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Brand Audit - World Aids Day

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The following report provides an overview of what encompasses a brand, two theories that can be applied in the assessing the effectiveness of a brand, and the application of these two theories in the critical analysis of a branded event with examples given. The aim is to recognize the significance and great importance placed on branding, in relevance to its effects on the creation of value for consumers, and the success of the associated business. Management and careful monitoring of the application of a brand and the responses it generates from consumers is applied through brand management teams; it aids businesses in controlling the images and measures it conveys to consumers in order to create a positive brand image.

Tangible products and services do not encompass brands alone; events also work effectively as a brand, through campaigns, fundraisers, and charitable events. The event through which the two theories of Co-branding and Commitment-Trust Theory are applied in this report is World AIDS Day, a globally renowned annual not-for-profit campaign that is driven by the sheer need for awareness and prevention of HIV. Brand strategies that the brand has employed include “Dance (RED) Save Lives”, musical album collaboration with well-known artists, and the World AIDS Day Australia campaign, whereby each individual state and territory conducts its own fundraising and HIV awareness raising events. Through these events, the brand have been able to successfully and strategically class their brand as an altruistic, charitable, trustworthy cause that is well worth the investment and attention.

Following the critical analysis of World AIDS Day’s brand strategies through the application of the two detailed theories, several strategic and tactical recommendations have been provided to further improve upon the brand and its effectiveness in all markets in the future.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Executive Summary 1 Introduction 3

Concepts & Theories 4 Co-Branding 4 Commitment-Trust Theory 6

Brand Audit: “World AIDS Day” 7
Overview 7 Brand Strategies 9

Critical Analysis 10 Co-Branding 10
Commitment-Trust Theory 11

Recommendations 13

Conclusion 16

References 17
INTRODUCTION

A brand is a device employed to aid consumers in the recognition of a company and the products, services and underlying messages they offer. It is vital for brand managers to effectively and efficiently market the brand and all the elements that encompass it to consumers, with particular focus on the level of satisfaction consumers feel when they invest in the brand. Repeated exposure to a brand can have both positive and negative effects on the image of the brand in consumers’ minds, which is why it is necessary for brand managers to monitor the ways in which it is represented to consumers and customers.

Creating brand awareness and a strong resonance is imperative for companies, as it enables their brand to become more recognisable and superior to their competitors. Differentiation and offering significantly greater products and services to consumers is an excellent way of gaining a competitive advantage in the market/s in which the brand exists (Cardoso et al., 2013)

The maintenance of a brand’s elements, such as the products it offers, the prices at which they are set, and how and where they are distributed, image, and personality is imperative to the overall success of the business. Brands are not only associated with physical products and services offered to consumers; they can also be represented through events. These events can include campaigns; both short and long in duration, fundraisers and charity events, all of which strive to create a positive and effective brand image that resonates with the minds of consumers.

A brand should encompass all the knowledge and expertise a company holds and is capable of accessing and delivering to its consumers. Proper and appropriate maintenance of all facets of a brand will ultimately lead to the success of a brand in today’s competitive market. A fine example of an event that has properly maintained their brand image and brand as whole in today’s competitive global market is World AIDS Day.

THEORIES & CONCEPTS

It is imperative that brand managers capture the attention of consumers in such a fashion that the consumers believe their future involvement with the brand is well worth the time, money and effort that they would invest. There is a level of perceived value that consumers inherently demand when committing to a brand, often involving hedonic, social, functional and altruistic needs that must be met. Co-branding and the Commitment-Trust Theory are two theories and concepts that examine the ways in which a brand attracts & sustains the attention of their consumers.

Co-Branding

Co-branding transpires when an already well-established brand or organisation joins another brand to create a joint product, or is promoted together in various fashions. Typically, when two or more brands combine to make a product or similar offering, these brands cooperate to promote various logos, colour schemes, slogans and other brand identifiers associated with the product. It is a form of leverage that brands use for several reasons, such as achieving and increasing financial benefits, expanding a brand’s customer base, to achieve, strengthen, and/or maintain a competitive advantage, or to increase customer-perceived value.

