Global Markets and Branding Strategies of Luxury Car Companies in China Market — Bentley and Rolls-Royce Motors

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1  Research Background

The objective is to develop deeper understanding on luxury car companies’ choice of branding strategies in the China market.

The brand is defined as a sign, design name, symbol or a combination of elements which is useful to differentiate the product of one seller from the competitors. According to Balmer (2012) there is numerous product and corporate brands are competing in today global market. Corporate Branding is known as a strategy in which corporate and brand have the same name as well as product branding is known as building different identities for a range of same company products. (Aaker, 2009)

When multi-national corporation (MNC) enters the global markets the question is whether to adapt to local culture and customer preference or deploy standardized practices. Moreover, companies face the dilemma that whether it should deploy corporate or product branding strategy. The aim of this research will be to answer the research question that ‘what branding strategies luxury car companies deploy in the china markets’.  (Kotler, 2012)

The purpose of the research is to examine the strategies used by the luxury car companies when they entered China market. The aim is to explore what factors were taken in consideration by these companies in selection of appropriate branding strategies when they entered the China market. The two companies selected to explore the phenomena are Bentley and Rolls-Royce. (Balmer, 2012)

1.2 Research context – Case for China market

Globalization has opened new horizons for the companies to sell their products in new markets around the world. The global markets are not homogenous and markets characteristic varied based on the financial stability, economic development, and cultural difference. (Nagel, 2012)

The luxury goods market in china is developing and with economic development, a large number of MNC has entered the China market. Nevertheless, the market demographic and consumer preferences are significantly different when to compare with the international market. Therefore, the complexity and uniqueness of the China market require companies to select marketing strategies which help them to grow and expand. The market dynamic of luxury goods is new phenomena and the consumer is inclined to purchase high-quality products. (Bilgin & Wuhrer, 2014)

There has been a lot of research on branding strategies for both product and corporate branding adoption. However, there is a lack of research evidence on why and how companies deploy specific branding strategy in relation to the China market. Moreover, there is limited information available on a selection of branding strategies for the luxury car companies in china markets. (Bilgin & Wuhrer, 2014)

The purpose of the research is to develop a deeper understanding on luxury car companies’ choice of branding strategies in the global markets. Therefore, the fundamental area of investigation is ‘Global Markets and Branding Strategies of Luxury Car Companies in china’.  (Lee, et al., 2015)

1.3 Context of Branding and MNC

Globalization is known as a process through which companies creates international presence and influence and starts its operations at international level. (Aaker & Joachimsthaler, 2012) When companies expanded to the global market it requires a global brand strategy as well as it requires a market strategy for the international market. (Kapferer, 2012)

Companies choose standardization strategy for their Branding and marketing to ensure they achieve economies of scope and scale from their activities. To remain competitive in the global markets companies, an effective branding strategy is required. However, companies sometimes prefer to adapt to the preference of the local people and integrate cultural difference in their products. (Aaker, 2012)

The overall objective of the company is to formulate a strategy which helps to capitalize on the existing brand image across the international markets. Companies need to deploy an effective branding strategy in order to create replicate the competitive advantage. Companies choose different strategies based on their structure and product offering. (Kotler, 2012; Balmer, 2012)

1.4 Research Aims and question

The aim of the research is to develop a deeper perspective on the branding strategies used by the luxury car companies when they enter the China market. The research question is to determine ‘what branding strategies luxury car companies deploy in the China market and in particular Rolls-Royce and Bentley are examined and evaluated.

The objective is to develop deeper understanding on luxury car companies’ choice of branding strategies in the China market.

1.4.1 Research Objective

The specific research objectives enclosed for this research are

  • To study how companies defined the branding strategy in China market
  • To determine whether companies have deployed standardized or adaption approach for product marketing
  • To investigate factors which influence on luxury product companies’ choice of branding strategies in global markets?

1.5 Usefulness and Limitation

The usefulness of this study is that it would allow the luxury brand to explore and understand the potential factors and branding strategies when entering the china market. The cultural and economic aspect as well as market and product implications associated with branding strategies in China for a luxury brand is a key highlight of this study. The limitation of the study is size and time involved in this study.

The lack of secondary data availability as well as interview has conducted with local marketing manager in China which might not highlight the branding strategies in a deeper perspective. The collection of the primary data is practically is restricted to local marketing manager of the companies in China because of time and access to the information.

1.6 Structure of the study

The first chapter enclosed the research context and objectives of the study. The second chapter of the study identifies and examine the literature on the branding strategies and factors which affect the branding strategies of the companies and develop a conceptual framework. The third chapter enclosed the research methodology along with design, population and reach instruments used for the study. The fourth chapter of the study analyses and evaluate the data collected and analysis as well as the fifth chapter of the study present conclusion and recommendation for the luxury brand companies entering the China market.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

This chapter of the dissertation enclosed the literature review to determine what branding strategies luxury car companies deploy in the global markets. The literature reviews are managed into three sections to develop a rigorous understanding on the research question.

