Page 3: What's in a name?
A key part of any business strategy is for managers to be aware of their organisation’s strategic capability. This is important if they are to understand whether there is a 'fit' between the resources and competencies of the organisation and the current opportunities in the business environment. For example, strategic managers at Jeyes needed to know whether strengths such as the 'Jeyes' brand name were capable of being successful in rapidly changing markets.
Brands deliver a range of different levels of meaning. They represent product attributes and benefits as well as values and personality. It has been said that a brand is like a person. i.e. if it was human what sort of person would it be?
The largest ever research project undertaken by Jeyes clearly indicated that the heritage of the (more then 100 year old) name created many positive attributes in the minds of consumers. It confirmed that consumers consider Jeyes to be reliable, established and helpful. Products from Jeyes were viewed as excellent germ killers, effective cleaners, hygienic, powerful and fast working. The research also indicated that very definite strengths such as effectiveness, safety and reliability could be transferred to other product and market sectors through the process of 'brand stretching'.
Line extensions occur when a company introduces additional items within a given product category - such as household products. Brand extensions involve the use of a successful brand name to launch new or modified products in a new category - such as gardening products. If the two strategies are combined, you get 'brand stretching.'
Given the poor results, it was vital for the management at Jeyes Group to scrutinise the organisation's strategic position. Managers could then identify different strategic options and build a new business strategy.
The new strategy needed to build or 'stretch' the resources of the Jeyes Group, allowing the Group to identify and create opportunities which it could then capitalise upon. The 1994 strategic plan was developed to grip, squeeze and grow the business. This involved new management in a new three phase strategy.
- GRIP 1995 1. Tighten the management of the existing business
- SQUEEZE 1996 2. Expand profits from existing assets
- GROW 1997 3. Grow profits via new initiatives
Having successfully completed the first two stages of the strategy, Jeyes is now well into the third stage. A well regarded brand helps an organisation to enter new product areas more easily as it provides instant recognition and therefore, improved acceptability. When consumers were asked about the products Jeyes made, the current range was strongly endorsed. New areas such as mould cleaners, patio cleaners and carpet cleaners were also considered to have a good fit within the range.
The research within the product sectors led to the successful launch of new laundry products. The company also developed its interest further in the catering and industrial sectors. The link between Jeyes Fluid and products for the garden was particularly strong and this led to the major new initiative in the gardening sector. In the gardening sector, the research into new product development and brand stretching revealed two consumer groups. These were:
- The older 'serious' gardener who was committed to Jeyes Fluid and had been using it for years.
- Gardeners under 45 years old who were aware of Jeyes Fluid, but wanted a range of easy and ready to use convenience products, offering the product benefits they would expect from Jeyes.
When segments in a market have been identified, targeting takes place. The garden range was developed and targeted at this younger group of consumers. This involved aiming the products at consumers with specific characteristics. The target consumer would:
- be aged under 45
- not use Jeyes Fluid
- not be a keen 'process' gardener
- want easy solutions
- be contemporary
- be aware of the Jeyes brand
- believe in Jeyes' products.