Launching the New Activewear and Sportswear Ranges: Branding Plan
Launching the new activewear and sportswear ranges for a fashion-conscious, urban crowd requires a proper plan for branding. Regarding brand creation and communications, marketers should consider that the brand identity should be developed, involving broadcasting that identity to the target audience. Referring to Keller’s Brand Equity Model, “brand equity is fundamentally determined by the brand knowledge created in consumers’ minds by marketing programs and activities” (Keller, 2009, p. 142). Keller (2009) presents the consumer capital of the brand as a logical model of six blocks connecting the brand with customers.
Building brand equity requires putting each block in its place and then reaching the peak of the pyramid. They are combined into four stages of brand development: identity, meaning, response, and relationships (Keller, 2009). According to the model, creating a solid brand consists of a series of stages, each of which depends on the successful implementation of the previous one.
The first step is ensuring brand identification by buyers, as well as a brand association in their minds with a particular class of goods or with their needs. It is called brand salience, which results in deep, broad brand awareness (Keller, 2009). The brand positions itself as premium sportswear and activewear selling expensive and quality goods. Consequently, attention should be paid to colors and brand logo. The identity is made up of the latter, the association with the fast movement of the athlete. Regarding sportswear manufacturers, the company offers activewear and sportswear, mainly for a fashion-conscious, urban population. The colors are predominantly dark, the forms are laconic, which evokes associations with a fast pace in a metropolis and high fashion. The logo and style are made in the same style; these elements will become markers by which the buyer can easily recognize the brand.
The second step is to analyze customer awareness of brand value through strategic linking of tangible and intangible brand associations. This stage includes performance and imagery; the first is “how well the product or service meets customers’ functional needs” (Keller, 2009, p. 143). As the target audience is a modern city population focused on fashion, constant improvement of products, careful work on design and quality characteristics – these are the foundations of the popularity of clothes produced under this brand. The target audience forms a perception of the brand through its premium quality and style.
Brand imagery means “the extrinsic properties of the product or service, including the ways in which the brand attempts to meet customers” (Keller, 2009, p. 143). It can be achieved through emotional marketing, which provides sales stimulation and increasing company awareness, and can form a high level of loyalty to win the consumer’s attention (Nyagadza, Kadembo and Makasi, 2020). The main task is precisely the management of impressions, emotions of the buyer. Therefore, it should concentrate on quality and prestige, which is loved by ordinary citizens and world-famous athletes and show business stars.
The third step is shaping the appropriate reaction of buyers to the identification and meaning of the brand. It includes such factors as judgments and feelings, in other words, customers’ personal opinions and emotional responses. The suggested actions are to analyze customer feedback to address customer judgments. It can be done through Customer Support Management software such as Freshdesk and Zendesk (Al Jafa, 2020). The availability of information plays a central role in enabling response control. The amount of brand information received by the client is best left to his/her discretion. Various electronic resources will help with this, with the help of which the clients can control the amount of incoming information themselves.
The fourth step is transforming the reaction to the brand into a strong, active, loyal attitude of buyers to a particular brand. The company can offer access to industry-specific events in partnership with sports clubs, non-profit organizations. Moreover, for loyal clients, it is recommended to adopt customization. Consumers demand that the products produced by fashion brand companies are original, reflecting the shopper’s vision (Chobhan, Khantanapha and Piriyakul, 2020). The buyer wants to choose the product that reflects his/her sense of style, image and values. Thus, using modern software resources, for instance, VR technologies, the consumer becomes a designer of clothes and shoes.
Al Jafa, H. (2020) ‘A case study for the CRM software selection process in a transportation company using an integrated AHP and QFD approach’, SEA–Practical Application of Science, 8(24), pp. 337-351.
Carlson, J., Rahman, M. M., Taylor, A. and Voola, R. (2019) ‘Feel the VIBE: Examining Value-in-the-brand-page-experience and its impact on satisfaction and customer engagement behaviours in mobile social media’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 46, pp. 149-162.
Keller, K. L. (2009) ‘Building strong brands in a modern marketing communications environment’, Journal of Marketing Communications, 15(2-3), pp. 139-155.
Nyagadza, B., Kadembo, E. M. and Makasi, A. (2020) ‘Exploring internal stakeholders’ emotional attachment & corporate brand perceptions through corporate storytelling for branding’, Cogent Business & Management, 7(1), pp. 1-22.