The first section of the literature review examines the branding approach strategies along need of the standardized or adaption approach. The second section reviews and differentiate between the product and corporate along with stakeholders implication for the companies in the international market. The last section will examine the factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies and proposes conceptual framework.

Section 1: Global Brand and Branding Strategies

2.2 Branding and Global brand

Branding is a useful tool to balance the difference the discriminating and functional benefits. The company has to important decision to ensure that customer positively perceive the brand as strong brands have long terms perspective. Moreover, branding in the global marketplace involves a range of factors to consider such as market to compete, type of product along with access and demand for the product. (Thompson & Strutton, 2012)

A company using right branding strategies can replicate the success of the brand in another country. The two fundamental factors associated with the success of the brand in the global market include country and company image as well as brand popularity. (Melewar, 2014)

Globalization and technology have resulted in the emergence of the global brands. Moreover, companies have positioned the global brands in a way that consumers around the world benefit from the brand as people of the home country get benefited. Companies use the same product all over the world because of the cost associated with and it is difficult to diversify. (Balmer, 2012)

The company usually positioned their products in the global marketplace with slight modification. The success of the global brand can be measured through globally balance sales from around the world, fulfil similar class of customer needs globally, consumer value the country of origin for the product as well as focus on the product. (Steenkamp, 2014)

2.3 Corporate Branding and Product Branding

There are different ways in which brands can be classified. The first approach company could take is using company name as brand name which is also classified as ‘corporate branding’ (same name of company and its products) and in second manner it can classify the individual product in which each product identify itself and does not use the corporate name (product branding). (Aaker, 2012)

The advantage of the corporate branding is that when a customer comes in contact with company product it reinforces the image of the company. The architecture of the brand plays important role for success of the company in the market and therefore, it is important for the companies to select brand architecture based on the type and number of brands. (Kapferer, 2012) The diagram below shows the types of brand architecture companies can use;

Corporate Branding and Product Branding

Figure 1: Corporate Branding and Product Branding

Source: (Kapferer, 2008;  2012)

The corporate brand shows that all company products share the core values but the products are individual. On the other hand, product brand shows that all products have independent identities and these two can linked on the need and requirement of the company. (Kapferer, 2008)

2.4 Branding strategies

The branding strategies model presented by the Kapferer (2008) which highlight the approaches company can take to position the brand of the company. The model suggests that when a company product is highly differentiated, the more it moves towards the product branding. The diagram below shows the branding strategies model which shows that at one extreme there is product brand strategy in which each product have a specific position, name and identity. (Douglas & Craig, 2015)

On the other extreme, it has corporate branding in which all brand are managed under the corporate name. Nevertheless, the diagram shows a number of other branding strategies which shows company may be having another type of strategies or using a mix of branding strategies. (Kinley & Brandon, 2015)

Branding strategies

Figure 2: Branding strategies

Source: (Aaker, 2009; Aaker, 2012)

Companies could deploy the global strategy or deploy the niche strategy based on the characteristics of the specific market. The advantage of the standardization strategy is that company can generate a high level of sales because of the uniformity of the brand globally and company can achieve economies of scale and scope. Nevertheless, the global markets have cultural, economic and development variation and deploying global strategy may result in problems for the company. (Paliwoda & Thomas, 2013)

The statement linked to international business that ‘Think Globally, act locally’ advocates the need for the company to adapt to local marketing conditions. Nevertheless, standardization strategy result in cost but company deploying the adaption strategy can get benefit from range of factors such as meeting the customer needs, competitive market structure, operational efficiencies as well as compliance with legal requirement. The company can get benefit from the standardization strategy, but adaption can help the companies to increase the revenues and sales. (Gordon, 2013; Kapferer, 2012)

2.5 Product Characteristic and Luxury Goods

A product can be a physical article or an administration and may refer to a solitary thing or unit, a gathering of proportionate products. (Kinley & Brandon, 2015) Companies selling the industrial products are more likely to use corporate branding because consumer products are sensitive to economic and cultural issues. Product positioning is the way a product or management is seen by customers and how they see its essential recognitions in connection to competitor’s products. (Douglas & Craig, 2015)

According to Kapferer (2008) the characteristics which unified the luxury industry

  1. Offering product through personalized complementary services
  2. Heritage, uniqueness and cultural value attached to product
  3. Product provides privilege and owner feel special when use the product
  4. Product Provide self-indulgent and pleasant experience

Section 2: Branding and stakeholders implications

2.6 Corporate vs. Product branding and stakeholders implications

2.6.1 Corporate branding and stakeholder

The corporate branding is a strategy, in which the name of the corporate is used for the products. In other words, the name of the corporate and brand is the same. The objective of the corporate branding is that it allows the ease and simplifying of the communication with internal and external stakeholder. The stakeholders are individual or group or have an interest in the strategy and action of the company. (Abratt & Kleyn, 2012)

The corporate brands enclosed the core value of the company and examples of the corporate are Sony, IBM and McDonalds. The core characteristic of the corporate brand is the corporate cultural embedment in the product and communication with stakeholders involve corporate culture and value. The two essential cores of the compare brands is a corporate association and identity integrated into the product. The three stakeholders which are associated with the corporate brand are customers, employees and image of the brand. (Gyrd-Jones, et al., 2013)

