INTRODUCTION AND COMPANY BACKGROUND
Brand management should be strategically approached, with clear points of difference from its competitors CITATION Woo001 l 1033 (Wood, 2000). It is crucial in building the product’s brand equity (Keller, 2013) and critical to the success of companies (Wood, 2000; Bhimrao, 2008). Creating a brand is underpinned by choosing a name, logo, symbol or other features that identifies a product, provide differentiation (Keller, 2013) and give the brand meaning through maintaining consistency (Kapferer, 2012).
Yoghurt is a widely popular fermented dairy product with origin dated back to the 6000 B.C, (Weerathilake et al, 2014). While providing gastrointestinal, digestive and multiple health benefits (Tamang, 2015), its demands are increasing and have become the fastest growing dairy product in the world (Weerathilake et al, 2014), especially China whereby retail value of yoghurt products escalate 153% over 5 years (See Figure 1) (EuroMonitor, 2018).
Figure 1: Retail sales of yoghurt and sour milk products. Adapted from EuroMonitor, 2018
FruitLeh is a new brand, selling a unique concept of pre-packed yogurt with freshly cut fruits vacuum-packed separately. Unlike other brands that mix the fruits inside the yogurt, FruitLeh enable consumers to choose the fruits they like, allowing various choices of crunchy fibre-filled fresh fruits to be consumed with the yogurt anytime anywhere. With countless choices available, it will be challenging to develop FruitLeh brand and win a place in the global market.
With that, this report will discuss in detail the brand management strategies for creating and developing a new brand, an analysis of its identity, image and personality, followed by brand positioning and marketing mix. Subsequently, brand extension strategy and international branding strategy to extend FruitLeh to China.
2.JUSTIFICATION OF DEVELOPMENT OF BRAND NAME, LOGO AND TAGLINE
New brand must first develop an appropriate brand name and logo that evolves to a recognized and desirable brand identity, image and personality. Keller (2013) mentioned 6 criteria of choosing brand name, memorable, meaningful, likable, transferable, adaptable and protectable. Brand name should also be unique, easy to pronounce, to hear and spell (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014), align with intended positioning (Kapferer, 2012) and legally available (Aaker, 1991). A carefully and properly chosen brand name enhances brand awareness, concurrently creates a favourable image for a new product in the market CITATION Kel98 l 2057 (Keller, Heckler, ; Houston, 1998).
FruitLeh is an artificial brand name build from scratch, allowing desired brand meaning to be created and developed through effective brand and marketing communication CITATION Joh14 l 2057 (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014). The brand name, FruitLeh combines an English word with a Singlish phrase commonly used in in Singapore. Singlish is a Singapore lingo combining English, Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and various dialects reflecting the multicultural society in Singapore CITATION Teo16 l 2057 (Teo, 2016). Hence, the brand name FruitLeh gives it a “Singaporean” identity that easily resonate as a Singaporean brand with the Singlish phrase “leh”.
While brand name helps consumers to recall the brand, brand logo gives consumers visual representation of the brand and have a ‘recognition’ effect that is perceived as the brand image CITATION Joh14 l 2057 (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014). FruitLeh’s logo (see Figure 2) is a silhouette of a yoghurt surrounded by juicy fresh fruits to visually enhance and portray a healthy image while the soothing coloured brand name gives a refreshing visual appeal to consumers.
4286358300858Silhouette of yoghurt
00Silhouette of yoghurt
4793088227294Surrounded by fruits
00Surrounded by fruits
160427338335Brand Name fruits
00Brand Name fruits
Figure 2: Brand Logo of FruitLeh (own)
Slogans gives additional brand association and creates brand equity. It should be specific and straightforward (Aaker, 1991). An interesting, catchy, short and easy to remember slogans captures consumer’s memory and imagination and helps to reflect the unique selling point of the product. Similarly, slogans should align new brand’s value preposition and positioning CITATION Joh14 l 2057 (Johansson & Carlson, 2014). FruitLeh’s slogan “Where is my Fruit leh?” emphasis the unique concept of selling freshly cut vacuum-packed fruits when purchasing the pre-packed yoghurt and foresees customers to ask, “Where is my Fruit leh?” when they could not find the fruit yoghurt flavours that they like. Moreover, the brand name can also be a question “Fruit leh?” in Singlish context, meaning “Where is my fruit?”. These aligns with Singaporeans liking to end their sentences with “leh” or “lah” as a suffix to add emphasis CITATION Teo16 l 2057 (Teo, 2016), also effectively links to brand name and enhance memorability of the brand.
