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Deliverable 1 – Answer Questions & Reference Page – Due first

Deliverable 2 – Branding Audit Due second

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Branding is a very important element of marketing. As you work on this project, it is imperative that you stay focused on the consumer. Remember that a company’s customers do not buy features; they buy benefits, both tangible and intangible. It is also critical to understand customers and how the brand influences their buying decisions.

Review Slate Case File (attached)

 

Primarily, we want you to examine the branding strategies  of our competitors, as well as any brand extensions and their branding packaging decisions.

This report will function as a brand audit that allows us to examine our competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, customer expectations, and our own relative position in the market.

These details form the basis of the main branding elements. I met with our CEO, Shanice Watts, and she wanted me to emphasize the following eight categories we would like you to analyze in your report about our two biggest competitors:

 

1. brand personality

2. brand image

3. brand identity

4. brand differentiation

5. brand positioning

6. brand communication

7. brand loyalty

8. brand equity (including financial equity)

 

Slate’s executive teams are really looking forward to your report. Thanks for helping us with this.

 

To carry out this assignment, you need to understand Slate’s competitors’ brand strategies, their consumers, how to acquire market knowledge through primary and secondary research, and how to use that knowledge to build and support a brand.

To start your research, visit the websites of Slate’s two biggest competitors and review both scholarly and reliable nonscholarly sources to explore their branding decisions. Your research of the two companies should focus on the branding elements discussed in the previous step.

Consult a minimum of two scholarly sources and eight reliable nonscholarly sources (10 total). Make sure that you use reliable, nonscholarly sources such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, MoneyForbesFortuneFinancial Times, theWall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as the UMUC Library databases such as Hoover’s and ABI/INFORM.

In addition, explore the following branding websites for relevant content:

 

· www.adage.com

· www.adweek.com

· www.brandchannel.com

· www.ama.org

· www.cmo.com

· www.marketingprofs.com

 

As you are researching Slate’s competitors, Carlos asks you to participate in a meeting on the importance of branding (attached) with his team.

 

I know that you’re deep into your analysis of the Slate, Inc. case, but I wanted to preview your work and check in on the sources of information you are using to develop your report. Slate has asked to examine the sources of secondary research that we are using in our report to ensure their quality and originality. Accordingly, I want you to share the list of references you have been using to research Slate’s competitors.

Deliverable: Provide a reference list derived from your research that has a minimum of two scholarly and eight reliable, nonscholarly sources (10 in all).

I suggest using reliable nonscholarly sources, such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, MoneyForbesFortunethe Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as UMUC Library databases, such as Hoover’s and ABI-Inform. All sources should be referenced using APA formatting.

 

Deliverable: Based on your research of the two companies’ brands, write an eight-page report (four pages on each company) that addresses the following branding elements:

 

1. brand personality

2. brand image

3. brand identity

4. brand differentiation

5. brand positioning

6. brand communication

7. brand loyalty

8. brand equity (including financial equity)

 

As you examine these branding elements, your report should also answer the following questions:

1. How strong are the companies’ brands in the market?

2. What are the factors contributing to their strengths and weaknesses?

3. How are these two brands competing against each other? How strong is their global performance?

4. How do consumers perceive their brands?

5. Are there any sub-brands? Are there any brand extensions?

Your report should contain a one-page executive summary (following the cover page) that highlights the most important findings of your analysis. Also include a one-page table in an appendix at the end of the paper that compares the brand elements for the two brands.

Support your work with course readings, scholarly sources, and reliable nonscholarly sources, such as Reuters, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, Barrons.com, Morningstar.com, MoneyForbesFortune,  the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review, as well as UMUC Library databases, such as Hoover’s and ABI-Inform. All sources have to be cited using APA formatting, both within the text and in the reference list.

Your final report to Carlos should be eight to nine pages, excluding cover page, executive summary, the reference list, and appendices. Any graphs, tables, and figures should be included as appendices. Your report should have one-inch margins and be double spaced in size-12 Times New Roman font. The report should be organized using headings and subheadings to improve its readability.

Submit your report to the dropbox located in the final step of this project.