2.6.2 Product Branding and stakeholder

Product branding involves the strategy in which each product is independent identity. The product brands are relatively short term and purpose is to boost the sales. The example of product brands includes Dove (Unilever) and 7up (Pepsi). The objective of the product is meeting the short-term needs of the customer and adapt according to the need of the customers. (Klimchuk & Krasovec, 2013)

Product brands are relative flexible but useful to reach small market segments. The objective of the product branding is to satisfy the need of a specific segment of the market and customer perception is built through distribution, advertising and image of the brand. The product brand is quick strategy and less risky when introducing and meeting the needs of new customers and problem with one product does not affect the whole image of the company. (Ashworth, et al., 2015)

2.6.3 Difference between product and corporate brand

The key difference between the product and corporate brand is that the focus of the company shift from the corporate toward the product. On the other hand, corporate branding looks beyond the traditional concept of the brand and involves develop a relationship with the customer (stakeholders).

The product brands are managed by the middle managers and attract customers only whereas corporate brands attract the wide range of stakeholders. In product branding, the focus of the company is customers, employees and suppliers with limited consideration of other stakeholders. On the other hand, corporate brand starts with an interaction with wider external stakeholders and integration wider community. (Balmer, 2012; Kasabov & Sundaram, 2013)

product and corporate brand

Section 3: Factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies

2.7 MNC branding strategies in international context

According to Nagel (2012) the success of the company n the international depend upon the selection of the marketing strategy which could be corporate or product branding. The adaptation is critical respect of the branding strategy chosen by the company. Moroever, Kapferer (2008; 2012) has highlighted that the three factors which define the branding strategy of the company are the competitve position, consumer behaviour and product of itself.

To highlight the company, it is vital to deploy corporate strategy whereas to highlight the product then product branding strategy should be chosen. There are a number of internal and external drivers affect the ability of a company to develop the global strategy and implementation of chosen strategy. The range of external factors affect the company strategy includes market factors (changing customer need, marketing practices), competitive factors (related to industry), Cost factors (value vs. non-value added activities, purchasing, production); environmental factors (regulation, emission targets) as well as technological factors (tariff and standards). (Schlegelmilch, 2015)

The range of internal factors affects companies includes management commitment and vision, organizational culture and strategic capabilities of the company. Another important consideration is the internationalization experience of the management as well as organization have strategic important in terms of building branding strategy. (Khojastehpour, et al., 2015; Xie, 2012) The selection of the strategy is defined through four attributes which are

MNC branding strategies in international context

Figure 4: MNC branding strategies in international context

Source: (Nagel, 2012; Kapferer, 2012)

The stakeholders have direct interaction with the branding strategy of the company because the range of internal and external stakeholders affects the strategy of the company. For example, the product branding focuses on the customer but corporate branding is concerned with a wider audience. The success of the corporate brands in the foreign market is based on the stakeholder management and consideration because their positive relationship between brand strategy and stakeholders. The product brands require the strong relationship with customers and supplier whereas corporate brands are concerned with government, regulators as well as financial institutions. (Khojastehpour, et al., 2015)

The image of the company is an important consideration when selecting the branding strategy for the foreign market. The image is defined as the sum of the expectation and expressions build in the mind of the stakeholders. Corporate branding, the image is directly associated with the product and the i.e. corporate image becomes key factors.  Another important implication is the complexity of the market especially at Marco and organisational level. The demographic, economic, technology and competitiveness effect the selection of the strategy in the foreign market. (Point & Dickmann, 2012)

The management style and social systems affect the organisational in the host country. The market structure and cost are critical attribute attached to market of the host country. The product attributes itself have a direct effect on the selection of the branding strategy and variables such as offering the product through personalized complementary services and heritage, uniqueness and cultural value attached to product impact upon the branding strategy selection. (Mayrhofer & Prange, 2015; Yuan & Pangarkar, 2015)

2.8 Conceptual Framework

Figure 5: Conceptual Framework

Chapter 3: Research methodology

This chapter enclosed the research methodology, design of the research, research instrument as well as method of data collection and analysis. The design of the research is critical to achieve the objective of the research. The aim of the research is to develop a deeper perspective on the branding strategies used by the luxury car companies when they enter the China market. The research question is to determine ‘what branding strategies luxury car companies deploy in the China market and in particular Rolls-Royce and Bentley are examined and evaluated.

