Manufacturer the role of the sme brand is perfunctory

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Manufacturer . The role of the SME brand is perfunctory and its view limited to visual elements, such as name and logo, and little effort is expended to formulate the brand values. The brand promise comprises somewhat generic functional product-based values and aspirational emotional values (e.g., “A quality product, made of quality fabric and priced fairly, in which you look really good” in Swimwear Manufacturer and “Fun, fast service and quality coffee” in Coffee Retailer) . Due to weak brand orientation, owner–managers lack the impetus to develop strong brand management capability. Internal brand implementation processes receive less sufficient attention. Ensuring con- sistent brand delivery is the top priority of owner–managers, with less emphasis on internal brand communication and brand enabling. Con- sistent brand delivery is enforced through strict monitoring of employees, to ensure they deliver the product of the desired quality. Owner–man- agers exhibit a transactional leadership style, which rewards employees who adhere to the brand delivery norms and reprimand those that deviate from them (Morhart, Herzog, and Tomc- zak 2009). Weak brand enabling is evidenced by opportunistic recruitment and selection methods, such as hiring friends of current employees, limited face-to-face training, and simple operational standards, which are com- municated face-to-face on-the-job, such as in Swimwear Manufacturer . Wages and simple ad hoc incentives are used to reward employees who adhere to brand delivery norms, illustrated by the Swimwear Manufacturer owner– manager, who explains: We pay just above industry average. It’s only a few cents above. We also pay a bonus—a chance to make some extra money for employees who do a great job. The performance of the SME brand is assessed using financial criteria, such as sales and profit. Internal and external feedback is gathered informally in this type, such as through face-to-face conversations or telephone calls to customers, such as by the owner–manager of Swimwear Manufacturer . Opportunistic Type This type has a primary external brand posi- tioning focus: to exploit perceived market opportunities quickly. Paradoxically, although the primary brand positioning focus is external, market orientation is limited, with little effort expended to fully understand customer needs. The view of SME brand is limited to visual ele- ments including logo and website. Owner–man- agers omit to formulate clear brand values and to foster a customer-oriented corporate culture that would facilitate a strong brand image. The brand promise also consists of generic relationship-building values such as trust and honesty, illustrated by the owner–manager of Training Company , who explains, “Our brand promise is really—responsive customised train- ing, trustworthy and honest.” The perfunctory role of SME brand and weakly articulated brand promise show that owner–managers place very little importance on developing strong brand management capabilities.
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