According to Wei-Lun Chang (2008), there are 3 levels of co-branding:

1. Level 1 – Market Share
This involves forming a strategic brand alliance with another brand to penetrate the market and earn as much entry-level market share as possible 2. Level 2 – Brand Extension
This involves using the brands’ developed images to market products in other markets 3. Level 3 – Global Branding
This involves trying to attain a global strategy through combining the two brands together

There are many advantages of co-branding; the main advantage is that it can be successfully and uniquely positioned through the integrity of the other brands with which it is associated in the operation. Other advantages include using the expertise of brands that one does not currently have, reducing the costs of introducing a new product into a market, augmenting the meaning of the brand, and creating an additional source of revenue.

However, co-branding has its disadvantages, a major concern being the potential lack of control a brand can face when associating with another brand. Theoretically speaking, brands can run the risk of losing control of their positive brand image in the minds of consumers when they create a brand alliance with another brand, as they may face problems such as brand dilution and a partial, if not complete, lack of clarity and brand focus in regards to the equity, value and meaning brands are offering to their customers and consumers. The possibility of overexposure is another disadvantage with which a brand may be inflicted, as the significance of aligning with another brand may be diluted.

Commitment-Trust Theory

The Morgan & Hunt (1994) Commitment-Trust theory postulates, “the presence of relationship commitment and trust is central to successful relationship marketing” (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). This theory contributes to the broad theme of Relationship marketing, which places emphasis on creating and maintaining long-term relationships with current existing customers, unlike traditional marketing that focuses primarily on the acquisition of new customers (Gummesson, 1997).

In regards to marketing, trust emerges as parties share experiences and have time to interpret and assess each other’s motives; as each party learns more about each other, risk and doubt are reduced and mutual trust increases, results in increased motivations to make investments in the relationship. Trust is broken down into 3 sub-components:

* Benevolence – the belief that one party acts in the best interests of the other * Honesty – the belief that the other party’s is credible and reliable * Competence – the belief that the other party has the ability, resources and expertise to perform as they have so stated

Commitment arises from trust, with the belief that the other party will not be easily replaced. The authors place great emphasis on commitment and trust as they aid brand marketers in conserving relationship investments, and resisting the temptation of seemingly ‘attractive’ short-term alternative relationships in support for the benefits a brand could achieve from long-term relationships (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). Effectively, the presence of both commitment and trust has the potential to produce such results as improved “efficiency, productivity and effectiveness” (Morgan & Hunt, 1994), which lead to behaviours that are favorable to a business’s success.

BRAND AUDIT: WORLD AIDS DAY

Overview

In 1987, The United Nation’s public health group known as World Health Organisation founded a not-for-profit campaign known as World AIDS Day. The official date of this campaign held on the 1st December annually, where it has become one of the world’s most successful annual campaigns in raising awareness of, supporting those living with and fighting the transmission of HIV. In 1996, UNAIDS took over the planning of World AIDS Day and with over 190 of world countries, all members of the United Nations inclusive, supporting the cause, every year the global community comes together to take action against the transmission of HIV. Every year, World AIDS Day holds several awareness and fundraising events across the globe; in Australia alone, many educational workshops and seminars are held by individuals to address common misconceptions of the disease, as well as educate those on how to protect themselves. The Red Ribbon is an iconic element of the brand, which is a globally recognisable symbol of World AIDS Day. With the utilization of the discount red colour theme throughout all of their promotional and avocation efforts from red coffee cups and red pins to red buildings and landmarks, World AIDS Day drive a united goal and image in the minds of consumers. Products offered by the brand include red ribbon pins, t-shirts, cups, and hats, all with varying prices ranging from $2 to well above $30.

Each year, new World AIDS Day advertisements and promotional campaigns are released via social media platforms and press releases globally and nationally, each participating nation creating their own customized advertisements directed at their populace. In Australia, each state and territory holds their own events. Ambassadors of World AIDS Day include Bono, Coca Cola, and Australia’s own Naomi Watts and Marsha Hines. World AIDS Day holds a respectable image as a charitable organisation with the capacity to fulfill their objectives and goals. The brand is unselfish, altruistic and affirmative in nature, leading to a strong resonance within the minds of consumers, particularly when assessing and comparing the brand to its competitors such as World Cancer Day, Jeans for Genes Day, Bandana Day and Daffodil Day – all of which are also well-known campaigns within Australia.