3.1 Approach to research

The design of research can be based in three areas which are descriptive, explanatory as well as exploratory. Descriptive research is useful to answer the questions such as ‘what, who, when, where and how’. Moreover, it is useful when there is information from different scenarios and the objectives are to explain the characteristic of the variables. Descriptive research is useful to describe the range of different scenarios, actions or events. (Monsen & Horn, 2007)

Exploratory research is useful to explore the question based on the ‘what’ situation. Exploratory research is useful when there is no prior research or there is interest for further research. (Neelankavil, 2015) At last, not least, explanatory research is useful to answer ‘why and how’ questions. It is useful to explain the cause and effect scenario as well as the relationship among the variables. (Saunders, et al., 2009)

3.2 Research Design and Approach

According to Creswell (2013) qualitative research is useful in order to develop an understanding of events and scenario and derive the result from it. Moreover, it is helpful to understand the relationship among the variables and create a description of the events. Qualitative research is useful because the flexibility it offers in terms of information gathering as well as it takes less time to interpret the results. The qualitative technique will be useful as empirical data collection will take place on a small scale as well as the objective is to develop deep understanding on the actions in a specific scenario. (Patton, 2014)

In addition, qualitative research is useful when there is the unstructured approach for data collection from a small group of individuals which is qualitative in nature and explains the attitude and motivation of the people. (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015)

The research method deployed will be qualitative approach along with exploratory research approach because of the research is to evaluate and explain the branding strategies of the luxury car companies in the China market. (Monsen & Horn, 2007)

Moreover, to answer the effect of the variables on the strategy partially research will use exploratory technique. This will help to explain the relationship between the variables as well as define the causes and effect the selection of certain actions by the companies when results will present and the conclusion will be drawn. (Zikmund & Babin, 2012)

3.3 Research Strategy – Case study

Case study approach is useful when in-depth investigation needs to conduct as well as it helps to manage the information from limited groups with a narrow perspective. It helps to further explain the relations among the variables along with an explanation that how these variables are linked. Case study approach offers the flexibility to mix methods and sources. (Yin, 2013)

It allows conducting the research in a natural environment without a control over the variables which ensures that phenomena being investigated in a real-life situation and more importantly when boundaries of the scenario are not very clear. Nevertheless, a multiple case study approach will be used to study the both entities Bentley and Rolls-Royce. (Farquhar, 2012)

Moreover, based on the nature of the study which involves examining the companies in a global context, i.e. holistic multiple case study approach will be useful. At last, not least, multiple case study and single unit analysis technique will be used to examine, interpret and present the results and draw conclusions. (Stake, 2013; Yin, 2009)

3.4 Data collection

To develop broader perspective and overcome the limitation associated with this research, the data collected will be both and primary and secondary. The secondary data will be useful to examine the product and market approach of the companies. The sources of the secondary data will include the annual report, published, trade journals, websites as well as industry publication which highlight the strategies for the companies.

The primary data will be collected through conducting interview with local marketing manager of the two companies in China. Nevertheless, the manager might not able to provide the border perspective on the strategic aspect of the company but the combination of the primary and secondary will allow developing deeper perspective.

3.4.1 Primary data – Semi structure interview

The technique used to collected primary data in this research is “interviews”. According to Johnson & Christensen (2013) the interview is a directed conversation between the people on the specific subject. Moreover, the author explained that interviews could be structured, unstructured or semi-structured. Structured interviews involve a list of questions for the respondent without any variations and no further scope of follow up.

Moreover, unstructured interview offer does not have concise theory or idea and performed without organization. Unstructured interview interviews are difficult to manage because of time and lack of predetermined questions. At last, not least, semi-structure interviews are based on a number of a predetermined key on the subject to explore as well as it useful to elaborate the information. (Harrell & Bradley, 2009)

In this study, semi-structure interviews will be used. The useful of the semi-structure interviews is that researcher has already conducted the interview and respondent have the flexibility to elaborate the response as well as have an initial idea of the conversation. The technique to conduct interview could be either face-to-face to over the telephone or internet. (Miller, et al., 2014)

3.4.2 Sample selection and population

According to Takhar-Lail (2014) subjective sampling technique is useful when researcher has good knowledge of what need to examined and investigated. Moreover, subjective sampling is useful as researcher believe that selected people for the interviews are most likely to provide the best information relating to the subject. In order to conduct the interviews marketing managers at both companies will be interviewed. (Takhar-Lail, 2014)

The respondent will be given interviews question in advance to examine the information and then provide their reflection as well as explanations. The interviews will be conducted over the ‘Skype’ because of geographic and time constraints.

Furthermore, secondary data will be added to cases to ensure the consistency, reliability and validity of information.  The manager has been using the personal and social contact and interviews question has kept to minimum because of time and confidentiality of information. (Daniel, 2011)

3.5 Ethical consideration

The research participant will be informed about the data usage along with their consent will be asked. The interview process will not collect any personal information or company confidential information in order to ensure privacy and confidentiality. The Skype video and audio recording for face-to-face interviews will be destroyed after the completion of the research. (Wiles, 2012)

Chapter 4: Data Presentation and Analysis

This chapter of research is designed to support the chapter 5 of the study which is finding and discussion. In this chapter, data collected from the secondary sources and primary are integrated which further evaluated and discussed in the next chapter. The data for both companies is presented in this section to build the holistic perspective on the branding strategies and approach for each of the company.

4.1 Case Study 1: Bentley

Bentley motors is an integration company which design, build and manufacture a high quality car for the racing and luxury purpose. The company also offers wide of heritage, financial service, and repair and maintenance service to its value clients and sell its products in the UK, US, EU and other developed countries of the world. The company started its operations in 1919 in the Crewe, UK and now have regional offices in the entire world.

