This rather technocratic approach to business development has caused its critics to see in BPR a rediscovery of taylorism. Another problem was that the concept came to be seen simply as hunting down costs and making staff cuts. A study made in of companies which had worked with the concept showed that in the USA, an average of jobs per BPR project disappeared. The corresponding figure for Europe was BPR made its appearance during a period of recession and heavy competition, one in which IT moreover came to play a major role in companies.
Many organizations had to make cutbacks and dispose of activities that did not create direct value, and BPR was a useful tool for this purpose. It is easier to tell your workforce that you are downsizing or introducing BPR, than to tell them that you are making cutbacks. It may be a rare thing nowadays to hear a company say that it is working with BPR, but the fact is that many organizations today have well defined and documented processes that are regularly reviewed and developed.
The concept of BPR has contributed to an understanding of company processes and has provided many useful tools for analyzing them. It has also offered food for thought in the debate on what companies ought to concentrate on and what could be better done by others see the entry on Outsourcing. Brands are usually registered or trademarked with a regulatory authority. In current English we normally use the word trademark to refer to brand in the legal sense of the word. Because a trademark can be distinguished, it cannot be confused with an already existing trademark.
A trademark is protected for a period of 20 years that is renewable indefinitely. Trademark legislation places two fundamental demands on a trademark: 1. More recently, the commercial, strategic aspects of a trademark brand have won general acceptance. Mercedes How is it that Coca-Cola can be valued at close to 70 billion dollars? The result was that 51 per cent preferred Pepsi, while 44 per cent preferred Coke. The remaining 5 per cent did not have any special preference. There is considerable evidence to show that we as customers are loyal to brands and are prepared to pay much more for a product with a strong brand.
Brands even affect the way we act in that we use them to boost our own image. How much would people be willing to pay for a Rolex watch if it was impossible to identify as a Rolex? Who buys a Rolex watch because it tells the time better than a cheaper watch? Work with branding usually aims to answer the following questions: 1.
What does the brand stand for today and who is aware of it? What position does the brand have in the market?
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What do we want a brand to represent and who do we want to recognize it? What position do we want a brand to have in the market?
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Profile studies are normally carried out in order to answer question 1, above. A company profile is the image a company or product has in the target group, where image is the way the public interprets reality.
The figure opposite shows how some management consultancy firms are interpreted by the market. This was a real study and was part of a survey carried out by Testologen AB, the Swedish market research company. Progressive Large resources Creative problem-solving Active marketing One of the industry leaders Competent consultants Able to solve tough problems High quality of services Inspires confidence High prices Specialized in a few areas Broad competence.
Dr Frans Melin, a researcher of brands at Lund University, has identified brand-building as a process comprising six steps:. Product attributes First, a product must have a quality and functional value that are demanded by the market. Then it is important to consider how the product can be developed by other attributes such as packaging design. Brand identity Brand identity relates to how a company wants its brand to be perceived.
Image, which is closely related to identity, describes how the public perceives a brand.
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Core value The core value of a brand derives from those factors, emotional or functional, which are believed to produce a long-term, differentiating advantage. However, first there should be internal positioning, i. Marketing communication Market communication advertising, etc. A unique communicative identity should be uniformly conveyed through all marketing channels. Internal brand loyalty Internal loyalty to the brand is an important component in the management of accumulative brand capital.
It can be maintained through in-house communication and the publication of guidelines, for instance in the form of a brand manual. Ries and Ries have described 22 rules for effective brand building. Below is a summary of their main points. Conclusion 1 A brand loses in strength when it includes too much information Focus is vital for a brand. Identify the core value and build the brand around it.
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Expanding a brand may give short-term returns but will eventually contribute to undermining it. This thesis is far from being accepted by other researchers and practicing managers. Conclusion 2 First publicity, then advertising A success factor for a new brand is to generate positive publicity as opposed to advertising in the media.
The best way to do this is to be the first brand in a new category.
This should be treated as an investment, not a cost. In brand building, a distinguishing attribute has to be identified and then adhered to and imprinted in the minds of customers. In the interests of clarity, there should be a focus on the message going out while other attributes should be toned down. Conclusion 4 An impression of quality is more important than actual quality Quality is of course important for a brand. The important thing then is to create an impression of quality in a market. In this connection, it is important to. Conclusion 5 Leading brands should develop their category A leading brand should market the category which it has often created and welcome competing brands.
Buyers like to have a selection to choose from. If a category is short on brands, buyers may become suspicious and buy from another category. Conclusion 6 Keep concept separate It is important to differentiate between a company and its brand. Ries and Ries believe that a brand should be given precedence over the company which has developed it.
The authors also criticize the widespread use of sub-brands as they tend to dilute the power of the core brand. Mega-branding, master-branding, sub-branding and so on are fine but they are not customer-driven concepts. The customer has to understand the distinction and draw lines between them.
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Singularity is a concept that Ries and Ries often return to. Conclusion 7 Persistence is decisive Brands must be built from a long-term perspective. Success is measured over decades, not years. Where brands are concerned, it is important to keep a tight hold on creativity and not overdo the message. Then there are situations where it can be necessary to change or get rid of a brand, but this is a long, expensive process.
In noncommercial businesses, the business concept is often called the operational concept, or simply the business objective. The terms corporate or business mission are often used by both commercial and non-commercial organizations. A group consists of different business units each with its own business concept.
It may however, be meaningful to talk about a portfolio concept, which describes how a concern can best coordinate its business units and create synergies between them. A business concept should always start with the needs of customers or buyers. In this connection it is important to distinguish between needs and demand.
A need for cold can lead to a demand for ice, a fridge, or for a trip to more northerly latitudes more southerly ones for those in the southern hemisphere. The latter case was vividly exemplified by the two companies which at the beginning of the s were engaged in the business of sawing and delivering ice. The business concept of one of them was to sell ice, while that of the other was to sell cold.
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After the introduction of the refrigerator, one of the companies remained. This example also says something about defining core competence. The delivery of ice was an undertaking that embraced what for the time was advanced logistics. Surely this competence could have been used in some other connection after the advent of the fridge? More about the distinction between needs and demand can be found under Needs.
A business concept should be based on customer utility and the needs that the business satisfies in the market. It should be attainable but still be challenging; it should be all-embracing but not vague. A business concept should be relatively easy to define and simple to communicate avoid mumbo jumbo.