Case Study : Mr Bean
1) What are the roles and benefits of branding to sellers and buyers in the food and beverage business? Is branding only for big companies? Why or why not?
Branding is a basic decision in marketing products, this is whereby an organization uses a name, a phrase, design, symbols or combinations of these to identify its products and distinguish themselves form their competitors. The benefits of branding to sellers and buyers in the food and beverage business would be that buyers can identify with the brand and what the brand promises such as quality or affordability. In the case of Mr Bean, branding in the F & B business their brand slogan tells customers how they are “Bringing you life’s simple pleasures”. Sellers such as Mr Bean in the F & B business can also distinguish themselves from their competitors. Also sellers can help develop brand loyalty and retain their customers for sellers. This is seen in the case study as fans of Mr Bean leave their messages of support on the website evidence of brand loyalty and support. Branding benefit sellers in that they can recognize competing products to Mr Bean such as Rochor Beancurd House a competitor of Mr Bean, and they will be informed. They can then avoid patronizing and purchasing products from Rochor Beancurd House and purchase Mr Bean products. This is related to brand loyalty as buyers only stick to the brands, which they are loyal to and support. Branding is not only limited to big companies as small and medium enterprises can engage do and can engage in branding to differentiate their products in a highly competitive market with many competing various products. Small and medium businesses do this to differentiate themselves from competition. These small and medium businesses can use branding as way to create and generate greater market share. They can also use branding to generate greater brand loyalty thus retaining loyal customers. This is seen in the case study, as consumers voted Mr Bean as the most popular brand in 2007 for the Singapore Prestige Brand Award. This recognition shows that small and medium businesses need and can engage in branding. This is seen and related because as recently as 2010 a competitor of Mr Bean, Jollibean was one of top twenty brands in the Singapore Prestige Brand Award under the established brands categories. However branding may not be suitable for small and medium businesses if after doing market research they see that the cost of advertising and brand promotion is great with little recognition and market share despite vigorous promotion efforts. Also small and medium businesses should not try branding as they might encounter counterfeiting this is whereby their brands are illegally hijacked with no revenue returning to the business. Another reason why small and medium businesses should not engage in branding is that their own brands and products may end up looking too similar and may confuse consumers. An example would be Mr Bean and their competitor Jollibean, first time consumers maybe confused as to which brand is better and maybe confused by their similar offerings of products selling soy bean milk, bean curd and other snacks. Another issue that might deter small and medium companies from using branding to improve their business would be the challenge of picking a good brand name. Firstly the brand name should suggest product benefits in this case, Mr Bean suggests a healthy food product. Secondly the name should be memorable and distinctive, in this case Mr Bean as a name is memorable however to other business they might have trouble finding a distinctive name an example would be the case of Old Hokkien opened by Yew Kee Wee his restaurant’s name was not distinctive enough. Thirdly the brand should fit the company and product image, in this we see that Mr Bean connotes soya beans and related products. Also the name should have no regulatory restrictions in this case Mr Bean is a trademark...
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