Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The Retail Brand Audit: Conceptualization and Application

Class

Article

Department

Management

Faculty Mentor

Kenneth Bartkus

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

To remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic market environment, companies should periodically conduct brand audits. Dev and Keller (2014) provide a useful description of the brand audit as "a comprehensive examination of a brand to assess its health, uncover its sources of equity, and suggest ways to improve and expand on that equity" (p. 334, based on Keller 2013). While large companies typically have sufficient resources to conduct such investigations, smaller companies are usually more constrained. To address this issue, this presentation proposes a brand audit model that can be effectively and efficiently applied to small- and medium-sized retailers. In this regard, the Retail Brand Audit (RBA) consists of two major components: (1) the brand inventory, which consists of an in-depth review of the marketing mix portfolio (i.e., price, product, promotion and place) and (2) the brand exploratory, which evaluates user generated content (UGC) in order to identify consumer's perceptions of the brand. Together, the brand inventory and brand exploratory allow retailers the ability to assess brand strength and stature among consumers and identify areas for improvement. The RBA is then applied to a case example of a well-known San Francisco retailer, Wilkes-Bashford. The results of the brand inventory suggest that the retailer's marketing mix portfolio could be improved by removing inconsistent strategies. For example, the company positions itself as a high-end retailer, but also promotes regular sales (which is inconsistent with a prestigious brand strategy). With regard to the brand exploratory, the user generated content reveals that many consumers perceive Wilkes-Bashford unfavorably, including in such areas as product assortment, pricing, and service quality. Aside from being a well-known brand name, the location appears to be the only other strong attribute of the brand. Recommendations for improving the market position of Wilkes-Bashford are provided.

Start Date

4-9-2015 9:00 AM

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

The Retail Brand Audit: Conceptualization and Application

To remain competitive in an increasingly dynamic market environment, companies should periodically conduct brand audits. Dev and Keller (2014) provide a useful description of the brand audit as "a comprehensive examination of a brand to assess its health, uncover its sources of equity, and suggest ways to improve and expand on that equity" (p. 334, based on Keller 2013). While large companies typically have sufficient resources to conduct such investigations, smaller companies are usually more constrained. To address this issue, this presentation proposes a brand audit model that can be effectively and efficiently applied to small- and medium-sized retailers. In this regard, the Retail Brand Audit (RBA) consists of two major components: (1) the brand inventory, which consists of an in-depth review of the marketing mix portfolio (i.e., price, product, promotion and place) and (2) the brand exploratory, which evaluates user generated content (UGC) in order to identify consumer's perceptions of the brand. Together, the brand inventory and brand exploratory allow retailers the ability to assess brand strength and stature among consumers and identify areas for improvement. The RBA is then applied to a case example of a well-known San Francisco retailer, Wilkes-Bashford. The results of the brand inventory suggest that the retailer's marketing mix portfolio could be improved by removing inconsistent strategies. For example, the company positions itself as a high-end retailer, but also promotes regular sales (which is inconsistent with a prestigious brand strategy). With regard to the brand exploratory, the user generated content reveals that many consumers perceive Wilkes-Bashford unfavorably, including in such areas as product assortment, pricing, and service quality. Aside from being a well-known brand name, the location appears to be the only other strong attribute of the brand. Recommendations for improving the market position of Wilkes-Bashford are provided.