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Edited by Bernd H. Schmitt and David L. Rogers
Chapter 8: Everybody’s Darling? The Target Groups of a Brand
8. Everybody’s darling? The target groups of a brand Anton Meyer, Benjamin Brudler and Christian Blümelhuber INTRODUCTION Almost any industry is faced with the threat of commoditization. The threat of new market entrants who may provide almost identical products and services cheaper, faster, or more simply (that is, ‘no frills’ concepts) is omnipresent. How can marketers preserve and expand their current customer base in this turbulent environment? One possible answer is the development of brands. Brands fulﬁll various tasks for consumers. They add emotional values to functional products, serve as a signal of quality, and reduce the buyer’s (perceived) risk. Therefore, they help to shape consumers’ preferences and buying behavior. Against this background, brands are much more than just another marketing instrument or a single ﬁeld of action in a ﬁrm’s market communication or product policy. They are central resources and assets (Hall, 1992), organizational coordination units, drivers of customer equity, and therefore drivers of ﬁrm value (Rust et al., 2000). Taking this into account, the current popularity of the concept of brands is not surprising. A concept that emerged from the consumer goods sector is now common practice in almost all organizations and institutions. Corporations, but also political parties, NGOs, even countries, regions or celebrities like to view themselves as brands and make eﬀorts to tap the full potential of their brands. Creating, maintaining and enhancing the strength of brands has become a growing management imperative in all sectors. Consequently, a legion of researchers, consultants and...
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