Branding in the Entertainment Industry

Branding in the Entertainment Industry

Introduction

According to Kotler et. al. (2009) a unique skill of marketers is their ability to create, maintain and protect brands through their use of all marketing mix variables. Similarly, in the entertainment industry, building brand development must be managed with great expertise, as it is the very expensive long-term identity of a company. Numerous branding theories have been created in the past, including Kotler et. al., Keller, Gumble, Morrison, and Coop. This article contains one of these branding models and highlights its relation to the entertainment industry.

Brand identity

As more and more firms realize that the brand names associated with their products or services are among their most valuable assets, creating, maintaining and enhancing the strength of those brands has become a market management imperative. From a marketing management perspective, there are three main challenges to creating and managing brand identities; this process is represented in the model below. (Keller, Sood., 2003)

Brand Identity

Initial brand elements

The fundamental branding elements are the initial choices for the brand elements or identities making up the brand. These include the brand names, logos, symbols, characters, slogans and music genre. Brand elements are those trademark-able devices that identify and differentiate the brand and are often the most physical representation of the brand. It includes the brand development regarding name, logo’s, symbols, characters, slogans, and genre.  The first step is the most vital, after which only all accompanying marketing activities supporting the brand and 2nd associations indirectly transferred to the brand must be determined.

Related to the initial brand elements, Kotler et. al. (2009) developed six main benchmarks marketing managers should ask themselves when developing a brand strategy. Memorability: How easily is the brand element recalled, recognized, spelled and pronounced? Meaningfulness: Is the brand part credible and suggestive of the product or service? Likeability: How aesthetically appealing is the brand element? Transferability: Can the brand element be used to introduce new products or services in the same or different categories? Adaptability: How flexible and updatable is the brand name or slogan? Protectability: How legally protectable is the brand name, image or slogan?

Accompanying marketing activities

Four out of nine primary business activities, as identified by the business model canvas, have an influence on the brand identity, namely: customer segments, value proposition, customer relationships and channels.  Customer segments identify which classes the brand creates value for. Value proposition explains what core values the brand delivers to the client. Customer relationships classify what kind of relationship the brand has with the customer. Channels determine the linkages through which the value propositions and the customer relationship will be delivered to the customer. Due to their impact on the brand identity, these four elements have to be perfectly aligned.

Secondary branding associations

These are the other associations indirectly transferred to the brand by linking it to some other entity. These ‘secondary’ brand
associations can link the brand to sources -such as the company itself- to countries or other geographical regions
 -through identification of country origin-, and to global supply chains or
channels of distribution -through channel strategy-; as well as to other
brands -through ingredient or cobranding-, characters -through licensing-,
spokespeople -through endorsements-, sporting or cultural events -through
 sponsorship-, or some other third-party sources -through awards or reviews-. (Kotler et. al., 2009)

Conclusion

In the entertainment industry, building brand development must be managed with great expertise, as it is the very expensive long-term identity of a company. There are three main challenges to creating and managing brand identities; this process consists of determining the initial brand elements, deciding on the accompanying marketing activities and establishing the secondary associations related to the brand identity. The initial brand elements are those trademark-able devices that identify and differentiate the brand and are often the most tangible representation of the brand. Accompanying marketing activities, which are four of nine actions of the business model canvas, have an influence on the brand identity. Due to their impact on the brand identity, these four elements have to be perfectly aligned. Finally, the secondary associations are the other associations indirectly transferred to the brand by linking it to some other entity. Liked our article? See more on communication in the entertainment industry.

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