Strategic Brand Management in SMEs for Competitive Advantage

Strategic Brand Management in SMEs for Competitive Advantage

Neeta Baporikar (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia & University of Pune, Pune, India) and Rosalia Fotolela (Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek, Namibia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJAMTR.2020010102

Abstract

This study aimed to explore how SME owner-managers perceive their roles in marketing and brand management as a strategic approach to enhance their competitiveness to ensure profits, growth, and sustainability. For any organization to grow and thrive it is essential to become customers first choice and for that it is critical to communicate their brand content through effective and strategic brand management. Hence, adopting a qualitative, exploratory approach, 10 owner-managers of SMEs and entrepreneurs in Windhoek, Namibia, were interviewed using semi-structured in-depth interview protocol. Findings reflect that SME brand strategies both in modern and traditional aspects enhance company growth. The study also proposes a framework that is of practical significance for future entrepreneurs, SMEs and brand consultants to enable SMEs to create and develop their brands for better and competitive positioning in the markets. The unique contribution of this study is how SME-focused brand strategies can act as a driver and provide impetus to profits, growth, and sustainability.
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Background

This study will emphasise the strategic brand management literature which is drawn from how SMEs manage brands for profit and to what extension brands are important to the business strategy. Corporate branding believed to be the management of the corporate brand (Bronn, 2007). Spacey (2017) defined brand management as that based on a practice of developing and sustaining a brand to build a valuable identified for products and service in a crowded market which involves planning an identity for a brand implementing marketing and operational strategies to build brand awareness and reputation. In this study, strategic brand management exercised between the maker of the product and branding the product to be distinguished from others and taken through handling in a good care, signify quality, and create barriers to new entries (Mitchell et al., 2015).

This paper explores the current studies with the main purpose of developing the present brand management conceptualizations through conducting a review of the current literature on SME’s brand management (Raki & Shakur, 2018).This study will attempt to contribute on strategic brand management in SMEs, where some best strategy identified to manage the SMEs’ brands effectively. The research may not only be looking at luxury brands but to asses brand strategies and also with their planning and management of brand extensions if any (Powell, 2017).

In Namibia, the majority of local products seem to have not been protected through property rights as legalized under the act of parliament, Act No. 8, 2016. In this study, brand management problems and their possible solutions will be researched. Research brand management problem in SMEs is both valuable and practical (Mitchell et al., 2015). This is the best way to find the strategy in terms of brand that may be seeking the aspects of brand management as tangible and intangible nature, meanwhile, many SMEs’ intangible assets if managed may overcome the top brand and lead to barrier for competitors’ brands. Therefore, brand management such as retail is compared to as a district form of branding (Mc Goldrick, 2002). In this regard, SMEs tend to overlook the importance of having engaged the staff’s input to the branding management strategies as well as testing the customers’ recommendations.

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