Dimensions of Brand Personality While Marketing Products and Services

Brand personality refers to human personality traits which are associated with a brand. While branding a product, especially if it is new, or is being launched in a new market, in depth understanding of the Dimensions of Brand Personality is of utmost importance to the product manager or the brand manager.

Consumers often describe brands (at least in their sub-conscious level of understanding) by using descriptors of personality traits. Marketers attempt to use this consumer behavior to create or reinforce these perceptions by their positioning strategies. Now successfully positioning a product’s ( or a services’ ) personality within a product category requires the application of multiple measurement models.

The dimensions of Brand Personality was first proposed by Aaker (1997) in his famous and highly cited work on the brand personality framework consisting of 5 dimensions of every brand that impacts branding, brand association and brand recollection. Again brand association appears to partially mediate the influence of the competence dimension of brand personality on brand attractiveness.

The 5 main dimensions of this framework are Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, Ruggedness. Consumers interpret sincere brands as being down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, and cheerful. Consumers perceive exciting brands as being daring, spirited, imaginative, and somewhat with a cutting edge. Consumers perceive Competence from Reliability, intelligence, and success symbols from a brand. A brand that is perceived to be sophisticated is viewed as being charming and with a higher snob value and thus fit for the upper classes. Similarly rugged brands are perceived to have characteristics of being outdoorsy and tough.

Now, since high branding equity tends to develop when consumers have numerous positive and strong associations related to the brand. Brand association, which is defined as “anything linked in memory to a brand” is one of the major components of brand equity. Brand association, which results in high greater brand awareness and greater brand recall has a positive correlation with brand equity because it can represent brand quality and brand commitment. These in turn creates the basic platform for the product (or service) to harness strength to pull consumers, i.e. implement a pull strategy by the marketing manager.

Now recognition of the product or the service uniquely by the potential target segment with a strong association can successfully managed only through careful long-term marketing strategy, which involves advertising, pricing, and product development. No wonder that in current times, millions and billions of dollars are being invested in advertising and other forms of marketing communications in order to create product (or service) awareness and product (or service) association, so as to be able to implement a pull strategy.

Today, with increased focus to creating a unique marketing mix, be it for the marketing mix of products or for the marketing of services, understanding this framework is of utmost importance to managers managing a product or a service or a category of the same, so as to be able to create a rich differentiation.

Do let me know, if you have any clarification regarding the understanding of this article.

Business Consultant Certification – Launch a Successful Business Consulting Career

Business consulting is a rising industry in the United States and worldwide. However, it is yet to be regulated in the states. Anyone who wishes to be a consultant can become one, without education or credentials. Even though it is not required, a consultant certification credential in business is becoming standard for business consultants hired by mainstream businesses. Consultants in business, also called management consultants, with this credential are known as highly qualified and trained. They can be trusted for valid and helpful advice based upon education and experience rather than just opinion. Training courses leading to the consulting certification are often taught by highly experienced consultants in business who have been successful in several areas of the field.

They have a wide range of experiences and can relate to the students needs and questions. Curriculum for a consultant certification training course in business consists of several components. The main topic is the best practices of the industry. These include the models, methods, processes, and formulas of business consulting that have been proven successful over time and by many people. Core fundamentals of business consulting are an important part of training as a foundation for a consulting practice. Students are taught how to structure consulting assignments effectively and efficiently to make their consulting more productive for clients and more profitable for themselves.

Good courses will also cover service line management and branding, as well as consulting delivery models. Great ones will teach their students how to deliver above and beyond the client’s expectations. This is a great way to retain clients, but other client retention methods are discussed in quality courses as well. Some of the most important areas in training courses for business consultant certification are the considerations and guidelines pertaining to ethics and integrity. Ethics and legal compliance in business stand above the goal of increasing profits and streamlining productivity. While accomplishing those goals, a consultant should never suggest anything outside ethical or legal guidelines.

The training courses culminate in a business consultant certification often called simply CBC, or Certified Business Consultant. The courses can last from six to twelve months, but some can be completed in less than six months. While university degree programs last years and cost thousands of dollars, students can find training courses for fewer than one thousand dollars. An online format makes the training courses highly flexible for those with full-time jobs. For a small time and money investment, hardworking individuals can launch successful consulting careers in business.

