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Midovska Marija1

Abstract Nowadays, competition is inevitable and many intensive . On the other hand, consumers are much better informed, they can very easily reach desired information, product or service, and Company Profile. They are not satisfied with an offer of a generic product. Consumers expect to get a brand that will provide greater satisfaction. Precisely because of this fact every company should strive in his work to apply strategic approach to brand management. The main objective of this study is to perform analysis of the current state of the application of branding and brand portfolio strategies, and is their contribution to creating sustainable competitive advantage for companies, especially the Macedonian companies who need to learn from practice and experiences of successful companies worldwide. The objectives of this paper is mainly aimed at discovering the implications of effective brand management on consumers and the company, and the role of brand strategies in the process of creating value for customers and company. Macedonian companies increase their competitiveness in the long run, can reach only by monitoring the positive experiences and practices in this area. Precisely in this consists the potential contribution of this paper, and is through the application of bench learning and benchmarking, in the context of introducing management innovations that belong in the domain of strategic brand management. To achieve these goals will be used more scientific methods of data collection and analysis, or interpretation of information. In this context, used methods of analysis, synthesis, comparison, and some other scientific methods that are applicable in this area In this paper an attempt is made to integrate scientific research with the managerial aspects of reality. The specific case study refers to the current situation in the field of branding, among Macedonian companies. The research is primarily aimed at determining how the products / brands of Macedonian companies are perceived by consumers. Further based on these perceptions and actual strategies of companies to determine which products are brands that are just generic products. The goal is to determine strategy that can implement in their future work, which will help in creating high brand capital.

Keywords: brand management, strategy, competitiveness, perception, innovation.


If we talk about the creation of branding and brand are more stops of various experts who have dealt with this issue, which already represents a separate science. However, it is certain that they are not new ideas. They are perhaps as old as the history of trade, but the business climate has changed dramatically and continues to changes very quickly, so that now the time has come the greatest emphasis to be placed exactly on the branding of the product as a tool for achieving competitive advantage. 1

teacher assistant, Faculty of Economics – Prilep,

Before access to a detailed treatment of any issue, it is necessary to make its definition. There are many definitions of brand. Each of them contains some feature for the brand that is essential. What is common among them all is that the brand is more than a combination of name, design, symbol or other features that differentiate the product or service from others. 2 It is a unique set of visible and invisible additional values are perceived and valued by the consumer. The brand is said that he personally and emotionally connect with the consumer that this connectivity increases beyond the perceived characteristics. Brand is a collection of experiences and associations connected with the service, person or any entity. 3 From these definitions we can conclude that the brand is one on which the product differs from other generic products, it is a sign that it is a product that consumers trust and have loyalty.

Strategic brand management

An integral part of strategic management which is aimed at determining the organization's mission, its vision, goals, development strategy and plans for achieving those goals is strategic brand management. Strategic-brand-management is one of the important components of modern management and the same integrates all aspects planning, organization and control that are associated with a particular brand. Central place in strategic brand-management is a problem of creation, measurement and management of brandequity. This matter concerned a number of authors including the world famous gurus Keller and Aaker. According to Keller4 process of strategic brand-management is realized through the following global steps: • identifying and establishing the values and brand positioning; • planning and implementation of marketing programs in connection with the brand; • measurement and interpretation of performance of the brand; • ensuring growth and sustainability of brand-equity.

A. Identifying and establishing the values and brand positioning

Strategic brand-management begins with a clear understanding of what brand and how it should be positioned in the market relative to competitors. This would be the first step that needs to be done to build high brand-equity. Kotler defines a brand-positioning as an act of designing the company's that will allow creating a picture of it. This picture should continue to take a valuable place in the consumer mind. The goal is to locate the brand in the minds of consumers so that potential benefits of the firm will be maximized. Competitive brand-positioning refers to the creation of brand superiority in the minds of consumers. Primary, positioning involves convincing consumers about the advantages of the brand over the competition. This is perhaps the most important and most difficult step, because a well positioned brand in the minds of consumers would facilitate implementation of other phases in strategic brand-management. B. Planning and implementing brand marketing programs Building a brand-equity requires creating a brand that consumers want and are proud of him and who have strong, unique associations. Next you need to make the company to determine the marketing programs that will perform, and which are aimed at creating high brand-equity. In this phase, selected elements of the brand that will contribute to building the net equity of brand, design marketing programs for each of the