Brand Strategies

In 2012, World AIDS Day partnered with ONE Campaign’s (RED) brand. ONE is an “international campaigning and advocacy organisation” (ONE, 2014) co-founded by U2’s lead singer Bono. Together, the two not-for-profit organisations brought together world-renowned artists and DJs such as Tiesto, Avicii, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris, and Madonna to compose a dance album titled “Dance (RED) Save Lives”. The acclaimed album, having reached #1 on the iTunes dance charts in over 30 countries (RED, 2013) prompted listeners to further educate themselves on the subject of AIDS as the global issue every world citizen will directly or indirectly face sometime in their life.

Throughout 2013, World AIDS Day in Australia aimed to raise awareness of HIV, the need to support and not discriminate against those who are suffering from HIV, and the need to prevent the spread of the disease through means such as safe sex practices (World AIDS Day Australia, 2013). In New South Wales, there were over 110 events such as Pop Up HIV Testing sites, initiated and funded by the NSW Government, in areas such as Darlinghurst, that allowed consumers to have their blood tested for traces of the HIV virus and have results within 30 minutes. The “Paint the Town Red” was another popular NSW World AIDS Day Campaign event that involved local communities and townships lighting their most significant buildings and landmarks with the colour red. Buildings and well-known landmarks included Town Hall, the University of New South Wales, and The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.

Other events included healthcare worker training, the awarding of 29 community grants across NSW in order to “further engage the community in ending HIV” (World Aids Day Australia, 2013), and the World AIDS Day Launch on 1st December 2013. One of the most notable awareness strategies employed by World AIDS Day in Australia was the Red Ribbon Street Appeal; this involved the selling and distribution of red merchandise and the collection donations. The much-admired Red Ribbon “is the universal symbol of awareness and support for those living with HIV” (World AIDS Day, 2013).

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

Co-Branding & “Dance (RED) Save Lives”

Through co-branding with ONE, World AIDS Day was able to market their cause to consumer markets and segments in which they previously had not been popular; that is, the world’s youth and younger generations. The collaboration with ONE allowed them to utilise the brand images and brand identities of artists including Tiesto, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, and Swedish House Mafia, who are well known and respected amongst the musical scene in which adolescents and young adults are involved. Using the popularity and prevalence of these artists, World AIDS Day were able to further develop their brand image to other markets and communities, as a brand that is not relevant to only those infected by HIV but also those who are at risk of being infected in the future.

A considerable amount of market share, which is stated as level 1 of Wei-Lun Chang’s concept of co-branding, was achieved as the two brands penetrated the market with the Dance (RED) Save Lives album, which reached #1 in over 30 countries. Through this strategy, World AIDS Day were able to achieve level 2 of Chang’s concept – Brand Extension – by further building upon their brand identity and extending it into new markets, through utilizing more modern mediums of communication and interaction with consumers, in the form of music.

There was a lot of risk associated with co-branding with ONE; and by extension, the artists featured within the album. Overexposure may have impacted upon effect of their marketing plan can become diluted and the message being conveyed can little-to-no effect on those at which they are being targeted. The brand ran the risk of diluting their main focus by associating themselves with people with whom they would not normally associate. There was the possibility that consumers would perceive the brand’s alliance with popular music artists as an approach solely to increase profits. Level 3 of Chang’s co-branding concept, global strategy, was not achieved; though collaborating and entering into a strategic brand alliance for the purposes of the album, the two brands remained individual from each other, despite their great success and achievement of their goals and objectives.

Commitment-Trust Theory & World AIDS Day Australia

In New South Wales alone, over 100 different HIV awareness campaigns and events were held throughout 2013 to generate awareness in local towns and major cities, so that the brand of World AIDS Day and the cause they represent is known by all. It was necessary for World AIDS Day to provide services to consumers and the public that would gain their trust of the brand, and commitment to the cause the brand emulates.

As previously mentioned, trust is broken down into 3 sub-components that ultimately relate to the brand’s reliability, credibility, magnanimity and competence. Through offering health services such as Pop-Up HIV Testing sites, and professional healthcare worker training courses, the brand was able to build upon their brand image as a benevolent brand that would only ever provide such products and services in favour of the on-going benefits of it’s consumers. Pop-Up HIV testing sites were provided as a way of helping consumers identify whether or not they were HIV positive, as well as delivering information such as how to prevent the spread of HIV if they were positive, or alternatively how they could prevent the contraction of the disease from other individuals. “A range of training and update sessions” (World AIDS Day Australia, 2013) were conducted in order to properly train and prepare healthcare workers in regards to HIV. Through these services, World AIDS Day was able to gain the trust of their consumers as all 3 sub-components (Benevolence, Competence, and Honesty) were met.

