). Black & Decker Appliances and Housewares. The Gourmet Kitchen.
2011. Retrieved from http://www.gourmet.org/articles/blackanddecker.html
Kotler, P. and Keller, K. (2008) Marketing Management. (13TH ed.). Pearson/Prentice Hall:
Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Skold, M., & Karlsson, C. (2007). Multibranded platform development: A corporate strategy
with multimanagerial challenges. Journal of Product Innovation Management 24(6), 554-