The company vision is “To build a fast car, a good car, and the best in its class” and to achieve this mission company offers definitive British luxury car which has high performance and quality in the car industry. (Bentley, 2016) In china company offers multiple products such as ‘MULSANNE’, ‘FYLING SPUR’, ‘THE CONTINENTAL’, ‘BENTAYGA’ and wide range of classic and pre-owned car. (Bently, 2016)

4.1.1 Global branding strategies of Bentley – (Corporate and product brand approach)

Company use the product –brand strategy which is based on the sharing the corporate identity across its products. Company emphasis on the corporate name of the company ‘Bentley’ but offered a wide range of products under this master brand strategy. The company offers multiple products all over the world which have the characteristic of the individual product but market under the corporate brand of ‘Bentley’.

The products of the company fall under different sub-categories according to need and choice of the consumer. The home market of the Bentley is the UK and company sell its products across the world. Bentley is renowned as a global brand and sells products in developed markets. To achieve success in the international market, company focus on two factors which are quality and consistency of the product attributes. The company manufacture its product in the UK and sell it through it global regional offices. (Percy, 2014; Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2010)

4.1.2 Brand Management

Bently have regional offices which carries of the wide range of activities and marketing is functional which is managed through local regional offices. Company design and manufacture its products in the UK but have members of the marketing team in the Beijing office. The marketing manager in collaboration with the brand management team in the china set and communicate the branding strategy for the company.

The values and marketing communication are based on the preference of the local market but the product attributes and guidelines are communicated through the central office in the UK. The marketing team plays an important to communicate the company product in the local market. (Percy, 2014)

4.1.3 Factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies

4.1.3.1 Standardisation and adaption

Bentley has the consistent strategy around the world without specific consideration given to the china market. The brand strategy of the company is to focus on the core product values and deliver same product around the world. The marketing channel for the company in terms of the product mix for the china market is different which has resulted in price variation for the china market.

The products in china have standard features as they have in the UK and therefore, the product portfolio of the company is standardised. The overall approach of the company is to standardisation policy all over the world. The core brand values are exactly same all over the world. (De Mooij & Hofstede, 2010)

4.1.3.2 Stakeholders Need and Interest

The focus of the company is to differentiate from other brand (competitors) and therefore, the internal stakeholders of the company have the influence on the company policies and brand strategy. The standardised and quality has allowed the management to take the approach that company car are valued in the same manner all over the world.

For example, in China Company focus on the risk and young business man to meet the lavish lifestyle. The company makes products which have a sporty look and vibrant colours to support the consumer. In china, company have strong relationship with official and work in collaboration with local vendors. (Keller, 2013)

4.1.3.3 Company and brand image

The strong brand image and reputation of the company has enabled the company to position its products all over the world. Therefore, Bentley used the same positioning approach all over the world. Company communicate the clear and consistent message across it office all over the world. Company use the corporate brand to enforce it position and brand characteristic and the similar case is applicable to china.

Moreover, to reach the small segment of the luxury car buyer company use the product branding strategy under the compare brand emphasis. For example, BENTAYGA is marketed high end coupe sport car in the china.

4.1.3.4 Market characteristic and complexity

The market need of the china market is relative complex when compare to developed markets. The pricing factors is significant factor in the market complexity involves in the china market. The social system and cultural aspect is challenge in the china market and company sell its product through local offices. Therefore, the challenge for the company is to evaluate the strategy and product positing based on the market variables and addresses the wider social and cultural element in the china market. Bentley has managed to achieve economies of scope through standardisation approach but china market has highlighted new marketing challenges and complexities. (De Mooij & Hofstede, 2010)

4.2 Case Study 2: Rolls-Royce Motors

Company design, engineer and manufacture high-quality cars since 1904 and sell it as marquee icon all over the world. The company has produced a wide range of product in car industry such as Phantom, Ghost, and Wraith which redefines the 21st-century motor car and represents the British luxury manufacturing. The company has expanded its wings to the power system and high engines for aerospace, land and sea. However, in this study, we examine and explore the motor car division of the company. (Roll royce, 2016)

Rolls Royce head office is based in the Derby, UK and company sells its products through partnership and regional offices all over the world. The company has 21,300 employees in the UK, along with annual sales of £5.7 billion and £12.5 billion invested in research and development.

In china, Company sells motor cars for different customers such Phantom is a coupe, Ghost extended wheelbase for simplicity, Wraith for the social experience. The product of the company is built around high-end engineer and quality which represent the pinnacle of the British engineering. (rolls-roycemotorcars, 2016) (Reuters , 2016)

4.2.1 Global branding strategies (Corporate Branding)

Rolls-Royce purses the corporate brand strategy and uses a global strategy to sell its products all over the world. The home market for the company is the UK but company sell its motor cars all over the world. The company sell and market its products under the brand name of the company rather the emphasis on the product branding approach. The company develop a product which is marketed and sold under the corporate name.