Branding provides several benefits (Johansson ; Carlson, 2015; Keller, Ape?ria ; Georgson, 2012) and is a key strategy for a company to remain competitive (Kapferer, 2012). Similarly, brands simplify decision-making, reduce risk and bring emotional benefit for consumers (Johansson ; Carlson, 2015).
Building a strong brand remains the top priority for many organisations (Keller, 2001) as it gives companies sustainable competitive advantage (Keller, 2013) through delivering brand equity and value (Johansson ; Carlson, 2015) while enjoying customer loyalty, creates barrier to entry, increase profitability and brand extension opportunities (Keller et al, 2012).
A strong brand must possess a strong identity, positive image and appealing personality (see Figure 3) which is crucial to support and provide strategic plans in building a strong brand (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014), herein FruitLeh’s brand identity, image and personality will be critically discussed to demonstrate its capabilities to be a strong brand.
Figure 3 – Evolution of Brand (Johansson & Carlson, 2014)
3.1BRAND ANALYSIS – BRAND IDENTITY
Brand identity involves creating brand salience (Keller, 2013), emphasize on creating point-of-difference (Ghodeswar, 2008) and relates to consumer’s capability to recall and recognize a brand linked to its brand name and logo (Keller, 2001). It is what a company wants a brand to be (Johansson ; Carlson, 2015; Aaker ; Joachimsthaler, 2000) and creates functional, emotional and/or self-expressive benefits through generating value proposition and establishes a connection between brand and consumers (Aaker, 1996).
FruitLeh’s combination of English and Singlish brand name gives a strong and distinct “Truly Singapore” identity that is quality, friendly and welcoming. Its colourful logo filled with fruits easily etched in consumer’s mind as the only brand selling vacuum-packed fresh fruits with yoghurt, a healthy and refreshing identity. Being a “Truly Singaporean” brand, FruitLeh’s strong brand identity helps customer build trust and differentiates the brand from competitors (Ghodeswar, 2008).
3.2BRAND ANALYSIS – BRAND IMAGE
A brand image is the perception, beliefs and views of the brand in consumer’s memory (Campbell, 1998; Ghodeswar, 2008;). It is the intangible aspect rather than the brand performance (Keller, 2013) and is customer-focused (De Chernatony, 1999). It is normally determined by observation (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014), experience, advertisement or other information sources (Keller, 2013). Using celebrities as brand endorsement or spokesperson is part of marketing strategy that is commonly practice by companies to support brand image (Erdogan, 1999). To increase credibility and validate its claims, FruitLeh will engage an attractive, convincing, identifiable and inspiring spokesperson (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014). Hence, Joseph Schooling (See Picture 1), a young athlete and gold medalist in the 2016 Olympic, was chosen as FruitLeh’s spokesperson. His widely likable, confident, patriotic and humble image (Tan & Wong, 2016) aligns with FruitLeh’s image, concurrently, emphasizing on FruitLeh’s identity of “Truly Singapore” brand. Similarly, FruitLeh also aspire to inherit Joseph Schooling’s success and gain international popularity.
Picture 1: Picture taken on 31 Aug 18 (Manjur, 2018)
3.3BRAND ANALYSIS – BRAND PERSONALITY
Brand personality is the character of a brand, often associated with human characteristics (Johansson ; Carlson, 2014), is symbolic and self-expressive (Aaker, 1997). Consumers derive brand personality through various features of a brand (Keller, 2013). Brand personality gives sustainable competitive advantage than product’s functional features (Sherrington, 2003). Similarly, brand attributes affecting brand personality (Aaker, 1996), are difficult to duplicate thus achieves sustainable differentiation (Ghodeswar, 2008).
Adopting Aaker’s framework (Aaker, 1997) (See Figure X), FruitLeh, exude sincerity through offering wholesome yoghurt with vacuum-packed crunchy, fibre-filled fruits and a colourful and cheerful brand logo and slogan. Its up-to-date and daring combination demonstrated exciting personality. FruitLeh’s brand identity and ambassador demonstrates a reliable Singapore brand that projects competency. Brand personality will emerge slowly when consumers start to see the product in store, advertisement, reviews from other consumers and recognise the type of consumers (Plummer, 1984).
