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Perceived brand portfolios: how individual views hamper efficiency
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0357-3264
2015 (English)In: Journal of Product & Brand Management, ISSN 1061-0421, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 610-620Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the perceived content and structure of a brand portfolio, which may differ between individuals, by mapping the brand portfolio of two multi-national companies from the perspective of the marketing team. The discrepant views between individuals are analyzed and an aggregated brand portfolio is presented. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews with nine marketing professionals were used to map their individual perceived brand portfolios and structure, based on the Brand Concept Map methodology. Findings – The study finds that there is a consistent difference in the individual perceived brand portfolio between marketing professionals. Brands that are not supported by all stakeholders may be suffering from an unclear positioning or undesired associations, and should receive management attention. Research limitations/implications – Explanations for the results are offered and future research is suggested to determine the generalizability of the findings and the economic implications of discrepant views on the company’s brand portfolio. Practical implications – Marketing practitioners should consider the possible effects of conflicting views within their marketing teams on business performance. Identifying brands that are not supported by all stakeholders could be a way to discover under-performing brands with problematic brand positions in need of immediate attention. Originality/value – This study is the first to compare and fully map the differences in perception of a company’s brand portfolio among internal stakeholders and the possible implications of this discrepancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2015. Vol. 24, no 6, p. 610-620
Keywords [en]
Brand architecture, Brand deletion, Brand map, Brand portfolio, Business performance, Marketing strategy, Portfolio strategy
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-175637DOI: 10.1108/JPBM-12-2014-0764ISI: 000371051200005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84942067691OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-175637DiVA, id: diva2:865192
Note

QC 20151027

Available from: 2015-10-27 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2019-09-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Brand Architecture from Above: Understanding the Customer Disconnect
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brand Architecture from Above: Understanding the Customer Disconnect
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Global business is transforming. Information technology in general, and the Internet specifically, has globalized business and empowered the consumer with more information and choice than ever before. Consequently, academic research into brand portfolios and brand architecture is faced with new challenges to reflect this changing reality.

Traditional research into brand portfolio management and its structural embodiment using brand architecture has approached these concepts from the perceptive of the brand owner/company. For instance, the portfolio has been mapped based on legal ownership of brands, which has been criticized as being a too narrow approach that exclude key contributors of the portfolio’s collective brand equity. Even in the cases where partner brands are acknowledged as part of the portfolio, their inclusion is often based on the revenue stream they represent or their link in the distribution chain instead of association. Brand architecture research has therefor focused on structural representations based on hierarchical trees created within the walls of the company itself, without necessarily investigating if the intended structure works as expected.

The missing ingredient in this halting logic is the perceptions of the market in which the portfolio and its architecture operates. Associations and transfer of brand equity is dependent on a concept’s mental perception in the minds of consumers. An endorsement that does not get noticed by the target market is a mirage in the minds of marketing managers, and an historical collaboration that was cancelled years ago may still influence the brand portfolio today by means of association in consumer memory.

The research presented in this thesis extends current theory in brand portfolio management and brand architecture to directly include the consumer perspective. This thesis re-classifies the portfolio and architecture concept as perceptual constructs whose efficiency is determined by the mental alignment between company representatives as the creators of the intended meaning and customers as the interpreters, or even co-creators, of the same. Study results presented indicate significant misalignment not only between stakeholder groups as a collective, but also between individuals within each group – even for brand managers working together on the same portfolio day after day. Current hierarchical models for representing brand architecture are extended using the perceptual dimension as well as a layer accounting for the openness of the portfolio, and a new brand portfolio model segregating brands based on the degree of perceptual inclusion in the portfolio is presented.

This introduction of the perceptual dimension into both brand portfolio management and brand architecture represents a new way to view these abstract concepts, a conceptual idea that has ripple effects into areas such as brand equity transfer, brand alliances, and portfolio risk management.

Abstract [sv]

Internationellt företagande håller på att förändras. Informationsteknologi i allmänhet, och Internet i synnerlighet, har bidragit till att globalisera företag och därmed gett konsumenten mer information och fler valmöjligheter än någonsin tidigare. Akademisk forskning kring varumärkesportföljer och varumärkesarkitektur står inför nya utmaningar för att återspegla denna förändrade verklighet.

Traditionell forskning kring varumärkesportföljer och dess strukturella utförande genom varumärkesarkitektur har närmat sig dessa koncept från varumärkesägarens/företagets perspektiv. Exempelvis har portföljen kartlagts baserat på enbart juridiskt ägarskap, vilket kritiserats för att vara ett alltför smalt tillvägagångssätt som utesluter centrala delar av portföljens marknadsvärde. Även i de fall där partnervarumärken erkänns som en del av portföljen så baseras resonemanget ofta på inkomstströmmar eller en länk i distributionskedjan snarare än associationer. Forskning om varumärkesarkitektur har därför fokuserat på strukturella modeller baserade på hierarkiska träd sett ur företagets perspektiv utan att nödvändigtvis undersöka om den planerade strukturen fungerar som förväntat.

Den saknade pusselbiten är istället själva marknaden där portföljen och dess arkitektur verkar. Associativa länkar mellan varumärken är beroende av portföljens mentala representation så som den ser ut i konsumenternas huvud. En koppling som inte uppmärksammas av målgruppen är ett luftslott i marknadsföringschefernas huvuden, och ett historiskt samarbete som avbröts för flera år sedan kan fortsätta att påverka varumärkesportföljen genom kvarvarande associativa länkar i det kollektiva konsumentminnet.

Forskningen som presenteras i denna avhandling utvidgar aktuell teori inom varumärkesportföljer och varumärkesarkitektur genom att aktivt inkludera konsumentperspektivet. Denna avhandling klassificerar portfölj- och arkitekturkonceptet som perceptuella konstruktioner vars effektivitet bestäms av den mentala överensstämmelsen mellan företagets representanter, i egenskap av skapare av den avsedda betydelsen, och kunderna som uttolkare, eller till och med medskapare, av densamma. Forskningsresultaten som presenteras visar på ett betydande associativt glapp mellan olika intressentgrupper men också mellan individer inom respektive grupp. Fenomenet existerar till och med hos kollegor som arbetar tillsammans med samma varumärkesportfölj dag efter dag. Avhandlingen utvidgar nuvarande hierarkiska modeller med hjälp av en perceptuell dimension, och en ny varumärkesportföljsmodell, som segregerar varumärken baserat på graden av perceptuell inkludering i portföljen, presenteras.

Införandet av den perceptuella dimensionen i både varumärkesportföljshantering och varumärkesarkitektur representerar ett nytt sätt att se dessa abstrakta koncept, en konceptuell idé som har implikationer inom områden som associationsöverföring mellan varumärken, varumärkesallianser och portföljriskhantering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungliga Tekniska högskolan, 2019. p. 140
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 28
Keywords
Brand portfolio, Brand architecture, perceptual alignment, consumer perception, Brand Concept Map, Brand Portfolio Star, Conceptual Integrated Multi-dimensional Architecture (CIMA) model
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-259596 (URN)978-91-7873-304-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-11-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-14 Created: 2019-09-18 Last updated: 2019-10-14Bibliographically approved

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