Kevin Lane Keller, “Strategic brand management”, 2 edition, 2003, page 4 J.N.Kapferer, “The new strategic brand management” 4 edition, 2008, page. 12 4 Kevin Lane Keller, “Strategic brand management”, 2 edition, 2003 3


instruments of the marketing mix and perform their implementation. Marketing programs should be consistent with the goals and mission of the Company Profile.

C. Measurement and interpretation of performance of the brand To understand the effects of marketing programs and strategies, it is necessary to measure brandperformance. For this purpose a useful tool is called value chain of the brand. Under this term monitoring of the entire process of creating value to the brand to better understand the financial impact of brand investments. What should be done here is to develop a system for measuring and management of net equity of the brand, to perform measurements of the sources of net equity of the brand and measuring the market effects of the net equity of the brand. D. Enabling, growth and sustainability of the brand-equity Once a product is build as a brand marketing activities do not stop. Furthermore it is necessary to maintain and ensure its growth and development, which would contribute to increasing the brand-equity. Building a high-equity brand is a continuous process that takes place continuously. For it to have high growth requires well-defined brand strategies and brand management-equity over time. It should be mentioned that we should be considering and introducing new products, and extension of the brand, strengthen and adapt the brand to a portfolio of brands the company. It is obvious that the brand increases the price of the product. The question is why buyers are willing to pay a higher price for a product that has almost the same features with some other product that is just a generic and a brand. The answer could look into the psychology of man as a creature who wants to demonstrate any superiority over the others. Because of this psychology people are willing to pay a higher price just to get a product that is different from others and who can express a higher status in society. Consumer brand that offers many advantages. With the help of brand identify the origin of the product. Sometimes the brand is identified with the company or corporate brand. This means that consumers are provided, the responsibility, if some features of the brand does not respond to those expected to seek the company or distributors. It is easier for consumers to its express dissatisfaction when it comes to products that represent brands. The important thing is that brands have special meaning for consumers. They identify with them, have their own, they accept them as part of their life. Each brand has its own story that the consumer is interested and willing to share with other people. Consumers want to learn about their brands. This is achieved by means of a marketing program that has the company based on their personal experiences they have with a particular brand. Based on information received, the buyers decide which brands satisfy their needs or not. Since Dhaka customers are familiar characteristics of brands and their ability to meet needs, to facilitate decision making. Thus, consumers have no need for gathering additional information before making a decision. With it will reduce the cost of research. The decision to purchase worn based on previous knowledge about the characteristics of the brand. Brands reduce risk when making a decision. The previous section mentioned the risks faced by consumers in the purchase. That is one way to reduce all these risks is to buy a product brand. Major impact on consumers is their perception, or how they perceive the brand. Brands have personal meaning for consumers. If we talk about the relationship consumers - brand, we can say that it represents a kind of agreement. In this agreement the brand as one hand, promising that their characteristics will meet the needs and desires of consumers, on the other hand, the brand has offered their loyalty. As long as the brand meets the needs of consumers, their satisfaction great, they are satisfied with it and will continue to buy. Loyalty among customers is of utmost importance for every company. All studies show that it is very difficult and you need to make higher costs to win new customers than to retain permanent. That (retention of existing customers) enables brand. There is no doubt that the brand adds value to the product. What we should be careful how it will be added. Also, the company should determine how you create that value. 3

It is surprising to see how brands continue to spread the interest of many authors, although some early thought that the brand has no future. Today, all managers are directed to use the tools offered by brandmanagement. Managers know that creating long term relationships with customers and gaining their loyalty can only be achieved if consumers have confidence in the product or brand that sells the company. There are very few strategic funds which are available on the company, which can help to achieve lasting competitive advantage. Brand is one of those funds. Managers to understand that loyalty is the best brand-loyalty rather than loyalty to the price as it was thought a few years earlier.

