Building a strong brand has been indicated to provide several financial rewards to companies, and has become a top priority for most firms. Building a strong brand with considerable equity is seen as providing a company with numerous possibilities to benefit a company including increased customer loyalty and decreased vulnerability to actions of competitive marketing and crises in marketing (Aaker, 2004). In addition to this, strong brands are also crucial in profit making through increased margins, in addition, to a more favorable response from customers to increases and decreases in price, greater intermediary or trade cooperation and support, and more effectiveness in communication and brand extension and licensing opportunities. With such keen interest in building a strong brand, two issues usually come up. One has to do with the components of a strong brand and the other has to do with ways of developing a strong brand (Farris et al., 2010).
While customer loyalty is mainly described by what individuals do, brand loyalty usually is defined by the feelings and impressions of individuals (Dawes, 2009). A number of global brands can boast the kind of loyalty and passion shown by generations of certain companies like Disney. Disney Company is going to be the basis of this paper on which examples will be drawn on how the company has come up with strategies to build a strong brand that leads to increased customer retention and loyalty. For more than eighty years, the company has experienced and maintained a lasting and comfortable position in the market. There are numerous reasons as to why the company has managed to be as so, but one of the main reasons is because of the creation of a strong brand (JZMcBride and Associates, 2011).
This document will scrutinize various ways through which Disney Company has built a strong brand, which has helped the company retain millions of customers and their loyalty thus increasing profits. The paper will cite specific examples of how the company has managed to do this.
There are different ways through which Disney is able to keep its customers happy and loyal. One of the ways through which the company has accomplished this is through the creation of a brand promise. The company has been able to narrow down its promise of brand to a single action, which is using heart to entertain (JZMcBride and Associates, 2011). Studies suggest that loyalty includes some level of pre- dispositional commitment in a brand. Loyalty to a brand is seen as a construct that is multidimensional. Such loyalty is dependent on a number of distinct psychological processes and it involves a number of measurements, the perceived value of customers, trust in brands, satisfaction of customers and commitment are all thought to be key influencing entities of loyalty to a brand (Fournier, 2007). As it follows, the strategy of Disney to use heart or feelings in entertaining the customers fulfils all these requirements and ensures that the company maintains the loyalty of its customers.
Another way the company builds its brand and retains customers is by controlling its brand. By being true to its brand in numerous ventures is what differentiates the company from other brands in the market. For instance, the company owns ABC, which broadcasts numerous programs. For instance, ABC broadcasts a show Called Pan Am that is based on the lives of individuals in the 1960s. One thing that one notices is that the show does not include scenes of smoking even though they were increasingly common during this time. This shows that the company wishes to stick to its promise of broadcasting shows that are family friendly (JZMcBride and Associates, 2011). According to a number of studies, commitment to behaviour of repeated purchase are considered as necessary elements for creating brand loyalty and customer loyalty, followed by satisfaction, perceived value and brand trust. Several scholars claim that enhancing customer loyalty has the potential to increase profitability dramatically (Torres-Moraga et al., 2008). It seems that Disney is well aware f this fact because it knows who its customers are, that is, families. By coming up with products targeted to this customer segment helps it form a trustful relationship with its customers (Jones et al., 2004).
Another strategy for creating brand loyalty is studying and getting to know one’s customers, Disney conducts extensive studies to study and learn about its customers. The company knows that its main customers and audiences are the children, and, as it follows, it comes up with designs that suit these customers. For example, numerous windows to the gist shops are low so that these young customers are able to see what is on sale. The company also knows the seasons that its customers prefer to visit, therefore, it is able to get ready for specific audiences and customers (JZMcBride and Associates, 2011). Getting to know ones customers well is one way of knowing and coming up with ways to please and satisfy their needs. By carrying out surveys like those that Disney does, companies are able to know beforehand what to expect, what to provide for customers and the number of customers to expect. Being ready for customers means happy customers, and, thus, more profits (Punniyamoorthy & Raj, 2007).
Despite the fact that Disney has managed to come up with numerous ways through which it can retain its customers, the company has left some areas unexploited. For instance, the company does not challenge its customers to be more loyal or to increase their loyalty. This is to say that the company does not provide its customers with more opportunities to show how loyal they can be to the company. This can be achieved by availing to them more products, advertising them, asking for their feedback on the products and services, and so forth. The company has also not established strong relationships with its customers; the company endangers its brand loyalty by not giving its customers what they wish for. In addition to this, Disney does not ensure availability of certain products as a given and it does not put its brand where its customers want them when experiencing relevant specific needs (Shankar, Smith & Rangaswamy, 2009).
Conclusion and Recommendation
As numerous consumer goods, segments and markets mature the essentiality of customer loyalty and retention has become a greater concern especially as the number of new consumers available becomes scarce. Deep brand loyalty is the ideal objective of marketers, putting in mind the association between increased profitability and loyal customers (Trasorras, Weinstein & Abratt, 2009). As it follows, Disney should consider putting more effort in retaining more customers that are new by doing several things. Such actions should include giving in to customers and providing for them what they need, challenging its customers further to provide more loyalty to its products and services. Furthermore, the company can increase its brand loyalty and retain more customers by ensuring the availability of certain products as a given, in addition to, putting or placing its brand where its customers want them when experiencing certain, relevant needs. These are some actions that can increase the brand loyalty of Disney, including a number of commitments by customers to repurchase or continue purchasing and using the Disney brand. This is usually demonstrated by repeated purchasing of a service or commodity, or other behaviour like advocacy through word of mouth.
For the company to ensure that its customers remain loyal to its products and services, it has to establish strong relationships with its customers and improve on the existing ones. Disney can achieve this through various methods. Disney, for instance, does not have an established platform for dealing with complaints of its customers. Disney can on exploit this fact to improve relations with its customers by building a platform whereby customers can post their complaints and that shows what the company is doing about it. An example is building a website where customers can post their complaints and interact with management on ways to solve their complaints and concerns (Tasorras, Weinstain & Abaratt, 2009). The company should dedicate considerable efforts to this website to show that it is committed to the concerns and needs of its customers.
The company has excellent ways of informing customers of existing and new products as well as excellent platforms for placing orders and tracking orders. To improve its relationships with its customers, Disney has to make sure that these elements remain effective and efficient so that customers are served fast and as required. This way they will be willing to come back for more and remain loyal to their customers. Despite these excellently conducted activities, the company needs to improve its methods of receiving feedback from its customers (Tasorras, Weinstain & Abaratt, 2009). Just like handling complaints, Disney does not have an efficient platform to receive feedback. It has to establish one to sustain positive relationships with its customers.
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