The emphasis is on the Roll-Royce image which provides the super luxury cars. The company is focused on the product development and driven by innovation to deliver high quality and super luxury products. Company has pursued the same strategy globally and the objective of the company is to expand the engineering masterpiece all over the world. (Roll, 2015; Kapferer, 2012)

4.2.2 Brand Management

Company manage its brand through the central office and focused is on the developing the corporate brand all over the world. Company emphasis and highlight the corporate brand and marketing team communicate the philosophy and image of the company rather an emphasis on the product itself. The company have strong research and development department along with a large team of the marketing professional which contribute towards the Research as well as promote the image of the company.

The brand development is the responsibility of the senior management based in the UK and the brand messages are communicate in  a consistent manner around the world. The marketing philosophy and communication is designed and develop through higher and senior management whereas marketing department ensures local customer received information about the product and its attributes. (Balmer, 2012; Seo & Buchanan-Oliver, 2015)

4.2.3 Factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies

4.2.3.1 Standardisation and adaption approach

Company follows the standardisation approach and emphasis on the same quality and performance of the product all over the world. Company position its product with standard brands without adaption according to local market. Company standardize its products to represent the consistency and quality British engineer without compromise any of the products attributes.

Roll-Royce purse one size fits all approach for all market globally and corporate brand approach is used all over the world. Company believe that developed markets have customer for its high quality product and through market its standards products.

4.2.3.2 Stakeholders Need and Interest

The company have a centralised office to manage the wide range of functions and managed its operation through a team of professionally based in the UK. The regional office has employees for marketing and finance function which help to deliver the corporate message are a consistent manner. Company launch standard product globally without any flexibility in marketing practices or product attributes.

The employees of the company are a significant influence to endorse the philosophy of the company and company manage its relationship with china government for a number of reasons. This allows to management the multi-division under the corporate umbrella. (Samli, 2013)

4.2.3.3 Company and brand image

Corporate image is the most attribute which impact upon the branding strategy of Rolls-Royce as the company is well renowned for its high quality and innovative products. The high-quality engineer and the super luxury product are trademark for the company. The advantage of the corporate brand for the company is that it allows the flexibility to market and sell a product without much market cost and advertisement.

Corporate branding approach allows the company to manage the multiple brands without much complexity and emphases are given to the mission and values of the company. Company invest heavy on the R&D and manage the team of professional with the diverse and experienced portfolio. (Kapferer, 2014)

4.2.3.4 Market characteristic and complexity

The new market such as china has presented new challenges for the company such as pricing and promotional issues for the company. Company standardisation approach has resulted in complexity to answer the needs of the local market. Company achieve economies of scope from its standardized marketing practices but the social and economic issues of these market represent changing landscape for the company. (Ng, et al., 2012)

Chapter 5: Finding and Discussion

The previous chapter of the study has presented the data along with analysis of the results. This chapter continue from the chapter 4 and present the finding along with discussion through performing the case analysis. This chapter evaluate the data analysis in the light of the theoretical framework prosed and developed in the literature review. The two cases are evaluated and disused individual which later presented through generalisation of the results. The finding of the study is presented through summarizing the results of each case which further reduce to draw validate conclusion in chapter 6 of the study.

5.1 Case Finding and discussions – Bentley

The branding strategy framework (figure 5) has highlighted four factors attributed toward brand strategies. The data analysis for the Bentley has highlighted that company focused on developing product brands which is further market under the corporate brand umbrella. (Kapferer, 2012) The company corporate brand policies have a strategic focus and marketing communication and corporate culture is integrated for the company. The company develop strategy and marketing communication which is communicated with the regional team to achieve the objectives of the company.

The brand management and marketing practices are consistent and company emphasised on the need of the local market variables to adapt the product and then embedded the compare culture to increase the visibility of the product. (Point & Dickmann, 2012) The company offers multiple products all over the world which have the characteristic of the individual product but market under the corporate brand of ‘Bentley’.

The products of the company fall under different sub-categories according to need and choice of the consumer. The home market of the Bentley is the UK and company sell its products across the world. Bentley is renowned as a global brand and sells products in developed markets.

According to Khojastehpour et al (2015) the stakeholders have direct interaction with the branding strategy of the company because the range of internal and external stakeholders affects the strategy of the company. For example, the product branding focuses on the customer but corporate branding is concerned with a wider audience. The company is focused on the need of the customers as well as employees of the company have significant influence on the brad strategies of the company.

The standardisation practices have helped the company. The marketing channel for the company in terms of the product mix for the china market is different which has resulted in price variation for the china market.  The products in china have standard features as they have in the UK and therefore, the product portfolio of the company is standardised. (Paliwoda & Thomas, 2013)

The product adaption strategy of the company has helped to meet the need and demand of the small market segment especially based on the social and cultural complexities of the market.

5.1.1 Factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies

Bentley has the consistent strategy around the world without specific consideration given to the china market. The brand strategy of the company is to focus on the core product values and deliver same product around the world. Kapferer (2008; 2012) has highlighted that the three factors which define the branding strategy of the company are the competitve position, consumer behaviour and product of itself. The results shows that company use the same strategy with special consideraion for the chinese market.