Figure 4: Aaker’s 5 Dimension of Personality
4CONSUMER BASED BRAND EQUITY (CBBE)
Customer based brand equity is “the differential effect that knowing the brand name has on customer response to the product or its marketing” (Keller, 2013, p 69). It is a set of assets and liabilities linked to a brand name allowing a brand to garner distinctive position in the mind of consumers in comparison to other brands. It is the consumer’s feelings towards a product and is part of consumer’s attraction or repulsion from a product (Keller and Lehmann, 2006). CBBE emphasize on knowing consumer’s psychology during brand selection and identifying the source of brand values (Yoo & Donthu, 2001).
Keller’s (2013) identified a 4 steps brand building CBBE model and each step must be achieved before approaching the next. Adopting this concept, FruitLeh CBBE model as follows;
FruitLeh’s Brand Resonance Model
FruitLeh achieves brand awareness in depth as consumers can effortlessly recall it as a yogurt packed with fruits through its easily recognizable logo and brand. Awareness in breadth, FruitLeh can be purchased and consumed by anyone anytime such as during breakfast, snack time, dessert and for various purpose such as cooking and baking.
On performance level, FruitLeh exceeds consumer’s functional expectation by packing together freshly cut vacuum-packed fruits that offers assortment and added nutrition from the fibre-filled fruits. Similarly, FruitLeh’s brand ambassador Joseph Schooling portrays a likable, young, fresh, healthy and “Truly Singaporean” image.
Therefore, consumers rationally judge FruitLeh as superior quality, creditable and reliable brand. FruitLeh’s colourful logo and catchy slogan let consumers feel light-hearted, joyous and cheerful, enabling consumers to feel fun. Its innovative concept illustrates excitement and socially-approved to be associated with.
FruitLeh also achieve brand resonance by establishing behavioural loyalty through brand extension to 1 litre tub and other products such as drinking yoghurt to encourage repeat purchases. Additionally, FruitLeh fulfills attitudinal attachment and develop sense of community as health and diet conscious consumers and patriotic consumers may feel attached and affiliated with FruitLeh’s brand identity, image and personality.
5.BRAND SGEMENTATION, TARGETTING AND POSITIONING
Market segmentation groups the consumers with homogeneous needs and wants in the market (Kotler & Keller, 2012) and attempt to satisfy their requirements and behavioural patterns (Martin, 2011; Campbell & Butaney, 1996). Segmentation also assist in targeting and designing marketing strategies (Wedel & Kamakura, 2000), allowing limited resources to be utilized on the most potential segment (Mcdonald & Christopher, 2003).
FruitLeh’s focuses on the demographic, psychographic and behavioural segment.
Figure 6 – Market Segmentation application for FruitLeh
Behavioural segmentation use the data collected to determine if the segment suits their consumer’s behaviour and help the organizations to determine where and how to invest their next marketing budget. (Martin, 2011). It is deemed most valuable in understanding branding issues due to having distinct strategic implications (Keller, 2013). FruitLeh’s target consumers who focus on product benefits and purchase/consume yoghurt frequently as their daily diet due to its health benefit.
Psychographical segmentation represents the psychology of consumers and organisations must understand their consumer’s habits to relate to them. It also corresponds with brand’s personality (Martin, 2011). FruitLeh target consumers who endear a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet to look good and slim that possess a fun-loving and exciting personality as they can choose their favourite fruit with yoghurt as dessert anytime anywhere.
On demographical segmentation, FruitLeh targets middle incomed consumers between 20s to 40s with substantial education to appreciate the benefits of yoghurt.
Brand positioning being a key concept of branding management, is based on one principle that all choices are comparable (Kapferer, 2012). It creates and/or change consumer’s perception of the brand (Fuchs & Diamantopoulos, 2009), amplify product’s characteristics and establishes competitive advantage in consumer’s mind (Gwin & Gwin, 2003; Keller, 2013).
Successful positioning involves establishing the (POD) Point-of-Difference and (POP) Point-of-Parity (Johansson & Carlson, 2014), effectively magnifying the brand’s benefits and triggers consumer’s rational and emotional response (Keller, 2013).
The concept of selling vacuum-packed fresh fruits with yoghurt is unique and exclusive to FruitLeh, hence a strong POD that no competitors have.
While FruitLeh’s POP as a “Truly Singapore” product may inversely relate to low quality, it may also means being affordably priced.
A positioning map of FruitLeh as follows;
The concept of marketing mix was first introduced by Neil Borden in 1953 and was subsequently finetuned by McCarthy into 4P’s, Price, Product, Place and Promotion (Van Waterschoot & Van den Bulte, 1992). It is a tactical and conceptual framework used to generate desired response in the target market and encompasses all that a company can do for consumer engagement, delivering value (Kotler & Armstrong, 2017) and influence the demand for its product.