Implications of effective brand management-based companies Today, every organization wants to have a brand. Branding has become a strategic issue in all sectors: high technology, products, services, pharmaceutical industry, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, etc.. Key issues for managers in companies and organizations from all sectors are: whether the brand can consolidate their business, whether you can increase profitability, which is what Ptolemy should be done to create a brand or corporate brand, what steps should to take that investment to make, what skills are needed, which are the actual goals and expectations. . . Today not only survive an average brands. Today it is necessary to offer a different approach to branding, to offer strategic thinking. Each company is facing a challenge that must be answered. Every management must be organized in such a way that will allow the creation of primarily good reputation of the company in the eyes of all stakeholders and, of course, creating a strong corporate brand. Strategies should be aimed at creating products that represent brands. With the help of a strong corporate brand created a lot easier still, its products, the company can build strong brands. If consumers and all other stakeholders believe in the company's reputation, it is likely they are to believe in the products it offers on the market. Benefits for any company that has built a strong corporate brand and distribute products that are known brands are enormous. The biggest benefit is that it has a loyal customer. The brand inspires consumer confidence. All studies show that it is very difficult and expensive to win new customers than to retain existing ones. The brand is one that makes most consumers to be loyal. Loyalty of consumers primarily stems from their satisfaction with the product. Only satisfied customer can be a loyal customer. And they (satisfied customers) will be spared to express his appreciation to other consumers (especially the potential customers of the company). Thus, loyal customers for the company constitute a kind of free advertising. An effective brand-management allows you to create high brand-equity. High-equity brand increases the value of the company, the value of its stock value in the eyes of stakeholders. Central to any brand-strategy is the management of brand-portfolio, the ability to organaize all brands of the company in a particular brand-portfolio and manage the complex interrelations of brands in the portfolio. The fact is that every company the market performs only a single product, but offers a huge variety of product types. All these products represent the company brands. What matters above all is to determine which products represent brands, you can create a brand-portfolio company. The process is very important for any company that has multiple brands because the goal is to ensure that not only successful individual brands, but the group's brands are well organized. Managing brand-portfolio company must meet two primary tasks: - Optimization of the structure of brand-portfolio and - Adjustment of brand-portfolio to changes in market environment and strategic direction of the firm. Brand-portfolio strategy specifies the structure of brand-portfolio and scope, roles and interrelationships of portfolio brands. The goal is to create synergy, clarity and relevance in the portfolio, differentiation and energy brands. Brands in the portfolio should be considered as a team of brands working together, each with its separate role, but in order to achieve business objectives. Developing and managing a brand portfolio 4

strategy includes making brand decisions-such as adding, removing or giving priority to some brands, the brand extension in another category of products, development of brand-defining alliance or cooperation with a new category products. The development of brand-portfolio's strategy includes 6 dimensions. They are: self-brand portfolio, which enables it to be an integral set of brands to achieve the objectives of the portfolio, the following two dimensions defining the roles of product and portfolio roles specify a different set of roles that each brand should play them. The scope of the brand reflects the category of products that each brand will be a relevant context and relationships between the brands. Portfolio structure to formalize the relationship between brands and portfolio graphics showing how they should be presented ourselves against other brands. What is important is that you should consider each brand independently, but it is necessary to analyze all the brands together, to determine their relationships and influences. The role of the portfolio is mainly used to perform optimal allocation of resources. By defining the role of the portfolio determines which brands will focus most of our resources, which will invest more. According portfolio role differ: strategic brand megabrend, future powerful brand and an important brand. • Strategic brand - Strategic brand is of strategic importance for the company. Identification of these brands is identifying the leader of the business strategy. These are brands that have to work and therefore should receive all necessary means. The main and most important step is the identification of these brands can be the means allocated to the right place. • Current power brand (megabrand) - current powerful brand - these are brands that have the power in the present. They are dominant and major brands that the company up and carry profit at present. They generate significant sales. What's different about these brands in terms of the preceding is that these have no longterm success. Their power is present and refers to a short period. • Future power brand - future powerful brands - these brands are characterized by what currently can be very small, have very low sales and low profit exercise, but also designed to fail in the future. These brands are those which in future is expected to generate a profit and be what is now popular powerful brands. • Linchpin brand - important brands are those that have direct impact in the brand portfolio, but indirect affect sales and position the brand portfolio and the company at the market.

