Introduction to the Main Concepts
Marketing is the process of designing, promotion and distributing the products as per the need of the customers (Armstrong, 2012). Marketing also focuses on creating product image, creating target market and generating competitive advantage through various marketing activities like branding, promotion, varied distribution channels etc. (Baines, 2013). Branding is one of the most important tools of marketing through which companies try to create competitive advantage (Scholz, 2014). Brand is any differentiating feature like colour, tagline, logo or a name which creates an instant image of the product in the customer’s mind (Jones, 2012). Banding leads to recall and loyalty and hence, leads to competitive advantage.
Companies are using various methods to create a good brand image (Jurisic & Azevedo, 2011). Both online and offline mediums like online advertising, web marketing and television commercials are used by firms to brand their products (S??ksj?rvi & Samiee, 2011). Basic aim of branding is to create awareness, long term relationship and competitive advantage.
Advertising has been an old and trusted method of creating brand image (Kotler & Lane, 2013). Many companies are trying new and innovative mediums of advertising to create brand image like brand endorsements, cartoon characters and animations (Sharma, 2012) However, with the advent of online media, the focus of marketers is shifting towards the use of online methods to create brand awareness (Simmons, et al., 2010). The increase in online activities has led to this change in the attitude towards branding (Ho-Dac., et al., 2013). Both the selected cases discuss branding and generation of competitive advantage with help new advertising strategies like online media and innovative advertising.
Introduction to the Cases
Purpose of branding is to create customer loyalty and product recall (Smith, et al., 2010). Brand message can be sent across with the help of television advertising, print media, sponsorships etc. (Kapferer, 2012). The first case relates to delivering of brand message by McDonalds via their website. The selected cases deal with the new age interest of marketers in the digital medium and the success of McDonalds in creating brand image through the use of web based media in UK (Rowley, 2004). The case focuses on UK business in particular and talks of the ‘I am loving it’ campaign which was broadly propagated through the online media by McDonalds.
The second case deals with new and innovative advertising strategy by Vodafone, UK based multinational cellular network provider. This case analyses Vodafone’s creative advertisement strategy to create competitive advantage (Roy & Das, 2011) In particular the case discusses Vodafone’s Zoozoo campaign and its effectiveness (Roy & Das, 2011). The case elaborates on use of this campaign by the UK based company to establish a brand name in emerging Indian markets (Vodafone , 2017). The Zoozoo campaign has been a great marketing success for the company and it successfully established the company in the new markets.
Evidence of Marketing Related Success of the Two Cases
In case of McDonald’s the case study assesses the online branding attempts of the fast food chain in the UK. Online media is considered to be extremely powerful because it has a huge reach and also reduces the search cost of the customer (Chi, 2011 ) This is also a reason why online brand recall is considered to be high by marketers.
For a company like McDonalds, service delivery has to be through the face to face medium; however, the internet has provided a potent tool to the firm to generate more awareness about products and product variation (Charlesworth, 2011). McDonald’s has created a huge buzz through its online Ad campaign ‘I am loving it’ (McDonald's, 2017). This tagline focused on family entertainment and family get together which appealed to youth. This tagline has become a favourite of the customer and has created an edge for McDonalds over its near competitors in the UK fast food market.
Online branding campaign of McDonalds in the UK took care of all the major branding strategies like logo, graphics and text (Rowley, 2004). The golden arches logo with ‘I am loving it’ written at the bottom is visible on the website home page of the company. The visibility of the logo made it more and more powerful and gave larger competitive advantage due to instant customer recall generated by it (Rowley, 2004). McDonalds also used inviting pictures of menu and price variations to attract more customers. The variety in the menu also gave the company a competitive advantage. McDonalds used both online promotions and online information to invite customers to write reviews and feedback (McDonald's, 2017). This created customer relationship and gave the company an edge over the competitors
Vodafone is a UK based cellular network provider which is present globally (Vodafone , 2017). The case deals with marketing campaign of the company in the emerging markets of India which gave it huge success and made it a leading cellular network provider worldwide (Okyere, 2011). Advertising has always been an important tool for marketers to send a mass message. However, in the current era of globalisation customers get varied messages from many companies pertaining to their products (Armstrong, 2012). Therefore, a need was felt by Vodafone to come up with a unique and innovative advertising campaign to create a positive brand image for the UK based firm in the new market.
As Vodafone was a new entrant in the market it had the task of creating its own entity (Roy & Das, 2011). The company came up with a unique imaginary persona for itself so that people could associate with the brand, known as Zoozoos (Roy & Das, 2011). Zoozoos were white imaginary creatures and became an instant hit with customers giving a grand size brand recall to the firm.
Zoozoos were instantly recognised as Vodafone brand creations and hence the company successfully entered the market and generated a competitive advantage for itself (Sharma, 2012). A story was told in the Ad which was enacted by the Zoozoos. This also created brand and product feature awareness in an entertaining way giving access for market penetration to Vodafone (Roy & Das, 2011). This unique advertisement also listed various offers which would suit the customers of varied demographics (Roy & Das, 2011). Through this unique advertising strategy Vodafone was able to outdo the competitor in Ad wars as their Ads became very popular with the customer.
Achievement of Marketing Success by the Two Organisations
Aim of marketing is to deliver, design and promote the product in a suitable way (Armstrong, 2012). Promotions are a very important aspect of marketing. It is through promotions that the firm generates awareness about the products (Baines, 2013). Through its online Ad campaign and promotion through the tagline ‘I am loving it’ McDonalds has been able to generate mass awareness about various menu items within UK. It has also been able to generate differentiation through different flavours and price ranges (McDonald's, 2017). ‘I am loving it’ campaign together with the online Ads, graphics and text has helped in improving customer relationship and loyalty (Rowley, 2004). Customer relationship is very important for any firm as it creates loyal customers and leads to competitive advantage (Baines, 2013). Through its online campaign McDonalds has been able to reinforce the family values of togetherness and joint entertainment which has appealed to the youth leading to an edge over the competitor (Rowley, 2004). Therefore, this campaign has successfully created brand awareness in the UK markets.
In case of UK based Vodafone, it had a challenging task to generate product and brand awareness in a new market (Vodafone , 2017). Therefore, the firm needed unique advertising methods to penetrate the customer’s mind (Armstrong, 2012). Their frequent Zoozoo ads, which were entertaining and informative, created the Vodafone brand awareness. Vodafone needed a good advertising campaign which would help in outdoing the competitors in the market. The markets were overflowing with Ads by other cellular network providers and Vodafone needed to do something innovative to create a lasting impression on the audiences (Roy & Das, 2011). This campaign helped in creating buzz for the company product and helped in spreading mass awareness about the brand and its offers. Therefore, though an innovative Ad campaign the company achieved its target of market entry and succeeded in creating a positive brand image; hence, generating competitive advantage for the firm.
Promotions are an important tool of marketing and in the new age of globalisation and expanding markets companies need innovative Ad campaigns to generate mass awareness and brand image. McDonalds used online campaigning in the UK to reinforce its brand values and to penetrate the customer’s mind. At the same time, Vodafone used innovative and entertaining Ad campaign to generate brand image outside of its home base. Both the cases give a good example of how innovative and new age promotions can create brand image for the organisation and help the firm in creating competitive advantage. Both these success stories highlight that organisations need to think in a new and an innovative way to improve their brand image and emerge a success in the global competitive sphere.
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