6.1MARKETING MIX – PRICE
Pricing strategy determines how consumers categorise the price of the brand as low, medium or high. Consumers deduce product quality base on price, together with their perception of product quality and perception of price, consumers derive a product’s perceived value (Keller, 2013). Locally, FruitLeh is priced same as the mid-tier brands of yoghurt.
6.2MARKETING MIX – PRODUCT
A product is anything tangible and/or intangible offered to the market for attention, attainment, usage and consumption that satisfies a need or want (Kotler ; Armstrong, 2017). Adopting Kotler ; Armstrong (2017) 3 Levels of Product (see Figure X), FruitLeh’s core product as a yoghurt provides tangible and intangible nutritional benefits of consuming yoghurt for general well-being.
FruitLeh fulfills actual product level through its auspicious brand name which means ‘wealth gets you’ in Mandarin and Cantonese, a dialect commonly used in Singapore. Additionally, FruitLeh brand name contains a Singlish phrase ‘leh’ which associates easily with Singaporeans. Bundled with vacuum-packed fruits, FruitLeh gives consumers added value of enjoying fiber-filled fresh fruits together with nutritious yoghurt. At augmented product level, FruitLeh will clearly indicate in the packaging the manufacturer’s and distributor’s contact, e-mail and interactive website, providing consumers with 24/7 after-sales service and enquiries channels, concurrently to receive feedback from consumers.
Figure X: Kotler & Armstrong (2017) 3 Levels of Product
Source: Adapted from Principles of Marketing, Global Edition (17th ed.), Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G.,2017. Pearson Education Limited.
6.3MARKETING MIX – PLACE
Locally, FruitLeh will be available in major hypermarkets (NTUC X-tra, Giant Hypermarts), supermarkets (NTUC Finest, Cold Storage, Jason Marketplace), convenience stores (7-11, Cheers) and petrol kiosk (Shell, Caltex, Esso), widely accessible to target market and aligns with its positioning strategy. In addition, FruitLeh will explore distribution in secondary and tertiary schools to promote a healthy eating habit from young, concurrently allowing FruitLeh to gain awareness. Also, in gymnasiums and hospitals to cater to the health-conscious consumers segment. Online retailing is also mandatory for FruitLeh as internet retailing have increased steadily over the years (EuroMonitor, 2018).
Promotion are often used by brands to inform, sell their product and to build relationship between the brand and consumers (Keller, 2013). To align with FruitLeh’s positioning and target market, various social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) will be utilized. Although social media has great impact on communications to consumer, the methods on content controlling could not be articulated CITATION Manns l 1033 (Mangold ; Faulds, 2009). This is something beyond FruitLeh’s control and potentially damaging to the brand if wrong and/or negative information is disseminated.
Celebrities are names that no need further identification and they possess publicity value CITATION Kan13 l 1033 (Kansu & Mamuti, 2013) if used to endorse the product, it creates an instinctive thought for consumers on the product CITATION Han15 l 1033 (Han & Yazdanifard, 2015). Sports celebrities with positive image and substantial popularity such as Joseph Schooling will be engaged as ambassador to amplify FruitLeh’s image of healthy, fun, sporty and nutritional.
7.BRAND EXTENSION (YOGHURT DRINK, FROZEN YOGHURT)
FruitLeh being a new brand, will use the Ansoff growth matrix (see Figure X) as a framework to determine its growth strategy. Other than adopting a Market Penetration strategy, FruitLeh will also use Product Development and Market Development strategy as expansion plan.
Figure 2: Ansoff Growth Matrix
Source: Adapted from Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity (4th ed.) (p 432), by K.L. Keller, 2013, Harlow, England, Pearson
Brand extension is using a recognized brand name to launch new products (Keller, 2013). It ‘extends a current brand to a new or modified product in a new category’ (Kotler ; Armstrong, 2013, p269). Brand extension also brings multiple benefits such as improving FruitLeh’s brand image, reduced effort on introducing new brands, reducing consumer perceived risk and increase promotional efficiency (Keller, 2013). It is a commonly used branding strategic tool (Völckner & Sattler, 2006) and broadly classified as Line or Category extension (Keller, 2013).
