Brand Strategy and Imc

Topics: Marketing, Brand, Brand management Pages: 32 (11635 words) Published: March 18, 2009
Brand strategy and integrated marketing communication (IMC): a case study of player's cigarette... Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is defined as "a cross-functional process for creating and nourishing profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful dialogue with them" (Duncan 2002, p. 8). To better understand the real-world application of IMC, a call has been made for case histories that focus on IMC best practices (see Duncan and Mulhern 2004, p. 19). In this paper, we provide a case study that demonstrates how one company--Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL), which is Canada's largest tobacco manufacturer--has successfully applied three critical IMC practices: strategically consistent brand communication, cross-functional planning and monitoring, and data-driven targeting and communication. ITL's use of these key IMC processes has enabled the company to effectively construct brand imagery for its flagship cigarette trademark, Player's, with greater brand equity resulting in greater shareholder value. Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is defined as "a cross-functional process for creating and nourishing profitable relationships with customers and other stakeholders by strategically controlling or influencing all messages sent to these groups and encouraging data-driven, purposeful [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic]Ads by Google

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dialogue with them" (Duncan 2002, p. 8). To better understand the real-world application of IMC, a call has been made for case histories that focus on IMC best practices (see Duncan and Mulhern 2004, p. 19). In this paper, we provide a case study that demonstrates how one company--Imperial Tobacco Limited (ITL), which is Canada's largest tobacco manufacturer--has successfully applied three critical IMC practices: strategically consistent brand communication, cross-functional planning and monitoring, and data-driven targeting and communication. ITL's use of these key IMC processes has enabled the company to effectively construct brand imagery for its flagship cigarette trademark, Player's, with greater brand equity resulting in greater shareholder value. First, we provide some background information about ITL and its Player's trademark, and discuss the firm's organizational structure and internal processes for brand strategy that ITL executives have explained during court testimony. Second, we demonstrate that ITL utilizes customer-focused marketing communications, including cross-cultural integration. A strong brand strategy, driven by customer feedback, is apparent in the firm's marketing of Player's, and ITL and the market research firms and ad agencies it has hired have routinely and extensively studied consumer attitudes, opinions, and behavior. These studies and reports have been revealed through public litigation and public legislative hearings into the tobacco industry, which have provided researchers with an unparalleled look into the internal marketing strategies and consumer research of major corporations such as ITL (for a discussion on approaches to searching tobacco industry documents, see Malone and Balbach 2000 or Balbach, Gasior, and Barbeau 2002). Although considerable research and discussion exists on the subject of IMC, a number of gaps requiring further attention remain. For example, more study is needed on IMC in different sectors to see how integration varies in different industry conditions; there has also been a lack of attention paid to understanding the catalysts that prompt...

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