COCNCLUSION: Brand is the most powerful weapon that can have if the company wants to provide a competitive edge over others companies that compete. Today, consumers are not only met with a product that would satisfy their basic needs. Today, consumers expect to get something plus they like the product you buy, to provide higher levels of satisfaction than that which had previously. What according to which each company would have to organize their work is "Promise less, more fulfilled." This can be achieved only if the supply of products the company is products that represent the brand. Building a recognizable brand is a challenge for any company. The fact that only 10 companies control the bulk of the market in the world speaks volumes about the power that has the brand. These companies sell most brands of different product categories. Among them are located and PepsiCo (company which Prilep Brewery under license manufactures some of its brands). The philosophy of how a product can become a brand is still not well clarified, but one thing is certain: It is a long process that must be invested enormous effort and money. The end will return on all investments. Brand is a whole myriad of visible and invisible elements (values) that has a product and are perceived by consumers. The brand is actually in the minds of consumers. The brand represents all those associations that consumers have a product and add additional value to the product. Brand is a signal to consumers that it is a product for its features and quality are different from other generic products. It is a condition for acquiring loyal customers, who are the target of each company.


What is important is each company to adopt a strategic approach in its work when it comes to this issue. With the help of strategic brand-management plan, organize and control all activities associated with a particular brand. All these activities are created in order to achieve high brand-equity. Brand-capital actually represents the value that the brand has in the eyes of consumers. On creating this value influenced myriad elements, including: painting, availability, associations, preference, loyalty to the brand. Their vliajnie is different and depends on the tastes and preferences of consumers. From brand derived many benefits they receive as consumers (reliability when purchasing, quality, prestige) and companys (loyal consumers, premium rates, participation in the item of intangible assets of the company). When companies produce more than one product, it is necessary to define its brand-portfolio which will include all brands and will govern relations between them. What is the most important brands in the brandportfolio to compete each other, but they jointly contribute to achieving synergistic effects. To accomplish this, each company has well defined roles that have brands in the brand-portfolio and based on those roles to define the strategy of the Company Profile. Besides branding strategy for their products, companies need to pay attention and their corporate-brand strategy. In fact, the corporate-brand strategy comes on and brand-strategy products because corporate reputation greatly influence the perception of the products offered by the company. Building a corporate reputation is also a challenge and goal of every company. Reputation represents the opinion of consumers who have company. It can easily unravel. Because it takes a lot to be taken. What is most important for corporate reputation management is the key stakeholders who have company. In its operations the company is faced with myriad problems arising from conflicting interests of stakeholders. The task of any management is to ensure satisfaction of all those interests, but of course it does not cause disruption to the company's reputation.


1. David A. Aaker; Managing Brand Equity; USA, 1991 2. Matt Haig; Brand Success: How the World's Top 100 Brands Thrive and Survive; 2011 3. Adam Morgan; Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders; 2009 4. Jack Trout; Big Brands Big Trouble: Lessons Learned the Hard Way; 2002 5. Paul Temporal; Advanced Brand Management: Managing Brands in a Changing World; 2010 6. Kevin Lane Keller; Strategic brand menagment; USA 2008 7. David A. Aaker; Bilding strong brands; USA 2004 8. Blattberg Robert, Getz Gary, Thomas Jacquelyn, “Customer Equity Building and Managing relationship as Valuable Assets�, Harward Business School Publishing Corporation, USA, 2001



The main objective of this study is to perform analysis of the current state of the application of branding and brand portfolio strategies,...