Brands are one of the most important assets for any organization. Brands tend to stay with the organization, longer than products and steer the company to evolve with changing time keeping the promise intact. Brand Reinforcement refers to the set of activities where companies ensure that brand equity created doesn’t depreciate with time. Many brands who have survived and thrived multiple decades have always made sure that they keep reinforcing the brand values. E.g. Coca-Cola, Heinz, Gillette, etc-
To ensure effective Brand Reinforcement, brands need to improve:
- Associated Marketing
Brand Reinforcement is done by:
1. Products That The Brand Represents
Expanding the categories across which the brand delivers the core benefit satisfying various needs.
Fortune: Primarily, an oil brand in India, expanded to other food ingredients.
Maggi: India’s highest-selling 2-minute noodle brand from the house of Nestle ruling the country for decades expanded to ketchup spices and even ready to eat food.
Brand Reinforcement kicks off when this well-established brand enters into new segments. The promise around the brand remains the same but hey now satisfies more needs and expands the range of core benefit offered.
2. How Brands Make Product Superior and Strong
Brands bring unique associations with them. A strong brand has strong associations. And many times these associations are more abstract and category agnostic.
A classic example is Nivea. Nivea, which started off a skin cream expanded to a wide range of skincare and personal care products. The brand also forayed into men’s beauty with their men’s range. However, across all categories the brand carried it’s attributed to being – Mild, Gentle and Caring.
In the long run, brands must keep moving forward in the right direction and with new and compelling offerings. A brand that fails to move forward and reinforce itself starts losing recall, visibility, market share and thereby fail. E.g. Polaroid.
Brand Reinforcement also refers to holding a successful positioning and make only tactical changes that may be necessary to maintain the strategic thrust and direction of the brand.