For the first 100 years of its story, Real Madrid created a reputation around Europe by winning a sequence of titles in the beginning of the European competition. Since the beginning of 2000’s when a new strategy was implemented, the club increased its brand awareness globally by hiring players from around the globe. Brand image
Real Madrid has its reputation built through its track history of titles, having won nine times the Champions League and three times FIFA Club World Cup, among many others. It is also know for football excellence as the club hires international players to attract fans from all over the world, creating an admiration for the football art and reaching countries where it wouldn’t otherwise be known. Brand equity pyramid
a) Identity: depth and breadth
Real Madrid’s build its depth of awareness by taking the most famous and best players around the world, making it easy even for the non football followers to recognise its brand. By an extensive array of merchandising products, such as clothing and sports items, Real Madrid reached a wide breadth without over-stretching its brand. b) Meaning: imagery dimensions
The club managed to expand its brand associations from football to any sports situation, reaching users that relate to sports in general. c) Response: judgement dimensions, emotional response
This is the dimension where Real Madrid capitalizes on the emotional relationship, making use of the fun and excitement brought by a football match. d) Relationships: behavioural, sense of community and active engagement The club engages with the fans by building a sense of trust and loyalty. It also maintains a sense of exclusivity in its relationship with the “socios” as its members are its owners and the club did not go public.
Figure 1. Real Madrid as an emotional and engaging brand (Merlo. 2011)
Real Madrid’s manages to build its points of differentiation over two dimensions without over-stretching the brand equity. The tangible aspects comprise of game results and its merchandising. The intangible elements build on the emotions and sense of belonging. In the last decade, the Real Madrid’s core evolved from sports to the brand itself.
Figure 2. Real Madrid’s core: from sports to the brand
2) Brand marketing programmes
With the arrival of the new management team in mid 2000’s, Real Madrid adopted a new strategy to bring the club from inside the sports venue to outside reaching the fans wherever they were, transforming the football club into a professional organisation. According to Van Gelder(2004) as cited by Richilieu and Desbordes (2009), there are four main strategies brands can take adopt when going international: * The brand domain specialist: influence the development in a specific domain and also consumer’s preferences e.g. Apple * The brand reputation specialist: authenticity, credibility and reliability e.g Volvo and safety * The brand affinity specialist: outperforming competition by offering a memorable experience e.g Walt Disney * The brand recognition specialist: increase in brand notoriousness e.g. Nescafe Real Madrid follows a mix of reputation and affinity specialist as it attempted to build credibility through a top quality squad and as consequence it created a unique experience to the fans. When Real Madrid hired the “Galacticos” and assembled the top players from...