This is a collection of rights possessed by brands owned by a company. They may also be a collection of various company shares, fixed interest securities or money market instruments. We cannot cover this topic without mentioning that one of the most valuable assets for any firm is the brand associated with its products and services. In order to achieve we have to employ the principle of strategic Brand Management which addresses branding decisions faced by an organization. It helps to increase understanding of the important issues in planning and evaluation of brand strategies, provision of appropriate theories and other brand decision making tools. Brand management is the application of marketing techniques to increase a products perceived value thus increasing brand equity. This may increase sales by making a comparison with competing products more favorable.
The brands which were considered in this study were OPTUSNET and iiNET. These are two companies in Australia that provide similar services but have different brand portfolios which have affected their operation in the market. I am going to consider the two brands in entirety.
General overview of the two companies
Is the leader in integrated communications in Australia and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Telecommunications. The brands found under the umbrella name OPTUSNET include: Virgin Mobile Australia and Boost Mobile in Mobile Telephony Market, Uecomm in Network Services Market and Alphawest in ICT services provision.
iiNET is Australia’s second largest internet service providers. They mainly focus on ADSL based Internet access. They also provide dial-up and voice services. This company has acquired smaller ISPs in its growth. It has acquired ihug and OzEmail in the eastern states. iiNET has expanded
Brand portfolio decisions are usually strategic and have powerful impact on the entire brand architecture and the marketing strategy of a firm. There are usually two basic brand portfolio models. They include: House of Brands and Branded House. House of Brands refers to a situation where a firm may choose different brand names for various product categories. The brands then will have their own identity and personality. Different products in the same category also get individual brand names. This method has a major advantage that the whole brand may not fail due to a failure in one of the brands under the umbrella company. Branded house portfolio on the other hand is when a firm chooses to have one brand name for all the products marketed by the company. The main advantage of using this model is the economy of scale during brand promotion as there is only one brand to promote. It also reduces promotional cost of new product as consumers are easily convinced as compared to promoting a new product from scratch. One of the main disadvantage of these models is product dilution and competition within the product brands. The OPTUSNET employs the use of House of Brands. In this case, the companies acquired by OPTUSNET operate with their different brand names. This has had adverse effects in the operation of OPTUSNET especially when they want to launch a new product in the market. The OPTUSNET has spent a lot of funds trying to introduce new products in the market. The iiNET on the other hand employs the use of Branded House. This model has made it easier for promotion services especially when a new product is launched into the market.
Some of the things that should be considered during brand management include:
a) Be protected under Trademark law:
Both companies do not posses the trademark symbol in their logos. This has shows that they are not protected by the trademark laws. This shows that they are prone to imitation or violation of their rights. This issue is a limiting factor to both of the two companies.
b) Easy to pronounce
A company’s brand name should be easy to pronounce and remember. Both the companies have names that are easy to pronounce but he unique nature of the OPTUSNET makes it easy to remember than that of iiNET which is plain and not captivating as that of OPTOSNET.
c) Suggest usage
A company’s brand name should be suggestive of the brand usage. The iiNET’s logo contains the main objective of the company which is interconnection.
The two companies have different strategies of attracting customers through their brand names. The iiNET company has a better hand in terms of product broadcasting. Their logo stands out and this has been one of the factors that has led to its rising in the telecommunications industry in Australia.
The OPTUSNET employment of the House of Brands However has led to competition in the parent company itself. This has contributed to the staggering growth of this company. On the other hand, the iiNET usage of Branded house has made it easier to perform promotion services. This has been an added advantage to this company. However in the year 2005, their share value slid and this resulted into a trading halt. If this company could have employed the use of House of Brands, this scenario could have not taken place. iiNET picked up the pieces later on in the year 2008 and vowed not to make similar mistakes. This has made this company remain the main challenger in telecommunications industry in Australia. The employment of different brand portfolio models has both advantages and disadvantages. A company should carry out a thorough market research in order to evade grievous mistakes which can cost a company’s existence.
The two companies discussed above, have different marketing strategies as far as the brand name usage is concerned. The iiNET has been more successful than the OPTUSNET because of the brand portfolio model used. It has been spending little resources in marketing a new brand whenever they acquire a new product. This has been because any new product operates under the umbrella name of iiNET. The OPTUSNET on the other hand has employed the use of house of brands. This method has made this company spend a lot of resources for marketing a new product whenever they launch one. This has led to its stagnation in terms of growth. The OPTUSNET should to have their brand name alongside their sub brands. This will make the company’s products to be easily accepted. It will also reduce the amount of resources spent on promoting the new products and at the same time, not compromise on the brand quality.
The OPTUSNET should try to adopt the use of Branded house Portfolio which will enable them market their products with a lot of ease. Branded house portfolio will enable them convince their customers with a lot of ease because the customers are more familiar with this brand name as opposed to using a new name which may be hard for the customers to adopt. If this method is employed, the OPTUSNET Company will spend little resources in marketing and hence channel more resources towards improving the quality of their products. With this action, the growth of OPTUSNET will be change remarkably for the better.