Positioning and the creation of a brand personality are becoming more and more important to
companies as they try and reach out to customers. As competition becomes harder for nearly
all companies and organizations it is becoming more and more important to have that "little
extra," that something that makes you different from your competitors. Based on this, the
purpose of this thesis is to provide a better understanding on an organization's brand identity.
In order to reach this purpose, two research questions are stated focusing on the components
of positioning as well as a description of the brand personality. Using the research questions
as a guide, a literature study was ...view middle of the document...
The concept of the brand can be traced back to product marketing where the role of branding
and brand management has been primarily to create differentiation and preference for a
product or a service in the mind of the customer (Knox & Bickerton, 2000). The development
of branding over the past 30 years is characterised by layers of added value built around the
core functionality of the product or service to create and maintain distinction in a particular
The building of strong brands is one of the ways in which a company can develop and sustain
an advantage over its competitors, and thereby maintain or increase its sales or market share
(Hankinson & Cowking, 1993). According to Rooney (1995) branding is a powerful and
effective tool for businesses and organizations. If brand owners use their products correctly,
the payoffs can be substantial. However, if brands are mismanaged, the results can be
damaging. Successful brand-building strategies create a distinctive market position for a
company, protecting it against the five basic competitive forces; rivalry among existing firms,
the bargaining power of supplier, the bargaining power of buyers, the threat of substitutes, and
the threat of new entrants (Porter (1980) as referred to in Hankinson & Cowking, 1993).
Branding is a technique to build a substantial, differential advantage by playing on the nature
of human beings. Only humans can attach meaning and feeling to inanimate objects and
random collections of symbols which suggests the appeal of branding is not entirely rational.
The associations attached to a firm and its brands can be important business assets. Product
attributes and customer benefits are the associations that have obvious relevance because they
provide a reason to buy and thus a basis for a brand loyalty (Aaker, 1998). Yet although
product attribute associations can be powerful, especially if a brand ìownsî a key attribute,
they can fail to differentiate because there is a tendency for all brands to position on the most
important attributes. Further, an advantage on a product attribute is an easy target that is likely
to be copied or surpassed eventually. Finally, a strong product-attribute association limits
brand extension options and thus the strategic flexibility of the brand. Strong brands go
beyond product attributes and differentiate on brand associations such as, organization
associations, brand personality, symbols, emotional benefits, self-expressive benefits (ibid.).
Hankinson and Cowking (1993) describe the brand development and maintenance of strong
brand in a five step model called ìThe branding cycleì(see figure 1.1). The cycle steps
contains of; research, brand proposition, marketing mix, communication triggers and the
3. MARKETING MIX
Product & Packaging
• Brand name