Promotional Products for Smaller Business

In the current economic climate it is important for businesses to find new and exciting ways to save money. Marketing firms no longer have the spending power to launch high profile television or radio campaigns and so they must think of different methods through which they can market their company, products and services.There are lots of tools a marketer has at their disposal, but one fantastic way to market a business is to use promotional products and gifts. Investing in worthwhile products and gifts is a great way to raise the profile of a product or service without spending huge amounts of an already limited budget. They can be given away at almost any corporate event from exhibitions to presentations and are always welcome. Their inexpensiveness is obviously an important aspect of their popularity, but they also have the ability to make a big impact on the intended audience.Promotional Specialists Promotional products do not need to be designed in-house. They can be designed, created, and produced by a promotional specialist that has experience in making quality promotional products. This not only saves time, but it saves man power, which saves on costs too. Specialists in this area can be contacted and given some basic information about the event that you wish to promote at and the product or service you want to promote. Your specialist will then take this information away and create a marketing strategy for you, complete with customized promotional merchandise. The inventive ideas that a promotional specialist can develop is invaluable to a small company with restricted finances.Promotional merchandisePromotional merchandise can incorporate any item that has been given away with the purpose of promoting a brand or image or new product or service. The item will probably carry a logo or image that is associated with the company, together with contact details. The information will not be too detailed or complex but will convey a message that the person who receives the gift will take away and remember. The item will probably be loosely associated with what is being promoted too.Promotional merchandise for larger companiesMerchandise such as this is not exclusive to small companies. Large companies around the world give away promotional products to their target audiences because they are proven to work and to raise awareness. Using products as promotional tools is not a recent idea either. It is true to say that promotional products have been used by marketers for over 50 years and with great successes.It is a common misconception though, that promotional merchandise must be cheap. There are companies at the higher end of the spectrum that will give away anything up to a car to promote their products just as fashion designers will give away their clothes.The purpose and intention of creating promotional merchandise is simple; it is to raise awareness and generate business. If your product is seen to do this then your marketing strategy has worked. Quality products that clearly display your brand or logo will work best so thinking through what product you will give away will pay dividends.

VA Finds a Remedy…or Launches a Fluke?

This editorial is being presented to address the recent acquisition of encryption technology product by the Veterans Administration to remedy the problem realized through the theft of a laptop containing 26 million veterans personal information. An attempt here is being made to “lock the barn door” so to speak so that a second loss of personal veterans’ information does not occur.Our authority to speak to this issue comes from our Sponsorship of the Information Assurance Consortium, an organization that has pulled together industry experts in the Cyber Security product and services arena across all Information Assurance/Cyber Security industry space. While The Morningtown Group salutes the use of SMS software, the Veteran owned company that the VA procured their product from, here is an observation;’The real objective is to protect the data’! The laptop was just a point of theft and a point of exposure. The approach offered is a traditional solution, encrypting data on laptop. Fine!The issue is one of both data at rest and data in motion. The assignment was to protect the laptop. And the solution selected had that focus only… fixing the data at rest. The compromise was the data at rest, true. However, putting encryption on the data at rest does only that…fixes the data at rest. This presents little enhancement for migration potential. When the person on the laptop wants to share information with another person…like a report, or a ppt, or a list of things, or even an email….this solution does not serve the mission of the VA.There are other problems with the solution at hand. How does the user get identified to the laptop? Is it through a pin? Is it through a password? What key management is used per person? That model paints each person as an island. Or at best a group key that everyone shares. So what we have here is a political, knee-jerk reaction to the publicity of an embarrassing incident. Everyone, it seems, is in agreement that a firm deadline with measurable results is called for; that any solution is better than nothing. But why ignore the encryption technology product study undertaken and performed by the Treasury?Looking at the big picture would have presented a different landscape to the VA. Clearly the VA is not looking at the big picture.The next issue is the key management. To encrypt anything you need an algorithm (mathematical gymnastics) and a key. Is each laptop keyed for an individual? Is the key stored on the laptop and protected with a password or pin? If the laptop is keyed for the individual, then how does the organization get to the data? The data belongs to the organization not the individual. When a person quits the job, or gets hit by the proverbial bus, the next person needs to get to the data to continue the effort, well not if the key is for the individual. That is what role-based access control is for…and what about the individual’s ability to put his/her own keys on the system? Then the org is really in a trick.These are all issues that would have come up in a NIAP review…National Information Assurance Program. The point here is that a NIAP is focused on the system functionality not on testing if the algorithm works correctly…you can have a super performing algorithm and if you do it in the open, so what?Instead, the folks at VA decided to take a product that has a FIPS only review on algorithms, and although that is good it is not a review of the implementation of the algorithm. That is a NIAP review process, which would have been necessary for the solution to be robust enough and scalable enough to be used anywhere in the DOD. So what we have is the VA clearly stating that they will settle for less, even when the Treasury and other studies were available for guidance, and products that have the requisite certifications exist.Another issue presents itself clearly. What about future plans to test and implement HSPD-12 FIPS/201 policies, products and interrelated services? Is the VA aware of the instructions from OMB that other functionality relative to encryption technology will be required? Their currently purchased solution does not offer these components and will have to be tossed. Another 3 million dollars of taxpayer money down the drain.In their defense, they did state that they are going to look for an enterprise solution in the future. And they did state that they are still in final testing. So they have an out. But that goes away shortly, because they also announced that they want to start deploying on the 18th. Gee, I hope they plan some TESTING in there somewhere…and don’t just give out copies of the software to everyone and say….install this, you are responsible and on your own….that will bite them hard. Security is not rocket science, but it is a discipline, and requires thought, planning, and education. Wish them lots of luck, because they will need it.It reminds me of an adage…penny wise and pound foolish. They will throw away the current effort and spend the money again. But except for the loss of money, that will be a good thing.