Branding, Pricing and Distribution

Introduction

Branding is the process involved in creation of a unique name and brand for a product. It is the use of a term, name, design or symbol in order to give a product a distinctive identity in the market. Branding establishes a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. The logos, shapes and colors create an image in the minds of customers assisting them to remember the product, its maker and origin. Branding represents more than just the name. It represents a collection of qualities and values associated with the brand name (Winer, 2004). A company should consider using a branding strategy that will create a niche in the market for the product. The branding strategy is critical since it establishes the image of the company, fosters a competitive advantage, and develops sales. Creating a global brand creates sustainable competitive advantage. There are six branding strategies that include: product branding, line branding, range branding, umbrella branding, source/double branding, and endorsement branding.

Creation of a Domestic and Global Product Branding Strategy

Forest Bakery will utilize the umbrella branding strategy. Umbrella branding strategy supports several products in different markets. Each product has its own communication strategy yet each retains its own generic name. Different cake designs will carry the Forest Bakery name and logo. The cakes will have unique names but will also take the company’s name. This approach is similar to the one used by Johnson & Johnson. The company has about five other companies under its umbrella. Their products carry the Johnson & Johnson brand name. For example, Listerine, Acuvue contact lenses, Johnson baby powder and Johnson baby shampoo carry the same name. This strategy increases awareness in the market. It will also shorten the product life cycle. Since a customer has to be exposed to the brand repeatedly before he/she registers it, it is economical to create one strong brand than spending on the creation of different brands. In order to emerge as a local and international brand, Forest Bakery will build its brand on the values of health, happiness and hygiene. The company will use eco-friendly Forest Bakery carry bags that have the company’s logo. They will be durable hence the customers will use them for a while. The company’s vans will also bear the logo of the company hence promoting the products. Once the brand achieves prominence locally, the global strategy will involve using the same brand internationally. A true global brand carries one brand name everywhere it goes (Quelch, 2006). Therefore, Forest Bakery will use the brand both locally and internationally.

Optimum Pricing Strategy

In marketing, pricing serves many roles. Prices provide income, transfer ownership, and guide on the quantity demanded and supplied, and also send a signal to the clients. The message price sends to customers plays an important role. When determining the price of a product or service, costs must be considered. Pricing strategies include: low strategy, where they are set by covering the costs and adding a little margin. Medium strategy, where the company uses the competitors’ price as the starting point and adjusts from there; and high strategy, where the company figures out how much the customer may be willing to pay and puts the price near that mark (Winer, 2004). Forest Bakery will use high end pricing strategy. Customers get a free consultation as they order wedding cakes or custom event cakes from Forest Bakery. It gives the personal touch that instills confidence in the brand. The prices will vary from the ready-made cakes and custom designed cakes. Additional services offered will also determine the prices.

Examining How the Pricing Strategy Supports the Branding Strategy

Just like marketing, pricing should be about the customer (Winer, 2004). The strategy behind investing in a brand is to be able to price high for the products. The reputation established by Forest Bakery with its customers allows the company to offer premium products and services for premium prices. The clients trust Forest Bakery hence will buy the product just because the company offers it. As a result, the client is willing to buy from the company at a higher price, rather than buying at another place at a lower price because the company has instilled trust and reputation in the market. The quality and status of the product is distinct. The personal relationship with clients enhances the service offered. Therefore, using umbrella branding strategy supports the high end pricing strategy.

Distribution Channel Analysis

The distribution channel caters for the process, through which a product reaches the client. Usually, it takes place through a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and, finally, the consumer. In most cases, the prices increase as the product moves across the distribution channel. Forest Bakery offers cakes. Most of the cakes are custom made hence they have to be delivered directly to the client. As a result, the distribution strategy used for these products is direct. In addition to retaining high profits, this distribution channel also creates the responsibility of marketing, producing, and service provision. As a result, the cost is also relatively high. In addition to this channel, the bakery can also sell some products through some shopping malls and supermarkets. The company could acquire stands branded in their names so as to access additional markets. Although the stands will be in the malls, the operations will remain with that bakery. The company will also use the internet in its delivery process. Clients can make orders and effect payment through the company’s website. The product will be delivered to them.

The Use of Push and Pull Strategy and Rationale

A push and pull strategy entails whether the producer or manufacturer targets the channel partners or consumers with the marketing information. If information gets direct to the customers, consumers pull the products through the channel. The channel partners push the products down the distribution channel to the consumer (Winer, 2004). Forest Bakery will use low key push and strong pull strategy. Social media, such as Facebook and the company’s website and word of mouth, entail the push strategy. Satisfied clients will receive encouragement to pass the word through the social media or word of mouth. The customer will get a gift from the company. The pull strategy used by the company entails direct mails, follow-up contacts, magazine, journal and newspaper advertisements, and the use of mass media.

The Distribution Strategy Fitness for the Product, Target Market, and Overall Marketing Strategy for the Company

Forest Bakery’s Strategy uses direct distribution channel that has an e-commerce component. The target market includes families and couples. The company has a strategy to go global. The marketing strategy used ensures that the products are easily accessible to the customers. The company targets people with high incomes. These people have better understanding of the value of custom-made products. Such people require direct contact with the people offering a product or service. The distribution strategy has many options. There are physical outlets and e-commerce. The online business conducts its services 24 hours, 7 days a week. It ensures that even busy, distant and global customer can access services of the company.

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