Brand Relationship Quiz
Fournier came up with a definition of promoting the growth of brands. The advice was ‘having a relationship’ with the brand. According to Fournier, brand relationship means that customers develop trust and intimacy with the brand. This was after Cooper, (2010), researched and came up with statistics that showed that 68% of consumers did not feel engaged with the brands they bought. This means that if a brand has to become successful, then a relationship has to be built by an organization. In achieving this requirement, then the most important factor would be for an organization to see things through the eyes of customers. The recommendations of customers should be considered and acted upon so as the brand can become valuable and unique (Fournier et al., 1998). Furthermore, it is also required that organizations should give customers what they expect in return. For instance, if a brand requires loyalty from customers then they should also provide loyalty to customers through provision of quality offerings at affordable costs.
However, building a relationship is not easy mainly because customers view organizations as enemies (Buttle, 2009). This means that they arm themselves ready to ‘counter-attack’ what would be offered by companies. Therefore, the approach in building a relationship with customers should be two fold according to Fournier; building trust and attaining intimacy. In building trust, the first thing is in changing the initial product development projects and policies. For instance, social scientists should be factored in at the initial stages to remove hurdles that frustrate consumers. Attaining intimacy on the other hand can be attained by searching for a comprehensive view of the offering and grading it. Currently, social media such as Twitter and Facebook is extensively used to attain intimacy.
Product categories incorporate brand relationship for their success. In the auto repair industry the two brands to be investigated are; StanleyBlack&Decker, and FixAuto. Personally, StanleyBlack&Decker does not offer consumers a chance to offer consumers with a relationship with their brand. From analyzing their website, the company has not clearly articulated their brand identity. A customer has to see their mission statement to understand that they are dealing with auto repair. On the other case, Fix Auto has carved out a brand identity from their name signifying that it specializes in auto repair. Furthermore, the company—Auto Fix—has gone to the extent of establishing centers in near every home to provide easy accessibility for customers.
In the tomato canning industry, the two brands showing contrasting relationship types with consumers are Bella Terra, and Asti. Bella Terra is a brand by the Racconto Company that sells canned San Marzano Tomatoes. The company Racconto has established a relationship with customers by providing special offers during special holidays like valentine, and addressing the health concern of processed and GMO foods by consumers through provision of organic category. Asti by ibfoods Company on the other hand chooses to remain anonymous by not even trying to engage with customers to identify their tastes. The absence of an informational platform where consumers can exchange ideas with the company is not helpful in attaining trust and intimacy between the two parties (Theron & Terblanche, 2010). For instance, there is an absence of even a website through which customers can identify with Asti.
The medical service provider is also not left behind where the two brands that will be analyzed are dentistry and the family physician. Dentistry is seen to possess poor brand relationship where majority of people do not want to think about dental services unless in emergency cases. This is not helped by the fact that there is no campaign for the necessity of the service by dentists. On the other hand, a family physician is a brand depending on customer relationship. This is so because without positive client relationship and consideration of their needs, they might lose many customers because patients might opt for other physicians whom they can be intimate with and trust.
Lastly, the jewelry industry exhibits a unique brand relationship. The uniqueness is seen where most brands strive to establish a relationship with a certain class of customers. The two brands that show this notion are Affinity Diamond Jewellery, and Hanora Pearl Jewellery. Both brands have carved out an identity of being the best provider of jewelry in their field. In offering special offers for their products, there is special consideration in making sure that they do not lose their high end customers, who might turn away when the jewelry become common.
In analyzing Fournier’s paper, I have discovered that consumers do not have relationships with all brands. Consumers have relationships for some brands but not all of them. There are some products that consumers buy just because they are a necessity whether cheap or expensive; like milk or bread. Therefore, building a relationship with a specific brand of bread would be difficult because the market would keep on shifting towards either a brand that is cheaper or those producing quality offerings. Alternatively, brands which have relationships with customers are mainly found in areas dealing with technology. It is found that brands that provide easier solutions, and satisfy consumers are the ones which have stronger associations with consumers. This is because, consumers equate product satisfaction with life satisfaction; hence companies strive to satisfy both product and life satisfaction (Fournier et al., 1998).
Furthermore, it is from my personal experience that finding companies that go out their way to implement consumer wants are rare. This is because, the amount of time and resources in customer wants identification is very large hence margins would be affected. Therefore, to save on costs, many companies engage in exploitation, victimization, and control of consumers for the main reason of gaining maximum profits. On the part of consumers also, it is difficult for them to be fully satisfied hence the reason that few brands establish relationships with consumers. Consumers see companies as enemies, therefore whatever companies do to engage with consumers, success would be difficulty attained (Cooper, 2010). However, on rare products like Jewelry, brand relationship will be easy to establish.
The two products that would be used in analyzing distribution strategies for companies are auto repair and jewelry. According to Buttle, (2009), the common distribution strategies for products are inclusive of: websites, sales and literature tools, messaging, corporate identity, naming, and customer relationship management. In the case of Jewelry, the most appropriate distribution strategy for both of them would be in using customer relationship management (CRM). Alternatively, in the auto repair industry, the most suitable distribution strategy would be in implementing sales and literature tools.
In CRM, a business is tasked with managing customer relations in an organized way (Buttle, 2009). The advantage of this strategy is that personal relationship with customers is maintained, organization can know customer needs and wants, and quality sales leads can be generated. Furthermore, there are three perspectives of CRM that are information technology, business strategy, and customer life cycle. The business strategy perspective is the distribution strategy that is efficient in Jewelry product category. This is witnessed in the affinity brand where CRM is used in acquiring customers, retention, and extension.
Sales and literature tools are marketing mechanisms that are aimed at strengthening the message about a certain product. Some of the tools include: brochures, data on product, case study, newsletters, websites, and catalogues. Printed information is very important in terms of credibility and it helps in leaving a lasting impression on a brand. A casing example is AutoFix in the auto repair industry, which requires these tools in providing prospective customers with knowledge of the services and products they are offering. The company website is also instrumental in informing clients of the accessibility and types of offering that they have. Therefore, the website is a component of sales and literature tools that is used in promoting the brand.
Therefore, the similarity of the two distribution strategy is that they promote brand interaction and relationship in consumers. In the case of Jewelry products, CRM creates a brand relationship through communicating with a certain class hence attaining their trust and intimacy. Similarly, sales and literature tools promote brand relationship with consumers through offering a platform of exchange of information. Consumers would read about offerings provided by a certain company and then they would in turn offer their comments. The comments would be helpful in altering a company’s strategy towards consumer satisfaction.
Buttle, F. (2009). Customer Relationship Management : Concepts and Technologies. Taylor & Francis Routledge.
Cooper, L. (2010). The secret of good customer relationshipMarketing Week. Available at:
Fournier, S., Dobscha, S., & Mick, D. (1998). PREVENTING THE PREMATURE DEATH OF RELATIONSHIP MARKETING. Harvard Business Review, 76(1), 42-51.
Theron, E., & Terblanche, N. S. (2010). Dimensions of relationship marketing in business-to-business financial services. International Journal Of Market Research, 52(3), 383-402.