Though World AIDS Day was able to capture the trust of its consumers, it is not so evident that the majority of these consumers are committed to the brand. Though donations were given and wide support for the brand and its campaigns was apparent, World AIDS Day may not have positioned themselves effectively as a brand that can not be so easily replaced and overlooked. There are many other brands, both within Australia and around the world, that call upon the attention and commitment of consumers.

The strategy was successful in that it effectively and efficiently gained the trust of its consumers, however it was not successful in achieving the same level of commitment to the brand.

In regards to the effectiveness of the two theories applied to World AIDS Day, it is reasonable to conclude that the concept of co-branding is more effective in the branding of World AIDS Day. This can be seen through the success of the brand’s strategic brand alliance with ONE, and the widespread awareness it was able to generate through the compilation of a dance album. Through this, World AIDS Day was able to position themselves in markets and consumer segments that had previously proven less interested and involved in the brand.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the extensive research that has been conducted in regards to World AIDS Day and the theories and strategies they have employed to further develop their brand, the following tactical and strategic recommendations have been made:

1) Currently, World AIDS Day does not have clearly defined target markets in which they are able to position their brand. With a lack of distinct markets and consumer segments, the brand runs the risky possibility of driving their cause to consumers with a lack of focus, through marketing programs that are not specifically designed for individual segments and portions of consumers. This would result in the misapplication of funds and financial means, which has a resulting effect on the image of the brand. It is recommended that the brand focus their branding and marketing efforts into the following 3 markets:

a) “Donation” – this is a consumer market that consists of those who are not infected with HIV. With the vast amount of charitable and fundraising organisations that exist in the world today, it is difficult for consumers to donate large amounts of money. It is necessary for the brand managers to position the brand as a global brand that represents the entire world’s population and the issue (i.e. HIV) that we all ultimately face.

b) “Prevention” – this market consists mainly of adolescents and young adults. Studies conducted by R.L. Poul-son (2004) and L.B. Hightow et al. (2005) have shown that the transmission of the HIV virus, as well as the AIDS infection that follows, among college students in the United States has increased as a result of their risky behaviours in which they involves themselves (Khosrovani et al., 2011). These findings can be replicated and applied to describe the youth of the majority of developed countries, which further supports the need for prevention and protection education programs targeted towards young people who are, and will become, sexually active. These programs will educate teens and young adults on the risks associated with promiscuity and lack of protection involved in sexual relations, as well as the consequences and issues that follow with the contraction of HIV and HIV/AIDS.

c) “Support” – this market consists of those who are HIV positive, as well as the their families who are also financially and emotionally effected by the disease. People infected and/or affected by HIV will most commonly be burdened with financial restraints and difficulties, making it difficult for the brand to obtain funds and financial support from them. This is why it is important to the brand to position themselves as a supportive, constructive brand that is there as an additional support network for those affected.

Through the segmentation of its consumer base, World AIDS Day will be able to improve upon the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of their brand in regards to the ways in which they deliver their message and create a positive brand image for themselves.

2) World AIDS Day has various marketing strategies implemented in order to increase awareness of the brand; however, the majority of these strategies are executed in First and Second World countries that are wealthy and developed in terms of government structures, financial, economic and social systems, and technology. Currently there are no strategies set in place by the brand to promote World AIDS Day in low socio-economic countries.

In order for the brand to become more successful and to increase their brand image and identity, brand managers of World AIDS Day must apply tactics increase brand and cause awareness, such as World AIDS Day Representatives and Volunteers who would go to these low economic developed countries, found particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and promote the brand to the community. By promoting their brand in these countries, World AIDS Day will be able to bridge the gaps of knowledge consumers have in regards to HIV and what World AIDS Day strive to achieve as a positive, wholesome brand.

3) “Despite significant progress having been made in knowing about its causative organism, the mode of transmission, the diagnostic tests that establish a person's HIV status and the drugs that have improved survival, this disease still claims 1.8 million lives annually” (Rambal Bhat & Mehra, 2013). Education plays a huge role in the infiltration of a brand image and message; there is an increasing need to educate the youth, as well as mothers and prospective mothers, of low socio economic and under-developed countries about HIV and how it can be prevented. A major contributor to the spread and contraction of the disease is as a result of a lack of proper knowledge and understanding of how it is contracted and its consequences (Rambal Bhat & Mehra, 2013).