The core value and message is consistency is same for the china market. The focus of the company is to differentiate from other brand (competitors) and therefore, the internal stakeholders of the company have the influence on the company policies and brand strategy. The standardised and quality has allowed the management to take the approach that company car are valued in the same manner all over the world.

The product brand is quick strategy and less risky when introducing and meeting the needs of new customers and problem with one product does not affect the whole image of the company. Bentley emphasised on the local product adaption which has helped to address the market complexities and dynamic in Chinese market context.

The core characteristic of the corporate brand is the corporate cultural embedment in the product and communication with stakeholders involve corporate culture and value. Company use the corporate brand to enforce it position and brand characteristic and the similar case is applicable to china. Moreover, to reach the small segment of the luxury car buyer company use the product branding strategy under the compare brand emphasis.  (Abratt & Kleyn, 2012)

Nevertheless, the focus on the environmental factors for the Bentley is low and company standardized practices has presented the complexities for the company. Bentley has managed to achieve economies of scope through standardisation approach but china market has highlighted new marketing challenges and complexities. The values and marketing communication are based on the preference of the local market but the product attributes and guidelines are communicated through the central office in the UK.

The marketing team plays an important to communicate the company product in the local market. Therefore, ther is lack of adation for the company brand practies for the diverse nature of the chinese market.

Figure 6: Case Finding and discussions – Bentley

5.2 Case finding and discussion – Rolls –Royce Motors

According to Abratt & Kleyn (2012) the corporate branding is a strategy, in which the name of the corporate is used for the products. In other words, the name of the corporate and brand is the same. Rolls-Royce purses the corporate brand strategy and uses a global strategy to sell its products all over the world. The home market for the company is the UK but company sell its motor cars all over the world.

Gordon (2013) added that standardization strategy result in cost but company deploying the adaption strategy can get benefit from range of factors such as meeting the customer needs, competitive market structure, operational efficiencies as well as compliance with legal requirement. Company has pursued the same strategy globally and the objective of the company is to expand the engineering masterpiece all over the world.

According to Balmer (2012) the marketing philosophy and communication is designed and develop through higher and senior management whereas marketing department ensures local customer received information about the product and its attributes.. The product attributes itself have a direct effect on the selection of the branding strategy and variables such as offering the product through personalized complementary services and heritage, uniqueness and cultural value attached to product impact upon the branding strategy selection. The brand management at the Rolls-Royce Motor division is managed by the senior management as enclosed by the empirical literature for the corporate branding.

According to Kapferer (2008), the corporate brand shows that all company products share the core values but the products are individual. On the other hand, product brand shows that all products have independent identities and these two can link on the need and requirement of the company. The product brands are managed by the middle managers and attract customers only whereas corporate brands attract the wide range of stakeholders. The literature on the corporate brand shows that it attracts the attention of a large number of stakeholders.

At Rolls-Royce, the wide range of stakeholders is important which shows that company corporate branding approach from stakeholder’s perspective have a positive relationship with branding strategies of the company. According to Steenkamp (2014), the architecture of the brand plays an important role for the success of the company in the market and therefore, it is important for the companies to select brand architecture based on the type and number of brands.

5.2.1 Factors which influence on companies’ choice of branding strategies

Corporate branding is straightforwardly connected with the item and the i.e. corporate picture gets to be key components. Another vital ramification is the intricacy of the business sector particularly at Marco and hierarchical level. The demographic, financial, innovation and intensity impact the choice of the methodology in the outside business sector. Company believe that developed markets have customer for its high quality product and through market its standards products. The regional office has employees for marketing and finance function which help to deliver the corporate message are a consistent manner. (Kinley & Brandon, 2015)

The employees of the company are a significant influence to endorse the philosophy of the company and Rolls-Royce manage its relationship with china government for a number of reasons. The item characteristics itself directly affect the choice of the branding methodology and variables, for example, offering the item through customized reciprocal administrations and legacy, uniqueness and social worth joined to item affect upon the branding technique determination.  (Douglas & Craig, 2015)

The centre normal for the corporate brand is the corporate social installation in the item and correspondence with stakeholders include corporate culture and esteem. The two key centres of the look at brands are a corporate affiliation and personality incorporated into the item. Company launch standard product globally without any flexibility in marketing practices or product attributes. The advantage of the corporate brand for the company is that it allows the flexibility to market and sell a product without much market cost and advertisement (Paliwoda & Thomas, 2013).

