Integrated Marketing Communications and Brand Image

Introduction

Advertising and promotion are very sophisticated part of social and economic communication system of an organisation for its consumers, non- consumers and other businesses. By this way, the prepared messages of an organisation for specific products or services are delivered to target audiences. Within the timeframe, promotional activities has diverted into additional promotional and marketing communication tools, known as integrated marketing communication tools, which can communicate effectively to the market with positive image of organisation. (Belch & Belch, 2009) In this report, the objectives are to focus on brand building process with the help of IMC. Then, it has to describe building and maintaining brand image of any specific organisation with the help of IMC tools, and finally to draw proper conclusion for IMC.

Roles of IMC in Brand Building Process

Brand Building Process

There are mainly four major steps in building strong brand according to CBBE pyramid, which are helpful to accomplish objectives of an organisation to both existing and potential customers. So, four steps of brand building process are shown in below:

Brand Building Process
Figure: Brand Building Process

The four steps of brand building process are performed with brand building blocks according to its customers. Every level of block is related with brand building process from the beginning of CBBE pyramid, which are:

Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Pyramid
Figure 2: Customer Based Brand Equity (CBBE) Pyramid

Brand Salience

Brand salience is related to the proper identification of a brand to its customers, more specifically, it can be said that to create brand awareness among target audiences. By this awareness, customers’ ability to recall and recognition are increased in different situations. This awareness can be build up with the brand name, logos, symbol, and other elements of the brand of products, services, or organization itself.

Brand Performance

The customers’ experiences by using any product are a primary step of building a strong brand. The functional needs to meet up by-products or services to its target customers are brand performances, which is building brand meaning in the market.

Brand Imagery

Some other aspects are also important for building brand meaning, like customers’ profiles, purchase and usage situation, personality and values of target audiences, and heritages and experiences of using any specific brand. These categories can build up customers’ psychological and social needs with the brand image.

Brand Judgement

When a brand is focused on customers’ personal opinions and evaluations regarding brand quality, credibility, consideration, and superiority, is known as brand judgments. By this, the customers’ respect for the brand according to imagery and performances can be built up.

Brand Feelings

Customers’ emotional responses and reactions according to brand performances and images are considered as brand feelings. There are some categories of brand feelings, which are warmth, fun, excitement, security, social approval, and self-respect towards the brand and its feelings to target audiences.

Brand Resonance

The final step of building a brand is focused on the ultimate relationship of customers and brand, which is indicating the nature of the relationship to customers with the brand of product, services, or organization. For building brand resonance, behavioral loyalty, attitudinal attachment, community senses and active engagement with brand and customers must be present.

Major Roles of Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC)

With the continuous process of brand building, the roles of integrated marketing communications have also increased in present days, because of the growing importance of IMC. Some major roles of IMC in building a brand are described below: (Belch & Belch, 2009)

To develop and sustain brand identity and equity, which is focusing on competitive advantages of well-established brands because customers take a very short time to make decisions about products or services.

To encompass brand awareness, knowledge, and image to target audiences by focusing on a brand name, logo, symbols, design, package, and functional performances of products and services and with the help of various IMC activities, like mass- media advertising, sales promotions, sponsorship, internet, and direct mail.

To recognize opportunities of contracting existing and prospective customers by providing accurate and attractive information about products, services, or the organization’s brand.

Make a proper combination of IMC tools and techniques, this can deliver organisation’s messages to the customers effectively.

Analysis Brand Image of “Tesco”: (Tesco PLC, 2009)

Tesco Plc is known as largest grocer shop in UK, which is delivering services to its customers over century. It is also known as third biggest grocery retailer in international market with 12 sites to operation with the help of 470,000 people in everyday. It is providing great quality foods and non-food items with more choices to more customers with affordable prices. The main objective of Tesco Plc is to create value with lifetime loyalty to its current and potential customers. It is also facing social and environmental challenges by delivering carrots to computers from Shanghai to San Diego.

Building Brand Image

In past decades, the image of brand of Tesco was so negative, but it is recovering within time. For building strong brand image, Tesco has taken some forwarding steps in target markets, which are:

  • By providing customers with possible broad ranges of products and different brand positions in its grocery items, like Finest, Value, Fair Trade, Organics, and Healthy Living (Anon, 2009).
  • Securing commercial standing in global market places as retailer, by using demographic based marketing campaign
  • With non-expensive food items, it also provides upmarket value of expensive fashion wear with top brands.

Maintaining Positive Brand Image

After building proper brand image, Tesco also have to maintain this positive brand image, which are taken by following ways:

  • Tesco has maintained legal products under government proposals and also take advantages from advertising and brand awareness in competitive environment;
  • Extending product offerings and building strong customers relationship, like insurance services, motors and household appliances (Tesco Plc, 2008);
  • Managing successful brand image with customer friendly reputation.
  • Using own branded products with finest and low price value than other branded products.
  • Developing brand in international markets, including Asia;
  • Emphasising more on technological development, like online and catalogue shopping (Data Monitor, 2004).

Use of IMC Tools

Tesco is a grocery retailer, which is not only delivering products, but also services to target markets. It can use some specific IMC tools, which are:

  • Offering customers feedback with in-store ambience;
  • Using more prominent Point of sales materials;
  • Representing fresh products with own branded, which can well received by target customers.
  • Emphasising on money off deals, rather than multi buys (Tesco Plc, 2008).

Conclusion

From the above report of IMC tools and its roles in brand building process, it is clear that, in present days the importance of IMC has increased tremendously. It has also focused by examining real life example of Tesco Plc, which is a branded retailer in UK and international markets with the help of strong brand positioning and IMC tools. Therefore, it is important to focus on building and maintaining brand image with IMC tools in target audiences.

Reference

Anon. (2009) Strategic Analysis: Tesco Plc. Web. 

Belch, G. E. & Belch, M.A. (2009) Advertising and Promotion. 8th ed. Tata McGraw Hill.

Data Monitor. (2004) Annual Review and Summary Financial Statement 2008. Web.

Keller, K. L. (2009) Strategic Brand Management- Building, Measuring and Managing Brand Equity. 3rd ed. New Delhi: Prentice Hall of India.

Tesco PLC. Annual Review and Summary Financial Statement 2008 of Tesco. Web.

Tesco Plc. (2008) Regulatory News. [Online]. Web.