A recommendation for the brand would be to implement strategies in under-developed countries with a low socio-economic culture, particularly in Africa, including teaching mothers, caregivers and mothers-to-be how to hygienically and properly take care of their children, as well as themselves. Through this, they will be able to prevent the spread of the disease through generations and their offspring.
CONCLUSION

This report has explored the significance of successful branding to the success and livelihood of a company, through the application and analysis of the theories and concepts World AIDS Days’ brand managers have employed to create a positive, resonating brand accessed by consumers and relevant stakeholders around the world. Theories such as co-branding and the Commitment-Trust Theory have helped examine the not-for-profit organisation’s intentions for generating awareness of HIV. However it was identified that the brand did not have clearly defined target markets and also had other gaps in their marketing campaigns upon which could be improved in the future. Recommendations in regards to future branding strategies were given, including marketing the brand to 3 separate target markets, the promotion of the brand in low socio-economic countries, and the education of the youth and mothers in low socio-economic countries on how to prevent the contraction and spread of the life-threatening disease.

REFERENCES

1. Cardoso, I, Portela, S, & Dias, Á 2013, 'DETERMINANTS OF THE PERCEPTION OF THE PERSONALITY OF BRAND: AN APPLICATION TO THE AZORES REGIONAL BRAND', International Journal Of Academic Research, 5, 2, pp. 211-216, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 April 2014.

2. Centre for Population Health, 2013, ‘Pop-Up HIV Testing’, Centre for Population Health, viewed 18 May 2014, <http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/endinghiv/Pages/Pop-up-HIV-testing.aspx>

3. E. Gummesson, 1997, ‘Relationship marketing as paradigm shift: some conclusions from the 30R approach’, Management Decision, 35, 4, pp. 267–272, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 May 2014

4. Hightow, L. B., McDonald, P. D., Pilcher, C. D., Kaplan, A., Foust, E., Nguyen T. Q., & Leone, P. A. (2005). ‘The unexpected movement of the HIV epidemic in the Southeastern United States: Transmission among college students’ Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 38, 531-537.

5. Khosrovani, M, Desai, M, & Sanders, A 2011, 'AFRICAN AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS OPINIONS OF MEDIA MESSAGES ON HIV/AIDS AWARENESS: STUDENTS' ATTITUDES TOWARD THE DISEASE', College Student Journal, 45, 2, pp. 414-427, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 19 May 2014.

6. ONE, 2014, ‘About ONE’, ONE, viewed 17 May 2014, <http://www.one.org/international/about/>

7. Poulson, R.L., Bradshaw, S. D., Huff, J.M., Peebles, L.L. & Hilton, D. (2008). ‘Risky Sex Behaviors among African American College Students: The Influence of Alcohol, Marijuana, and Religiosity’ North America Journal of Psychology, 10, 529-542.

8. Rambal Bhat, S, & Mehra, S 2013, 'Effectiveness of Reading as a Communication Strategy on the Awareness and Attitude Related to HIV/AIDS Among School Going Adolescents in Rajasthan, India', TAF Preventive Medicine Bulletin, 12, 2, pp. 169-176, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 May 2014. 9. (RED), 2013, ‘Dance (RED) Save Lives 2012’, (RED), viewed 17 May 2014, <http://www.red.org/es/learn/moments/dance-red-save-lives-2012>

10. Stringer, E, Chi, B, Chintu, N, Creek, T, Ekouevi, D, Coetzee, D, Pius, T, Boulle, A, Dabis, F, Shaffer, N, Wilfert, C, & Stringer, J 2008, 'Monitoring effectiveness of programmes to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in lower-income countries', Bulletin Of The World Health Organization, 86, 1, pp. 57-62, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, viewed 15 May 2014.

11. World AIDS Day, 2011, ‘The Red Ribbon’, World AIDS Day, viewed 17 May 2014, <http://www.worldaidsday.org/the-red-ribbon.php>

12. World AIDS Day Australia, 2013, ‘Events – New South Wales (2013)’, World AIDS Day Australia, viewed 18 May 2014, <http://www.worldaidsday.org.au/internet/wad/publishing.nsf/content/events-nsw…...

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