Corporate branding approach allows the company to manage the multiple brands without much complexity and emphases are given to the mission and values of the company. Rolls Royce achieves economies of scope from its standardized marketing practices but the social and economic issues of these market represent changing landscape for the company. The three stakeholders which are connected with the corporate brand are clients, workers and picture of the brand. The benefit of the corporate branding is that when a client interacts with organization item it fortifies the picture of the organization.  (Abratt & Kleyn, 2012)

The building design of the brand assumes critical part for achievement of the organization in the business sector and in this manner, it is essential for the organizations to choose brand structural planning taking into account the sort and number of brands. The upside of the corporate branding is that when a client interacts with organization item it strengthens the picture of the organization. The structural planning of the brand assumes vital part for achievement of the organization in the business sector and hence, it is critical for the organizations to choose brand building design in light of the sort and number of brands. Company standardisation approach has resulted in complexity to answer the needs of the local market.  (Klimchuk & Krasovec, 2013; Ng, et al., 2012)

Figure 7: Case finding and discussion – Rolls –Royce Motors

Source: Author

Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendations

This chapter enclosed the conclusion and recommendations based on the data analysis and finding from chapter 4 and 5 of this study. Moreover, the objectives of the research will be analysed and evaluated in the light of the finding and discussion to ensure that objectives of the research are achieved.

6.1 Conclusion

  • Research Objective 1: To study how companies defined the branding strategy in China market

The finding of the study has highlighted that the four variables have a positive or negative relationship in the formulation and selection of the branded strategies of the companies in the international markets. In the case of the Bentley, it is evident that company has adopted the product brand strategy along with emphasized through the Bentley corporate brand. The company is focused on the standardization approach with adaption based on the need of the local market taste and preference. The company sell a wide range of products to meet the need of the various segments of the markets and regional offices provide strong support in terms of branding and marketing practices for the company.

On the other hand, the approach adopted by the Rolls-Royce followed the strategy of the corporate brand as the marketing strategy to ensure the image and product characteristic are communicated. The emphasis of the company is to develop a wider relationship with the internal and external stakeholder and pushing the product attributes and core corporate value of world-class engineering across the wider stakeholders.

Rolls-Royce is less concerned with market characteristic and complexity associated with china market and therefore, minim efforts are given to local market variables. This shows the overall perspective on the brand strategies practices approach of the company. Therefore, the study has helped to achieve the first objective of the study.

  • To determine whether companies have deployed standardized or adaption approach for product marketing

The brand management practices for ‘Bentley’ is carried through  have regional offices which carry the wide range of activities and marketing is functional which is managed through local regional offices. The values and marketing communication are based on the preference of the local market but the product attributes and guidelines are communicated through the central office in the UK. Bentley has the consistent strategy around the world without specific consideration given to the china market. The brand strategy of the company is to focus on the core product values and deliver same product around the world.

The marketing channel for the company in terms of the product mix for the china market is different which has resulted in price variation for the china market. The company has pursued the policies of the meet the need of various market segments and brand image is less emphasised on the product but the overall pushed is based on the need of adaption.

On the other hand, Rolls-Royce purses the corporate brand strategy and uses a global strategy to sell its products all over the world. The home market for the company is the UK but company sell its motor cars all over the world. The company sell and market its products under the brand name of the company rather the emphasis on the product branding approach.

The company has given less emphasis on the market complexity but rather has followed a standardised approach to achieve the economies of scope as well as an emphasis on the product attributes. Therefore, the research has achieved its objectives to understand the whether companies deploy the standardised approach or adaption. It is evident that brand management and product characteristic have direction relationship with adaption of standardization or adaption approach.

  • To investigate factors which influence on luxury product companies’ choice of branding strategies in global markets?

The third objective of the research was studied through using the framework (figure 5) which is based on the four variables are a stakeholder, brand image, product characteristic and market need. The study has highlighted that Bentley has focused on the customer and the objectives are to target a small segment of the market. On the other hand, Rolls-Royce is concerned with relationship with wider stakeholder rather an emphasis on the customer and company is focused on product attributes.

Bentley has focused on the core value and the message is consistency is same for the china market. The focus of the company is to differentiate from competitors and therefore, the internal stakeholders of the company have the influence on the company policies and brand strategy. The marketing team plays an important to communicate the company product in the local market. Rolls-Royce manages its relationship with china government for a number of reasons. The item characteristics itself directly affect the choice of the branding methodology.

Bentley has emphases on the customer need and used the corporate brand to support the product, highlight the product image and reviewed the market needs. On the other hand, Rolls-Royce has emphasised on the wider stakeholder and emphasis on the product characteristics and brand image of the rather considering the marketing complexities.

Therefore, the range of variables selection is based on the position and management approach of the company along product attributes rather from the market perspective. Therefore, the third objective of the research is achieved and it has highlighted that company selection of the branding strategy is largely inclined towards the internal environment and position of the brand rather the external market variables.

6.2 Recommendation

The following recommendation can be made for the luxury car companies which help them in selection of the strategies to enter the emerging market such as

  • Companies should focus on the economic and social structure and emphasis on the need of adaptation rather pushing the standardised products.
  • Companies should use the product and corporate brand strategy to meet the need of market segment and reduce the risk of product failure.
  • The selection of the brand strategy is based on the internal philosophies and characteristic rather sole viewing at the market variables.
  • Companies should focus on the customer first and then develop a stronger relationship with wider stakeholder communities for long-term success in the market and customer acceptance.
  • The market complexities such as culture and social variables should be considered to deliver a product which meets the need of larger market segment.
  • The product image is more important rather than focusing on the product attributes only

 

 

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