FruitLeh will perform line extension by introducing different flavours, bundled with different vacuum-packed nuts and a 1 litre family pack. It is also crucial for FruitLeh to execute category extension to various categories such as drinking yoghurt, frozen yoghurt and yoghurt bites for children. Particularly into the drinking yoghurt category as it is reported to have significant growth of 16% in year 2018 (EuroMonitor, 2018).
8.INTERNATIONAL BRANDING ???
Brand expansion into another geographic location is necessary and depends on the ability to innovate and sustain its competitiveness in term of productivity and economics of scales CITATION Kap12 l 1033 (Kapferer, 2012).
The choice of country to enter depends on assessing the country’s long-term potential and profit growth CITATION Hil111 l 1033 (Hill, 2011). FruitLeh intend to expand its business into China and is confident of success as Chinese consumers starts to appreciate and adore innovative and unique dairy products (Chen, 2018).
Demand for expensive yoghurt have been increasing, sales revenues surpass milk for the first time in China CITATION Han17 l 1033 (Hancock, 2017) with over 20% growth in retail sales since 2014 (Mintel, 2018) and market volume of US $2.7 billion in 2016 (See Figure X) (Statista,2018). With the recent yogurt craze, the product now leads the China’s dairy market and other food and drink products category (Mintel, 2018). While Chinese are more mindful and receptive of quality dairy intake, they prefers imported dairy products, also perceive yoghurt to be healthy, nutritious, improves immunity and beneficial for children and elderly (Mintel, 2018).
The reported high demand, substaintial growth and consumer acceptance is the reason for FruitLeh to venture into China market.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2 – Source from CITATION Sta18 l 1033 (Statista, 2018)There is no difference between expanding an established brand into foreign market or entering a new market in which there are new customers to persuade and their preference will not be the same as the existing customers CITATION Joh14 l 1033 (Johansson & Carlson, 2014). Although demand of Chinese consumers liking yogurt snack is increasing, FruitLeh needs to analyse and fill the gap between the consumer’s preference in both countries before entering the market. Chinese consumers are willing to pay high premium for dairy product like yogurt and consumers in their 20s are more health conscious and wants to stay slim CITATION Han17 l 1033 (Hancock, 2017), this matches FruitLeh’s image and positioning.
Despite increasing globalization, local culture, taste, competition and regulations differences between different countries still exist CITATION Ste17 l 1033 (Steenkamp, 2017) and difference in language may require a new brand name and logo (Johansson & Carlson, 2014). Hence, crucial to understand these differences and make necessary amendment to ensure success.
In view of entering the China market, FruitLeh amends its logo to include chinese characters (See Figure X) and adopt a Chinese brand name ???, pronounced as Fu De Ni. FruitLeh’s chinese slogan will be ?????????, meaning “Crunchy, Healthy, Wealth with you”. While the Chinese brand name is meant to sounds similar to its original name to enhance homogenity, it also carries an auspicious meaning of “Wealth gets you”, which is appealing and attractive to the China market, probably also the wish of many.
Figure X: FruitLeh Chinese logo
FruitLeh will be marketed as an dairy product imported from Singapore, a country with good reputation and strict regulations on Singapore food industry. This gives FruitLeh sustainable competitive advantage and strength to penetrate China’s dairy product market.
While advertising and marketing strategies change to adapt different languages and culture, it is common to appoint local spokepersons to market the products (Johansson & Carlson, 2014). Hence, FruitLeh will appoint Fu Yuan Hui, a famous olympic swimmer from China in 2016. Fu Yuan Hui gain popularity overnight on Chinese Social Media upon her hilarious interview with reporter
after her semi-final hit on 7 Aug 2016.
Picture 1 – Fu Yuan Hui during her interview in Rio Olympic 2016 (Williams, 2016)
Her genuine expression and expression of gratitute for her effort was deemed very natural and well-liked by the Chinese. Since then, her Weibo account surge from 56,000 to 3 million followers in 2 days CITATION Wil16 l 1033 (Williams, 2016). Her positive and genuine image aligns with FruitLeh as a sincere and positive brand.
Entering a giant developing country like China could involve very high risk level CITATION Hil111 l 1033 (Hill, 2011), therefore, important that FruitLeh choose the right entry method to reduce such risk. A joint venture is establishing a new firm owned by two or more independent companies, and a foreign company could benefit from the local partner’s knowledge and the business condition in the host country CITATION Hil111 l 1033 (Hill, 2011). FruitLeh could consider joint venture with one of the local diary product company to produce the yogurt in China. This allows both companies to share the development cost and risk involved in the business CITATION Hil111 l 1033 (Hill, 2011).
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